Turning your mobile phone into a wireless router is a good way to take advantage of the high-speed Internet connections offered by cellular carriers. By using a host computer to share your phone connection wirelessly, you can turn any area with a phone signal into a Wi-Fi hot spot. All major phone carriers offer high-speed data services, so having an unlimited data plan and a phone capable of tethering are the only major requirements. Turning your cell phone into a wireless router requires the use of an ad hoc wireless network, which requires a single computer to be designated the host.
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Things you need
- Data plan
- USB cable
- Computers with Wi-Fi ability
Connect the phone to the computer. In most cases, your cell phone connects to the host computer via a USB cable. It is also possible to establish a data connection via a Bluetooth personal area network, but Bluetooth data transfer speeds are slower, which can slow down your entire network.
Launch the Internet sharing application. Open the Internet sharing application on your phone. On Windows Mobile phones, the program is located under the Start menu, and on other phones it is listed alongside applications.
Begin the connection. In the Internet sharing application, press the Connect soft button on your phone to use it as an Internet connection. Once your phone screen indicates it is connected to the computer, launch a web browser or messaging application and verify the network connection.
Set up the host computer for Internet sharing. Open the Control Panel, and click on "Network Connections." Next, select your Wireless Network Connection and right click on it. Choose "Properties," the last option in the pop-up window. In the next dialogue box, select the Wireless Networks tab and select "Add" under the Preferred networks section. Provide a name (SSID) for the network, and select a type of data encryption to keep your network secure. At the bottom of the window, select "This is a computer-to-computer (ad hoc) network; wireless access points are not used." This will designate the computer as the host for the ad hoc network. Press OK to save all changes, and close the Control Panel.
Set up client computers. Client computers are computers that connect to the host to use its Internet connection. On each host computer, open the Control Panel and select "View Available Wireless Networks." Select the network name that you created in step 4. You will be asked to input the network password. This procedure can be followed for each computer you want to connect to the ad hoc wireless network.
Verify connectivity. On each client computer, open a web browser and make sure the connection is active.
Tips and warnings
- All major phone carriers impose a five gigabyte per month limit on data transfers. By sharing your phone's data plan as a wireless router, you could use lots of data very quickly. If you exceed the monthly limit, you could be charged an overuse fee for each megabyte of data.