A co-worker recently asked me how he could use his Android device to connect his laptop to the Internet. I’ve been tethering my laptop to my Android device since I got my Hero a few years ago. As a matter of fact I use to tether my laptop to my Treo 755p. I kind of assumed that everyone knew how to do this. Since he asked I figured I’ll post the two ways I know to get this done here.
Tether Your Laptop to Your Android
Solution one: Android Wifi Tether
This might be the more elegant solution, but it is a bit difficult to pull off. Wifi Tether turns your Android into a Wifi access point, without the monthly carrier charges. Once you have it working you merely need to have your laptop scan for your Android access point, connect and you are on the Internet.
The caveat is that Wifi Tether requires your Android to be rooted. If you are not familiar with that term, it means that you have the ability to execute Apps on your Android as the Superuser, or root in UNIX/Linux speak. If you already have your Android rooted, you probably already know about and use Wifi Tether. Personally, my Hero was rooted and I happily used Wifi Tether. When I got my Evo Shift, I had it rooted in the first couple of weeks and was happy. Later however, my Shift got really sluggish. Once I rebooted it I was not able to root it since. So, no root, no Wifi Tether. So, I tried the next solution.
Solution two: Easy Tether
This solution does not seem as elegant but it works well. As it’s name implies it is ‘easy’. No root required. You download the App from the Market. Install the drivers on your PC, Mac, or Linux box and you are good to go.
Besides root access, the other big difference between Wifi Tether and Easy Tether is that Easy Tether requires your Android to be physically tethered to your laptop via a USB cable. The other difference is that Wifi Tether is free whereas Easy Tether cost $20.
Unlike most Android Apps, Easy Tether provides a free version that lets you try it before you buy. It is called Easy Tether Lite. This way you can make sure it works with you set-up and carrier before spend your money. Once you verify that it works you buy the licence from Mobile Stream and apply it to the Lite version you already have installed.
So, that is it in a nutshell. With either of these solutions, you get to use your laptop via your Android’s mobile data connection and avoid monthly carrier tethering fees. Wifi Tether being totally free and Easy Tether costing $10. The $10 cost for Easy Tether is well worth it. You get more than that in savings with the first month of use.
Let me know if you have any other solutions you like for Tethering your laptop to your Android.