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How to link your Android phone to a computer

Man in garden with laptop tied up

In a normal world where we can work freely outside the home, a reliable internet connection is a necessity. The ability to open a hotspot and work on the go is unmatched. It used to be complicated cables and special apps, but those days are behind us. Now you only need a phone, computer and a charging cable. Here are a few easy ways to link your Android phone to your Windows computer.

Also see: The best mobile hotspot plans at the moment

You obviously need access to data for this to work. Whether that is a wired connection or setting up a hotspot, chances are that you already have enough data. Now we’ll walk you through three of the most common ways to pair your phone and computer. Ready to connect? Let’s go.

Tethering via USB

Tether your computer with USB

Credit: Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

The fastest way to connect your computer to the Internet is with a USB cable. It’s also the only method that requires additional hardware, but it’s only your phone’s charging cable. Just connect your phone to your computer to get started.

  1. Once connected, navigate to it Hotspot and tethering menu in the Android system popup. Switch the USB tethering option to On.
  2. Now your computer should recognize the new connection source. Once it is available, simply select the network as you would any other connection.

Tethering via WiFi

Tether your computer via Wi-Fi

All Android devices have a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, which is probably the easiest way to share your internet access. Unfortunately, some carriers block this feature if you don’t pay for a hotspot subscription. However, you can always root your device or upgrade to a more expensive plan as a temporary solution. Here are the steps you need to take to activate your Wi-Fi tether:

  1. Go to the same Network & Internet section of your Settings app.
  2. Find and open it Hotspot and tethering menu.
  3. You should now see four options: Wi-Fi hotspot, USB tethering, Bluetooth tethering, and Ethernet tethering. Select your Wifi hotspot and switch it to On.
  4. You can also change the name and password of your hotspot to keep your data secure. Just make sure your security is set to WPA2 PSK for the best protection.
  5. Now you can connect your laptop, tablet or any other device to the hotspot just like you would with any other Wi-Fi network. Don’t forget to switch your hotspot back to from when you are ready to save your data.

Also see: How to set up a mobile hotspot on Android

Tethering with Bluetooth

Attach laptop via Bluetooth

One last way to pair your computer with your Android device is via Bluetooth. Of course you have to take the extra step of pairing the two, but we are constantly connecting new Bluetooth devices. The steps aren’t much more difficult, so here’s what you need to know:

  1. Open the settings menu on your Windows 10 laptop and go to the Bluetooth settings. Make sure your computer is set to Discoverable.
  2. On your phone, go to the Bluetooth settings and see if your computer appears. This is where it can help to have a unique name for your computer just in case.
  3. Now select the prompt to pair on both devices.
  4. Once your phone is paired with your laptop, go to the settings and find it Network and internet section. Open the Hotspot and tethering options and switching Bluetooth tethering to On.
  5. Once again on your computer, right-click the Bluetooth icon and select Join a Personal Area Network. This should open a new menu.
  6. Open the Connect to drop-down menu and select Access point. You should now be connected to the Internet.

That’s all it takes! You should be able to jump through the hoops in minutes on any of these three methods of getting yourself on the web.

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