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Almost all Android phones have 3G or 4G network access, and many other Android devices, such as tablet PCs, also have 3G network access. These devices can use this data connection to check your email, browse the web, and use social networking applications. Many Android devices also have the ability to extend this connection with a Wi-Fi network, just like a wireless router. While there may be an additional charge for your data plan, you can turn your Android device into a wireless router in minutes.
In case you didn’t know, most (not all) smartphones can be used as Wi-Fi access points. In fact, there is no need to activate a hotspot service through your mobile operator.
A feature called Wi-Fi tethering automatically turns your smartphone into a wireless Internet router. All you need is a data connection on this phone. If you have a data connection, you can easily distribute your connection to other devices that can connect to this device. It works just like any other Wi-Fi access point device.
Even without a data connection, you can turn your old phone into a Wi-Fi access point. Simply manipulate the Wi-Fi cabling to create a local area network (or LAN). This network can then be used to share files, play games, and do other things you can do with a LAN connection. You can learn more about Android Wi-Fi cable to get the most out of this feature on your phone. There are also other applications for Android smartphones that allow you to enable or disable the Wi-Fi access point feature. Some of these applications include Advanced Controls or FoxFi. If you use external applications to enable the hotspot feature on your phone, you do so at your own risk.
Turn on the Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot Feature on your Android Phone
If you have not restricted the Wi-Fi hotspot feature on your Android device, enable it:
- Start the Settings application, and then tap Network and Internet.
- Tap Hotspot & Tethering, and then tap Wi-Fi Hotspot.
- Turn on the Wi-Fi hotspot toggle switch.
- Optionally, you can change the hotspot name, password, and other advanced settings such as auto power off and AP band.
Find and Connect to the New Wi-Fi Hotspot
When the hotspot is enabled, connect your other devices to the hotspot as if they were any other Wi-Fi router:
From any device with which you want to share Internet access, find the Wi-Fi hotspot. Your computer, tablet, or other smartphone can tell you that new wireless networks are available.
Log in by entering the password for the Wi-Fi access point.
Using Third-party Apps
- You can download any third-party application from the Google Play store. After installing the application on your mobile phone, you will see all the menu options, as well as the “mobile access point” option on your phone.
- You can now configure the mobile hotspot and specify the network name and password in the settings.
- You can then easily activate the Wi-Fi hotspot by tapping the “Activate Wi-Fi hotspot” option.
- You can now connect other devices using the “Wi-Fi access point” option.
- Be sure to enable the data connection and monitor data usage, as using a hotspot consumes more data than using data on your mobile browser.
Bluetooth Tethering on Android
- You must first pair your phone and laptop using the Bluetooth option.
- Then activate “Bluetooth Tethering” in your mobile phone.
- Activate the data connection and start using the Internet in other devices using “Bluetooth Tethering”.
- USB connection
- First of all, you need a USB cable to connect your phone to a laptop.
- You can then activate the “USB tethering” option on your mobile phone.
- Simply activate the data connection and start using the Internet.
USB Tethering on Android
Connect your phone to your PC using a USB cable and the USB connection option becomes available. Turn it on and you will be able to access the Internet on your computer via a wired connection.
The USB connection is faster and more reliable than a wireless option. Plus, it doesn’t drain your phone’s battery – your laptop even charges your phone. The disadvantage is that it is less convenient: you need to have a USB cable handy, it only works with devices that have a USB port, and you can only use one device at a time.
Wi-Fi Access Everywhere
Now you know how to use your phone as a router with the connection function. However, as we have seen, some network operators hide (or suppress) the connection options. Many others limit the use of cables. This can include blocking them completely, forcing you to buy a specific plan that supports them, limiting you to a certain amount of data, or slowing down the speeds you can use.
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I am a computer enthusiast and a practicing IT Professional. I have years of experience behind me in computer programming, hardware troubleshooting and repair. I specialise in Web Development and Database Design. I also have a CCNA certification for Network Design and Troubleshooting.