Connection sharing, or tethering in English, has been around at Android since 2010. Apple subsequently also introduced this feature in 2011. With a smartphone and a 4G plan with a good volume of mobile data, you can connect any device to the internet, no matter where you are.
What does it mean to share your connection?
The purpose of connection sharing is to connect a device to the internet through its smartphone. It is then said that the laptop is in modem mode. Many electronic devices can therefore have an internet access point even in a place without Wi-Fi.
Example of devices that can take advantage of a smartphone's connection sharing:
- A mobile or fixed computer
- A tablet without a SIM
- another smartphone without a 3G or 4G plan
The goal of the game is to share mobile data, to which the Android smartphone has access, to provide an internet connection.
In which case do you use your smartphone in a modem?
Connection sharing can be useful in places where there is no Wi-Fi network, such as during a train or car trip. In these situations, you may need an internet connection on your computer to work or watch a video.
Using your Android smartphone as an access point can also be a good way to replace a not very efficient home connection. This is the case during a network outage. If you have an ADSL connection, your smartphone's 4G can also be more powerful and allow you to download large files faster.
In some cases, we must not forget that 4G packages are often cheaper than an internet box subscription. If you don't have specific needs for the internet connection, it's only possible to manage with a 4G connection-sharing plan. This alternative is even less expensive than a 4G box or a 4G key, which relies a bit on the same principle.
Be careful, however, before opting for connection sharing to replace an internet box, make sure that mobile network coverage is good. The quality of the 4G connection depends on this setting. If operators cover little or nothing near your home, connection sharing will not be effective.
Several connection-sharing solutions
From a smartphone running Android, there are 3 ways to provide a network to another device.
- The smartphone is connected in USB to another device, the only device with which the internet connection is shared.
- Internet data can also pass through Bluetooth protocol from the smartphone to a device, if the device has this technology.
- Finally, the most common solution is to make your smartphone a Wi-Fi hotspot. Several other objects can connect to it, with a password when it is set up.
To set up connection sharing, the device that needs access to the internet must have at least one of these means of transfer: USB port, bluetooth or network card.
USB connection sharing is smarter for two reasons. First, this connection means using less battery for both devices. Second, this solution is more secure because it is possible to know visually which devices are connected to the connection sharing. As a result, there is less risk of getting the network hacked, or even your smartphone. To limit the possibility of hacking, it is recommended to define a password.
Android protocol to enable modem mode
Access to the mobile data network must already be allowed on the smartphone. Then, to enable connection sharing on an Android smartphone for the first time, you have to follow a protocol.
Not all Android smartphones have the same menus, depending on the android version and the device's brand, but the process remains pretty much the same.
- Getting to the general settings of the smartphone
- Go to "Network and Internet" or "Mobile Data Network"
- Then look for "Internet connection sharing" or "Mobile Access Point", this section can be hidden in a sub-menu that you have to look for, sometimes in "More"
After finding, you can choose between the three connection modes mentioned above: USB, Bluetooth or Wifi. Sections can be grayed out if the technologies in question are not enabled on the Android smartphone: for example, if the Wi-Fi is disabled or if no USB connection is in place.
For wireless connection sharing modes (Wifi or Bluetooth), it is requested to enter a name for the smartphone, which will serve as a reference point for the devices to be connected.
For Wi-Fi, several settings can be set up.
- Set a password
- Maximum number of devices connected
- Consumption limit by sharing a connection to define yourself
- And other things to set up, like the frequency band
And lo and behold, you can make another 4G object enjoy your Android smartphone.