How to Use the Phone to Connect my Tablet or Laptop Online

If you’re caught in a situation where you don’t have Wi-Fi to connect your laptop to the Internet, you could always bank on your phone’s data connection for the same.

Most devices now have this feature. You could either use USB tethering to connect to the Internet or turn your phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot so other devices can connect.

Difference between USB tethering and creating a Wi-Fi Hotspot

USB tethering is a process by which you physically connect your smartphone to a computer with the help of a USB cable. If you use a Wi-Fi hotspot on the other hand, you can wirelessly connect your laptop to your phone’s data plan. USB tethering allows you to connect only one device to the phone’s data plan. The Wi-Fi hotspot allows you to connect more than 5 devices. Before we show you how to use both methods of tethering, let us discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each method

Advantages and disadvantages of tethering via Wi-Fi and USB cable

Tethering via USB cable is more secure in comparison to tethering via Wi-Fi. You can connect only one device so no one else will have access to your phone’s data plan. Besides, you have to physically connect the phone to the laptop using a USB cable, so no one else can share your phone’s Internet connectivity.

Tethering via USB cable is not as easy as Wi-Fi tethering. You have to configure both devices to set up the connection. You will have to download and run software from both devices in order to establish Internet connectivity on your laptop. Lastly, your laptop has to be within the reach of your phone, because the two are connected with a cable.

Wi-Fi tethering is simple for beginners. You only need to follow a series of straightforward steps to wirelessly connect your laptop/tablet to the phone’s Internet plan. There are no wires involved and no need for downloading any software. The only drawbacks are that your phone battery discharges quickly and the connection remains insecure. You could of course use a strong password to protect your Wi-Fi hotspot from being identified and used by unknown devices.

Other considerations

Although it’s convenient to be able to connect to the Internet on the go, using the phone’s data plan on the laptop could potentially max out your data limit. Some carriers don’t even permit you to wirelessly connect other devices to the phone’s data plan. Others charge you a fee. Since we have now addressed the pros and cons of both methods, you can choose one that suits you best and follow the instructions given below.

Tethering your Android Phone to your laptop with a USB cable:

  1. Use the USB cable to connect the phone to the laptop.
  2. Go to the Settings app on your phone
  3. Select Mobile hotspot and tethering
  4. Turn on USB Tethering and look for the connection icon on the notification bar.
  5. Those using Windows XP will have to download and install the “tetherxp.inf” file on their laptops.

Using an app for tethering the phone to the laptop

  • Visit Google Play to download and install the app PdaNet+ on the phone.
  • Visit the PdaNet site on your laptop to download the corresponding software for your particular machine.
  • Now go to Settings on your Phone and click on About Device
  • Go to Build Number and tap it 7 times to get into developer mode.

Getting into Developer Mode

  • Go back to Settings and click on Developer Options

Using Developer Options

  • Turn on USB debugging.

Turning On USB debugging

  • Now connect your phone to your laptop with the USB cable.
  • Next, go to your PdaNet+ app on the phone and click on Activate USB Mode

Activating USB Mode

  • After this, go to the PdaNet+ icon on your laptop and right click to connect.

Connecting your phone to your laptop via Wi-Fi Hotspot

  • Go to Settings on your phone and click on Mobile Hotspot and Tethering.
  • Select Mobile Hotspot and turn it on.
  • Now look up your list of available Wi-Fi networks on your computer.
  • Select the network and key in your Hotspot password to start browsing.
  • Once you establish the connection, you’ll see a notification on your phone.

Every device is structured uniquely but the steps are the same for all Android smartphones.

On another note

If you’d like to monitor the speed of your Internet connection, you could try using the Wi-Fi Patrol speed test app. It’s a powerful tool that allows you to check and control the speed of your network. You can also use it to share information about your network speed with others.


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