Tethering is a useful way to share your phone’s mobile internet connection with another device, whether that’s another phone, your tablet or a computer. Here’s what you need to know how it works, what’s allowed and how to get started.
Tethering options: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth & USB
When we talk about tethering, we most often talk about wireless tethering. This means your smartphone is creating a Wi-Fi network that you’re connecting to with another device, typically a smartphone, tablet or PC without a connection to the internet of its own. Thanks to the high speeds of modern 4G networks and wireless networks, you might experience faster speeds than you do on your home broadband! As well as wireless, you can also tether to your phone via two other methods: Bluetooth and USB. Bluetooth networks require that the two devices be paired first and can be slow, but it is your only option for some devices with Bluetooth connectivity but without Wi-Fi access. Meanwhile, USB tethering allows you to recharge your phone while providing a fast and stable internet connection, making it a good choice especially if you are going to stay in the same area for a long time.
Tethering on giffgaff
Happilly, giffgaff allows tethering on all goodybags, gigabags and airtime credit (PAYG). It’s worth remembering that data you use while tethering will be taken out of your allowance as normal, so you may find it useful to limit your activities to low-bandwidth ones: reading websites, checking your email and so on, rather than playing games, downloading applications or streaming video. You will find that even the largest goodybags are exhausted quickly if your phone has a strong 4G signal, so be careful! Users who have run out of data in their goodybags or don’t have them will pay the standard mobile data rate listed in our always up-to-date pricing guide.
For more information on how giffgaff permits tethering, check out our tethering policy.
How to tether: iPhone
To begin tethering on the iPhone, go to Settings > Personal Hotspot, then press the Personal Hotspot toggle at the top of the screen to turn it on. Your wireless network will take your iPhone’s name.
You can also change the password here to whatever phrase you like. Choose something easy to spell if you want to share the password with a friend, or something difficult to decipher if you don’t want it broken into by nearby malcontents.
How to tether: Android
Tethering on Android can work a little differently depending on which version of the operating system you have and who your phone is made by. However, most phones should grant access to the tethering settings by visiting the Settings app, then tapping Connections (or similar). From here, select something like Mobile hotspot and tethering, and then tap the Mobile hotspot toggle to begin tethering.
There are also individual toggles for Bluetooth and USB tethering. Once you begin tethering, you also have the option to change the name of the wireless network that is created and its password. Again, simpler passwords are better for sharing with friends and guests, but easier for ne’er-do-wells to hack into.
I hope this post has answered your tethering questions! Thanks for checking it out and we’ll catch you on the next one.
Header image credit: Republic Wireless