OTG/Ethernet on Android - How to specify proxy settings?


#1

Hi.

We’re trying your USB OTG Ethernet adaptor (which i couldn’t find in the list of products when creating this post) as a means of providing a wired Ethernet connection for a Lenovo Tab 3 Android tablet.

The Adaptor works fine but we have no way of specifying a proxy server or (ideally) pac file at a network level. (we can specify in Firefox for instance but this only affected Firefox).

The Android Ethernet option in Settings just shows the details of the network connection but doesn’t let us specify a proxy (or static ip etc) in the way that the entry for a WiFi network would.

Any idea how we can specify proxy details for the n/w connection that uses the OTG/Ethernet USB connection?


#2

Hi Steve,

Thank you for your post! Unfortunately, most Android devices do not allow you to configure proxies and static IP addresses at the system level. This is due to restrictions put in place by the manufacturer.

For instance, the tablet that you are using only has OTG support on their business model of the tablet, but not on the consumer variant despite the exact same hardware. They appear to be arbitrarily choosing which features to support and not support.

Each manufacturer’s build of Android is a little different and unfortunately we do not have this device to test with in our labs. I currently have a Samsung Galaxy S8 hooked up with one of our Ethernet adapters and can access these Ethernet settings via Settings > Connections > more connection settings > Ethernet > Configure Ethernet device.

You may also need to enable the developer options for your device to fully open the menus for your device. If you do not have these options, you are, unfortunately, restricted to what Lenovo has allowed you to do in their builds.

I hope this helps! If you have further questions, please send a message to support@plugable.com with “Ticket #220970” in the subject line and we’d be happy to help!

Thanks,

Derek Nuzum
Plugable Technologies


#3

Derek.

Thanks for your reply. The situation sounds much as I suspected though it’s interesting to note the difference in behavior on the s8. I tried it with an s8 we have were and I see that while it’s possible to set the static IP details, there’s still no means of setting a proxy at the network adaptor level. Maybe that’s more of an Android limitation than OEM.

btw the Plugable adaptor works well out of the box and seems to be really good quality.

Steve.


#4

Hi Steve,

Thanks for those details! Static IP should be no issue as you’ve noticed within Android. Proxies can be difficult as the implementation in Android is not stellar in my experience. You also have additional complexity past the phone and adapter towards the network as a whole that Android does not have as robust of a feature set as a traditional computer.

I was able to find Proxy setting under the menus that I spoke to in my previous post. I’ve got some screenshots below showing both manual and auto-configured proxies. This is a T-Mobile S8 running Android 8.0 direct from T-Mobile that was updated I believe two weeks ago. I’m using our USB-C Gigabit Ethernet adapter. Your specific model may have these settings restricted from the carrier, but I would be surprised if they pulled out proxy settings specifically…

I hope this helps!

Derek Nuzum
Plugable Tehcnologies
!](https://d2r1vs3d9006ap.cloudfront.net/s3_images/1723873/SmartSelect_20180410-091407_Settings_inline.jpg?1523377055)](https://d2r1vs3d9006ap.cloudfront.net/s3_images/1723873/SmartSelect_20180410-091407_Settings.jpg?1523377055) !](https://d2r1vs3d9006ap.cloudfront.net/s3_images/1723874/SmartSelect_20180410-091423_Settings_inline.jpg?1523377084)](https://d2r1vs3d9006ap.cloudfront.net/s3_images/1723874/SmartSelect_20180410-091423_Settings.jpg?1523377084)


#5

Ok, that’s interesting. Ours is an unlocked s8 but I’m sure it didn’t have the advanced options tab for the wired ethernet connection. I’ll have to go and have another look when I can get hold of our only s8 again.

Nonetheless, it doesn’t help with our Lenovo on which I actually need this to work but it’s interesting to know that this capability at least CAN exist in Android with wired ethernet.


#6

Hi Steve,

That’s odd behavior to not be on the unlocked version, but it should be possible! The community over at XDA Developers may have some insights to the differences in the unlocked and carrier builds.

The Lenovo problem we may not be able to fix, but we can certainly give it a shot. There are some known issues with Lenovo’s implementation of USB-C so far. Our chipset manufacturer, ASIX, and Lenovo are working on a fix, but no ETA has been provided.

Could you run our diagnostic program? It will gather device information and installation logs that will help me understand what is happening.

To do this, please plug the adapter into your computer, then go to this page, and follow the instructions there:

http://plugable.com/support/plugdebug

This will generate a folder on your desktop. Please send that folder to support@plugable.com with “Ticket #221175” in the subject line and I’d be happy to take a look at what is going on!

Thanks,

Derek Nuzum
Plugable Technologies


#7

Just checked my s8 again. It definitely doesn’t offer me a chance to change proxy details. I can change DNS, default router, IP etc but not proxy or pac file location.

Re the Lenovo, we’re trying to take a different approach but I’m happy to run the diagnostic tool if you want. Re your instructions, can you clarify please?

You say ‘plug the adaptor into your computer’? Do you mean my Lenovo tablet and do you mean the OTG/Ethernet adaptor?

If so, How can I generate a file on my desktop PC if my tablet is connected to the Ethernet adaptor, not my PC?

Apologies, I may be being slow. It’s been a long day…


#8

Hi Steve,

Very strange behavior on the S8. I would think the unlocked version would have the same level of details as a carrier build, if not more. I’d definitely recommend talking with either Samsung or some community members at XDA. Hopefully one of those sources would have a more clear cut answer on why this would be.

Is the S8 updated to Android 8.0 that released a couple weeks ago? I can’t remember if these settings were present on the 7.x builds or not.

As far as the Lenovo goes, you mention it is a tablet. Is it running Windows or Android?

If it’s Windows, you can plug the adapter in, run the debugging tool with everything hooked up and once the tool is completed, disconnect the adapter to connect to the network again to send me the results.

If it’s Android, our debugging tool will not work as it is designed for traditional OSes (Windows, macOS, Linux) and the adapter is unlikely to work. Lenovo has locked down many of their devices to only accept their first-party networking adapters.

Thanks!

Derek Nuzum
Plugable Techonologies


#9

Hi.

Good point re the s8. I’ll see whether it has any outstanding updates.

yes, the Lenovo is a Tab 3 Business running Android. Sorry, I may not have made this clear. Your adaptor works beautifully out of the box but only on a network without a proxy. If we need to specify a proxy then we’re stymied as the Lenovo Android implementation doesn’t give us an option to specify one, or indeed static IP details at all.

Thanks for your help and interest in this. If nothing else it has assisted with my understanding and expectations of various OEM flavours of Android.

Once again, although your adaptor may not be the answer to our specific situation, I have been impressed with the build quality of it during our limited testing.


#10

Hi Steve,

Thanks for those details. Yes, the Tab 3 Business has been very popular, but, unfortunately, does not provide those types of settings that are important for enterprise usage.

I know it’s pretty difficult to get answers from Lenovo at times. I would assume they have had this request from other companies and may have a solution in their reserve for these specific use cases.

Again, the XDA community might be of some use, but the likely situation would be a recommendation to switch to an open source build that may not align with your IT policies for network and device security. The manufacturer control over builds has resulted in some pretty poor implementations of a great stock OS experience.

Nonetheless, I’m glad our device has impressed you. I’m sorry it cannot be the perfect solution to force Android to do things better, but we do hope that these builds continue to support greater functionality as well!

Thanks,

Derek Nuzum
Plugable Technologies


#11

Hi Steve,

We’re closing this thread due to lack of activity, but are happy to reopen this case at your convenience.

Please just send a message to support@plugable.com with “Ticket #221175” in the subject line and we’d be happy to help!

Thanks,

Derek Nuzum
Plugable Technologies


#12