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How-to: Troubleshoot FoxFi Setup Errors

Sheesh, I write a few posts (here, here, here, and here) on WiFi tethering via FoxFi app for Android, and suddenly I’m the new expert. That’s okay, I don’t mind the publicity or the questions.

In fact, here’s a recent query from a follower in California:

I am dismayed…I have FoxFi and have had it for a while on my Verizon Razr Maxx. I understand Verizon . . . cannot block tethering. I am grandfathered into the unlimited data plan . . . and I hear they have throttled that service. I was notified of a OS upgrade and it has blocked my tethering via FoxFi altogether. I attempted to reset my phone to factory defaults and go backwards in the OS but it restarted as the new OS and I remain blocked. Is there new information on the horizon that you have heard of? Or is this the new world? Money for nothing… (Chicks should be free then… according to the song) (link added)

To start, I haven’t heard anything about Verizon blocking tethering connections.

Secondly, I do know that for some reason (probably encouragement from cellular companies) Jelly Bean blocks the WiFi tethering connection. The reader doesn’t say what version of the Android OS he’s running, but I suspect Android 4.1. This could be an app issue or an OS issue. Here’s a snip from the FoxFi Google Play description:

FoxFi Statement

 

However, I have attempted to replicate the blocking issue on 3 separate phones to no success. On two devices running ICS, I set up a tethered connection without a problem. On my Samsung Galaxy S III, which is running Android 4.1, I received a notification to install a PdaNet+ add on.

PdaNet+ Notification for FoxFi

WiFi tethering worked fine after installing the PdaNet+ upgrade.

You’ll also notice that I’m running the full version ($6.97), which may improve my connectability.

FoxFi Full Version Screenshot Close-up

If the app still doesn’t work, I’d suggest totally uninstalling and reinstalling the app. You should also contact the developer or check out the help page. Note too, there is an option to tether your devices via Bluetooth (Activate Bluetooth DUN). I haven’t tried this method, so I can’t speak to its reliability.

As a last resort, you may have to try one of the other no root apps in the Google Play store.

If you’re on another cell platform (Sprint) or you can’t find the app in Google Play, you can grab the FoxFi install file here. You’ll have to sideload the app since it’s not showing up.

Once you have the app installed, setting up the tethering connection is easy: Click Activate WiFi Hotspot and connect your device. You can change your network name (mine is wifi buddy) and set a WPA2-PSK password (recommended).

 Update 04/13/13: I received an email from a reader notifying me that FoxFi’s developers have apparently fixed problems with Verizon’s blocking after upgrading to Android 4.1.x. Users should be able to access FoxFi and set up a WiFi connection after updating.

Update 07/18/13: there are a large number of people complaining about issues with FoxFi. The connections errors are likely carrier-based, which means I cannot do anything.

86 Responses to How-to: Troubleshoot FoxFi Setup Errors

  1. james says:

    hello there!
    At least someone can get it to work right.
    unfortunatly for me i cant get it to stay connected and it kicks me off in about 15 minutes even with the full package upgrade downloaded. I get kicked off and when i look at foxfi application on my droidx the application has stopped working and has no response to the point that it disables my phone and i litteraly have to turn off the power on my phone to turn off foxfi app. The device screen on my laptop says disconnected and signal “limited”.
    Anyway im a student and cant afford the headache so i was wondering how i discontinue foxfi payments and services. I cant seem to find any means of contacting foxfi by phone.

    • James, not sure about the error. Also, since I’m not associated with the FoxFi developers, I can’t suggest anything else other than keep attempting to contact them. I’m not sure what you mean by discontinuing payments, since the charges are one-time fees, not on-going or recurring charges. Did you purchase the app from Google Play? If not, you might have other issues.

  2. Doud says:

    I’ve just installed the free FoxFi app, with limited data allowance. Is the limit a lifetime limit, or per session? Also, how in the world do you disable (turn off) FoxFi?

  3. Doug says:

    Sorry, spelled my own name incorrectly….

  4. Doug says:

    I just installed the free FoxFi app (with data limits) and am wondering if those limits apply to accrued data or per-use throughput. Thanks for your help!

    • Doug, I believe it’s use, not accrued.

      • Doug says:

        Thank you, Jeffrey. The original installation did not include the “Activate WiFi hotspot ptio. I now that I have upgraded, that is how I enable and disable the hotspot.

        I only use this app away from home so, hopefully your presumption of a per-activation limit is accurate.

        Also, I am very sorry about you upgrade (?) audience to ICS. Luckily, I was wary of the upgrade, but with Razr Maxx battery-life, and leaving the phone on overnight, ICS has been downloaded to my Razr…….. but will NEVER be installed!

        Regards,

        Doug (spelled correctly)

  5. Dave says:

    Hey Jeff, I just downloaded Foxfi, and it’s working great for me, However I’m not sure that this app would allow Verizon to charge me a fee for using tethering since the app is bypassing the Verizon hotspot tethering app on board of the phone.

    Let me know if this is something you can find out about. I’m on a Samsung Stratosphere 4G LTE with a granfathered unlimited 4g plan.

    Thank you so much for your help

    Dave-

  6. Craig Jungers says:

    Verizon has a new trick to foil tethering. Until about 3 weeks ago I ran Foxfi just fine on my Droid Bionic with 4.1.1. One night I had to upgrade to pdanet. I gad the full paid-for Foxfi. After the upgrade I started PDAnet and connected my Galaxy II 7.0. Abiut 20 minutes kater my cell phone said “loss of service”. I stopped the tether and service returned within 5 minutes. Started tether, lost service again. Rebooted, no change. Ever since, whenever I tether I lose cell service only to get it back within 5 minutes of stopping the tether. Even if I don’t actually tether but just activate PDAnet and just let the phine sit there I lise service. No matter where I go. And there is no heat issue with the Droud.

    • I’ve seen similar reports in some forums. If Verizon’s really causing these problems, I think it’s an FCC violation. I think users will need to root their devices to kill this blocking.

  7. rimrocker3 says:

    This happened to me today when my Droid RAZR Maxx updated to Jelly Bean. Foxfi worked on ICS but now says “the carrier has blocked WiFi mode.” I thought Verizon could not block or charge for WiFi tethering?

  8. Edge654 says:

    Ok, I have just got off the phone with Verizon. They stated that they have disabled the hotspot feature on all phones that have the unlimited data plan and that do not subscribe to the wireless connection fee of $30.00 per month. They said that the reason we were able to use it before the jellybean update was because it was an error in the patch software and in order to use it again, we had to pay 30 a month. So my advice is to NOT UPDATE to jellybean on Verizon phones if you have unlimited data.

    • rimrocker3 says:

      Edge654 I have unlimited data and I have already updated my phone but I thought Verizon was banned from blocking tethering apps?

      • Edge654 says:

        rimrocker3
        The ruling states that they cannot charge for tethering on a pay for usage plan like 3gb per month type of plan. Not the unlimited plans like we have. They did change the policy of downgrading your plan to a 5gb plan for tethering though. They charge you a monthly fee even of you use the tether or not that month. Apparently they are getting around the tethering fee on a matter of symantics.

        • Edge654 says:

          They are also not blocking the program, they are blocking the feature entirely. Once again, they are playing symantics

        • Edge654 @rimrocker3 I’ think we’re going to see more of these semantic actions as time moves. Carriers want the revenue from their tethering plans.
          I like your advice Edge: don’t update if you want to keep an active program.

    • michgal2k says:

      I am new to all the tethering stuff but can you still use bluetooth rather than wifi?  (I used bluetooth for my nexus 7 tablet) What about this thing I hear about “rooting” – not sure what it is or how to use it though:(
      As for not upgrading to Jelly Bean – last time Verizon upgraded my phone – it was automatic….didn’t give me a choice.
      Has anyone checked with someone at a Verizon store or Best Buy?  Those techies seem to know their way around everything!!

    • jsmadison says:

      When I paid for the full version of Foxfi, I remember reading that they warned us that it may not work on future OS updates so I was carefull NOT to upgrade to Jelly Bean when I saw the pop up on my phone. Sure enough, Foxfi was right……After reading a lot of forums, it appears there is no work around without rooting the phone. I have unlimited data grandfathered in and to me it’s Verizon’s way of paying me back for their high priced services.

  9. rimrocker3 says:

    Hey guys, I got this email from the folks at PDANet/Foxfi in response to my question of if they were going to provide an update to work around Verizon blocking the Wifi tethering. Hi
    The latest phone update may not be compatible in Wifi mode (please
    verify with http://foxfi.com/devices), try to use PDAnet instead in USB
    mode while we work on this issue. 
    Thanks,
    June Fabrics PDA Software Support
    http://www.junefabrics.com

  10. thoraldus says:

    Happily running PDANET+ on my Samsung Galaxy S3 with 4.2.2 (running 3/17 nightly CM10.1 and loving it!)

  11. melissajo519 says:

    I see this is from January so you may know now what is going on and that Verizon did cripple us from using our hotspot for free when we  installed the Jelly Bean update.  Do you have any answers since you last posted on this??

  12. melissajo519 says:

    I have the Droid Razr and I need a solution

  13. melissajo519 says:

    michgal2k if you where grandfathered in with unlimited data you will lose it if you upgrade and the hotspot will cost you alot to use.

  14. IB Mini Mee says:

    I just received a letter from Verizon today stating that they are NOT blocking the service for tethering since they had to pay the $1.25 million dollar fine back in July of 2012.  This is true, they are NOT blocking the download of the applications, but if you try and use it with Jelly Bean (Droid Razor MAXX) you’ll get the error that your carrier has blocked WiFi mode in Jelly Bean Android 4.1 or above.  Maybe this is an Android issue with the new OS that was just released since it worked before flawlessly, but the only way around this for now is to root your phone and just WiFi Tether.  This can void your warranty, but if you want/need to use this feature, try going to this link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDV_72mPt4k) and it will work again for you ….. OR ….. just wait it out and see what happens.

  15. iowadroid says:

    droid razr 4.1.2
    foxfi 2.12
    verizon unlimited data plan (grandfathered), without paying for additional wifi hotspot service.
    My FoxFi hotspot is working flawlessly.  Just connected my xbox 360 to xbox live yesterday. 4/28/13

  16. iowadroid says:

    clarification to previous post….
    foxfi 2.12.7

  17. disappointed25 says:

    Ive downloaded the pdanet app several times and my phone keep freezing each time i try to activate it

  18. Eric Sievers says:

    I paid for this on May 2nd. I recently had to do a Factory Reset on my razr maxx and now I can’t get the paid version to work. The free one works fine, It keeps wanting me to pay again. Emails to them are being ignored. Please help

  19. Maggs says:

    I use it on my Razr Maxx and it is great. I have the Jelly Bean update too I think. my phone says it is Android 4.1.2 version. My only concern is that I run the WiFi at home for hours in the evening and my Maxx starts heating up all kinds. Enough to where I take my Otterbox case off of it to see if it will cool off. My son connects his xbox to my WiFi and I also connect my laptop to it thru my phone. Since I’ve been using FoxFi my data usage was around 3 GB a month, now I’m up to 8GB and the billing cyle doesn’t even end unitl the 26th. Will Verizon catch on that I’m using FoxFi with the huge increase in data usage? I have the grandfathered unlimited plan.

  20. godslife412 says:

    Foxfi was working fine,all of a sudden stopped configureing,I up graded version still nothing?!I got sprint zte flash.I got paid version.

  21. Rob says:

    I get a weird issue. I’m running on a Droid DNA and when I want to use foxfi, I have to uninstall and reinstall it for it to recognize my full version key.

    • Jeffrey Taylor says:

      My guess is that there’s something wrong with your installation.

      Have you rooted your device? There might be some root problems. If not, I’d try clearing the caches and restarting your phone.

      I don’t have any problems, so I’m not much help.

  22. William Mitchell says:

    Everything was good until yesterday, now i’m getting an alert that THE SERVER HAS A PROXY SET UP, blockign my services… Bad enough it took 2 months to resolve this once the FCC stepped in, now Verizon is saying, okay, create your VPN, that’s fine, but don’t try to make a WIFi connection, you slow our network and we block you. So, they are allowing the VPN connection via Bluetooth but not the WiFi Connection…. What the F, this all was good until yesterday, and please don’t tell me I’m stupid and don’t know what i’m talking about, i’m a computer PROGRAMMER, and the alert is coming from the carrier, not the device. I also tested the VPN from the Bluetooth, no problems…

    • Bisonmom says:

      Ours worked perfectly until about 10:00 this morning. Now receiving the same message about the server proxy. >:/

    • kandice says:

      So what do we do? I am getting the same message this morning.

    • ljc says:

      EXACT same issue here; and it only started one hour ago – EDT.

      • ljc says:

        Can’t explain how – there was no method or process – but his is how I got my FoxFi hotspot active again (after it went black today with the “…using a proxy” message) WITHOUT Verizon hotspot activation:

        Went through unsuccessfully connecting it to Bluetooth FoxFi
        Disabled and re-enabled USB debugging
        Connected it to USB PdaNet
        Chose Activate WiFi Hotspot and it worked.
        Before that, I had tried to connect FoxFi about 10-15 times today.
        I don’t understand why this worked for me, but maybe someone with greater skills can sort that out.
        Whew. Live in the countryside and really count on this for internet and Netflix.

    • Gargantuon says:

      Mine is having the same problem just starting today. Is this permanent? This is the only way for me to get an Internet connection in my location.

  23. Alex says:

    As of August 6th, 2013, I am getting the same message about the proxy. I can not turn on wifi. I can use it via usb, but not wifi. It worked fine last night as I was using the wifi for my Roku box. If someone knows of a way around this, pleas post it. thank you.

  24. frustrated foxfi user says:

    Same issue here….tried every trick…… renamed network, changed password, may restarts, uninstall/reinstall, ect. Telling me NETWORK CONNECTION ERROR “Your phone is currently connected to Verizon’s server. Internet connection is not available or weak, ethernet connection is using a proxy or verizon’s server is not responding”. Was fine for months until this AM! I have the full paid version on Bionic. HELP!!!!!!

    • kandice says:

      I tried it all too with the same phone… soooo irritated. Its been sooo good lately.

    • William Mitchell says:

      Try it again, mine is working again, switch from USB Bluetooth, get your phone to recognize the Bluetooth connection again as a VPN, then try Wii Fii again, it should work..

  25. ljc says:

    Can’t explain how – but his is how I got my FoxFi hotspot active again (after it went black today with the “…using a proxy” message) WITHOUT Verizon hotspot activation:
    Updated FoxFi via Google Play
    Went through unsuccessfully connecting it to internet via Bluetooth FoxFi
    Installed PdaNet on my PC
    Disabled and re-enabled USB debugging on my phone
    Attempted to connect it to USB PdaNet – but it asked for Network name and WEP – which I did not know – so I gave up on that
    I again chose Activate WiFi Hotspot and it suddenly worked!
    Before that, I had tried to connect FoxFi about 10-15 times today.
    I don’t understand why this worked for me, but maybe someone with greater skills can sort that out.
    Whew. Live in the countryside and really count on this for internet and Netflix. I guess that I will never turn off FoxFi WiFi Hotspot again – at least until I do not see anymore connection problems on this forum.
    Bionic – Verizon phone – Android version 4.1.2
    I hope this helps in some way

  26. Kilzyo says:

    Same issue here…was working fine until today 8/6/13. Verizon found a way around. Hopefully Foxfi will fire back.

  27. ljc says:

    So, did you guys get your FoxFi Hotspot active again?

  28. William Mitchell says:

    I got mine back up guys, the issue got resolved for me, I’m online right now using FoxFii and have been the last 15 hours.. But I do think this was something that Verizon did to block, i realized that it seems to disconnect when you go from 4g to 3 now more often, so the trick was not to move my phone and keep it in 4 G…lol

  29. William Mitchell says:

    i did the same solution as LJC below, I was able to recreate another VPN using Bluetooth, then kept my connect at least 4G by not moving my phone, and I’m back online again, but when it drops into 3G, it does disconnect…but at least i got data going to my Nexus 10 Tablet again from my Razr Maxx.

  30. William Mitchell says:

    Except I didn’t have to redo my install in the play store, i just redid the Vpn connection string, renamed my network, then named it back to what i wanted, and tried the connect, worked perfectly.

  31. GalaxySIIUser says:

    Anybody know how to get around “Error 67: Registration Failure. Your data service username and/or password may be incorrect. Please try again.”

  32. Surfer says:

    I was hoping someone could help. I just purchased a HTC Incredilble 4G LTE and it runs ICS. I have grandfathered unlimited data with Verizon. I installed pdaNet and FoxFi. When I turn on FoxFi it does transmit a WiFi signal and my PC will connect to the FoxFi signal from the phone. However I get a message that says Internet access is not available and I can’t not connect to any web sites.

    I have a friend who successfully runs FoxFi on a RAZR phone. Te only difference we could find is that on his phone in the top task bar he has the FoxFi logo and the tether logo. There is no tether logo in my task bar and whe. You try to turn it on it says to contact Verizon about a plan.

    Am I not doing something? I am using the paid for version of FoxFi. FoxFo claims this phone should work with 4.0 but it does not seem to be. Any help is appreciated!!

  33. William Mitchell says:

    7 days later and I’m replying still on my Google Nexus 10 using internet from my Droid Razr Maxx, hope you guys are still using yours.

  34. dan says:

    Sir,
    I use the foxfi/PDA+ full version on my droid razor as my hotspot. It works great. The problem I’m having is trying to find a mobile hotspot app that will work with my new droid mini. Please help or I will have to stick with my old droid razor…. :-)

    Dan

  35. Stacy says:

    I may be cancelling my cellular account and I was wondering about something. Would it be possible to still use my Samsung Galaxy S III for e-mail and internet with my home WIFI?

  36. jenise86 says:

    Need help! Just downloaded FoxFi but my tablet can’t login! It logs in fine everywhere else. Im told because I have a newer phone ( galaxy reverb w/virgin mobile also owned by sprint) that Virgin mobile is blocking any thether apps. Even though I bought foxfi from my Google store.

  37. Entity says:

    I have a droid razr and randomly foxfi stopped working. When I used to start up the hotspot there was a key at the top in my notifications bar. But now when I do it its not there and I cant use the wifi. Please help.

  38. Will says:

    So I am using a Samsung Galaxy Blaze through T-Mobile, The app works fine on my phone and my computer can see the Foxfi wireless network, but my computer will not connect with it. Keeps saying that the access point is too busy. What could this issue be from?

  39. Roxy says:

    Ive had foxfi on my galaxy s1 for a long itme. worked great I now have a s3 and it was working great even with 500mb hotspot when it was up it would still work ( I use my foxfi to play on xbox live) so this time it said my actual 500 MB hotspot was up, and now it connects to foxfi, but my xbox wont contect anymore like I used up my hotspot. any advice?

  40. steee says:

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Updated FoxFi via Google Play!!!!!!!!!!! AND IT WORKED!!!!!!

  41. john says:

    Got a new ZTE Savvy for Straight Talk reinstalled Fox Fi PDA Net on phone and computer. It keeps telling me please start PDA net on your phone and enable USB tethering which is already enabled and I cannot get on the net. Have been using fox fi over a year no problems with old galaxy phone. I have to tether as they broke with fi mode. Any advice thanks.

  42. Loretta says:

    Hi I have a note 3 in sprint and the unlimited data plan And I have foxfi but I am scared to use it if I do will sprint charge me I want to use my roko on my tv for Netflix??????

  43. Eddy says:

    I have Foxfi on a Samsung Galaxy SII (JB). Its performance is sporadic: sometimes it connects without issues and other times the ‘contact your provider’ error appears, blocking internet service to my laptop. I’ve noticed that when it does work the hotspot feature is activated, whereas when it does not work the hotspot does not stay activated. Restarting the phone, changing the SSID, or deactivating the security does not fare any better than simply trying over and over for hours. Is there anything that can be done to successfully make the app turn on the hotspot feature more consistently? Or is it Sprint’s fault that it only works sometimes?

  44. Cathy Bremer says:

    I have two questions, one is trying to use USB and it keeps giving me the error “make sure debugging is turned on”. Well, I found out how to turn on debugging which was tricky to begin with, but still can’t get it to work. Second, if I were to use the full version with blue tooth (if I can get it to stop the debuggin thing), can I get it to work on my IPAD air?
    Thanks, Nice to have a place to ask a question!

    • Eddy says:

      USB mode works well for me. I have PDA Net PC installed on my computer that helps it connect to the app. Its a little tricky to get it to work but not too bad. I found mine here: http://pdanet.co/a/. Be sure to check out their FAQs if you have questions. I can’t say anything for Bluetooth mode because I’ve never tried it. Good luck.

  45. sknavyma says:

    I’ve been using the full version for months now and last night I got a DROID software update. Now every time I try to turn on my wifi it says “Please update to the latest version of foxfi for wifi to work on this phone”. But I don’t see anything on the app saying update at all. How do I update the version??

  46. KeyrinG says:

    @Dave , it says that it fails to start wifi mode . Do you know what this is .

  47. Drew says:

    I just downlOaded foxfi and pdanet and I’ve unlocked the full version paid done everything. I have manually put the network on my laptop however I can’t seem to connect? I have a galaxy s3 with Sprint unlimited data. Can anyone help me by chance? I’m lost.

  48. Warren Williams says:

    I have pad for FoxFi and it will not work and now I can’t find anyone to speak to about he problems. Can someone help me.

  49. melissajo519 says:

    @Jeffrey Taylor I wish I knew someone that could root mine, I’ve read about it but it is so complicated for me, I know nothing about how phones work.

  50. melissajo519 says:

    @Dave with the Stratusphere you should be safe

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