Tethering: Creating a Portable WiFi Hotspot

What is Tethering?

Never heard of “tethering”? Or perhaps you have, but you’ve never used it? Well, here’s how to create your personal WiFi hotspot by tethering your smartphone to your laptop.

In the good old pre-covid days, the coffee shops and hotels were full of us: bohemian workers, going about our business, always on the move. Wherever we laid our phones, that was our office. In the glorious post-covid world to come, this way of working will return; hopefully.

When you’re out and about and needing to access the Internet, you’re very likely to find a WiFi hotspot to connect to. Which is convenient, but not always secure.

If you find yourself out of reach of a WiFi hotspot, remember that you’re probably carrying with you your own mobile hotspot. Your smartphone. When your phone’s mobile signal is broadcast as a WiFi network, your laptop can access the Internet by sharing your smartphone’s data connection.

This process is called “tethering”. It involves connecting your laptop to your smartphone – either physically (by USB cable) or wirelessly (via Bluetooth).

When your phone is in tethering mode, it will be listed as an available WiFi hotspot to people nearby who are searching for WiFi. We advise you to use a WiFi password to block others from connecting.

Although tethering is a tremendously useful tool, it does eat up your phone’s data allowance. Internet browsing on a laptop consumes a lot more data than browsing on your phone – so keep an eye on data usage! Tethering also uses a great deal of your phone’s – and laptop’s – battery power.

How to Tether your Smartphone to a Laptop

To tether your phone to your laptop, go to Settings and select Networks – or equivalent, such as WiFi & Internet, Wireless & Networks, or something of that ilk. If you don’t see the Tethering option, which might be labelled as something like Portable Hotspot or Mobile Network Sharing, try More.

Once you’ve found Tethering, select it, and then choose between USB,and Bluetooth. Follow the on-screen instructions to connect the two devices.

Contact Us

To talk to us about repairs or managed services and to discuss cybersecurity, phone 01263 805012 or email [email protected].

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