Android tethering makes you able to share the mobile data connection of your phone with another device such as a PC or another mobile.
The next device will be connected to the internet of your mobile phone and can use it as they use a WiFi network.
Android tethering has become very popular as it is a very convenient way of getting an internet connection, especially on your PC when something is wrong with your broadband.
Tethering works as a life savior for you in places where you don’t have access to broadband internet or WiFi network.
You can share your cellular data to your laptop or another device with the help of tethering.
What is Tethering?
Tethering is the process that allows users to connect their data connection of the mobile phone to their computer or other devices.
It makes your mobile phone internet or WiFi device. You can do tethering via Bluetooth, WiFi, and USB.
Tethering done with any means provides a way to use the mobile phone data on your device similar to the hotspot.
Tethering can be done on both android phones and iPhones.
Why Would I Want To Tether?
Tethering can be useful because it makes you able to enjoy an internet connection where WiFi isn’t available and your mobile data is the only option.
It helps you to get back online anywhere without worrying about broadband connection and WiFi.
Common places where you usually need android tethering include trains, hotels, staying somewhere during traveling, or cafes where it is very difficult to find broadband internet or WiFi.
You might need to do some important work on your laptop or just want to stream something on your tablet.
Android tethering can help in this situation as long as you have an active cellular data connection.
Another reason for you to use tethering is to save the extra cost that you might have to pay for broadband internet and WiFi.
This is a very common case when you are staying in hotels in remote areas where they charge an extra fee for WiFi.
Tethering can also be useful for devices that can’t directly have a cellular network, for example, tablets that don’t support a sim card.
Does Android Tethering Cost Money?
Android tethering may or may not cost you money because it depends upon your cellular data provider. Almost every network carrier in the US charges an extra fee for tethering.
You can know whether your cellular carrier charges a fee for tethering or not on their website or ask this by calling their helpline.
You may be charged a minimum of $20 for tethering in the USA as it is the usual amount of charges for it.
You can get rid of this extra cost and restriction by using the third-party apps used for tethering.
These apps are easily accessible from the Google Play store and most of them are free apps.
You can also get free android tethering by unlocking the in-built tethering feature of rooted phones.
But this can easily be detected by your network provider as the internet on your mobile phones looks very different from your laptop or PC.
They may add a tethering fee to your bill.
With some extra charges at some places with different carriers, tethering also drains the battery of your phone quickly.
It is recommended to disable tethering when you are not using the internet.
This can help you save battery power on your mobile phone. Tethering can be done via three channels, Bluetooth, USB, and WiFi.
Tethering can be done with a Bluetooth connection present on your mobile phone and laptop.
Almost every device has a Bluetooth connection and handling Bluetooth is very easy and straightforward.
The first step in Bluetooth tethering is to connect your PC with your Android phone.
If you are using Windows 10, open the Bluetooth settings by going into the setting tab present in the Start menu.
This will make your laptop or PC visible and it can be easily discovered on other devices that support Bluetooth.
Similarly, go into the Bluetooth menu on your android phone which can be found in the ‘Connections’ tab in settings.
Look for new devices by refreshing the available devices section in this menu.
Your laptop’s Bluetooth device will come under the available devices list. Once you see it, tap on it to start the process of Bluetooth pairing.
Once you initiate this process, both devices will give a notification for connecting to a Bluetooth network. You may ask to put the unique code on your mobile phone.
This unique code will be available on the notification you received on your laptop. Click ‘Pair’ on both devices and they will be connected via Bluetooth.
Once both devices are paired over Bluetooth, tethering is almost ready. Go to the “Tethering & Hotspot’ setting on your mobile phone.
You will see an option of ‘Bluetooth tethering.’
Enable it by tapping on it. Now it’s time to link this tethering to your laptop. Open the Bluetooth icon present on the system tray of your laptop’s desktop.
You will see an option ‘Join a personal area network.’ Open it.
When you open this menu, you will see your mobile device listed in the available devices here.
Click on your mobile phone name and connect it using the dropdown. Select ‘Access Point.’
Once both devices are connected successfully, you will be asked for confirmation with a popup menu.
Confirm it and you will have access to the internet on your laptop that will use the cellular data of your mobile phone.
Tethering can also be done with the help of a USB. Tethering via USB is not supported on Mac but Windows and Linux can use this feature.
This is the simplest and easiest way of using Android tethering and getting a stable internet connection on your devices like your laptop.
It doesn’t require you to configure anything on your laptop.
Another benefit of USB tethering is that your mobile phone’s battery will not be drained as it will get charged from your laptop at the same time.
First thing first, enable the cellular data on your mobile phone or any other android device that you want to use as an internet provider.
Now connect your Android device to the laptop or PC with the help of a USB cable.
It is always recommended to use the original (native) USB cable that came with your Android device in this process.
Your laptop might need to install drivers for your Android device if you are connecting it for the first time.
Open the setting on your mobile phone and look for the ‘Connections’ tab. Once you are in the ‘Connections’ tab, click on the ‘Network and Internet.’
Here you will see an option for ‘Hotspot and Tethering.’ Open it and click on ‘More’ to see the option of USB tethering.
By turning on USB tethering you’ll immediately have access to the internet connection on your laptop. The notification section on your mobile will show the active connection status.
You can disable this connection by simply disabling the USB tethering on your smartphone.
This way of Android tethering is also very simple and easy to establish.
Almost every Android phone has the in-built feature of WiFi tethering but most of the time it might be disabled by cellular network providers (carriers).
You may have to pay extra charges to use this feature.
To establish tethering via WiFi, you need to go to the setting of your Android phone. Scroll down or search for the ‘Wireless & Networks’ tab.
Open this tab and you will find an option for ‘Tethering & portable hotspot.’
Click on the ‘Set up WiFi hotspot’ open present in this menu and you will have access to configure the WiFi hotspot of your Android device. You can also change the name (SSID) and password of your WiFi hotspot.
Make sure the security is set to WPA2 PSK because it is supported by every modern-day device unless you are using an ancient computer.
Also, WPA2 PSK is a very secure and reliable security option.
This will not allow other people to have access to your WiFi hotspot unless they know the password.
This will open the WiFi tethering on your phone which can easily be connected to your laptop.
It is just like connecting your laptop to the WiFi modem of a broadband connection but the difference is that here your phone is acting as a WiFi device.
Best Third-Party Android Tethering Apps
There are a lot of apps available on the Google Play Store that can be used as third-party applications to enable tethering on your Android phone.
These apps use your phone’s Bluetooth, WiFi, or USB tethering features to allow you to have a secured internet connection on your laptop.
Some Android tethering apps work smoothly and perfectly.
This is a very popular Android tethering app available on almost all Android devices.
This app uses a USB tethering connection to allow the connection of your mobile phone to a PC or laptop.
This application has a very easy-to-use interface and it is very user-friendly.
This app also provides you an option to hide your tethering network from other devices which can allow a more secure connection.
FoxFi is also an amazing tethering app available on Android devices. This app works with most carriers.
This application has both a free and premium (paid version). The free version might stop after the usage of a specific amount of data.
This application has options for Bluetooth and WiFi tethering.