Android 101: How to use Android native tethering | Android Central

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Wireless tether  USB tethering

Sometimes, your Android phone is the best (or only) way to get your computer on the Internet.  Since version 2.2, native tethering has been built into Android, and as long as the folks that made your phone or your carrier haven't removed it, it's a great way to get online.  And it's easy, too!

Open the settings by tapping the menu button, then choosing Settings, Wireless & networks, then Tethering & portable hotspot.  You'll see what's in the picture above, and have two choices here -- do it over a wire or turn your phone into a wireless hotspot.  Just choosing "Portable Wi-Fi hotspot" will probably get you right up and running, but you'll be using an open and unsecured network.  You can change the security method in "Portable Wi-Fi hotspot settings" to WPA2 PSK (a fancy way of saying you'll need a password to use my phone for Internet), and you really should.  You can also change the network name if AndroidAP just doesn't do it for you.  On a computer, you connect just like you would any other Wifi router. 

USB ModemIf you plug your phone's USB connection into your computer, you'll also have the option to use it as a USB modem.  This is even easier than using the hotspot feature, provided you have installed the drivers for your phone (see the forums for help with that).  Just check the box, and your computer will configure itself to use your phone as a network device.  I've tested this extensively on both Windows 7 and Linux, and often use it when I'm sitting somewhere out of range of my own wireless router.  The bonus of using a USB connection is that it won't drain your battery -- it's plugged in!

Now we have to mention two things here -- these instructions stand for stock Android.  Your phone may have things laid out a little differently for the USB modem settings, and may not even have these settings at all.  And there's the fact that your carrier will likely want to charge you for tethering.  We're not going to debate that issue, but we do want to advise you to check with your cell provider about any fees or restrictions before you try this one.

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Android 101: How to use Android native tethering


Rooted my phone, downloaded google's tether app and badda bing free Internet. I used 25 gbs of data a month with sprint and don't pay a penny more a month.

I've been wanting to try this on my Tmo Vibrant, but I'm afraid Tmobile will charge me for tethering. Does using an app like Easy Tether help prevent any added charges from the carriers?

I don't know what your personal circumstances are, but if I were you I'd do as follows. I don't know about the vibrant, but captivate and fascinate had this option taken out of the rom. You need to install a custom rom on your phone (really easy for galaxy s phones) and you will then have the option back in your settings (just as described in the article.) I believe they just took what was needed out of the i9000 rom and put it into the custom captivate, vibrant, fascinate etc roms to make it work. I wouldn't use it as stated above with 25BG of usage. But I've been using 4-6GB on ATT for almost the past year with out an issue.

My Tmo Vibrant does has both the Mobile AP option and USB tethering option and I have NOT rooted my phone. I guess they didn't remove those options with the Froyo update.

I wouldn't plan to use this feature everyday, but just when I travel.

Noob question, but I just rooted and installed CM7 on my DInc not too long ago. Aside from a large spike in data use, will Verizon know that I'm tethering? Do I need a third party app or can I use native? I don't need it for much, but I do travel and some airports/hotels have awful wi-fi.

Of all the reading I've done, any of the carriers can find out if you are * illegally* tethering from your phone if they want to. And I don't think it matters if you use native or a 3rd party app. But I think you'd be perfectly fine using either every so often.

PDANET, aka, claims version 3.0 hides the tethering. Don't know if really does. I use it sparingly. Currently my DSL is down and it's nice using the large laptop screen and keyboard.

I have the Thunderbolt, just looked & I don't see anything for tethering.. There is mobile hotspot which said I can use, but data charges will apply which is fine, I have unlimited data... Also this is a stock thunderbolt..

The options have been removed by Verizon. You can use PDAnet to tether, but Verizon would not be happy about it if they found out. If you use the mobile hotspot feature built, you will be charged extra on your VW bill, mobile hotspot is not covered by your unlimited data package.

I'm also a Verizon user. They don't allow tethering but don't you essentially get all the benefits of tethering by using DropBox? Seems to me to be the simplest approach.

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