Wireless N support unlocked on the HTC Evo (unofficialy, of course)

That's more like it.  We know that the HTC Evo  does not have the best reputation when it comes to WiFi support.  That could very well be a thing of the past now that another of those HTC hacking geniuses has figured how to unblock 802.11 n support.  We're not even sure why support was disabled in the first place, as the same chip that supports wireless n on a Nexus One running Froyo is being used on the Evo (and the Incredible, and Desire), but it was.  Through some careful hex editing the driver was ripped apart and support for high throughput and better range that comes with wireless n was added back in. 

Speeds seem about the same (it is still a phone after all and we can only expect so much) but range and signal stability appears to be better, and my setup has it connected as a wireless n device.  I sure notice a difference in my recliner work chair, especially where stability is concerned.  Check out the source link and give it a try, it's a relatively painless operation and an easy roll back is provided as well.  [Xda-developers] Thanks Keith!

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • Do we know if they intend to unlock this on the Evo? Maybe with Froyo?
  • Do we know *any* intentions of HTC about *anything*??? Really?
  • When HTC announced the devices (EVO being one of them) getting Froyo this year, it was mentioned wireless n would be enabled on the EVO.
  • do we know anything about battery life with this enabled yet. I'm going to give it a try and see what impact it has.
  • Am I wrong for feeling a little disappointed. Why would these phones ship with N capability locked up?
  • All of this is irrelevant, when are we getting group?
  • Froyo???
  • It s very disappointment how phone company's manipulations our devices ...mean we bought it we have the right to get access to all our features :....I hate the way capitalism" take advanced from our money ...
  • Well, it is not just the phone manufacturer. You might was well throw the carrier into the mix too.... they have a HUGE say in things that are disabled, added that we can't remove, and when updates ever come out.
  • Why assume the worst? It's completely plausible that in the rush to get the Evo released, complete support for wireless-n did not make the cut. A wireless N hack working doesn't mean it's a complete implementation or that it had met all of HTC's internal testing requirements. The Nexus One also has hardware support for N, but did not come with the software support at launch. However, it's been confirmed that it's coming out for the Nexus One in the Froyo release so it's fair to guess it was just a matter of time, and that the Google developers just hadn't had the time to get to it by the launch date. The same could easily be true about the Evo as well.
  • i assume you have to be rooted to change this, right?
  • Well we can assume that you don't own an EVO then. The EVO is having problems reaching the capable speed connection via wifi, whether it's a software problem or a hardware problem...I don't think nobody knows yet. Running a speedtest via my laptop on wifi, I can reach 30 Mb/s. On the EVO it will only reach 10 Mb/s.
  • Why would you expect any speed difference? There are so many pitfalls to 802.11N. For the internet, it won't help at all. Your bandwidth from your ISP is the limiting factor. Get data a millisecond faster from the router to your phone won't make any difference at all. If ANYONE is watching or listening to any multicast transmissions over your router the entire network drops to 54meg for EVERYONE. 802.11N is good ONLY for data transmissions within your network. If you want to see speed improvements, fire up Astro and wifi over some big file from your computer. That is the only place you will see an improvement. Range improvement? Maybe. Doubtful, but maybe.
  • That's what I was thinking too. A phone with 802.11n support? Where are the multiple antennas at, exactly? Without a way to actually do MIMO, having 802.11n "support" is just a check mark on a marketing brochure. Maybe they turned it off because the G decoder works better? It probably does, and it's more router-agnostic too. Until an actual speed test comes along, this "hack" isn't worth the time.
  • Is it just me or is the link not working?
  • I said it before, you cannot make a driver to only address part of the hardware, or that driver will not work right. When I wrote drivers, every part of the hardware had to be addressed. Even if it wasn't going to be part of the users interface. If not, the computer would not properly run that hardware. I feel this is the case with the WiFi on the EVO as it stands now. Once they officially build the drivers right (with 2.2 I hear) we will be blessing how good the WiFi is on the device. Now, to make me feel old, I used to program on a IBM System 34 using 10" floppy disk. I also programmed on an Apple II, and Apple IIe. But never a Mac. The Apple IIe actually was faster then the first gen Mac's. Jobs wanted the Mac line so he forced out the Apple II's. Lazy programming now-a-days. Look at Word Perfect 5.1. Awesome word processing program. Took little system resources, had a spell check. And fit onto ONE 3.5" diskette (double Density, double sided for those who remember). And it NEVER crashed. Then Corel took it over, made it so big you needed a CD ROM, and it crashed all the time, and did LESS then 5.1 did.
  • Not how this was done. Support is in the driver, but it was compiled with the argument not to turn it on. The guy who hacked it in didn't realize that the same open source driver used in the Incredible and N1 kernel source is used for the Evo, so he went to the trouble of hex editing it to unlock it. That's dedication, and we all should appreciate the hell out of him for it.
  • This has extended my range and increased my speeds. Funny thing is it increased my speeds the most on the patio where the phone never got wifi before. As in I got the highest speeds out there.
  • Those who have done this, uh, Help?
    I have adb, I have pulled the driver out and hex-edited it. But I have not rooted my evo. I can't mount the /system partition rw without root. 'adb root' says it "cannot run as root on production builds." Is it just assumed we've rooted the device for this to work? Usually the OP mentions if root is required. Thanks,
  • That's what I was wondering as well; does the phone have to be rooted? I was unable to perform the switch either.