Tethering is a process in which your smartphone's Internet connection provides your laptop or home computer with Internet access. While tethered, your computer will use your smartphone's data plan. This is a convenient way for mobile professionals to stay connected without having to pay for access to paid Wi-Fi spots. It also eliminates the need for users to pay extra for a mobile broadband card. Several smartphone models can tether your laptop to the Internet.
Purchase an iPhone. The iPhone device has built-in support for laptop tethering via USB or Bluetooth. If required by your carrier, you may need to sign up for an optional tethering service. Once you've done that, either plug your iPhone into your laptop or pair it over Bluetooth, then navigate to the Network menu in the settings and turn on tethering.
Use a BlackBerry. Research In Motion's BlackBerry smartphone is capable of tethering when the Tether application is installed (see Resources). Simply connect your BlackBerry via USB and start the Tether companion application on your laptop as well as your BlackBerry. This will connect you to the Internet using your BlackBerry's data plan.
Buy a Palm Pre. When the My Tether application is installed on the Pre, you can tether your laptop using USB, Bluetooth, or by creating a mobile hot-spot that you can connect to via Wi-Fi. Connect your Pre to your laptop and start My Tether to gain instant access to the mobile Web.
Things you need
- iPhone, BlackBerry or Palm Pre with data plan