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Tethering 101


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#1
brettt777

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What exactly is tethering and how is it done? It seems like a way to connect a wi-fi or USB or Bluetooth only device to the internet through a 4G/LTE device like a smartphone. Is this about right? First and foremost, does it cost anything other than the obvious data usage? Is it legal? I read that a couple years ago Verizon made tethering not only possible but free. What app does it take? I would love to be able to tether my Android tablet which is wi-fi and Bluetooth only to my LG G2 but not really sure how to go about it.


Edited by brettt777, 29 September 2014 - 09:35 AM.

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#2
Intalex

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You want to first check with your mobile service provider to see what your mobile hot spot options might be (usually sold a s value added service). Also keep in mind that your mobile service provider will limit the amount of GB that you can use while utilizing your phone as a mobile hot spot. I have seen an average of 2GB-5GB max per month (U.S.) The other thing is to make sure that your device is compatible to be used as a mobile hot spot. 

 

From a technical point of view it's pretty easy to set up. In your phone settings, there should be an option that says "Internet Sharing". You want to turn it on. once it's turned on, your phone will automatically act as a wireless router. It will self assign an SSID and a wireless password. You will be then able to see this new wireless SSID listed under the list of available wireless networks from your wireless devices. You will then be able to connect as you would with any other wireless network.

 

Mobile hot spots are usually able to support 6-8 wireless devices at one time.  I hope this helps.


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#3
SpywareDr

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Most smartphone's wirelsss Hotspot and Tethering are two different animals.

Windows Secrets > More on using a Windows PC as a Wi-Fi hotspot

By Fred Langa on September 25, 2014 in LangaList Plus

It can make sense to use a smartphone-tethering app to provide Internet access for your PC, even if your phone has a hotspot app built in. Here’s why.

Built-in versus third-party smartphone hotspots

After reading the Sept. 10 Top Story, “Turn your Windows PC into a Wi-Fi hotspot,” Lee Gruenfeld had a question.
 

  • “The last time our cable access went down, I turned on ‘personal hotspot’ on my iPhone and was able to provide access for all our computers, phones, and a tablet in just a few seconds.
    “In your piece, you talk about using your smartphone as the Internet-access source for a PC-based hotspot. What’s the benefit of routing that access through your PC? Why not let the phone do all the work? Am I missing something?”

Using a smartphone’s built-in hotspot feature works great if — and it’s a big if — your smartphone operating system and your cellphone service provider both allow it.

Some smartphones don’t have a built-in hotspot feature of any sort. Others have the feature, but the carrier (the cellphone service provider) disables, limits, or charges extra to use it.

For example, my Android smartphone has a built-in hotspot feature, but it’s disabled by default by my carrier. Enabling the feature currently costs an extra $20 a month — on top of the charges for whatever extra data the hotspot feature would consume.

I have absolutely no quarrel with paying for whatever data the phone uses; that’s only fair. But I do object to paying an extra $20 a month just to turn on software that’s already present in the phone. It feels like a double charge.

That’s why I bypass the phone’s built-in hotspot app and instead use the third-party tethering tools and techniques described in the May 16, 2013, Top Story, “Use your smartphone to take Windows online.”

With third-party tethering software such as EasyTether (site), I get the same results as I would with the built-in app. My Windows PC connects to the Internet via my phone, and I can use the PC as a general Wi-Fi hotspot for all my other devices. EasyTether costs only U.S.$10 and supports Android, Blackberry, and iOS.

Of course, I still have to pay for the additional data I use — tethering isn’t a way to steal bandwidth! But I avoid the extra $20-per-month convenience fee the carrier would charge me for using the phone’s built-in software.

Smartphones and data plans vary widely. As I said in the June 13, 2013, LangaList Plus item, “More on smartphone tethering options”:

“It’s a good idea to check your cellphone carrier’s website to see what options are available to you. After you know whether any extra charges will be assessed, you then can decide whether a built-in [hotspot] or third-party tethering app is your better choice.”

In many cases, the third-party option will be a much better deal than using the built-in software. In other cases, a third-party option might be the only way to get your PC online via your smartphone. In those instances, the “Turn your Windows PC into a Wi-Fi hotspot” article can come in very handy!

 

 


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#4
brettt777

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I used an app called Easy Tether and I can get the tablet to connect to my phone through Bluetooth but I can't seem to do anything with it. I.e. when I open Internet Explorer it only looks for a wi-fi connection. How do I make the thing use Bluetooth?


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#5
SpywareDr

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According to the EasyTether website, after installing EasyTether app onto your Android device, you have to download drivers for your computer, notebook or Android tablet.

And here's a link to their "Frequently asked questions on EasyTether - troubleshooting guide".


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