The way people access the internet is changing and reports show that more people are using their cell phone as their primary method of accessing the net. But what if you need to do some work online and pecking at your cell just isn’t going to cut it?
If you have a larger device such as a Laptop, Tablet or even your Desktop you can get internet access off of your mobile plan.
Not every provider is happy about offering this solution especially if you are on an unlimited plan so you have to check the rules for your account. Some providers that offer 4G service might only offer 1 to 3 gigs of 4G on your Unlimited Plan and then back you down to 3G or slower speeds.
In reality 3G is still plenty of throughput to do a lot on the net. You can send email, browse webpages and get a bit of work done. If you are use to 4G speeds and video that doesn’t buffer this is where you might run into some problems but considering this option is really a work around and really shouldn’t be used as your only access to the net you will just have to get use to the fact that Tethering means a change to your use.
Only a few providers will allow unlimited tethering for free. Most will require an addon fee of about $4 to let you tether your devices. You should consider this when deciding on using a plan for internet in your home.
There is one cellphone company that offers free tethering on their unlimited plans. They have tiered plans so you can buy as little as 1Gig of 4G service and then expect a downgrade in speed after that. They are a month to month no contract company but they require that you buy their phone and their phones are expensive. Don’t expect to get a $19 Android phone and pay $30 a month for unlimited everything.
Should you buy a Cellphone simply for tethering?
That is a good question that I have been asking myself. If the situation arose where I couldn’t get broadband by cable tv for a decent price or however that might work out I might want a way to get internet on a full time basis over my cellphone account.
Since I really wouldn’t want to run out of data on the road it might be beneficial to get a cellphone plan specifically for Tethering my home computer.
The other option instead of tethering off a cellphone is to buy a hotspot. A Hotspot is specifically for wifi access in your home by using a 3g or 4g network. They can not be used as a backup phone but they will allow more devices to connect. The Data Plans are also often more expensive.
It is a difficult decision but if its your only option it might be possible to setup a way for your home computer to share the tethering to other users in your home by adding a Wifi USB or Card device to it and then configuring forwarding on your network.
Linux users can normally perform this task with relative ease but for windows it takes a bit of work to get it running. Either way you will be limited by the number of users that can connect and get quality connections and you will also be limited by the resources of the tethered computer. In the end this is a possibility but not one you should explore unless you don’t have wired broadband access in your neighborhood.
What Hardware Will You Need To Tether Your Phone To Your Computer?
If your computer or tablet has wifi then you are ready to go. Go into your settings on your phone and select Tether and you will be given instructions on how to connect your computer. This usually means opening Network Services and selecting the right device which is your CellPhone’s Name. If your computer does not have wifi you will need to buy a USB Wifi Adapter to complete the connection. They cost about $15 and up depending on speed and features. Use WP2 encryption when available instead of WPS it is more secure.
You can also Tether over BlueTooth however this will require that your computer or tablet has Bluetooth. You can add this option by purchasing a USB Bluetooth adapter. They cost about the same as a WiFi adapter but don’t offer as many features. When you complete a Bluetooth Connection you must accept the connection on your device. A Dialog will pop up on your phone asking do you want this device to connect.
USB Cable Tethering is your last option for tethering but it is probably one of the best options. The connection will be more secure because your phone is directly connected to your computer or device. Also your phone will charge while connected so you don’t have to worry about using your battery.
No method of tethering is perfect each has its features and drawbacks.
Whether you tether temporarily with your primary phone, buy a dedicated phone or a hotspot you should expect to pay more and have slower speeds than buying broadband from your cable or phone company.
Sharing that one 4G connection between many devices can be sketchy and expensive.
Since you already have a USB Cable for charging you might want to test this out one night that way you know in an emergency if the power goes out you can still get on the net and do a little work or handle some things and you won’t be pecking and frustrated trying to do it on your phone.