Which Mobile Phones Support Tethering?

April 4, 2011, By Christian Cawley

While wireless networking seems to becoming more and more integral to our daily lives, there are plenty of places where it is yet to be introduced.

As a result many people rely on tethering – the process of using a mobile device as a modem and connecting it to your PC or laptop.

This delivers obvious benefits, allowing the user to access the Internet from anywhere where they can receive a strong and fast mobile connection.

However it sadly isn’t as simple as this. Thanks to the machinations of various network providers and mobile phone manufacturers, tethering your phone has for many users become a service that must be purchased…

Which mobile phones support tethering

Popular Mobile Platforms That Support Tethering

Not all mobile devices support tethering, even if they can offer access to the Internet. As a rule, however, if you can connect a handset via USB to your PC and mobile Internet is available on the device and your contract, tethering should be possible.

In order to implement control over this particular function, networks and manufacturers utilize a number of different methods for using tethering. This might include downloading special drivers or taking advantage of an already included function, and depending on the platform and the device this can prove to either be difficult or easy.

Beginning our Introduction to Tethering, we kick-off with a summary of the top mobile platforms and the ease with which they can be tethered.

Windows Phone – tethering is tricky here, and depends on your device manufacturer and whether or not the handset has been unlocked. Basically, tethering is currently restricted on Windows Phone.

BlackBerry – the best way to tether a BlackBerry device to your desktop or notebook is via the Tether app, but you can also use the RIM BlackBerry Desktop Manager.

Android – thanks to a variety of apps tethering is easy. You might use one of the free apps such as Tethering (this doesn’t require root access) or PdaNet, although if you intend to access secure sites you will require the full edition of this.

Symbian – various Nokia devices are equipped with tethering capability, and this can be done with either BlueTooth or USB cabled connection.

iPhone – while original release iPhones didn’t feature tethering, later versions have this capability.

Windows Mobile – possibly the first mobile platform to offer tethering (certainly predating the Apple iPhone), tethering is a full feature of this platform, and can be used with USB, Bluetooth and handsets can also be configured as wireless hotspots.

As you can see, all major mobile phone platforms allow tethering to some extent, from the open to all functionality of Windows Mobile, Android and Symbian to the slightly restricted iPhone and BlackBerry. It is hoped that Windows Phone, meanwhile, will eventually allow tethering across all platform devices, as at present it is limited only to Samsung handsets.

Over the coming weeks we’ll be taking a look at the methods used for tethering the various platforms and taking full advantage of the mobile Internet for your laptop or desktop computer.

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