Tethering is something that many smartphones and devices can do. You can turn your device into its own Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing you to use Wi-Fi anywhere. Does the coffee shop you’re at have no Wi-Fi? Just tether. Is the Internet at your home acting up? Tether! Besides that, it can be faster than some of the sluggish free Wi-Fi spaces around. It’s easy to do, especially if you’re an Android user.
The only downside is that it eats up your data and can drain your battery, but if you have unlimited data and a place to charge your phone, you’re all set.
Breaking Down Tethering
The word ‘tethering’ means that you can connect your phone either with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or a USB to your computer and use your Internet connection from your phone to give your computer a connection. Before the iPhone, you had to call a number to give Internet access, unless you owned a Windows Mobile device, which was the predecessor to the Windows Phone. After the iPhone’s release, cell phone companies charged for tethering, but nowadays it’s usually free. Check your provider for details.
How to Tether on an Android Device
With an Android device, you have three choices if you want to connect. You can use Bluetooth, make your phone a hotspot, or just use wires to connect it with USB. Before you connect, make sure your device has mobile Internet turned on.
The strength of your signal will affect speed, which may drain your battery, since your phone will put effort into downloading data compared with a full signal.
Tethering with USB
Make sure to use the USB cable that came with your phone, if you have one. Put the wide end inside your PC and the smaller one in the charging port. On your Android, go to Settings> Wireless & Networks> More> Tethering & Portable Hotspot. Check the USB tethering choice. You should get a notification area symbol, indicating that your phone is tethered.
This option gives you the speed of 6.97 MBPS download, 2.02 MPBS upload, and has a ping average of 66 MS. For your battery, it depends if your laptop is plugged in. If it is, you shouldn’t have to worry about your battery going down. If it is, both devices may discharge faster than normal, so beware.
Tethering With Bluetooth
To make this work, you should pair the device to your computer. Go to Settings>Wireless & Networks>More>Tethering & Portable Hotspot>Bluetooth Tethering. Meanwhile, on your computer, go to Control Panel>Hardware and Sound>Devices and Printers. Then, right click your phone’s icon and click Connect Using>Access Point.
When that happens, your phone should notify you that you’re now tethering with Bluetooth. This has a speed of .35 MBPS download, .78 MBPS upload, and has an average ping of 289 MS. Battery-wise, this drains your battery quite a bit, so keep it on the charger if possible.
Just be aware that Bluetooth technology is known to be used for hacking mobile devices – so use with a certain ammount of caution.
Tethering Using a Wi-Fi Hotspot.
This nifty option uses your mobile’s Internet and Wi-Fi connection together. Go to Settings>Wireless & Networks>More>Tethering &Portable>Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot. Sometimes, the last will read as Portable WLAN Hotspot. On your computer, make sure its wireless capabilities are on and look for your device, which should be listed as Android AP.
Enter the password as it appears on your phone and you should be set.Speed-wise, it’s 16.01 MBPS download, 4.45 MBPS upload, and has an average ping of 55 MS. Like Bluetooth, it does put a dent in your battery life.
Overall, Wi-Fi is the best option if you want fast speed, and USB connection benefits from better battery life. If you tether, consider your options, and go with the one that benefits your devices the most. It’s a great way to stay connected at all times, even when conditions usually don’t allow it.