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How to Tether Android Phone

Sharing your phone's mobile data with another device like a phone, tablet, computer, or smart TV to connect internet is called tether or tethering by mobile. Sharing a connection this way is also called connecting a device using a hotspot. Most Android or iPhones share a Wi-Fi connection by tethering.

You can also understand that tethering is where a mobile phone or tablet uses a mobile broadband SIM as a modem to connect any hardware-capable device with a mobile network connection.

So if you are using any device such as a laptop or tablet with no SIM card or access to any other data connection, you can get an internet connection on them by using the phone's network. There are three common ways to achieve the tethering process, i.e., via a phone's Bluetooth, USB, or Wi-Fi connection.

Tethering or sharing a phone internet connection is extremely useful when you need internet for a few moments. Also, it can be an alternative source for purchasing a separate mobile broadband dongle.

How does tethering work?

Mobile tethering generates a signal and provides an internet connection to another phone or tablet; that phone or tablet uses the mobile internet signal to access internet service. You can do tethering via Bluetooth, USB, and Wi-Fi.

Wi-Fi tethering is straightforward; this article will mainly focus on it. This method is also known as sharing an internet connection through personal hotspots, mobile hotspots, or Wi-Fi.

While sharing the internet via a personal hotspot, the tethered device creates a Wi-Fi connection that any Wi-Fi-supported device can use. As we know, Wi-Fi signal is widely supported by devices, and it is the best way to provide internet access to any device, such as laptops to gaming consoles.

Types of Tethering

There are three types of tethering that are common to most Android or other phones and devices. These are:

  • Bluetooth tethering: Connect the phone's internet connection to the computer using Bluetooth. Bluetooth tethering is one of the slowest processes, and it connects one device at a time.
  • USB tethering: Connect the phone's internet to the computer using a USB cable. This tethering is faster than Bluetooth and at the same time laptop charges the smartphone.
  • Wi-Fi tethering: Tethering an Android phone via a Wi-Fi hotspot is quite easy and quick. It supports sharing the internet with multiple devices but tends to drain the phone's battery.

We will discuss all these three methods in detail below one by one.

How to Tether Android (Connect Mobile Internet) to a PC with USB Tethering

The latest smartphones come with a modern feature that allows you to connect your device with your PC using a USB cable. Tethering using a USB cable lets you share your mobile internet connection by establishing a wired connection to your computer or other devices.

The steps to tether Android to a laptop with USB are easy. Connect the original USB cable that comes with your Android phone to your PC and your phone's USB port. Now, configure your Android device to share a mobile internet connection to your connected computer. Here are the steps to do this:

  1. Launch the Settings app of your Android and navigate to "Connection & sharing" (Network & internet).
  2. Tap on the Hotspot and tethering option.
  3. Slide the USB tethering option to turn it on. If it is already enabled, ensure that the USB cable is correctly connected to both devices' ports.
    How to Tether Android Phone
  4. A warning might appear, showing that continuing this function will interrupt any other data transfer processing between your phone and computer.
  5. Tap on the OK to proceed.

A notification icon appears on the notification bar, confirming that the USB tethering is active.

How to Tether Android (Connect Mobile Internet) to a PC with Wi-Fi Tethering

Tethering through a Wi-Fi hotspot is the easiest and most convenient way to share an internet connection with another device, and it is the most commonly used of the three types (Bluetooth, USB, and Wi-Fi). Mainly the Android phone creates a Wi-Fi network to which you can connect your PC normally.

Below are the steps to set up Wi-Fi tethering from Android to PC, but based on your Android device, the term used may vary, like Mobile hotspot or "Tethering & portable hotspot" instead.

Set up the following function on your Android smartphone

  1. Open the Settings app on your Android phone.
  2. Tap on the Connection and then Mobile Hotspot and Tethering option.
  3. Now, enable the Mobile Hotspot function.
  4. Set a network name and its password.
  5. Tap on the Save option.
    How to Tether Android Phone

Set up the following on your Windows PC

After setting up your Android device, connect your Windows PC to the Wi-Fi network you just created. Here are the steps for it:

  1. Press the Win + I key to open Settings.
  2. Go to Network & Internet section and then enable the Wi-Fi option.
    How to Tether Android Phone
  3. Now, click on the Show available networks and find and select the network that you created via your phone Wi-Fi.
  4. Once you find the network you created, select it and click Connect.
  5. Input the password of your Wi-Fi network displayed on your Android phone to connect it. (If required, set other options as needed).
    How to Tether Android Phone

Some newer Android smartphones allow to toggle on/off the Wi-Fi hotspot option at the notification panel. It makes it easy to enable or disable the Wi-Fi hotspot without navigating through the device settings screen.

Other than enabling/disabling the Wi-Fi hotspot, you can also change its password and network name.

  1. Under the Mobile Hotspot option, tap on Configure (Edit).
  2. Enter a name for your Wi-Fi network.
  3. Enter a password for your Wi-Fi network.
  4. If your network is not already set up, set the security/encryption to 'WPA2'.
  5. Finally, save the settings.

How to tether Android to Mac via Bluetooth

Tethering an Android smartphone to a Mac computer via Bluetooth is quite simple. Since Bluetooth is a wireless and suitable way to get internet connection from Android to Mac devices, but it has limited speed. You may get up to 1Mbps of speed in Bluetooth 4 or up to 2Mbps in Bluetooth 5 devices. If your phone enables faster LTE speeds, there may be possible to get better results with USB or Wi-Fi tethering.

Here, we will go through the necessary steps to connect Android's 4G/LTE or Bluetooth internet connection to Mac. Follow the below-given steps for tethering an Android phone to Mac via Bluetooth:

  • Enable your Android phone's Bluetooth tethering:
    1. Launch the Settings app of your Android and navigate to "Connection & sharing" (Network & internet).
    2. Tap on the "Hotspot and tethering" option.
    3. Finally, turn on the toggle button Bluetooth tethering.
      How to Tether Android Phone
  • Now, pair your Android phone's Bluetooth with Mac:
    1. On your Mac device, navigate to System > Preferences > Bluetooth.
    2. Make sure that your Mac's Bluetooth is turned on.
    3. Now, select your Android Bluetooth that appears on the panel.
  • Connect (or tether) Android to Mac:
    1. On your Mac device, open the System Preferences option.
    2. Click on the "Network" and then select Bluetooth. If you don't find your Android phone, click to add it.
    3. Finally, click the Connect button to connect Android's Bluetooth network with Mac.

How to tether Android to Mac via USB cable

Tethering Android smartphones to Mac via USB cable is also easy. Most of the steps are similar (mainly in Android) as discussed above (in tethering Android to Mac via Bluetooth).

Here we will go through the necessary steps to connect Android's 4G/LTE or internet connection via USB cable to Mac's USB for internet connection. Follow the below-given steps for tethering an Android phone to Mac via USB cable:

  1. Enable your Android phone's USB tethering:
    1. Launch the Settings app of your Android and navigate to "Connection & sharing" (Network & internet).
    2. Tap on the "Hotspot and tethering" option.
    3. Finally, turn on the toggle button USB tethering.
  2. Download and install the HoRNDIS driver on your Mac OS X, which allows using the Android phone's native USB tethering mode to get internet access.
  3. Connect (or tether) Android to Mac:
    1. On your Mac device, open the System Preferences option.
    2. Click on the "Network" and then select your Android USB. If you don't find this option, click to add it.
    3. If you're already connected to Wi-Fi (or any other connection), your Hotspot connection may not be active unless you uncheck the "Disable unless needed" under Status.
      How to Tether Android Phone

How to Tether Android phone to Chromebook

You can use your Android phone's internet connection to connect your Chromebook to access internet service. But before starting connecting devices, make sure you are fulfilling the following requirements:

The requirement to connect the phone's internet with Chromebook

Be ensuring that you are fulfilling the following requirement to share your phone's internet connection to your Chromebook:

  • You are running Chrome OS version 71 and higher.
  • Your Android device has version 5.1 and later.
  • A Google Account for signing up your both devices.
  • Chromebook devise that supports fast tethering function.

Connect your phone during Chromebook setup

A feature is also available to connect your Chromebook while setting it up for the first time with an Android phone. Following are the steps to connect the phone when setting Chromebook for the first time:

  1. When connecting your phone to your Chromebook, select Accept & continue when prompted on your Chromebook.
    • You can also do this step by selecting Cancel. You can connect at any time with the below steps.
  2. After that, select Done.
  3. You will receive a confirmation notification on your phone that the Smart Lock is turned on.

Remember that if there is an issue with your internet connection, it may take a few moments to verify your connected device.

Connect your phone anytime

Other than connecting your phone with the Chromebook while setting up, you can do this anytime. Here are the steps to connect your phone with a Chromebook other than setting up for the first time:

  1. At the bottom right of the Chromebook, tap on the time.
  2. Now, select the Settings option.
  3. Under the "Connected Devices," select Set up next to "Android phone".
  4. Now, enter your password and follow the steps to connect. Once the connection gets successful, you will get a confirmation notification on your Android smartphone.
  5. On your Chromebook, look under the "Enabled" option and select which feature you want to enable.

Use your phone's data connection.

You can also use your Android device's data to connect to your Chromebook.

  1. On your Android phone, turn on the Bluetooth option.
  2. On your Chromebook device, tap on the time option at the bottom right of the screen.
  3. Now, select your Wi-Fi network or No network option.
  4. Under the "Mobile data" option, select your Android phone.
  5. When a "Connected" notification appears under your Android phone's name, which means your phone is sharing its data with your Chromebook.

Disconnect your phone

You can disconnect your phone anytime when you no longer want to share your phone's internet connection to Chromebook.

  1. On your Chromebook device, tap on the time option at the bottom right of the screen.
  2. Now, select the Settings option.
  3. Under the "Connected devices" list, select your Android phone.
  4. Turn off the features:
    • To turn off all features, select Enabled.
    • To turn off individual components, choose the part you wish to turn off.

If you don't want to connect your same phone with your Chromebook again, remove it by selecting the option Forget phone and then Confirm.

How to connect Mobile Hotspot with Smart TV

If you want to connect your mobile Hotspot to your smart TV and watch HD movies, you can also do it. But make sure you have enough mobile data because watching HD movies or other programs on TV consume a high data pack. To connect mobile Hotspots, simply turn it on and search for the appropriate network of Wi-Fi on your TV.

Following are the steps to connect your mobile Hotspot with your smart TV:

  1. Turn on the mobile Hotspot of your mobile phone.
  2. On your smart TV, navigate to the Settings option.
  3. Select the Network option.
  4. Now the detected Wi-Fi networks list appears on your smart TV; select your phone's Wi-Fi hotspot from the available networks and click on Connect.
  5. It will pop up a screen to enter your Wi-Fi network password, enter it and click on connect.
    ou have to enter your password by using the remote, use the arrow button to navigate and visit the password field. Now press OK from the remote, and it will pop up the on-screen keyboard on your smart TV. Enter your password.
  6. Once your smart TV gets connected to your mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, a checkmark appears on your connected network.

Why Won't My TV Connect to My Hotspot?

Sometimes it might be possible, or you may find that your Hotspot won't get connected to your smart TV. It can be because you can already connect your mobile Hotspot with maximum capacity.

Mobile hotspots and Wi-Fi routers have different capacities to connect devices simultaneously. Some devices offer hotspots to connect up to 10 devices simultaneously, while other hotspots can only connect up to 5 devices simultaneously.

But, if you have no other devices connected to your mobile Hotspot and trying to connect only with your smart TV. There are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot the connection issue:

  • Turn off your devices, i.e. your smart TV and the phone offering a mobile hotspot connection.
  • After a few minutes, restart both your devices and try once again to connect your phone and smart TV.
  • Turning your mobile phone off and on again makes your phone reboot and refresh your mobile Hotspot, and you will be acceptable to connect your smart TV with your mobile Hotspot without any problem.

Tethering Android device using an App

You will find several apps in Google Play Store that help you to tether your Android smartphone with your other supported devices. These tethering apps turn your phone into a portable modem, and other devices can connect to it to access the internet.

We have listed some popular apps for Android phones that can enable your phone into a tethering device. Once your Android phone turns into a tethering device, other Wi-Fi devices like laptops and tablets can connect to your Android hotspot.

You can try other third-party apps if your carrier provider blocks the tethering process. One such popular app is PdaNet+, a free mobile app with a companion desktop app that shares a phone internet connection to a supported device via USB, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi hotspot.

Based on your carrier service provider, there might be possible that you can't be able to download the app directly on your device. But app maker offers an alternative way for that. You can see the app's Google Play listing for other possible restrictions.

Top 3 Apps for Tethering an Android Phone

1. PdaNet+

The PdaNet+ app is widely popular for tethering most mobile platforms. It turns your Android phone into a hotspot modem and shares your data connection with other devices like tablets, phones, and laptops via Bluetooth, USB, or Wi-Fi connection.

PdaNet+ tethering app claims that it is one of the fastest tethering offers for Android and doesn't require rooting your mobile to access its services. But its free version disconnects the connection occasionally. For better and uninterrupted performance, use its full version app.


  • Easy to set up.
  • It works with Windows and Mac.
  • Support multiple connections.


  • No wireless option for Mac
  • Its free version interrupts the connection.

2. Barnacle Wi-Fi Tether

Barnacle Wi-Fi Tether app doesn't need other software installed on your PC and no custom kernel on your smartphone. But it asks for rooting your phone to offer a tethering feature. This tethering app is open source for Android developers and users.

If you love its services and want to support developers, use the inexpensive paid version as a donation and get more features like WEP encryption (but remember that WEP is not a secure protocol).


  • No, other PC software needs.
  • It works with Xbox and PCs.


  • It requires phone root access.
  • It might not support modern Android versions.

3. EasyTether Lite

EasyTether looks mostly like PdaNet+ app that we listed above. It supports connecting your phone's internet via Bluetooth or USB. It provides detailed instructions on connecting your Android tablet, computer and another device to your Hotspot.

The app EasyTether supports Windows, Mac, and Linux and connects to the gaming console. Its lite version works fine, but it doesn't help to access secure websites with "HTTPS" at the start of the URL. To access safe sites (HTTPS), you have to pay to use EasyTether Pro.

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