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How to Tether Your Android Phone for Free [updated]

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This post will show you how to tether your Android phone so that you can freely share its internet connection with your laptop, tablet, or other mobile device whether you’re not at home or at work. The instructions below are generally applicable regardless of device maker.

Check your carrier’s terms before enabling tethering. Some carriers allow unlimited tethering, while others limit it to low speeds, require an additional plan, or prohibit it entirely.

Types of Tethering

Most phones support three forms of tethering:

  • Wi-Fi sharing is simple and quick, supports several devices, and drains the phone’s battery.
  • Bluetooth is the slowest and only supports one device at a time.
  • A USB connection is speedier, and the laptop charges the smartphone at the same time.

How to Tether Your Phone

Connecting to a Wi-Fi hotspot is the most simple, convenient, and widely used method of the three. The phone essentially creates a Wi-Fi network to which you attach your laptop as usual. Here’s how to do it.

Go to Settings > Connections > Mobile Hotspot and Tethering on your phone.

  1. On your phone, go to Settings Connections > Mobile Hotspot and Tethering.Depending on the Android version and manufacturer, you might see something like Tethering, Mobile Hotspot, or Tethering & portable hotspot instead.
  2. Turn on Mobile Hotspot.Android Mobile Hotspot and Tethering
  3. Choose a network name and password.
  4. Tap Save.Choosing a hotspot network name and password
  5. Connect your second device to the network you just created, just as you would to any other Wi-Fi network.
  6. Alternatively, to share your connection via Bluetooth, pair the devices and toggle Bluetooth to On in Mobile Hotspot and Tethering.
  7. Likewise, to use USB, toggle on USB tethering and connect your phone to your other device with a USB cable.

Using an App

If your provider prohibits tethering, consider using a third-party app. PdaNet+, for example, is a free mobile software with a companion desktop programme that shares a smartphone connection through Bluetooth, USB, or Wi-Fi.

You may not be able to download the app directly depending on your carrier, but the app manufacturer provides a workaround. Other such restrictions might be seen in the app’s Google Play listing.

Rooting Your Smartphone

Another approach is to root your smartphone; one of its many advantages is free, unfettered tethering. Rooting a phone may violate the warranty or leave the phone unusable if done incorrectly. However, in most circumstances, the good exceeds the bad. Once your smartphone is rooted, you will have no limits on the programmes you can download (such as the OpenGarden Wi-Fi Tethering app).

Extra: Tethering Tips

Tethering is useful when an alternative secure connection is unavailable. When you’re done tethering, make sure you disable it in Settings. Turn off any connections that aren’t actively being used, such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, to save battery life. Tethering also consumes data, therefore it is best used for brief periods if your plan does not include limitless data.

Check out our article on how to set up a reverse tether to link your phone to your laptop’s data connection.

FAQ

How can I get a free AT&T hotspot?

Check for available Wi-Fi networks in your area, then select attwifi and sign in with your AT&T primary user name and password. Select your AT&T network from the Make a Selection drop-down menu, then click Get Connected. It is important to note that access to free AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots is only available with qualifying wireless data plans.

How can I make my Cricket phone a free hotspot?

Cricket Wireless hotspots are only available to compatible phones on the $55 per month Cricket Core plan (with Mobile Hotspot) or the $60 per month Cricket More plan. The procedure of configuring the hotspot will differ depending on the phone you use.

How can I get a free unlimited hotspot?

Setting up your phone as a hotspot without using up your data plan is not recommended because it can cause issues with your carrier (i.e. extra fees or a cancelled contract). There are, however, legitimate methods for reducing the amount of data utilised when tethering.

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