This website is using cookies. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. More info. That's Fine
HPC:Factor Logo 

How to connect Windows CE to the Internet via the docking cradle


Applies To

  • Windows CE 1.0, 1.01
  • Windows CE 2.0, SP1
  • Handheld PC Professional, SP1
  • Handheld PC 2000


Handheld PC users, unlike their modern Pocket PC counterparts do not have the native ability to use the ActiveSync Passthrough technology which has shipped with ActiveSync versions since 3.5. This article discusses the process involved in connecting to the Internet via the ActiveSync host when the device is in the cradle - either using a USB or RS323 serial connection - and outlines a simple way users can achieve Pocket Internet Explorer web access while docked.

More Info

Pocket PC 2002 introduced the ability for the user to access Internet resources through ActiveSync while the device was docked in the cradle.
Under Pocket PC 2002, the TCP/IP stack of the operating system has been modified to allow the selective routing of a number of the most common Internet related TCP protocol's through to a modified version Microsoft ActiveSync on the host. ActiveSync then acts as a proxy gateway using WinSock 2 and passes the request on to a Local Area Network (LAN) or directly to the highest priority WAN connection.
Pocket PC devices use ActiveSync as a proxy for DNS lookups, sending DNS requests while in the cradle to ActiveSync on the standard TCP / UDP Port 53.

Under ActiveSync Passthrough system all control and proxy requests are handled using TCP port 7438. Passthrough was introduced into ActiveSync with the original 3.5 release and exists in all subsequent build revisions and new version releases. While support has continued for Pocket PC, Windows Mobile and SmartPhone devices, no updates to allow for backwards compatibility have been released.

Microsoft ActiveSync, and Windows CE host connections make use of TCP/IP to synchronise your PIM data and files between the two systems even when using connection methods not ordinarily associated with TCP/IP; such as Serial Null Modem connections.
As all ActiveSync connection conform to using the TCP/IP protocol standards, TCP can be used to intercept and forward data via different means, without the need to update Windows CE components. All that is required to do this is a daemon utility to be present on the Host PC to route specifically addressed requests out to the WAN, or a dedicated Proxy server be installed on the host to act as a bridge between the cradle connection and the Internet connection.

How-to Guide

One of the most easy to configure solutions to allow any H/PC device to connect to the web via the cradle is to use the Freeware AnalogX Proxy application. We have followed the development of the program, now at version 4.14 and recommend it to anyone looking to use Pocket Internet Explorer while docked.

Using a Proxy server is not an ideal solution for all users, notably unlike with Passthrough there is a requirement for users to manually toggle the connection setting to the Proxy server within the application being used to connect to the proxy gateway or completely reconfigure the applications settings.

AnalogX Proxy is a freeware application for Windows 95, 98, Millennium, NT 4.0, 2000, XP and Windows 2003. The program requires only 300 KB of storage space on the host system and runs in the background with a front-end configuration utility in the system tray.

To download AnalogX Proxy visit the AnalogX website.

How to configure AnalogX Proxy on the host system

  1. The steps outlined below assume the presence of a correctly configured, working TCP/IP connection to or through to the Internet on the host.
  2. Download and install AnalogX Proxy
  3. Launch the program from the Start Menu, a message about security will be displayed
  4. Right Click on the Proxy tray icon and choose Configure
  5. For security, unless you wish to use Proxy for other systems or services you should bind the Proxy server uniquely to ActiveSync. To bind the service, in the Proxy Binding text box type:
  6. Click OK

The Proxy server is now configured on the host system to allow communications with devices connected to ActiveSync, the next step is to configure Pocket Internet Explorer.

Configuring Pocket Internet Explorer

The configuration procedure for Windows CE's Pocket Internet Explorer is similar to all devices, there may be some cosmetic differences between the different Windows CE and Handheld PC versions which have not been covered here.
Windows CE 1.0 users should ensure that they are using Pocket Internet Explorer 1.1 (See the about box in Internet Explorer for details) before continuing.

The information outlined below is specifically for use with AnalogX Proxy and may differ for other proxy servers

  1. Open Pocket Internet Explorer
  2. Tap View and then select Options... / Internet Options...
  3. Select the Proxy Server / Connections tab
  4. Check the Use Proxy Server option to enable the configuration area
  5. In the proxy server address box type:
  6. In the Port box type:
  7. Tap OK

Pocket Internet Explorer is now configured for HTTP and FTP Access through the cradle.
Users should be aware that Secure HTTP (HTTPS) connections are not supported through AnalogX Proxy.