Wireless Internet Sharing with Android

August 26, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Getting online can be tricky at times. For instance, you might have a limited Internet connection at home, or you might have a Wi-Fi only tablet but be using it in a Wi-Fi free zone.

Alternatively, you might be looking for a way to bypass an official Internet connection and view a website that is restricted by the organization’s policy.

Whatever the problem, tethering is your answer – assuming you have a mobile phone with its own mobile Internet connection. Android offers two methods of tethering, wired and wireless.

Wireless Internet Sharing with Android

In this tutorial we’re going to look at wireless tethering, the effective creation of a mobile wireless hotspot which will allow you to connect a PC, netbook or Wi-Fi tablet to the Internet via your Android 2.3 phone, all thanks to a single app!

Choosing a Wireless Tether App

There are many apps available in the Android Market that will turn your phone into a mobile hotspot. Some require your device to be rooted, others don’t; some are free, while others are not.

Whichever you choose, you will of course need to check that the app is compatible with your version of Android. Some are more suitable for particular devices than for others, so you will need to make sure that your chosen app is going to work on your phone. This is best done by reading the user reviews to gain an impression of how good the app is.

One particularly good wireless hotspot app for Android is Wireless Tether, available from http://android-wifi-tether.googlecode.com. This can be downloaded through the Android Market or Google Code via the QR code listed on the web page.

Using Wireless Tether for Android

Once installed, using Wireless Tether is a case of checking you have your mobile Internet enabled (Settings > Wireless & networks > Mobile networks > Data enabled in Android 2.3 Gingerbread) and tapping the large green symbol in the middle of the app.

When you activate your wireless hotspot, you will be asked to confirm that you wish to run the app with root access to your phone, and a few moments later it will be running, waiting for other devices to connect!

A quick scan for wireless networks on your computer or tablet will reveal a new network, called “AndroidTether” by default. Simply tap on this to connect – there is no passkey unless you configure one – and moments later you will be browsing the web!

Keeping Your Wireless Hotspot Secure

There are various options you can configure in Wireless Tether to prevent your mobile Internet connection from being hijacked.

For instance, via the Menu > Settings option, you can configure an alternative SSID to the default “AndroidTether”. Meanwhile using the Hide SSID option you can keep the network hidden.

Change Passphrase can be used, meanwhile, to force all users to input a password, while Enable Wi-Fi Encryption is also a useful option for securing your connection.

Remember, however, that the more you use this app and activate more features, the greater the hit on your battery…

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