Smartphones have a very huge impact on various aspects of our modern life. As the Cellular data plans and Wi-Fi broadband services from the different network carriers are becoming cheaper, we are slowly inching towards “always connected” society with always staying online on handheld devices.
Sometimes if you urgently need to connect to the internet on your laptop or other Wi-Fi only devices and you don’t have access to Wi-Fi, and only cellular data is available, then tethering is going to be useful.
Tethering is a simple way of connecting your smartphone to another device such as a laptop, desktop, tablet or another phone to share the internet connections of your 3G/4G cellular data. Tethering or mobile network sharing is possible in the following three ways with the latest android technology available today.
Mobile Hotspot, which is also known as Wi-Fi tethering is the most commonly used way of connecting multiple Wi-Fi enabled devices to your phone. This is the easiest way of setting up tethering if your intention is to connect multiple devices to Wi-Fi hotspot. Wi-Fi tethering reduces the battery life of your device significantly.
Setting up this connection is pretty standardized on all Android devices. Simply try to locate the following in the settings menu section of your device.
- Settings > Other Wireless connections, Choose personal Hotspot > Enable personal Hotspot > Choose Personal Hotspot Settings.
- Here you have to set your Hotspot name and passcode.
- Click in front of the Name and choose an appropriate name for your Wi-Fi Hotspot and type in.
- Choose the type of security.
- Some Android devices allow you to choose the Wi-Fi Frequency band either 2.4 GHz for longer range but slower connection or 5GHz for shorter range and faster connection.
- Save your settings.
Go to your computer/Laptop and click on the network icon in the system tray and choose your Wi-Fi hotspot name, connect to it and enjoy internet access.
This method of tethering shares the internet connection of your smartphone with your pc/notebook by pairing through Bluetooth. Bluetooth tethering is included in all latest versions of Android smartphones. Setting up this type of tethering is easy since all you have to do is just pairing your smartphone to your pc/laptop.
Open up the settings of your smartphone and follow the steps given below:
Go to settings > Select Bluetooth and turn it on>Turn on the device visibility
Go to your computer and pair your smartphone by turning on the Bluetooth icon on your computer system tray and choosing your smartphone from the visible device list.
Go back to settings on your smartphone>Choose Other wireless connections > Select Bluetooth tethering and turn it ON.
Go back to your computer > click on the Bluetooth icon visible in the system tray > choose “join a personal area network”.
A Bluetooth setting window pops up>Right click on your device name> select connect using > access point.
Now you can access internet connection of your smartphone on your laptop. This type of tethering offers slower speed compared to Wi-Fi tethering.
This is the simpler method of connecting your smartphone internet connection to your computer. This method is useful in one-to-one connection and as the smartphone will be charged via the USB cable, you don’t have to worry about the battery drainage of your smartphone.
Follow the steps mentioned below to tether internet connection of your smartphone using a USB cable:
Switch on the Data connection of your smartphone > connect to your Laptop or Desktop via a “USB Cable” > slide down the notification bar of your smartphone and tap on the USB icon > Select the Charging mode if options are available.
Go to the settings >Choose other Wireless Connections > Select USB Tethering.
A confirmation message pops up once you are connected to the network.
Note: If your smartphone is connected to Wi-Fi network and you want to share the same network on the computer, then also you can follow the method of USB tethering to access the internet in a computer via your smartphone.
One of the main perks of owning a smartphone these days is that we can access internet from anywhere as well as everywhere. If you are a user of Android-powered devices, then you can now share your phone’s internet connection with other phones as well.
Yes, internet connection sharing is possible now and that too without the need of any third- party application! All the features required for the internet sharing are already present in your phone and using these built-in features, you can easily share internet connection of your Android phone with other phones both wirelessly as well as wired.
If you are wondering how to share your internet connection with other phones, below are the three popular methods using which you can share internet connection among two devices.
How to Share Your Android Phone’s Internet Connection with Other Phones
In the previous guides, we have already shared various internet connection sharing tutorials like How to enable or disable internet connection sharing in Windows and Mac, how to turn your Windows 10 PC into a WiFi hotspot, what is the difference between Li-Fi and Wi-Fi? and much more. If you haven’t checked them yet, you can read from here → Internet connection sharing guides
And in today’s guide, we are going to explain top 3 methods to share android phone’s internet connection with other phones. So, let’s have a look at the guides on how to share internet connection from mobile to mobile:
Method 1: Share Your Android Phone’s Internet Connection with USB Tethering
Sharing internet connection with USB Tethering is the first method to share your internet connection with other phones. This is the fastest as well as the easiest method of internet connection sharing which does not drain the battery of your Android device like in the case of other methods of sharing internet connection.
It also allows users to enjoy full speed of their 3G internet connection. Using this method of sharing your android phone’s internet connection with USB Tethering, you can only share your internet data with a PC/laptop.
Step (1): First of all, connect your Android phone with PC/ laptop using a USB cable.
Step (2): Go to Settings in your phone → More Settings → Wireless and Network.
Step (3): Click on “Tethering and Portable Network” here.
Step (4): Enable USB Tethering to be able to open the browser on your PC and you can start browsing the internet from your laptop/ PC.
Step (5): Click on the Network icon on your desktop and tap on the wireless connection of your Android phone. If you have set any security key, enter that otherwise get connected to the internet directly.
That’s it! Now start enjoying the shared internet connection on android smartphone.
Method 2: Share Your Android Phone’s Internet Connection via Wi-Fi Tethering
You can also easily share your smartphone’s internet connection by via Wi-Fi Tethering. This method is definitely behind the USB tethering method in terms of speed and also consumes more of your Android phone’s battery.
The sole advantage of sharing internet connection by the method of sharing your android phone’s internet connection via Wi-Fi Tethering is that you can share your Android phone’s internet connection with multiple phones simultaneously.
Step (1): At first, go to your phone’s Settings → Wireless and Network → tap on More Settings.
Step (2): Click on “Tethering and Portable Networks”.
Step (3): Activate “Wi-Fi Tethering” by clicking on portable Wi-Fi hotspot.
Step (4): Your Wi-Fi network is now available to all nearby devices.
Step (5): Set a strong password for your Wi-Fi network to protect it from strangers.
Once it’s done, now enjoy internet connection facility on your android phone without any interruption.
Method 3: Share Your Android Phone’s Internet Connection via Bluetooth Tethering
The third method to share your Android phone’s internet connection is through Bluetooth Tethering. Sharing internet connection via Bluetooth Tethering allows you to easily share your internet connection with one device at a time. If you are wondering how to share internet connection from mobile to mobile especially when you are using old phones, this comes across as the best way to share your Android phone’s internet connection.
Sharing your android phone’s internet connection via Bluetooth Tethering provides with the slowest internet speed. Below are the steps on how to share internet connection from mobile to mobile using Bluetooth Tethering.
Step (1): Firstly, go to Settings in your Android phone and go to More Settings.
Step (2): Under Network, click on the option that says “Tethering and Portable Hotspot”.
Step (3): Enable the Bluetooth settings from here. On doing this, you will be able to share your smartphone’s internet connection with other phones.
However, you can share your Android phone’s internet connection using this method only with one connected device at a time.
If you were looking for the best ways on how to share internet connection of smartphone with other devices (laptops, PCs) you can use any of the above methods. In our point of views, the method of sharing android phone’s internet connection via USB tethering as well as Wi-Fi tethering are comparatively faster as compared to sharing android phone’s internet connection via Bluetooth Tethering method. You might also like: How to Increase Internet Speed in Windows
You can use your phone’s mobile data to connect another phone, tablet, or computer to the internet. Sharing a connection this way is called tethering or using a hotspot.
- Most Android phones can share mobile data by Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or USB using the Settings app.
- All Pixel and some Nexus phones can also share mobile data by Wi-Fi using notifications.
- Pixel 3 and later Pixel phones can also use tethering to share a Wi-Fi connection with other devices.
Important: Some mobile carriers limit or charge extra for tethering. We recommend checking with your carrier.
Tether by Wi-Fi hotspot
Use the Settings app
Important: If you’ve turned on Data Saver, turn it off to tether by Wi-Fi. Learn how to turn off Data Saver.
- Open your phone’s Settings app.
- Tap Network & internetHotspot & tetheringWi-Fi hotspot.
- Turn on Wi-Fi hotspot.
- To see or change a hotspot setting, like the name or password, tap it. If needed, first tap Set up Wi-Fi hotspot.
Tip: If you don’t want your hotspot to require a password, pick None under “Security.”
- On the other device, open that device’s list of Wi-Fi options.
- Pick your phone’s hotspot name.
- Enter your phone’s hotspot password.
- Click Connect.
Tip: You can share your phone’s mobile data with up to 10 other devices via a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Make sure that your phone can receive shared mobile data via notifications. Eligible phones include:
- Pixel phones
- Pixel C tablet
- Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 6, and Nexus 9
Step 1: Sign in to the same account on all devices
- Sign in to the same Google Account on all devices. Learn how to add accounts.
- Turn on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Learn how to turn them on.
Step 2: Let your phone share its connection
- Open your phone’s Settings app.
- Tap GoogleInstant Tethering.
- Turn on Provide data connection.
Step 3: Let your other devices use your phone’s connection
- Open your other device’s Settings app.
- Tap GoogleInstant Tethering.
- Turn on Get data connection.
Step 1: Make sure your devices are ready
- Check that all devices are set up to tether via notifications (above).
- Keep your phone with mobile data nearby.
- Unlock the device that you want to connect.
Step 2: On the other device that’s not connection
- You get a “Wi-Fi hotspot available” notification. Tap it and follow the on-screen steps.
- To connect later without the notification, open your Settings app and tap GoogleInstant Tethering your phone Connect.
- If you see a carrier verification notification, tap Continue.
Step 3: On your phone with mobile data
- When you connect, you’ll get a “Sharing data connection” notification. This notification will stay on as long as you’re connected.
- To disconnect, on the notification, tap Disconnect.
Tether by Bluetooth
- Pair your phone with the other device.
- Set up the other device to get its network connection by Bluetooth. Follow the instructions that came with the device.
- Open your phone’ s Settings app.
- Tap Network & internetHotspot & tethering.
- Tap Bluetooth tethering.
Tether by USB cable
Important: Mac computers can’t tether with Android by USB.
- Using a USB cable, connect your phone to the other device. A “Connected as a…” notification shows at the top of the screen.
- Open your phone’s Settings app.
- Tap Network & internetHotspot & tethering.
- Turn on USB tethering.
Let your hotspot turn off automatically
Important: To save battery, your hotspot turns off when no devices are connected.
For those who don’t know what is tethering, they would have come to this article with various searches in Google. Tethering means sharing the incoming internet connection or data on internet capable devices like tablet PC, mobile phones and other internet enabled devices. The tethering can be done via cable or wirelessly over WiFi or Bluetooth. Tethering is also known by its other name as wireless hotspot.
The wireless hotspot can be done for you mobile phone with the following two classifications –
For Non Rooted Devices
You are lucky if you have Android mobile phone which allows mobile wireless hotspot (most of them). Regardless of Android 2.2 or Android 2.3 or Honeycomb OS you can tether your mobile phone or tablet easily. Follow the procedure mentioned below to tether –
- Connect your mobile phone to PC using the USB Cable. The USB Cable connection is must for non-rooted devices because it’s the only procedure by which you can tether such devices.
- Go to Home and select Menu then Setting.
- Then go to Wireless and network and select Tethering & Hotspot.
- Now check on USB tethering.
Now you mobile would be ready to tether internet through the USB connection and once it’s done it would be shown in the notification at the top of the screen. If you disconnect the USB then USB tethering would be disabled.
For Rooted Devices
For the Rooted devices it’s quite easy to do. They have ad hoc ability and so they can easily tether wirelessly. So with rooting you would be able to tether internet data from Wi-Fi, 3G and other incoming data network.
The wireless tethering on mobile phone is easy to use and it’s very secure. It allows you to create your own network, SSD & WEP encryption. At most you can connect up to 5 devices to a wireless network.
How to share your Android phone’s mobile data connection with laptops, tablets and other devices. It is quite easy to establish a Wi-Fi hotspot if one is intending to share phone’s data connection with some other devices such as a tablet, PC or even Mac. Android possesses various Wi-Fi capabilities and the ways in which it works depends on your carrier or your phone model. That explains the reason as to why various Wi-Fi connections work differently. This article covers the various options that you can choose if you need to share you’re your data connections over Wi-Fi with other devices. One thing you need to be cautious about is that tethering drains your battery rapidly and consumes a lot of mobile data.
How to enable Wi-Fi Hotspot on a Samsung Galaxy
1. In your home screen or app drawer, select setting.
2. Tap Connections > Mobile hotspot and tethering.
3. Tap on the Mobile hotspot. Tap the toggle you find at the top of your screen.
You can also easily do it through a shortcut found in the quick setting area of your phone.
1. In order to view the notifications and quick settings, swipe down from the top of your screen.
2. If you fail to see the mobile Hotspot option, see all quick settings by swiping down again.
3. To change the quick settings shortcut position, tap on the three vertical dots select EDIT, then drag the mobile Hotspot to a place of your choice.
Configure your Wi-Fi Hotspot on Samsung Galaxy
If you are using the Wi-Fi Hotspot for the first time on your Samsung Galaxy and you wish to come up with your own network name and password or change other settings in it, this is how you can easily do it.
1. Tap more at the mobile Hotspot menu at the top right corner of your screen.
2. Choose your Network name and password by tapping Configure Mobile Hotspot. To type complex passwords, you can easily do it by tapping show password.
3. Tap on the three vertical dots and choose Timeout settings in order to set the time that your phone will wait before turning off the Hotspot. The phone will turn off if there is nothing connected to it.
It is important to note that you can disable the network security from this menu but such idea is bad.
How to set up mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot on other Android Devices
Procedure for Enabling Wi-Fi Hotspot
1. In your home screen or the app drawer of your phone, select settings.
2. Tap more under Wireless and networks.
3. Select Tethering and portable hotspot.
4. Tap the toggle just next to Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot.
You can also easily do it through a shortcut that you can find in the quick setting area.
1. View the notifications by simply swiping down from the top of the screen of our phone.
2. View the all the quick settings by swiping down again.
3. If you fail to find the Hotspot shortcut, tap Edit. Long-press on Hotspot icon then drag it to the tiles grid.
Configuring your Wi-Fi hotspot
Many first time users for this Wi-Fi hotspot feature may want to set their own network name and secure it with a password or even change other Wi-Fi Hotspot settings. This is how to do it.
1. Tap the Set up Wi-Fi hotspot that you will find on the menu on tethering and portable hotspot.
2. Enter your network name and the password. By tapping Show password you can type the password easily and quickly without confusion.
3. You may select the AP Band but this can often be left at the default 2.4GHz. Although 5GHz works more effectively in crowded places where Wi-Fi traffic is more, it has a short range.
It is good to note that you may decide to disable the network security from this menu. However, such an idea is not recommended.
Connect Internet from computer to the Android using Bluetooth Tethering
Tethering in Android can be done over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi hotspot. The reason to why you need to Tether over Bluetooth is that Wi-Fi hotspot will rapidly drain your battery compared to the Bluetooth. The following are the steps you need to follow in order to connect internet by Bluetooth tethering. However, you need to make sure that your laptop or computer has a Bluetooth device with a functional installed Bluetooth driver.
Step 1. Turn on the Bluetooth on your Android device and your laptop. On your Android device, go to Bluetooth settings and pair the Android device with your laptop.
Note that you need to make sure that your Bluetooth device is visible and if it is not, just go to Setting>wireless and setting>Bluetooth, select check box visible that corresponds to your mobile name to make it visible.
Step 2. On your Android device, enable your mobile data and test to confirm that the Internet is working properly. Open web pages in your browser to check.
Step 3. Tap settings on your phone then select wireless and networks, then tap on Tethering and portable hotspot. Tap and select Bluetooth tethering.
Step 4. After you are done with your phone, move on to your laptop or computer in order to make some steps. Open the Control panel (press window key and then click windows system > control panel if you are using Windows PC) and then select “Hardware and Sound > View devices and printers” in order to add the Bluetooth device that you have already enabled on your Android device.
Press “Add a Devices” button that appears above the window bar in order to add your Android device, then you can now see the Android device with its Bluetooth on in the opened up window.
Step 5. Lastly, in the Devices and printer window, select the device and then right click on it. You will now see the Connect with internet access option.
Step 6. You can now access the Internet within a few seconds in your laptop right from your Android mobile device, and you can see your laptop is in the tethered devices list on your phone’s Bluetooth tethering screen.
With your Android device connected, you can now open the browser and start browsing.
Although it is not recommended to use your Smartphone as your primary Internet connection, there are times when we have no choice but to improvise and use them, particularly when our direct Internet connection (Wi-Fi or LAN) is unavailable.
This article will show you how to set up your mobile Internet hotspot on Android and limit the number of devices connected to your Internet hotspot.
The Internet hotspot settings are usually found in the device’s quick settings drawer (when you pull down the notification panel). Still, it only allows you to turn on or off the mobile Internet hotspot. When you click on it and hold it for 2-3 seconds, you will be redirected to the Hotspot settings page.
When sharing your mobile hotspot with families, it is recommended that you configure your Android Internet hotspot to meet your needs before using it. One important configuration is limiting the number of users and setting data limits over the hotspots to avoid excess data use.
The settings might be different in your case since many Android phones also have their user interface. The settings below are very similar to that of any Android phone you are using.
How to set up a mobile hotspot connection on an Android device
- Go to your phone’s Settings Menu. and then Click On Network & Internet. It might be More in your case.
- Next Click on Hotspot & Tethering in the next page.
- Select Wi-Fi hotspot.
- Now, Click on Set up Wi-fi hotspot. On this page, you’ll find options for turning on and off the hotspot.
To set up the Android hotspot according to your preferences, do the following:
- Select the name of the hotspot (change the default name to your preferred name, this name will be broadcasted from your Android Internet hotspot to other Wi-Fi enabled devices).
- Select WPA2 PSK from the Security menu (this is to encrypt your Android 10 Internet hotspot so that only people with your password can connect to the hotspot). If you want your Internet hotspot to be open to the public and anyone can connect without your permission, select None.
- Change the default Android hotspot password to your preferred one by clicking on Hotspot password (using an alphanumeric password is advised).
To see more features and configure your Android hotspot further, go to Advanced.
- Automatically turn off the hotspot (this is a battery saving feature that helps reduce Android battery consumption by automatically switching off the Internet hotspot when no device is connected to it for 10 minutes).
- AP Band (Wi-Fi has bands, just like Bluetooth has versions.) Normally, you’d see two choices. 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz are the two frequencies used. If you select 2.4, your device will only broadcast to devices that support the 2.4GHz band; if you select 5.0, your Android mobile hotspot will only be visible to devices that support that band).
- Reset the OOB (should in case you get stuck or face errors this would take your Android mobile hotspot to its default settings).
- The strongest possible link (you can use this to limit the number of devices that connect to Android 10 Internet hotspot). You can connect up to 10 devices to your Android Internet hotspot by default, but you can limit it to just one.
How to Limit the Number of Connected device to your hotspot
To set up Hotspot user Limit;
- Navigate to Settings > Netword & Internet > Hotspot & Tetthering > Wi-fi Hotspot > Set-up Wifi hotspot.
- Scroll down to maximum connections and limit the connection has you deem fit.
Some other useful settings are mentioned below;
- Users who are connected (this shows you the number and name of devices connected to your Android Internet hotspot). You can also see the MAC and IP addresses of all connected devices, which you can use to prevent them from connecting to your Android hotspot.
- Users who have been blocked (this shows a list of every device that has been blocked from connecting to your mobile hotspot, you can also unblock them)
Once that’s done, you’ve successfully configured your Android Internet hotspot, and you can now easily turn it on and off from the quick draw menu.
Apple iPhone could be the most popular smart phone nowadays because of its sleek design, brand and unique features. However, it is not a perfect machine. The reason why Apple keeps on updating its version is the mere fact that over time, there are new features which are needed to be added.
Fortunately, iPhone comes with an Internet tethering feature. It converts your device into a modem and shares your Internet connection with your other devices. The bad news is, not all carriers offer tethering option which is a good reason why you should jailbreak your iPhone to be able to share your connection.
I have used two apps which can turn your iPhone into a WiFi hotspot. To cut the story short, here they are:
Sbingner and Cirdan developed this app which supports jailbroken iPhones only. It has been tested to work efficiently with iPhones running iOS 3.0 to 4.0.1. I was wondering if this app will also work with iOS 4.1, so I tried to search for reviews of TetherMe but I never found a clue. The good thing is, TetherMe is worth $1.99 only so everybody can afford it.
To install TetherMe to your iPhone, you just have to:
1. Launch Cydia and query “TetherMe.”
2. Purchase the App for $1.99 and install.
3. You have to reboot your iPhone after the installation to set TetherMe into effect.
4. Navigate through Settings -> General -> Network and set Internet Tethering to “On” to enjoy its function.
TetherMe works perfectly on iPhone 4 running iOS 4.1 jailbroken using Limera1n.
If TetherMe turns your iPhone into a modem, MyWi will turn it into a router allowing other devices to connect to the Internet simultaneously. Since it is also a Cydia app, only jailbroken iPhones would be able to enjoy its features. Moreover, it is stable and has been tested to work perfectly on iPhones running iOS 3.0 and up. Well, the bad news is, it is worth $9.99. It may sound so expensive but the price is just right if you want to turn your place into a WiFi hotspot using your iPhone. You can try out its trial version and see for yourself if it is worth your money. Without further adieu, here are the steps on how to install MyWi.
1. Launch Cydia app and query “Rock App“, then tap on “Install” button.
2. You will be able to find a Rock icon on your Springboard, tap on it to launch.
Note: If you have already installed the Rock App in your iPhone, proceed to the following steps without performing the first to steps. Otherwise, you have to create a new Rock account if it is your first time launching the application. Rock account is free so you don’t have to worry.
3. Once the app is open, you can see MyWi among the options, tap on it to start installation. Click on “Start Trial” if you want to test it out first. However, should you decide to purchase the app directly, click on “Purchase” button. In this case, we will try out the trial version.
4. Installation will take a while to complete. After which you will be prompted to soft-restart your iPhone, just proceed as instructed.
5. Look for MyWi icon and tap on it to launch. You will, then, be prompted with an agreement which you are entitled to accept to be able to use the app.
6. That’s pretty it. You will now be able to enjoy its features. To increase security of your connection, or to avoid others to use it without your knowledge, you can enable WEP security and choose your own WEP key.
7. Switch “WiFi Tethering” On and MyWi will automatically convert your iPhone into a WiFi hotspot.
So far, these are the best apps you can use to share your Internet connection from your iPhone to your other devices. It will not take so much of your time to complete the installation. But you have to remember that these apps work only on jailbroken iPhones; if you haven’t done so, try these tutorials here.
Harold is a techno geek who writes Technology News. While technology is his passion, he also writes about travel tips, iPhone how-to’s and other fresh news on the web. He is even very active in a News Community which seeks to bring the latest news for online readers around the world.
I am sure you might have come across an option called ‘Bluetooth tethering’ while scrolling through the settings menu on your Android device. Ever wondered why and when you could possibly use this feature? Let us explain the whys and hows of Bluetooth tethering in this article.
What is Bluetooth tethering?
Let us first start by addressing what the term Bluetooth tethering actually means. The feature, as you may have guessed, is quite similar to the Wi-Fi hotspot and USB tethering, where you can share the Internet connection used by the phone to be shared with any device that supports Bluetooth.
On older Android phones, the Bluetooth tethering feature only allowed sharing of mobile data with other devices. However, if you have a newer Android phone, you can actually use Bluetooth tethering to share (and extend) the range of your Wi-Fi connection to other devices.
Now, the question may arise as to why use Bluetooth tethering in the first place when you have the Wi-Fi hotspot feature, which is not only faster – but easier to use. Let us explain a couple of use cases.
When to use Bluetooth tethering?
As mentioned earlier, Bluetooth tethering is an objectively slower form of connectivity compared to traditional Wi-Fi hotspots. So why use it in the first place? Turns out, there are a couple of occasions when using Bluetooth tethering may actually make sense.
Learn how to make use of the Bluetooth tethering feature on Android smartphones. / © NextPit by Irina Efremova
When your phone does not support Wi-Fi sharing over Wi-Fi hotspot
As of 2021, many low-end and mid-range smartphones (still) do not allow a Wi-Fi connection and a Wi-Fi hotspot to be enabled simultaneously. This means you will not be able to use Wi-Fi Hotspot to share your internet connection with other devices. In such scenarios, you are left with no other option but to use Bluetooth tethering since this method of tethering works even if you are connected to a Wi-Fi network.
As to why anyone would want to do this, hear me out.
Suppose your friend pops in for a couple of hours, and you do not really wish to share your Wi-Fi password with him. Instead of opening up the PC and creating a guest network on your router, you can simply create a Wi-Fi Hotspot on your phone (which is already connected to your router) and use it as an extender. And if that doesn’t work, you can use the Bluetooth tethering feature to do the exact same thing. The connection would be slower -, but hey, it would still work for him!
When you want to conserve battery
You might already know it – but the general consensus is that the Wi-Fi Hotspot feature is a massive battery hog. In case you plan to use keep your phone tethered to another device for several hours, the battery might conk faster than you would imagine. In such scenarios, it is wiser to switch to Bluetooth tethering since the battery drain is comparatively lower in this mode.
Let us now move to the part where we actually set up and use Bluetooth tethering to share your Wi-Fi connection. This process is actually really easy. Here’s how to do it.
How to share Wi-Fi over Bluetooth
Step 1: Turn on your phone’s Bluetooth
First, ensure that your phone is already connected to the Wi-Fi network at your home/office. Then, make sure you turn on Bluetooth from within the settings menu.
- To do this, go to Device connectivity > Bluetooth.
- Ensure Bluetooth is On.
Step 2: Turn on Bluetooth tethering on your phone
Now that you’re certain that Bluetooth is enabled on your device:
- Go to Wireless & networks.
- Select Tethering & portable hotspot.
- Enable Bluetooth tethering.
Step 3: Pair your device via Bluetooth and receive connectivity
With this done, you can then use Bluetooth on your laptop or PC, tablet, or another device to connect to your phone and make use of its internet connection.
- Simply pair your smartphone with the device you want to share the connection with under Device connectivity > Bluetooth.
- Once connected, make sure Internet access sharing is enabled in the device profile by tapping the settings icon next to the device name.
- Finally, set up the connected device to receive its network connection via Bluetooth in its network settings.
This is very straightforward with smartphones, but to connect a Windows PC, you have to go to Settings > Devices and printer, right-click the icon representing your phone, and select Connect using > Access point. Ta-Da! You’re ready to start browsing the internet.
After pairing the device, be sure to check its device profile to enable Internet access. / © NextPit
Did you find this useful? Have you managed to connect your phone’s internet connection with other devices? Tell us in the comments.
This article was updated in July 2021. Older comments were retained.
Nearly every Android smartphone can share it’s cellular data connections and turn itself into an internet hotspot, an infinitely valuable feature that lets you connect Macs, PC’s, iPad, or Nexus tablets get online through the cell connection. Of course the iPhone has the Hotspot ability too, but we’re going to focus on getting this feature working with Android this time around, and we’ll also show how to get USB tethering working between Android and Mac OS X too, which, unlike Windows, is not a supported option by default on the Mac.
Keep in mind that wi-fi hotspot and internet tethering may be an additional fee service through your cellular carrier, and each data plan differs as to whether tethering is included in the standard bandwidth allocation or if it’s available at an additional cost. Since all carriers handle personal hotspot differently, the billing situation is up to you to figure out on your own, and if you don’t see any hotspot options on your phone it’s probably because you haven’t paid for the service or your carrier doesn’t offer it. It’s also worth pointing out that, despite the incredible conveniences of hotspot features, it’s very easy to use tons of bandwidth once you connect a computer to a smartphones internet connection, and thus you should learn some simple tips to reduce data usage any time a Mac or PC has been tethered to a smartphones cell plan.
How to Enable Wi-Fi Hotspot on an Android Smartphone
Setting up wireless hotspots in Android is super easy, but it’s actually slightly different on various carriers. Why this is different is not entirely clear to me, but it may have to do with certain carriers decisions on whether or not to offer hotspot as a standard feature, or as an added data plan feature that costs an additional fee. Nonetheless, we’ll show you how to enable it on AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, and, theoretically at least, any other GSM or CDMA carrier.
Android Hotspot Setup with AT&T & T-Mobile
This should also be the same for AT&T, T-Mobile and any other GSM cellular network:
- On the Android, open “Settings”, then go to Wireless & Networks
- Choose “More” then select “Tethering and portable hotspot”
- Choose “Portable Wi-Fi hotspot” to enable the connection sharing
If you’ve never used it before you can select a password, share name, and other configuration details. Otherwise specific hotspot configuration is accessed through “Configure Wi-Fi hotspot” option under the “Tethering & portable hotspot” menu.
Now on the Mac (or iPad, or PC), you just need to join the Android hotspot network from the Wi-Fi menu, and you’ll be online.
Configuring Mobile Hotspot with an Android on Verizon
Verizon and some other CDMA networks have a slightly different approach to enabling the personal hotspot on Android phones:
- Go to Settings, then choose “More Settings” and go to “Wireless and networks”
- Flip “Mobile hotspot” to ON
With hotspot toggled on, you can now join the Android network from the Wi-Fi connection menus in OS X, iOS, Windows, or whatever else you’re trying to connect to the internet.
Again, why this is different is not entirely clear, but one of the two methods above should work on virtually any Android phone running 4.0 or newer. If for some reason the above options are not available, or tethering is not working after you’ve gone through the setup process, it may be a limitation from your cellular provider that requires the feature be added to your data plan before it becomes usable.
How to Set Up USB Internet Tethering from Android to Mac OS X
Windows supports USB tethering from Android devices immediately, but that’s not the case with Macs. Curiously, there is no native OS X support for Android-to-Mac USB tethering, but the good new is that it’s very easy to add with the help of a free kernel extension called HoRNDIS. You can think of kernel extensions (kexts) as drivers, and to get tethering working you will need to install one yourself:
(free) and install it on the Mac
- Turn Wi-Fi OFF on the Mac by pulling down the menu and choosing “Turn Wi-Fi Off” – this is not necessary but makes the setup easier to determine when things are working or not
- Connect the Android to the Mac via USB cable
After the Android phone has been connected to the Mac, you need to enable USB tethering on the device itself. This can vary slightly per Android version, but it should follow the same basic steps as those described:
- Open Settings on the Android phone, and go to “Connections” and to “More”, choosing “Tethering & Portable Hotspot”
- Enable “USB tethering” at this menu, and within a moment or two the internet connection should now be shared through USB
At this point, the Mac should automatically detect the Android phone and set it as the primary internet connection. You can confirm this by trying to use the internet, or by going to > System Preferences > Network and look for the name of the Android device in the connection list. If you turned off wi-fi and are using the USB tethering it will have a icon next to it and say “Connected”, and you’ll find the IP address, DNS, and router info is all set.
If for some reason the package installer fails, you can install the kext using the traditional manual installation method described here, though it’s a bit more advanced. Likewise, you can uninstall the kext that way, and if you’re not certain if you have the extension installed at all, just use the ‘kextstat’ command to list every single kernel extension in OS X.
Wi-Fi Hotspot vs USB Tethering
Wi-Fi hotspot is obviously much easier to use and to set up, but some cell providers limit how many computers or devices can connect to an individual hotspot. That’s where USB tethering offers a huge advantage, because you can tether a Mac to the Android smartphone to use it’s internet connection, and then use internet sharing on the Mac to have the Macintosh turn into it’s very own wireless hotspot. This then broadcasts it’s own signal but routes it through a single MAC address, allowing a potentially infinite number of machines to connect to the tethered connection without being detected by a cellular provider. Cool eh?
Also, some people swear that USB tethering is more reliable than wireless tethering, though in our own testing we haven’t had issues with any wifi hotspot feature that doesn’t relate directly to the overall cellular connection strength, but your experience may vary here. Thus, use whatever works for your situation, which in most cases will probably be the simple wi-fi hotspot option.