Tethering isn’t as complicated as it sounds. It is just a simple procedure which makes it possible for computers to be connected to the internet through mobile phones. Although you can get reasonably fast and reliable internet via mobile phone tethering, it is important to note that tethering can be an expensive method, especially if you don’t have an unlimited data plan with your contract. Even if you do have unlimited data plan, it’s advisable to check with your network provider before setting up internet tethering as some networks may not allow it.
Pros and Cons of Mobile Phone Tethering
We wont give you a guide here because the process of setting up tethering differs widely based on the handset model you have. Instead, we take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of creating a hotspot via mobile phone tethering. If you however need help setting it up, you can take a look at your mobile phone’s instructions booklet that would have been provided with the handset.
Advantages of Tethering
- Easy set up: Setting up tethering is easier than setting up other mobile internet options. You just need to follow simple click instructions.
- Extremely flexible: you can use tethering anywhere you have mobile network or mobile coverage which today is practically everywhere.
- No additional equipment costs: You don’t need to buy additional equipment when tethering. It is therefore a cheaper and better option – but you must ensure your mobile network provider supports it.
- Works with cheap mobile phones: You don’t need an expensive Smartphone to use the tethering option. Mobile phones as cheap as £50 or lower are capable of tethering effectively.
Disadvantages of Tethering
- Network permission: May not be able to set it up without the permission of your mobile network provider.
- Limits mobile phone usage: You will not be able to tether and use your mobile phone to receive calls or call others at the same time. If you receive a call and answer it, your Wi-Fi hotspot connection will break and you will need to set it up again after finishing your call.
- Not so cheap: Although tethering doesn’t involve buying additional equipment, it is expensive in terms of data costs especially for long-term use.
- Drains the mobile phone battery faster: Tethering uses more power than browsing directly using your mobile phone. As a result it drains the battery faster.
- Slower connection: 3G mobile connection is slower than standard home broadband connection and as you will be using your laptop on a 3G connection via tethering, your connection will be even slower since the websites you will be accessing will full websites and not mobile websites.
Apart from tethering, it is important to note that there are other mobile internet options i.e. dongle, modem, hotspot and card.
- Ask your neighbour: If your internet is down and you urgently need to connect, rather than setting up tethering it may be worth knocking on the door of your neighbour and asking to borrow their connection until your home broadband is back.
- USB Dongle: If you have a USB mobile broadband dongle you wouldn’t need to set up tethering at all especially if you need to access the internet using your laptop. Even if you’re not connected, many mobile broadband providers offer a pay as you go option. It will take a simple phone-call to get your mobile broadband SIM card connected and you can top-up online.
- Use an internet cafe: This may sound old school but the fact is you urgently need internet and it’s cheaper to get online via an internet cafe than tethering.
Although we’ve giving you a list of alternatives to get online before listing the advantages and disadvantages, we recommended going for the alternative method of connecting online first due to the several disadvantages of tethering and then finally set-up tethering if there is almost no other options left. As mentioned, if you struggle with the set up process you can refer to the mobile phone manufacturer’s instruction booklet, which should provide a step-by-step guide.
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