Do you know what tethering is?

AndroidTablet_April24_AWhen it comes to mobile devices like tablets and smartphones, there is an abundance of technical terms and jargon thrown around, often confusing average users. A common term seen on many blogs and mobile carriers’ websites in relation to tablets is tethering. If you have an Android tablet, do you know what tethering is?

Here is an overview of tethering. It focuses on Android tablets, but this process be applied to almost any Android device.

What exactly is tethering?
You’ve probably seen this term mentioned in marketing collateral or contracts from your mobile provider, or heard users talk about it. In the most basic sense, tethering is sharing one device’s Internet or data connection with another. The most common type of tethering you will see is someone using their smartphone’s data connection to surf the Internet on their computer or tablet.

When it comes to tethering on Android devices, there are three main options:

  • Portable Wi-Fi hotspot – Turns your device into a Wi-Fi router, allowing it to share its data connection with up to five other devices.
  • Bluetooth – Shares the device’s data connection with one device over Bluetooth.
  • USB – Shares the device’s data connection with one device, usually a computer.

A word of warning: As you share connections, the speed of the data will be diminished. Some devices are also data hungry, and if you have a set amount of data each month, you will likely use it up. If you go over the amount, you may be in for a bit of a shock when you see your next bill.

Can I tether on my tablet?
Technically all Android tablets and devices can share their connection as long as they can connect to mobile data. The ability to tether actually hinges on the provider of the data connection – some allow it, others don’t while some will apply extra charges. Before you try to tether any device, you should check with your device’s data/mobile provider to ensure tethering is allowed. As a rule of thumb: If you are already paying for a data connection with a set amount of bandwidth (e.g., 2GB a month), tethering is likely ok.

Because many Android tablets don’t have a mobile data connection, most users will likely share their smartphone’s connection with their tablet. If you have a smartphone with a data plan, tethering will depend on your phone as the tablet just sees an Internet connection.

How do I share my data connection?
If you have a smartphone with a data connection and would like to share it with your tablet, you have a couple of options:

For iPhone/iPad (with a data connection) users

  1. Open Settings on your phone.
  2. Tap on General followed by Network.
  3. Select Personal Hotspot followed by Wi-Fi Password.
  4. Set the Wi-Fi password and select Done.
  5. Slide the button beside Personal Hotspot from Off to On.
  6. On your Android device, open the Wi-Fi settings and look for the network with the iPhone’s name. Tap on it and enter the password you set above. It should connect within a few seconds.

For Android users

  1. Open your phone’s Settings app.
  2. Press More under Wireless & Networks (Android 4.2)
  3. Tap on Tethering & portable hotspot.
  4. Select Set up Wi-Fi hotspot and enter a network name under Network SSID.
  5. Enter a password under the Password section and press Save.
  6. Select Portable Wi-Fi hotspot and the device will create a wireless network.
  7. On your tablet, open the Wi-Fi settings and look for the name you have set in the Network SSID field above. By default it’s Android AP.

It would be a good idea to use a password when setting up tethering to ensure that no one will be able to connect to your network without your permission.

If you are looking for more ways to get your Android tablet online or wondering how a tablet can help you, contact us today.

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