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How to connect your Android phone and share your Internet connection with other devices

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Justin Duino / Instruction Geek

To enable tethering on Android, head to Settings > Network & Internet > Hotspot & tethering, then choose between Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB tethering. Once you enable the connection, connect your device and your phone will start sharing your Internet connection.

There are several ways to connect on Android, but the type you can (and should) use depends on your needs and your cell carrier. Here’s everything you need to know about tethering on Android.

What is the anchor?

Tethering is the act of sharing your phone’s mobile data connection with another device, such as your laptop or tablet, connecting it to the Internet through your phone’s data connection.

Tethering is useful when you’re somewhere and don’t have access to Wi-Fi, but you have access to mobile data and want to do something on your computer instead of your phone. But you can pay extra for convenience.

Does Tethering cost money?

Depending on your carrier, this may or may not cost you money. In the US, most major carriers charge extra for the connection. Check your provider’s website for more information on what they charge for the connection. An additional $20 fee for tether is not unusual in the US.

RELATED: How to use Android’s built-in tethering when your carrier blocks you

It is possible to bypass these restrictions by installing and using a third-party tethering app, or if you are rooted, by unlocking Android’s built-in tethering feature. However, your provider may notice that you’re connected anyway (they can tell because your laptop’s web traffic looks different than your mobile’s web traffic) and they may add a connection plan to your account, charging the standard connection. If you’re lucky, they might not notice, but don’t be surprised if they make you pay the connection fee.

Of course, standard data limits and charges apply. For example, if your carrier provides 2GB of data per month and you use 3GB between connection and normal use of your smartphone, you’ll be subject to your plan’s normal penalties (additional charges or speed caps), even if the provider does not notice it. you are tying

Lastly, tethering drains battery power quickly. When you’re not actively using tethering, you should turn it off to save power on your Android phone and keep your battery running longer.

Anchor types

We’ll cover how to use each anchor method. Here’s how they compare:

  • WiFi connection: Wi-Fi tethering turns your phone into a small Wi-Fi hotspot. Create a Wi-Fi network that you connect to with your computer. It has decent speeds and you can connect more than one device, but the battery will drain faster than if you used one of the options below.
  • Bluetooth tethering: Bluetooth tethering is significantly slower than Wi-Fi, but uses less battery. You can also connect one device at a time via Bluetooth. It’s probably not worth using unless you’re really trying to stretch your battery.
  • USB connection: The USB connection has the fastest speeds, but you must connect your phone to your laptop with a USB cable. Your phone’s battery will not be drained because it will draw power from your computer’s USB port.

In addition to the standard Android connection options, there are other ways you can connect:

  • Third-party tethering apps: If the connection is disabled on a phone you purchased from a carrier, you can install third-party apps and use them to connect. Your provider may charge you anyway if they find out.
  • reverse anchor: On rare occasions, you may want to share your computer’s Internet connection with your Android phone. This is useful if you only have wired Ethernet connections in the area and no access to Wi-Fi.

Let’s talk about how to do all these things, one by one.

WiFi connection

Android has a built-in Wi-Fi tethering feature, though some carriers may turn it off if you don’t pay for a tethering plan. (Again, though, if you’re rooted, you can unlock Android’s built-in tethering feature.)

To access this feature, open your phone’s settings screen, tap “Network & Internet”, then tap “Hotspot & tethering”.

press "network and internet"then "Access Point and Anchorage".

You will be able to configure the Wi-Fi access point of your phone, changing its SSID (name) and password. Leave the security settings at WPA3 (probably WPA3-Personal) unless you need to use an older device that doesn’t support this encryption standard. WPA3 is the best standard available for regular consumer hardware in modern devices, and you should always use it when you can.

After configuring your hotspot settings, toggle the switch next to “Use Wi-Fi hotspot.” Now you can connect to your phone’s Wi-Fi hotspot from your laptop, tablet, or any other device.

The hotspot visible in Windows 10.

Bluetooth tethering

You can also choose to connect via a Bluetooth connection. If your laptop has built-in Bluetooth (which most do), you can enable Bluetooth on your phone and enable the Bluetooth connection.

RELATED: How to add Bluetooth to your computer

First, you will need to pair your PC with your phone. Open the Bluetooth menu on your PC and make sure the device is discoverable. In Windows 10, navigate to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth and other devices, then click the switch to the “On” position. In Windows 11, open Settings, click “Bluetooth and devices” and click the switch to enable Bluetooth.

You will see “Now discoverable as (your PC name)” when it has been enabled.

Enable Bluetooth in Windows 10.

On your phone, go to the Bluetooth settings and search for new devices to pair with. Wait for your PC to appear. Once it appears, tap on it to start the pairing process.

The Windows 10 desktop displayed in the device list on Android.

When both devices start communicating, you will receive a prompt on each to confirm that the unique code is the same. If it is (and it should be), click Pair on both your phone and computer. They should be connected via Bluetooth after that.

Windows 10 pairing popup.

Now that the two of you are paired, you’re almost ready to use the Bluetooth tethering feature. First, go back to the Tethering & Portable Hotspot screen on your phone, then enable Bluetooth tethering.

Back on the computer, right-click the Bluetooth icon in the system tray, then choose “Join a Personal Area Network.”

When this menu opens, your phone should be present. Click on it, then on the “Connect using” dropdown menu. Choose “Access Point”.

Once the connection is established, you will get a quick confirmation popup. Done and go: You can now use the Bluetooth connection to access the web.

USB connection

Connect your phone to your laptop via USB cable and you will see the USB connection option will be available. Turn it on and you will see a notification informing you that the USB connection is activated.

Connect your phone to your PC via a USB cable, then tap the switch next to "USB tethering" to share your Internet connection.

Your computer should automatically detect this new type of Internet connection and make it available. Bam.

The USB connection to the Internet with your phone shown in Windows 10.

Third-party tethering apps

Warnings: Always be careful when installing random apps from the Google Play Store. Play Protect does a reasonably good job of preventing malicious apps from loading, but it’s not perfect. Try using your phone’s built-in pinning capabilities before installing a third-party app.

There are quite a few third-party tethering apps that you can download from Google Play. However, many are paid apps or require root access.

We tested a few apps and found that NetShare works well for simple Wi-Fi connection. Launch the app, tap “Settings” to configure your settings, then check the checkbox at the top to enable your Wi-Fi hotspot.

NetShare Wi-Fi tethering app on Android.

You may also want to search the Play Store for a connection app that supports USB or Bluetooth connection. If none of these work correctly for you, and they most likely won’t, we recommend using the Magisk/Xposed module which bypasses your carrier’s restrictions.

reverse anchor

RELATED: How to connect your Android to your PC’s Internet connection via USB

Finally, if you are rooted, you can reverse the connection: connect your phone to your computer and share your computer’s Internet connection with your phone. This is quite a rare situation, but one day you may find yourself in an office where there is no Wi-Fi. If you can connect your Android phone to a computer with a wired Internet connection using a USB cable, you can share your wired Internet connection.


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