Tethering Your Android: The Whats, The Whys and The Hows
Tethering your Android phone simply means turning it into a Wi-Fi hotspot. Basically, your phone will become a modem – and you can then use it to get Internet connection on all sorts of other devices – from tablets to laptops.
Having your phone double as a modem can come in handy, when you want to get Internet access on the go or are stuck a place with no free Wi-Fi. If your phone is tethered, all you’ll have to do is connect it to your other device via a USB cable or Bluetooth and enjoy a stable Internet connection, no matter where you are.
If you don’t want to sign up for a 3 or 4 G mobile plan on your tablet – tethering your Android is also a solution. In addition to that, a tethered phone can save battery life on your laptop or tablet, as you can toggle off Wi-Fi feature.
As your information will be sent directly to the phone, you may also feel more secure to surf the net on your phone, compared to public Wi-Fi networks
On hearing that you will probably want to get down to tethering right away.
But, like always, there are a few concerns.
First, you may get ready for the fact that Internet speed may not be as fast as you are used to. It’s not that surprising, as the information has to additionally travel through Bluetooth or cable to get to your laptop.
Second up, there is battery drain. Using your device as a modem will put extra strain on the battery. And while your laptop or tablet may be experiencing the opposite phenomenon, your phone will be losing power quickly. One way to fix that is to connect your phone via USB cable (rather than Bluetooth), as it will charge your phone simultaneously.
If you think that the above issues are not a big deal, though, you can happily go ahead with tethering. With one big BUT.
Tethering comes with individual rules and limitations, depending on your cell phone service and model. So what may go smoothly for some, might be highly challenging for others. That’s why we recommend checking with your wireless carrier and reading up on your model’s response to tethering.
How Do I Tether My Android Phone?
As with most tweaking actions, how you tether your phone depends on whether you are willing to root it or not.
If your device is rooted already or if you don’t mind clicking here and going through the root process – you can tether you phone by downloading one of the specialized apps. An application like Wi-Fi Tether will turn your phone into a modem with a few simple steps – but only after you have gone through the rooting process, which comes with its own risks and complications.
If rooting is not in your immediate plans – you can also tether your phone through an app, but a different one. You have probably heard about Proxoid – this application does not require pre-rooting, but you will have to download Android SDK (software development kit) and play around with the Settings. You can check out the application on Google Play Store (it’s free). But be reminded that even though this method does not require rooting, working with software development kit also calls for some non-amateur knowledge and won’t be that easy for inexperienced users.
Last but not least, if you don’t mind spending a few bucks (30 of them, to be precise) – you can purchase an application that will do all the dirty work for you. That application is PDAnet. The only thing you’ll have to do is install PDAnet software on your computer and the application for your phone. From then on, using your Android as modem will be a matter of pressing two buttons – one on your phone and one on your computer.
Depending on your Android skills, confidence level and available pocket money, we hope you can choose the way that works best for you.