The Nexus 7 from Google has only been out for a few weeks, but it seems like Google’s tablet is already a huge success, with reports some retailers are selling out, which isn’t really a surprise when it costs just £159.
Equipped with a Tegra 3 quad-core processor, NFC chip and 7-inch IPS screen, the Nexus 7 from Google is packed with features. One thing missing however is 3G connectivity – the only way to get online is via a WiFi hotspot, unless you tether.
What is tethering?
If you have a 3G smartphone with Wi-Fi capability, chances are you can tether (if your contract allows). Tethering enables a user to use their smartphone to connect to the internet over 3G and then share that connection with other local devices over Wi-Fi such as the Nexus 7 by Google, or the WiFi iPad or a laptop.
An alternative way to tether is via a MiFi device, find out more underneath.
How do I tether on my smartphone?
The process of enabling tethering mode on your smartphone over Wi-Fi varies depending on the type of handset you use.
Android – Users can enable tethering mode, also known as a ‘Wi-Fi hotspot’ using one of two methods. Either head to ‘Settings’ in your applications drawer and select the ‘Tethering and portable hotspot’ option. Once in the new menu, tick ‘Portable Wi-Fi hotspot’ and if you wish to configure security options like a passcode or key, you can do so here too.
BlackBerry OS – Choose ‘Manage Connections’ once in the new menu, tick ‘Mobile Hotspot’ and if you wish to configure security options like a passcode or key, you can do so here too.
iOS – Head to ‘Settings’ application and simply select ‘Personal hotspot’. Once in the new menu, toggle ‘Personal hotspot’ on and if you wish to configure security options like a passcode or key, you can do so here too in the ‘Wi-Fi password’ option.
Windows Phone – Swipe to the left from your device’s homescreen and scroll down to ‘Settings’. From here enable tethering mode by scrolling down to ‘Internet Sharing’ and toggle ‘Internet Sharing’ and if you wish to configure security options like a passcode or key, you can do so here too.
Once your hotspot is enabled, it’s a case of searching for it from the device you wish to connect with and connect as you would with any Wi-Fi network. In the Nexus 7 from Google go to Settings toggle ‘WiFi’ on and tap ‘WiFi’ and find your mobile phone’s hotspot, entering any password you may have set up.
How much data does tethering use?
Using data on your mobile phone, whether locally or via tethering allows for all manner of internet-connected services to run. As such, your data use can vary depending on the actions and programs you use. Typically tethering to a laptop or computer will use more data than a tablet as the applications are designed for a typical Wi-Fi or home network with high-speed internet.
Tethering gives you full access to downloading, reading and responding to emails, browsing the web, accessing Facebook, watching videos on YouTube and all manner of other typical web actions.
In the case of YouTube, we used 15MB of data when watching a 2:30 minute video at 480p resolution using a laptop, tethering from a Samsung Galaxy Nexus on T-Mobile.
The action you’re carrying out can vary the usage dramatically, but we recommend that you avoid using tethering for online gaming or streaming movies, especially if you don’t have an unlimited tethering data allowance.
Is tethering included in my contract?
The terms of your contract will likely have independent rulings on using your device to tether over using it for standard mobile data services like web browsing and downloading emails. If entering into a new contract with the intention of using your phone to tether, it’s important you check the terms of data usage before you agree to anything. If you’re in doubt call your network operator to find out, we’ve listed all the network contact numbers here.
T-Mobile’s Full Monty plan, designed to offer customers access to unlimited texts, minutes, data and by association tethering on their smartphone. That’s been the case since the plan launched back in February, but now it would seem that ‘unlimited’ is a little more restrictive, with regards to mobile data.
What is MiFi?
An alternative way to get online is to use a MiFi hotspot. A MiFi is a small, portable WiFi hotspot with a 3G SIM card. Check out the video to find out more.