Most Android phones can turn into portable hotspots and provide internet connection to other devices such as Laptop or tablet. To use the internet, other devices will use the Data plan of the host smartphone.
This can be extremely handy if you don’t have access to Wi-Fi and need to connect your Wi-Fi enabled device. Furthermore, you can even share internet of your Android phone with a Desktop PC without a Wi-Fi modem.
In this tutorial, we will show you how you can tether your Android phone and use its data plan via Wi-Fi or USB on other devices.
Create a Wi-Fi Hotspot
To create a Wi-Fi hotspot, tap on Settings and in there tap on Tethering and Mobile Hotspot.
From the next page, tap on Portable Wi-Fi hotspot and in there, you can slide the button at the top of the screen to enable/disable Wi-Fi hotspot.
However, before turning on Wi-Fi hotspot it is recommended that you first add a Password to protect your data from unauthorized use.
To add a password, tap on menu located at the top right corner of the screen (it’s the three vertical dots). From there, click on “Configure” to access Wi-Fi Hotspot configuration window.
In there, tap on drop down menu located under the heading “Security”. Now, select “WPA2 PSK” and enter the password in the empty field located under the heading “Password”. The password must be of 8+ characters and when you are done, tap on “Save” to save all changes.
Now, tap on the slider button and if prompted tap on “OK” to turn Wi-Fi off and turn on Wi-Fi hotspot. The name which you have to search for with the other device is located at the top of the same page. Just search for Wi-Fi connections from the device which you would like to connect and select the name of the Wi-Fi hotspot you just enabled.
You can always tap on the slider button again to turn off Wi-Fi hotspot.
Note: If you got your phone from a Carrier, then there is a chance your carrier might have blocked this feature. When you will enable this feature, you will be prompted to get Tethering feature enabled in your data plan. Your carrier will charge you for this service, however, you can also opt for third-party apps to create hotspots for free (will discuss Later in the Article).
If you have a Desktop PC that doesn’t come with a Wi-Fi modem (most don’t), then you can also use USB tethering feature to use internet of your Android phone. Unlike Wi-Fi hotspot that is only limited to the data plan of the phone, with USB tethering you can use both Wi-Fi and Data plan of a phone.
To use USB tethering, connect your Android phone with your PC using a USB Data cable. Now, tap on “USB tethering” under the same option “Tethering and Mobile hotspot”.
The phone will automatically create a connection and your PC will be connected after a short delay. PC will prioritize Wi-Fi over data plan and if Wi-Fi is not available, then it will use the phone’s Data plan to connect.
Use a Dedicated App
If your carrier is forcing you to use their paid tethering service by blocking access to built-in feature, then you can also use a third-party app. However, there is a good chance your carrier must have blocked access to tethering apps as well. In such situation, you will have to side-load the app in your phone, instead of downloading from Google Play Store.
In this tutorial, we are going to use the app PdaNet+, which is one of the most used tethering apps on Google Play Store. The interface of the app is simple and similar to the interface of Android’s built-in tethering feature.