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How to use cellphone as a modem

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Martí Micolau
@martímicolau
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Preliminary information

Although, as I already mentioned to you in the introductory lines of this tutorial, use your mobile phone as a modem it is a very simple operation, you must always pay attention to the costs foreseen by your tariff plan.

In general, both the voice and Internet offers for smartphones and the Internet-only ones also include tethering, in the sense that you pay the same money that you would pay browsing from your smartphone, without surcharges, but this is not always the case.



Some operators, in fact, may apply surcharges to the connection when the network is shared with other devices. In light of this, before proceeding, collect the necessary information about the data plan active on your mobile phone and make sure there are or are not additional costs for sharing the connection.

How to use your mobile phone as a modem for your PC

Having made the necessary clarifications above, the time has come to get to the heart of this guide and to explain to you, in practice, how to use your mobile phone as a modem for your PC. Don't worry, it's all very simple!

Android

To activate tethering on Android, you must first go to the Settings of the operating system, by tapping on thegear placed on the Home screen or in the application drawer.

In Seguito, fai tap sulla voce Rete and Internet and, to verify that the cellular data connection is active, touch the item Mobile network and make sure that the lever corresponds to the wording Data connection is set to ON, otherwise you do it.

Now, go back to the menu Rete and Internet, reach the section Hotspot and tethering and, if you are interested in sharing the mobile phone connection wirelessly, tap on the item Wi-Fi Hotspot. Then, using the options located in the next panel, indicate the hotspot name (i.e. that of the Wi-Fi network that will be generated by the phone), the Password to be used to access it and, if you deem it appropriate, tap on the item Advanced to allow or prevent the hotspot from automatically deactivating in the absence of connected devices and to define the band connection (2.4 GHz or 5 GHz).



Once you've made any changes you think are necessary, move up ON the lever at the top of the screen, in order to share the mobile phone connection via Wi-Fi. Once this is done, all you have to do is go to the computer and connect to the wireless network generated by the phone, using the password specified above.

To use the smartphone as a modem via cableinstead, connect the latter to the computer using a USB cable and activate the lever relative to USB tethering to ensure that the phone is recognized as a modem, thus enabling navigation from the PC via the cellular network.

Finally, if you want to share the connection via Bluetooth, activate the lever relative to Bluetooth tethering, enable Bluetooth also on the computer and carry out the pairing procedure between the devices with the classic methods provided by the operating system on the computer: if you do not know how to do it, take a look at my guide on how to connect Bluetooth, in the which I have dealt with in great detail.

Does your carrier block tethering or apply surcharges to it? In this case you can solve the problem with ClockworkMod Tether: an application for Android (associated with a small program to be installed on the PC) that allows you to bypass the tethering restrictions in a very simple way. Let's see how it works right away.

  • Install ClockworkMod Tether from the Google Play Store or an alternative store (such as the ones mentioned in this post). It's free and doesn't require root.
  • Download the ClockworkMod Tether client on your PC, using this link for Windows or this one for macOS.
  • Install the ClockworkMod Tether client on your computer. On Windows just start the file TetherWindowsSetup.msi and click on first Next three consecutive times and then on Yes, Install e Close; on macOS, on the other hand, you have to move the downloaded package to the folder Applications computer, right-click on its icon and click apri twice in a row, in order to overcome Apple's restrictions on non-certified developers.
  • If you are on Windows and do not already have USB drivers for your smartphone, install the universal ones: to do this, go to this website, click on the link Unversal ADB Drivers and, once the package has been downloaded, start it and complete the installation by clicking on the button Next three consecutive times, then on Yes e Close. This step is not necessary on macOS.
  • Connect your smartphone to your computer via USB cable, go to the menu Settings> System> About phone of Android and tap for seven consecutive times on the item Build number to activate developer mode. Afterwards, go back to the menu System, reach the sections Advanced e Developer options and activate the lever for the voice Debug USB. If necessary, reply affirmatively to the next warning. More info here.
  • Start ClockworkMod Tether on Android and press the icon ofUSB located in the center of the screen.
  • Start the ClockworkMod Tether client on the PC and click on the button Home.

Within a few seconds, the USB icon in ClockworkMod Tether should turn green and you should be able to browse the Internet from your computer using the mobile phone connection.



The connection works only via USB and is not free forever: after the first ones 13 days of use comes into effect a traffic limit of 20 MB / day. To remove the limit you need to purchase the full version of ClockworkMod Tether, which costs 3,99 euros.

If you have unlocked your smartphone via the root procedure, you can also unlock tethering via SWAT Tether Unlocker, a free application that also supports tethering via Wi-Fi and does not require software installation on the PC.


iPhone

If you want to share the connection of yours iPhone with your computer, no matter which mode you want (Wi-Fi, wired or Bluetooth), you must first check that the data connection is active. To do this, go to Settings of iOS, by tapping the d-shaped icongear located on the Home screen, tap on the item Mobile phone and make sure the switch matches the wording Cellular data sia impostat his ON, otherwise you do it.

Next, tap on the item Personal hotspot and enable the named switch Allow others to log in: from now on, the hotspot function of the "iPhone by" is enabled and you can connect to the Internet from your computer via the Wi-Fi connection created by the phone, via USB or Bluetooth.


To change the password of the wireless network (which usually has the same name as the iPhone, e.g. iPhone in ), tap on the item Wi-Fi Password and, when done, press the button end placed at the top.

Note: If you intend to share the connection with a Mac, you do not need to manually activate Personal Hotspot. In fact, it is sufficient to bring the phone close to the computer to make it appear in the list of available connections. This only works if you are using a Mac released from 2012 onwards, with macOS 10.10 Yosemite or later installed and an iPhone with iOS 8.1 or later.

How to use your mobile phone as a modem for your tablet

You found the content of this guide interesting but, in reality, you were wondering how to use your mobile phone as a modem for your tablet? In that case, all you have to do is activate theWi-Fi hotspots on the Android smartphone or iPhone, following the same steps seen above, and then connect, through the tablet, to the wireless network generated by the phone.

Also, if you own a iPhone and are you going to use the related data connection fromiPad, all you have to do is bring the two devices closer and connect to the Wi-Fi network generated by the "iPhone by", without having to manually activate the wireless hotspot (always provided you are using iOS 8.1 or later). Easy, right?

How to use cellphone as a modem

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