I’m taking it a bit easy today after the exertions of the weekend – after all, I’m not as young as I used to be 😉 Actually, that’s only partially true. Simon the builder was supposed to have dropped in first thing this morning to talk about my planned building work, but he didn’t show up and couldn’t phone because he only has my old, now disconnected, mobile number. So while I was hanging around waiting, I thought that I’d make myself a bit more familiar with a process that’s of great interest to me at the moment for reasons that I’ll go on to explain.
The process, as the title of this post suggests, is called Tethering and it’s another one of the interesting and useful things that you can do with smartphones. I’m only now beginning to realise how much I’ve been missing by putting off getting one for so long, but now I have one, I’m determined to make the most of it. In simple terms, Tethering is a way of converting your mobile phone into a portable wi-fi hotspot, but before you go all glazy-eyed, if you don’t know what that means, stick with it and read on.
Smartphones are great for making and receiving calls, for listening to music while on the move, in fact doing almost everything that you don’t need a lot of screen detail for. But if you do need to perform a function that needs you to work on the screen, eg a spreadsheet, a word processor document, things like that, they’re not ideal purely on account of the size of their screen and the limited space that it offers to work with. Your tablet or PC would be much better for jobs like that. But what if you’re not at home so you can’t use your PC, or out and about with your tablet or laptop and need to write and send an email and maybe attach a word processor document to it at the same time? Well, if you have your smartphone with you and it has a data connection you can do it just as easily as if you were at home connected to your home wi-fi. You do it by making a wireless connection between your tablet or laptop to your mobile phone and the process is called Tethering.
For those who are unfamiliar with the process, like I was, the steps that you have to go through are relatively quite simple and I’ll go through them one at a time. Make sure that you are not in aircraft mode otherwise you won’t have a signal and the process won’t work.
Step 1 – Enter ‘Settings’ by tapping on the settings icon
Step 2 – Under ‘Wireless & Networks’, tap on the ‘More’ space
Step 3 – Tap on ‘Tethering & Portable Hotspot’
Step 4 – Move the ‘Wi-Fi Hotspot’ slider across to the right to switch the service on
Step 5 – Having done that, tap on the ‘Wi-Fi Hotspot’ space (in the following pic, mine is active, but yours won’t be)
Step 6 – Tap on ‘Set up Wi-Fi Hotspot’
Step 7 – Give your wireless network a name that you recognise and a password that is secure but easy enough to remember
That’s it! return to the home screen and as well as being able to make and receive calls, your smartphone will now also connect to any device, such as your tablet, laptop and even your home PC that has a wireless facility in the usual way ie by going into the networks area, finding and clicking/tapping on your new network name and typing in the password that you selected. What a great facility and what amazing freedom it offers.
But just one word of warning. Leaving the hotspot switched on the whole time will contribute to draining your phone’s battery so it’s a good idea when you’ve finished what you’re doing to go back into the setup process on your phone and return the ‘Wi-Fi Hotspot’ slider back to the left again. Me? I’m still thinking of all of the applications that I’ll be able to use this for 🙂