How to tether on the LG G4

While Project Loon and other such projects are trying to bring Wi-Fi to more and more of the world, until it happens, tethering is here to get us by. You can tether through Bluetooth and sometimes through USB, but tethering through a Wi-Fi hotspot can support multiple devices at a time and faster speeds than Bluetooth. And while hotspotting can be a bit of a battery hog, the LG G4's 3000mAh battery can take it better than most.

Ready to get connected?

Tethering settings will be under Wireless and networks in the Settings app. Wi-Fi tethering can also be accessed by long-pressing the Hotspot quick toggle in the notification shade. You'll see a toggle to turn the hotspot on and off in the top right corner of the Wi-Fi hotspot screen, a setup option, a timeout option, and below it will be an empty list of connected devices. While your hotspot will have a default setup, you should change both the name and the password to something easier for you to recognize and remember.

While choosing a hotspot name, feel free to be as humorous or dry as you like, but maybe stay away from controversial names in public places, like planes. Moving on securing your hotspot, you have the option to remove the password requirement by selecting Open for the Security, but if you're going to use this hotspot in an area that isn't a deserted cabin in the middle of nowhere, pick a WPA Security option and a password. The default is set at WPA2 PSK, and you can leave it there in most cases.

Your hotspot's password will need to be at least eight characters, while you can stick to something as easy as your favorite Android blog, the more creative you are with your password, the less likely someone will guess their way in. Typing out a password on your smartphone without being able to see it can be a pain, but thankfully, there's an option to show the password you're setting to help you make sure you did type out that dirty little password correctly.

Wi-Fi hotspotting — unlike Bluetooth or USB tethering — can tether to multiple devices at a time, but you can limit it down from the maximum of eight as you see fit. Once you save your hotspot settings, you can toggle it on. At least the first time you hotspot, it will warn you of the battery it can potentially suck down while giving the rest of your gadgets sweet sweet Wi-Fi, but you have the option to turn off this bold, white popup. While your hotspot is active — whether you turned it on from Settings or the Quick Settings toggles in your notification shade — a persistent popup will appear with a link to your hotspot settings should you wish to change them.

Tethering can use more than one method. But usually Wi-Fi will be the one you use.

For Bluetooth tethering, things are nice and simple: just head to Tethering settings and switch the Bluetooth toggle to on. There's no settings to change. USB tethering will be grayed out unless your G4 connected to a device to which you can tether (a Windows computer that's XP or later, a Linux machine or a Mac with some supporting software). While you're USB tethering, you will not be able to transfer any other sorts of data, such as pictures or documents, and you will need to make sure the proper drivers are installed on the computer you intend to tether to.

Considering the limitations of both of these options, unless you have a specific reason to stick with Bluetooth or USB tethering you may want to just go with the Wi-Fi option. And now that you know how it works you'll never be stuck without an internet connection on your tablet or computer so long as your LG G4 is nearby.

Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.

  • 2 hours of tethering on my G4 drained my battery by 20%. Is that normal?? I don't usually tether to my computers, usually just my tablet, but Comcast was being incredibly slow today.
  • I'm getting my G4 today so I'll need some time to compare with yours. But keep in mind that routing requires heavy computing power. I won't be surprised that it drains mobile battery quiet quickly. I can honestly say though, my Nexus 5 does drain fast while hotspot is on. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yeah I'm just not planning to do any heavy stuff with my G4 until my spare battery comes. I love love love swapping out dead batteries. Best way to go from 0-100%.
  • Yes that's normal, and it drains faster the more data you use.
  •'re writing most of these G4 tip articles. Have you been using the G4 exclusively? If so, what's your general opinion of interacting with it? Patiently awaiting my pre-order from Best Buy on June 12th.
  • I used it exclusively for... this is the fourth day, and I'm going back to my Moto X tomorrow and using the G4 as a secondary device without a SIM. I hate hate hate the settings, it's a slipper mofo whenever i try to prop it up against ANYTHING at work, I'm falling in love with having an IR blaster in a phone, double-tap to turn off the screen is great (turning it on is a bit more of a crapshoot), and while there are things I like, there are a bunch of little things that feel like a punch in the gut and they're almost all software. Gimme a GPE of this device and I'd be in heaven... though i do like the soda lock screen animation.
  • Thanks, I loved the Moto X...I just hated the battery. Guess I'll keep the G4 until the 2015 Moto X is out and off to swappa it will go.
  • Ara - changing the launcher to Google Now isn't enough? Are it's issues all behind the scenes stuff that changing a launcher won't fix? (thanks for your candid comments BTW - I'm really on the fence about leaving the Nexus series and it's appreciated)
  • No, the launcher isn't what I'm talking about. The launcher isn't bad. The settings are a clusterfuck. Pritority/None is almost hidden, and there is no search in settings to make that more bearable.
  • Wow - thanks. I think I'll spend some quality time with it at the store this evening. I usually control Priority/None with my Moto 360, which changes the settings on the phone too (Nexus 5) - is that not possible with the LG G4?
  • Yes, but you can't set time frames for those modes from the watch, and I do that a lot. the easiest way i found was to open quick toggles, find All notifications, long-press till settings opens. Set it to Priority/none, then set the time frame, then get on with the newscast. On the Moto X, volume down (so long as you're not playing music), tap your mode, tap your time, get on with the show.
  • Hi Ara, I'll report your opinion to LG. I hope they'll fix it
  • While you're at it, can you beg them to use the stock Google emoji? The LG emoji suck. It was like a tiny kick in in the shin every time someone sent me a smiley face. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Which US carriers are blocking wi-fi tethering on the G4?
  • I dunno, because I pay for mine.
  • No offense, but that's mildly condescending, a little miss informed at least... I paid for my Nexus 5, bought it straight from Play actually so Sprint never touched the thing, and they're still able to block tethering unless I root and edit a file... Maybe the G4 is different or special or this is only an issue with CDMA carries, but it's definitely possible for a carrier to block tethering/hotspot even on a device whose software they have no control over and which was bought out of contract etc.
  • Oh my bad, I may have misinterpreted your comment, I thought by mine you meant the phone but I guess you meant tethering itself? I'm confused now, and probably put my foot in my mouth... I realize that for many it's a moot point too since tethering is now included with their plans, I wish all carriers would stop charging extra for it or limiting data use thru tethering... Makes no sense and I personally have no qualms circumventing that kinda thing.
  • Yep, I meant paying for tethering. I wish all plans included it, but they don't. And you should pay for services you use (even if you already paid for the data cap). Posted via the Android Central App
  • Paying for tethering atop unlimited data is beyond nonsense.
  • Well the G4 has killed my interest for any LG phone Posted via the Android Central App
  • Anyone have any luck bypassing AT&T hotspot? Haven't tried to any tethering apps, though I'm willing to root once it is safe to do so. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I see it in my apps list, but use the built-in HTC app for mobile hotspot use. Works great, and I've used it to link consoles and iPhones to pro audio consoles several times. Other times I use it for my work laptop connection when I'm fixing the network... Beats the snort out of my Verizon 4g card in speed and reliability. Posted via the Android Central App