Open Garden FAQ
  • paigemarieepaigemariee
    2870.00Administrator, Moderator

    What does Open Garden do?


    Gives you Internet through mesh networking.

    How is Open Garden different from tethering?



    Besides the fact that Open Garden and tethering are technically almost completely unrelated, this is how you use tethering:
    1. Get your phone out of your pocket.
    2. Unlock screen.
    3. Go to Settings.
    4. Tap MORE...
    5. Tap Tethering and personal hotspot.
    6. Tap Enable personal hotspot.
    7. Pay $20-30/month.
    8. Open your laptop.
    9. Select your hotspot's SSID from the list and join.
    10. Use the Internet ← this is what you actually wanted
    11. Unlock phone.
    12. Turn personal hotspot off.
    (If you forget to turn it off, your battery will be dead in less than two hours.)

    Here is how you use Open Garden:
    1. Open your laptop
    2. Use the Internet

    In other words, Open Garden, even if used just to provide connectivity to a laptop from a phone, removes all the silly boring steps that tethering has. Additionally, Open Garden can provide connectivity to the phone as well, plus version 2 of our app has implemented "channel bonding" (using multiple sources of connectivity together) and "multi-hop" (extending the range of Internet access through a daisy-chain of devices) features.

    What is this forum?


    This is the Open Garden community forum. You can discuss the Open Garden app here. If you have a question or something doesn't work as you expect, please read this FAQ, and, if your question is not covered, post a thread. If you have something Open-Garden-related to discuss, please post, too. In particular, we would love to know how you are using Open Garden: what are you trying to do, how it works for you, what problems are you solving with Open Garden, etc.
    If you have something related in topic to Open Garden (i.e. other peer-to-peer or crowdsourcing technologies) to post that could fuel a discussion in our community then please do!
    Paige Peterson
    Open Garden Community Manager
  • paigemarieepaigemariee
    2870.00Administrator, Moderator

    Where do I need to install Open Garden?


    You need to install Open Garden on every device that will use it, whether to provide connectivity, consume it, or both. This includes Android phones, Android tablets, Windows PCs, and Macs. iPads, iPods, iPhones, and Linux are not currently supported.

    I am on the "Install Open Garden on your laptop/phone" screen. What now?


    Assuming you already installed Open Garden on a secondary device, press "Connect" on both devices and wait two minutes.
    For the very first connection, Open Garden needs to learn about nearby devices and will do so using one of three methods: WLAN, when the devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network; location services, when the devices are connected to separate networks; and Bluetooth, when one of the devices is without Internet access completely, you can manually pair the devices with Bluetooth to force a connection over Open Garden.
    If it's not installed on a nearby device it will not work.

    I am trying to use Open Garden to access the Internet from my device which has no Internet connectivity at all. How do I get Open Garden onto it?


    Finding temporary Internet connectivity is the quickest solution, perhaps in a library or cafe.
    However if this is not possible, you can download the correct client onto a device with Internet connectivity and transfer it over Bluetooth to the device without Internet. For example if you have an Android phone with a data plan and a Windows laptop without Internet connectivity to get the app on the Windows machine, side download the Windows EXE file to the Android phone from https://opengarden.com (This screenshot shows you where). Then use Bluetooth file transfer to send the downloaded EXE file to the Windows machine. Note: The Bluetooth file transfer process varies between devices and operating systems. Once transferred, install the Windows client as you would normally. Once running, press "Connect" to trigger Open Garden to find the phone (which presumably also has Open Garden installed). The pairing process required to transfer the file over Bluetooth is the only way Open Garden will be able to detect the offline device, so don't try to transfer the file over a USB stick unless you pair the devices with Bluetooth separately.
    Paige Peterson
    Open Garden Community Manager
  • paigemarieepaigemariee
    2870.00Administrator, Moderator

    My devices used to connect, but now they don't. What do I do?


    If the automatic connection doesn't seem to work for you, press "Connect" on both devices to attempt a force connection.

    Why do most apps on my Android device work OK through Open Garden, but some say there is no connectivity?


    Short story: Try doing whatever you were trying to do through the browser. Also, help to draw Google's attention to the problem by starring the this Android issue.

    Long story: You actually do have Internet connectivity on the client device - any app can call any normal network functions and they will work. Many apps do just that: they establish a connection and if that fails, give you an error.

    Some apps, however, call a system function that basically checks whether Wi-Fi or 3G is on. If that function says there's "no network", the app doesn't even try connecting. This is generally pointless and not a good coding practice, but some apps have this check.

    Since it's the app doing the check, there's really not much that we can do to convince it to just try anyway.

    We have alerted Google to this problem and they recognize that the network check function should return true when there is a VPN, but that is of little help to you in the short term, since the fix would come only in a future version of Android, after Jelly Bean.

    Since Chrome doesn't have the problem, you could just load whatever you were trying to do as a web app.

    Why am I having trouble receiving internet with my device that runs a version of Android older than ICS (4.0)?


    At this time any Android before 4.0 (ICS, Ice Cream Sandwich) is limited to the use of mobile Firefox browser, so installing a mobile Firefox browser + the Open Garden FF addon will be necessary.

    *Note this is only necessary for Android devices attempting to receive internet through Open Garden and NOT for primary Android devices sending out internet to share with others.
    Paige Peterson
    Open Garden Community Manager
  • paigemarieepaigemariee
    2870.00Administrator, Moderator

    Open Garden is prompting to enable Bluetooth/Wi-Fi/location. How do I avoid doing that?


    When the app asks for something, it really does need it. It would help us understand why you want the service turned off.

    Why does Open Garden need location information?


    To help devices find nearby devices.

    I have Bluetooth on my PC, but Open Garden can't find it and says I need to use the Microsoft Bluetooth Stack. How?


    Try Bluetooth Installer. Let us know if that works for you.

    Symantec/Norton says the Windows version of Open Garden is WS.Reputation.1. What is this?


    Short story: Disable Symantec/Norton.

    Long story: WS.Reputation.1 is Norton-speak for "new software." When they see something they haven't seen much before, they just delete it. Our Windows app is scanned by Norton and clean. It is also signed with a Symantec code signing certificate. Norton has a way to whitelist executables, and they did it for our installer once, but their whitelisting is only applicable to one specific version. It takes them longer to whitelist the app than it takes us to release a new version. You could complain to Norton, I suppose, but the much more practical option is to disable Norton and install. If you insist on more pain, you can re-enable Norton afterwards.
    Paige Peterson
    Open Garden Community Manager
  • paigemarieepaigemariee
    2870.00Administrator, Moderator

    I'm still having issues that are not resolved in the FAQ. What now?


    Gather as much info about your situation and post a new discussion (or find an existing similar discussion and add a comment) with details of your troubleshooting in our online community. This information should include but not be limited to: device type, model and operating system for all devices you are trying to use with Open Garden, the version of Open Garden on your devices, detailed steps to reproduce the issue and how this affects your device. Of course, the more detail the better... but don't be shy about posting basics. We will inquire for more info if need-be.

    I'd like to obtain a debug log to check out the problem and/or send it along for review by Open Garden staff. What's the best way to do this?


    There's a thread dedicated to obtaining logs from all supported operating systems.
    Paige Peterson
    Open Garden Community Manager
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