Tethering is a known term to people who like smartphones. For a regular user however, this term might raise some question signs. If you are curious to find out what tethering is and how it can be used, then please read this article.
By definition, tethering represents a internet sharing method. Using the integrated modem and the data services of a mobile phone ( smartphone ) you can browse the Internet from a computer that does not have a internet connection. All you have to do is to connect the smartphone to the PC through the USB port and to activate the USB Tethering option on your smartphone or mobile phone.
The Internet access feature through a mobile phone with a modem is ancient. The difference between the past and the present is the ease the connection is made with. If a few years ago you needed a third party application ( Nokia Suite or Sony Ericsson PC Suite ) now all you have to do is to activate the tethering option. In order for everything to work properly the phone must be configured to have Internet access and the computer must run on Windows Vista / 7 or Linux.
On Android smartphones ( version 2.2 or newer ) USB Tethering feature can be found in Settings > Wireless Network Settings. To activate it, first connect your smartphone to the PC using the USB cable and then select the respective option.
Internet settings are being imported automatically and you don’t have to do anything else.
If the phone uses a 3G/HSDPA network for Internet access you should keep an eye on traffic as it might cost you.
Besides USB Tethering, which requires sharing through a USB cable, there is also the wireless alternative: Portable Wi-Fi hotspot, and this has two advantages:
1. You do not need a USB cable.
2. You can connect multiple computers
As a downside we have to mention the fact that the respective computers must have Wi-Fi receptors. Furthermore, if the hotspot is not secured other people might also use your connection and consume your traffic.
Not only Android smartphones offer this feature. Windows Phone smartphones ( Mango ) and Apple smartphones, iPhone, with iOS 4.3 or newer also support tethering. In case of older iOS versions, this is possible only through a jailbreak.