The Internet has become such as huge part of our lives that we simply can’t go without it even for a moment. But in reality, you don’t always have Internet access on the go. Maybe you’re on a vacation and your hotel doesn’t offer free WiFi or your standard modem at home just broke down and you’re temporarily out of connectivity. Whatever the reason, you can have a standby option for continuous Internet connectivity using a feature called Tethering.
Tethering is the process of using a mobile device such as your phone to act as a WiFi hotspot (or modem if you will) for connecting another device such as a laptop to the internet. You can connect the laptop to the phone via USB, Bluetooth or WiFi.
Tethering offers many benefits. You can connect to the Internet without the need for a 3G/4G data plan, you can access the Internet in situations where you don’t have access to any free WiFi hotspot, or if you’re in the stuck in your car in the middle of nowhere, your 3G/4G plan is all used up and you desperately need to check an online map to find directions, you’ll find tethering a blessing. Tethering can also be more secure than a free public WiFi hotspot as the data is sent directly through the phone.
Despite its many benefits, tethering does have its downsides; your phone battery may drain faster; the download speeds may not be as fast as you’d normally get and so on. However, the biggest drawback to tethering is that it is dependent on the carrier and the cell phone model.
Major wireless carriers such as AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile require you to sign up for a data plan that covers tethering. Once you sign up for one of these plans you can connect over Bluetooth, WiFi, or via a USB cable. Alternately, you can buy a premium app from the Windows Store, bypass the carrier tethering fees and create the mobile hotspot.
We’ll show you how to tether your Windows Phone in two situations:
Tethering your Windows Phone if Option is Available
To know whether or not you have tethering available:
- Open up your Windows Phone and head over to the Settings screen.
- On the system tab select internet sharing
- Internet sharing is turned off by default. Turn it on and then tap setup at the bottom of the screen.
- In the next screen, add a name for your WiFi hotspot and give it a password.
That’s it. Now all you need to do is go to the Wi-Fi connection settings on your laptop (or device you want to connect to), search for the mobile Wi-Fi hotspot you just created, and enter the password.
Congratulations! You just tethered your Windows Phone to share your Internet with other devices.
Tethering your Windows Phone if Option is NOT Available
If tethering is not available on your device, you will get an error message on the internet and security screen when you turn on the Sharing option. In such cases, you can call your carrier and sign up for a plan OR you can follow the steps outlined below.
On Your Windows PC:
- Download the Universal (32/64 bit) driver/application (TetherIt-PC).
- Double click the downloaded file and then install the TetherIt-PC.msi file. Just follow the steps in the wizard to complete the process.
- Open the TetherIt-PC application. If necessary, in the User Account Control dialog box, click Yes to give access to the app.
- Click on the Create Tethering Network button.
Note: The TetherIt-PC application requires Microsoft’s .NET framework 3.5. If .NET 3.5 framework is not already installed, the Windows operating system will detect and guide you to download/install it.
Note: If you see a message from Windows Firewall blocking some features, check the Private Networks option and click Allow access. You may be required to choose a network location. In such cases, select Home.
On Your Windows Phone:
- On your Windows Phone, download the free Tether It app from the Windows Phone store.
- Open the TetherIt app and go to Settings/WiFi screen.
- On the Wi-Fi screen, connect to the WiFi network. If prompted, enter the SSID and password shown on the TetherIt-PC application screen.
- Go back to the TetherIt home screen and tap on Start/Stop Tethering.
Note: If you see an error message that you need to run this command from a command prompt, right-click on the TetherIt-PC icon and select Run as Administrator.
You are now ready to connect other devices to your mobile hotspot. The TetherIt-PC application will display the amount of up/down-stream traffic. To stop tethering, just hit the Destroy Tethering Network button.
That it! Remember that even though you use a third party app to bypass the carrier terms, if this comes to the knowledge of the company, they may block your services.