For iPhone (iOS 4.3 onwards) and Android (FroYo 2.2 onwards) owners, a handy feature often overlooked or unknown to users is that of internet ‘tethering’ (called Personal Hotspot on iPhones),.
The cool thing about tethering is that it gives you the convenience of what is essentially a Wi-Fi router/USB modem in their pockets on the go.
For the purposes of this guide and to keep things simple, we will primarily be looking at internet tethering via Wi-Fi on current iOS and Android operating systems (OS).
Additional usage charges maybe apply for any excess data downloaded/uploaded used via the handset and/or internet tethering. Please ensure you have an adequate data plan suitable for your usage/circumstances. If unsure, please visit one of retail stores for advice.
What is internet tethering?
Tethering on your smartphone allows the you to share your 3G network data connection via Wi-Fi (or alternatively with USB Cable), turning your mobile phone into ‘hotspot or access point’.
This is really handy when you connect it to other wireless compatible devices or gadgets, namely laptops, handheld game consoles, and iPads/tablets to access the internet.
*Please note both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections will drain the iPhone battery faster than normal. USB on the other hand will charge the iPhone at the same time, which might be a better option for those who require using tethering for extended periods and without the need to be wireless.
> iPhone: System requirements for Personal Hotspot’ for additional support.
How to set-up on Android?
This feature is available on Android 2.2 and above, but with Android 2.3 the menu and wording is set up a little differently With the majority of newer available smartphones currently running or being upgraded to Gingerbread in the near future, we will be looking at tethering from the Gingerbread platform.
In most aspects, tethering as a general concept is fairly similar to the Apple® iPhone, and is quite straightforward in setting up, even for first time users.
Please note however with that said, minor differences will exist between different brands e.g. HTC, Samsung and Sony to name a few, depending on manufacturer implementation on top of the Android OS in their own devices. For the example below, we are using a Samsung Galaxy 2 S.
Let’s get started!
How to set up tethering on your Android smartphone?
In the Tethering and portable hotspot menu, users are able to configure their new Wi-Fi hotspot (network name and security settings) via the Portable Wi-Fi hotspot settings – Configure Wi-Fi hotspot.
How to set up tethering using Android - Step 3.
Within the Configure Wi-Fi hotspot menu, users will be presented with two boxes, one input box titled ‘Network SSID’ and a drop down box titled ‘Security’.
Network SSID: Refers to the network name as identified to other Wi-Fi devices.
Security: Options consist of ‘Open’ – No Security/password not required or ‘WPA2 PSK’ – Password Protected.
We recommend that a password be setup to prevent unauthorised access to your Wi-Fi hotspot. The password must contain at least 8 characters.
How to set up tethering using Android - Step 4.
After setting up ‘Network SSID’ and ‘Security’, press ‘Save’ button at the bottom of screen, which should bring you back to Portable Wi-Fi hotspot settings. Click on Portable Wi-Fi hotspot to enable or activate Wi-Fi tethering.
If successful, a message notification should appear stating ‘Tethering or hotspot active.’ You are now ready to start using your Wi-Fi hotspot.
How to set up tethering using Android - Step 5 (optional)
Optionally users are able to use USB tethering instead, which requires the use of the USB cable as supplied in the sales package to be connected to the computer where internet access is required.
For this, users can go to Settings - Wireless & networks – Tethering & portable hotspot – USB tethering – On (Enable).