Tethering is the new consumer trend in personal computing; it involves taking advantage of wireless 3G and 4G data connections to access the Internet from other devices such as desktop PCs or laptop computers. For tech-savvy consumers, tethering is a not only a method that can be used to get the most out of mobile technology, but also a smart way to save money on broadband access charges. For Android device users, tethering can be accomplished in just a few straight-forward steps. Read on to find out how tethering translates into savings for you.
How Tethering Translates Into Savings
Tethering Makes Sense
Wireless broadband connections like 3G, 4G and the future Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks are becoming faster and more affordable while personal computing hardware is slimming down. Smartphones, tablets and laptop computers are redefining the hardware landscape. Today’s computer shoppers are far more interested in checking out laptop deals and smartphone prices rather than desktop PCs, and they are more likely to add a wireless data option on their calling plans.
In the past, personal computing was out of reach for many households. Desktop PCs and their peripherals were expensive, and access to the Internet was slow and costly. Personal computing has since undergone a transition from the old, bulky and hardware-intensive setups to affordable and portable Internet-connected devices. Processing power has increased along with broadband access and data transmission rates, and there is a general tendency towards consolidating several devices into one.
Tethering is in the spirit of minimizing hardware and frugality. Users of Android smartphones can not only take advantage of tethering their Internet connection; they can also go a further step and install the Android operating system on their home computers for true cross-platform compatibility and synchronization.
Typical Wireless Broadband Speeds
The rates of wireless data transmission over 3G networks range from 1.5 megabits per second (Mbps) to over 10 Mbps. Such speeds are adequate for the most typical online activities, such as browsing and downloading small files. Watching videos and listening to online radio stations is also suitable over 3G connections, although some activities like online video games and high-quality video streaming are generally recommended to be conducted over wired residential or business broadband networks.
A few wireless carriers are happy to offer their customers unlimited wireless data plans in order to stay competitive. The speeds of 3G networks are comparable to those of ADSL service, while LTE networks are just as fast as cable broadband and fiber-optic networks. The pricing options of these plans tends to be competitive as well, and they are often more reasonable than broadband wired connections at homes.
Different Tethering Methods
When it comes to tethering Android devices, there are a few methods available. One method requires inserting some code into the root directory of the device, and it is only recommended for very advanced users. Most Android devices will have one or more of the following connectivity options ideal for tethering: Bluetooth, WiFi or USB. Bluetooth is the least recommended of the three. There are quite a few mobile applications available in the Android Market, but some major carriers have blocked these apps from their customers.
The best tethering method is accomplished with PdaNet by June Fabrics, a free application that can be downloaded and transferred to an Android device via USB or MicroSD. Once PdaNet is run on Android for the first time it will guide users step-by-step in configuring their Android device into a tethering device. Depending on the hardware configuration, PdaNet may require an additional download on the laptop or desktop computer.
Jeremy Jansen is a technically savvy guy with years of experience in the IT industry.