Using the internet began as a convenient idea to bring together a world of information and place it at the power of one’s fingertips. Little did we know that it would become so big, so well executed. Or, that it would become a necessity in today’s technological age.
As a result, no matter where we turn, there are Wi-Fi connections and online servers galore. While many problems can result with so many connections to the web, there are many benefits to having your own cable to the world’s information.
To access the Internet, however, you need to have some form of connectivity to it, obviously. This requires a modem, but like every piece of technology, it is guaranteed to malfunction at some point or another. You need to be prepared for any situation with the Internet being so vital.
To be as prepared as we can, here are a few ways how to turn your Android phone into a modem. Your mobile modem will let you connect to the Internet from wherever you have a data connection on your phone. Tech-savvy folk call it tethering.
Being able to do this isn’t too difficult, and the whole process is relatively simple compared to other tricks you can do with your Android device. All you’ll need is a USB cable that you can find pretty much anywhere.
What are the Benefits of Having Your Android as a Modem?
Being able to use your Android phone as a modem is actually quite useful. Say for example you’re on the road, and you need to talk to your client or coworkers. By having your Android as a modem, you can hop onto the Internet through the data network. No matter where you’ll be—unless you were in the middle of nowhere—you’ll be prepared for the hairiest of situations.
Note: Using your Android phone as a modem will use your phone’s data plan. Tethering can use a lot more data than you might think. If you have a limited data plan, be careful you don’t blow through your data cap and get stuck with a really high bill.
Method 1: PdaNet Bluetooth
PdaNet is one of the most popular choices when it comes to turning your Android phone into a modem. It’s arguably the easiest, smoothest, best way to ride your phone all the way to the Internet. All you need is a USB cable or a Bluetooth connection that you set up with your cellular device and computer.
You can go to the download page to get it installed on your phone.
First, you need to open the app on your phone, and select either “Activate USB Tether” or “Activate Bluetooth Server.” It should take you right to this screen the moment you run the program. For this section, click on the Bluetooth server button.
You need to download the client on your desktop. You can visit the official site for PdaNet to get the client running.
Next, go to the computer you want to pair and activate its Bluetooth. As soon as you do this, it should recognize your phone and you should be able to pair them.
Once you begin the installation process on your PC, the program will ask you to select the manufacturer of your phone. Just select the appropriate one for you, and you’re ready to roll.
Once the installation completes, it will have two little boxes where you can either select “USB mode” or “Bluetooth mode.” Because this is the Bluetooth guide, select Bluetooth mode.
Then, make sure your phone can be recognized by allowing permission for other Bluetooth devices to be able to detect.
Then it should take you to a screen where it tells you it is running and your computer is hooked up to it. Here is what it should look like (older version shown here). You should be connected and surfing the web.
Method 2: PdaNet USB
This method works almost identical to the Bluetooth version of the program, except you’re just going to run it through a USB cable. This is helpful because more devices to be able to hook up to it if Bluetooth functionality is not present in your computer. Again, it’s a fairly straightforward process.
Open the Android app and click on “Activate USB Tether” this time. It should open a pop-up that tells you that you need to enable USB debugging in order for it to work. Click on the “Go to Settings” tab that it shows, and it will take you right there.
Once you’re in the Settings, click on the “USB debugging” slot for it to be enabled when you connect your device to your computer.
If you don’t already have the desktop client installed, then go ahead and get it.
Plug your phone into your computer via USB and you should see a pop-up on your phone. It’s not a lot of super important information, so just click the box where it says, “Always allow this computer,” then press OK.
After you have the program installed, run it on your computer, then it should take you to a screen that talks about the debugging for your USB connection. Click “continue” at the very bottom of it.
You’re almost set. Exit out of the Settings and, at the starting screen for the application, click “Activate USB Tether.” After that, you should be good to go!
Method 3: Easy Tether
Easy Tether is exactly what it sounds like—an easy way to tether your Android device with your computer. While not quite as streamlined as PdaNet, it’s still very useful and supports the same methods of connection, USB and Bluetooth.
The developers claim the functionalities of the app were made entirely from scratch, so all of the features will have all been built by hand, per say. Fortunately, it’s another simple process that won’t take up too much of your time.
As always, you have to download the app before you can get anywhere, so this is always the first step.
For simplicity’s sake, we’ll focus on the USB functionality for this program. Start up the app on your phone and check the box that says “USB.”
Next, you have to download the client onto your computer. The official website has a slew of different operating systems to choose from, so make sure you pick the one that fits your computer/device.
Like PdaNet, after you install the client, you must then plug in your phone and run the application. A pop-up will ensue that will ask you to allow the computer. Click “Always allow” and then click OK.
Once you complete this step, you should have your connection set up in a matter of seconds. Quick, easy, and simple. That’s Easy Tether for you.
Method 4: Mobile Hotspot
This is probably the simplest thing you can do if you want to setup a connection from your Android to your computer as soon as possible. It’s not necessarily the most effective option, but it’s probably the fastest out of the four methods listed here.
Go to your Settings, then click the More Networks tab. One of the options in this tab is “Tethering and Mobile Hotspots.” Click on that.
Now, once you have Tethering and Mobile Hotspots enabled, you have two options. You can hit the USB tethering to hook up your device in a similar manner to how I’ve shown above.
Or, you can use the Mobile Hotspot. I’ll show that here since that hasn’t covered yet. So your next step is to click on the hotspot tab.
After you click the tab, you’ll be taken to another screen that details how the Mobile Hotspot works. I encourage you to read the information if you’re not familiar with it. Then, there is also a switch at the top right that reads “OFF.” Just slide it to the right, which is the ON position.
Once you get the hotspot turned on, you should have an active connection going. Now, on your computer, check under Wi-Fi networks. You should see the name of your phone pop up on the list.
Mine says “Samsung Galaxy Avant” because that is the particular phone that I have. Click on that network, and you’re good to go.
Tethering is an easy and handy process that will only take a few minutes of your time to set up. Using your phone as a modem will never quite replace the connection of Wi-Fi. This is because the data network can only run so well, but it’s definitely a viable option if you’re someone who’s on the go.
No matter your Android device, you shouldn’t have too much trouble hopping on your phone’s data connection.
After testing the different apps and methods, I definitely liked Easy Tether the best. It gave me the least amount of grief and was the fastest and most secure way to tether my Android phone.
At second place is PdaNet (USB tether), because it is a surefire way to get your Internet working and works very similarly to Easy Tether.
Third would be my phone’s stock Mobile Hotspot function, which was the quickest way of them all.
Coming in at last would be the PdaNet (Bluetooth tether) due to it giving me the most trouble and taking the most amount of time to set up.
When you decide to tether your phone and use it as a modem, make sure always to have the appropriate clients on your desktop. Once you do that, you’re as good as gold and should be up and running in no time.
What do you think is the best way to tether your Android phone?