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For some people today, it’s hard to imagine life without the wireless or fibre broadband internet. With mobile phones, access is almost constant, as mobile network failures are very rare and coverage is constantly improving. For a computer, the situation is even worse. To access the network, you need to be within Wi-Fi range or connected by cable. What happens if this option is not available or if a failure occurs? How can I share the internet from my phone using a smartphone? What is hotspot and tethering?

What is tethering and is it the same as hotspot?

Tethering is simply defined as connecting a computer or other device to the internet via a properly configured mobile phone, which in this case acts as a so-called hotspot.

There are three types of tethering:

Wi-Fi tethering: the most common and simplest form. All that is needed is a mobile phone with Internet access via a mobile network and a device with a wireless network card that can access the Internet. Almost all modern laptops have such a card, even low-end ones. To access the internet, connect your computer to the Wi-Fi network created by your smartphone.

Share via Bluetooth – This method allows you to pair your computer and mobile phone via Bluetooth. However, note that Bluetooth has a much shorter range than Wi-Fi, so the two devices need to be close together. Both devices must therefore be configured accordingly, as we will see below.

Sharing via USB: this is the most inconvenient method, as the smartphone must be connected to the computer via a USB cable. However, this has more advantages than disadvantages. If the devices are configured correctly, the connection will be more stable than with wireless connections. The USB connection can be used for older computer models that do not have a wireless network card or Bluetooth module.

tethering and hotspots

When is it a good idea to share the internet from your phone?

First, when there is no other way to connect to the internet, for example when travelling. You may also lose a stable internet connection when you have something important to do. Sharing the internet from your phone to your computer is a simple operation that often saves you trouble.

Secondly, if you’re not sure if the connection is secure. For example, don’t connect to public networks available in shopping centres. As a last resort, you can take the risk if you want to check the news on your favourite website, but avoid it if you want to make a bank transfer, for example.

To access the internet via Wi-Fi hotspot from an Android smartphone, you need the following:

Start the phone’s settings.

Start your phone and select the “Connections” and “Wi-Fi routing and Internet sharing” tabs. Select the “Wi-Fi routing and Internet sharing” tabs.

Under “Wi-Fi router”, move the cursor to the right and tap the name of the tab.

Select ‘Settings’ and set the network name and password.

Connect the device that provides Internet access to the Wi-Fi network with the name you entered in step 4. Done.

Access the Internet from your Android smartphone via Bluetooth

Select “Connections” (as above) and under Bluetooth Router, slide the cursor to the right.

Then pair your smartphone with the device from which you want to access the internet. Done.

To access the internet from your Android smartphone via USB, you need to do the following:

Connect your smartphone to your computer with a USB cable.

Go to ‘Connections’ (as above) and move the slider to the right in the ‘USB router’ section. Done.

Note that the bookmark names may vary depending on your phone manufacturer and Android version.

Sharing the internet from your iPhone

Like Android smartphones, iPhones have three options.

You can access the internet from your iPhone in the following ways

Start your phone’s settings and select the “Personal Hotspot” tab.

Under “Allow others”, move the slider to the left.

In the “Wi-Fi Password” tab, tap the “Wi-Fi hotspot” tab and set a secure password to access it.

At the bottom of the screen are instructions for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB internet sharing. Note that USB sharing requires the latest version of iTunes to be installed on your Mac or computer.

Sharing the internet

What should I consider when sharing the internet?

Here are some tips for sharing the internet connection from your mobile device to your computer.

Set secure passwords – it is possible to share a network that is not password protected, but it is not recommended that you do so as others may have access to it. Strong passwords consist of at least eight characters, including upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters. Avoid words that are found in English dictionaries.

Check your data usage – most mobile phone companies have a data transfer limit for each billing period. Surfing the internet on a computer uses more data than on a smartphone. You should also avoid downloading large files. Exceeding the download limit may result in additional charges, a significant reduction in transfer speed or a ban on internet access.

Take care of your smartphone battery – sharing the internet drains the battery quickly. When travelling, it is recommended that you keep your smartphone charged by plugging it into a charger or using a power bank. The only exception to this is when connected via a USB cable – the battery will charge your smartphone when connected to a computer via cable.

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