What is tethering and how do I use it?
Imagine a situation in which you are working on one of the most important projects in your life. The day comes to finish and send the order to the client, and you suddenly cannot continue your work because of a sudden network failure. This is when tethering, or portable hotspot, comes to the rescue. It's the ability to share an internet connection through your phone to your tablet or computer.
What is tethering?
Tethering is a method of sharing the internet from your phone to other devices. Using it, you can create a point of access to your network data for your desktop computer, laptop, other phone, or tablet. Your Internet-enabled mobile phone then acts as a modem. The connection between the smartphone and the other device can be either wired or wireless. With the first method you can use, for example, a USB connection, and with the second Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. You can activate the tethering function in phones with Android or iOS operating systems, and the connection uses mobile data transmission.
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Hotspot is useful not only at work, but also in everyday life. Thanks to this option you can continue browsing your favourite websites or watching movies and TV series even if your internet provider interrupts its service. With tethering you can share your internet connection with your friends while you are travelling on a train.
Types of tethering: USB, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
You already know that tethering can be wired or wireless. You have three ways to create an access point. The first one is the USB hotspot. You can run this option by connecting your phone with a USB cable to another device with Wi-Fi. Then, on the phone from which you're sharing the network, select "tethering via USB" and wait a moment for your computer or tablet to search for your smartphone's name among the active modems. Using this method, you get the most stable and fastest internet connection, compared to other types of hotspot. The advantage of this solution is also the possibility of extending the working time of the smartphone. It is constantly connected to the computer, so its battery is charged on a regular basis and you do not have to worry about it running out of power while using the network.
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In the second way, you can correlate two devices by using the Bluetooth feature. Start by enabling this option on your smartphone and tablet or laptop, then select "Bluetooth tethering" on your phone. For a smooth and continuous connection, the devices should be in close proximity to each other.
The third way is a Wi-Fi hotspot. This solution will allow you to connect to any device with a network card. However, the condition is that the equipment will be in range of the network. To create such an access point, turn on the cellular data in your smartphone and activate the hotspot in the settings. Depending on the device model and operating system, the tab may be called "personal hotspot", "personal tethering", "portable Wi-Fi router", "Wi-Fi bridge", "mobile data tethering" or "access point". The smartphone will request a name and password for access, which you'll need to enter into the devices receiving the connection. By using a Wi-Fi hotspot, you can support multiple devices simultaneously.
What to keep in mind when tethering?
If you decide to run a hotspot on your smartphone, remember that the connection uses data transfer. Unless your package is unlimited, going over the limit will incur additional charges for using your carrier's network. Mobile data can use up especially quickly if you download music files or watch movies or series.
You will not be able to use tethering if you attempt to connect to the internet outside the range of your service provider's network. You should also be aware that a hotspot will drain your battery quickly. With this in mind, choose tethering via USB or immediately connect your smartphone to the charger for network sharing.
Connecting via tethering is safe and effective. You don't have to worry that the network is random and may prove harmful to your devices, like the free ones available in restaurants or hotels, for example. For your own safety and to protect your network data, set a name and a unique password that will protect access to your network and prevent other users from connecting to it. This is especially useful if you forget to disable the mobile hotspot option in your phone.
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