USB vs Wireless vs Bluetooth: Which is the Best for Tethering?

By Gary Cox

mobile tetheringUsing your smartphone to tether another device like a laptop to the Internet can come in handy when you need to accomplish a task that can’t be done on your phone (which is becoming increasingly rare these days). Most smartphones present the user with three ways to tether their Internet signal. What are they and which is the best?

Connecting with a Wi-Fi Mobile Hotspot

Using your smartphone as a mobile hotspot to broadcast a Wi-Fi signal is the easiest way to connect your Wi-Fi enabled device to the Internet. Additionally, depending on your phone’s reception, today’s smartphone’s are capable of producing signals that are on par strength-wise with a wireless router. In fact, many smartphones are capable of connecting as many as five devices to the Internet from their mobile hotspot.

Security is one disadvantage of using your phone to create a mobile hotspot. Your phone’s Wi-Fi signal will be vulnerable to any hacker within range. Be sure to take the same Wi-Fi security measures that you do with your office’s wireless routers. Also, using your phone as a mobile hotspot can quickly drain your battery, so plan your battery usage accordingly and have a charger handy.

Tethering with a USB Cable

tetherBattery life isn’t an issue when going with USB. Your phone will receive a charge via your device, so you will only have to worry about the battery of one device instead of two. Additionally, the Internet signal is pushed only through your USB cable, making it a more secure option than a mobile hotspot. Plus, in most cases a wired connection yields a faster signal.

Having to carry an extra cable around can be a bit of an inconvenience, and so is having to keep your smartphone within arm’s reach. Tethering with USB may also require special software and configurations for each device, so there might be a few more hoops to jump through than using a mobile hotspot, but if you’ve got a cable handy and you’re planning to work while sitting in one spot, then it’s probably worth it.

Make a Mobile Internet Connection with Bluetooth

bluetoothSimilar to Wi-Fi, you can use your phone’s Bluetooth signal to wirelessly broadcast an Internet signal for your device. Thanks to Bluetooth being specifically designed for mobile needs, it uses less battery power, as well as offers better security thanks to Bluetooth not being as common as Wi-Fi.

The disadvantage to Bluetooth is that it’s not as easy to configure as Wi-Fi. It’s a little more involved to set up than Wi-Fi, and a little more involved every time you want to use Bluetooth tethering. If power consumption is a concern, Bluetooth is probably the way to go, if you’re willing to configure it.

So which tethering option is the best? It really depends on your needs. Do you need help with tethering your mobile devices, or want to securely equip your office with mobile technology like cloud computing?

Call us on 072-898-0362 to answer your questions or to provide Computer and IT Support, we would be happy to hear from you. We at GCComp have the experience and technical knowledge to help your business with your technology issues “We know technology so you don’t have to”. 


Published by Coxy

A confident and talented IT technician with extensive practical experience of working with computers and resolving any support issues that are raised to him. Possessing a proven ability to administer and control the operation, configuration and maintenance of computer based information systems, as well as having an eye for detail and able to multi-task under pressure.

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