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Tethering definition

Tethering is the practice of connecting two devices (smartphones, laptops, desktops, and/or tablets) together so that one device can use the mobile internet of the other one when Wi-Fi is not available.

How it works

  • Let’s say you want to connect your smartphone and your laptop. Once you turn on the tethering feature in your smartphone, it routes your phone’s cellular data connection to your laptop so that it can access the internet.
  • You can connect your devices via Bluetooth, USB cable, or wirelessly by creating a Wi-Fi connection using your smartphone, which turns your phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot. In other words, your phone acts as a modem for the laptop.
  • Having tethered your smartphone and laptop, you will be able to browse the internet and send or receive data on your laptop as if you were connected to Wi-Fi.

Ways to tether

  • USB tethering. By connecting your devices with a physical cable, you can share the data securely because you do not use a wireless connection. This way of tethering is faster than using Bluetooth or connecting your devices wirelessly.
  • Bluetooth tethering. This way works best when your devices are in close proximity. All you need to do is enable Bluetooth on both devices and pair them. However, if you tether more than one device to your main one, it may cause the data sharing to slow down.
  • Wireless tethering. You can turn your phone into a hotspot by enabling mobile data sharing in its settings. This way of sharing is much more secure than using free public Wi-Fi, and you can connect multiple devices.