It is easier than ever to be connected to a network in some aspect.
Smartphones are increasingly becoming like mini computers in their use. There are just as many apps for smartphones as there are for a PC these days.
Even the memory of certain smartphones are comparable to the memory that was being used for PCs from 10-15 years ago.
The possibilities are endless, and this is a very good thing if you are stuck in a place with no Wi-Fi connection to your laptop PC. Nearly every new smartphone on the market can “tether” its data to your PC, enabling you to use your phone’s data on your PC.
There are some things that you need to know about this, and we will explore these things right now.
Tethering takes a lot of power for your phone and PC
When you utilize a Wi-Fi connection, you are using the signal sent from a modem. This uses the power of the modem and maybe a little from the device that it is connected to.
The process of tethering does not require a modem, meaning that the device you are tethering becomes its own modem, using that much more power from all devices involved.
This requires a lot of power, since the devices are now performing “double duty” of sorts during this process. They are running their own apps as well as using data from a source that, unlike a modem, does a lot more than just provide a data connection.
If you intend to tether for a long time, make sure all the devices involved in tethering are completely charged and make sure you know exactly what you plan to do. You will not have as much time as you would have if you were using a Wi-Fi connection.
The bandwidth of your device may be compromised
Let’s say you are not home and need to attend an online conference call, but Wi-Fi is not available in the place you are working at. So you decide to tether your phone to your PC to catch the conference call.
While this is possible, you need to be aware that when you do this, you should not expect the same kind of bandwidth you were experiencing when your PC was connected via Wi-Fi.
Streaming a video, in this example, an online conference call, requires high levels of something called bandwidth. This is what allows information to be sent at high rates. And an online conference call will require a large bandwidth, especially if it is live.
This fact sheet will tell you all you need to know about bandwidth, but for purposes of covering the subject of tethering, we’ll just say that the kind of bandwidth you expect from a Wi-Fi connection will be much different if you are tethering.
Tethering uses your smartphone’s data
While this is obvious, it certainly needs to be brought up. It needs to be brought up because different smartphones contain different data plans. Most smartphone data is measured in gigabytes, which converts to roughly 1000 megabytes.
Because gigabytes and megabytes are the most common measurement of data in your smartphone’s settings, you need to be very aware of these numbers when you decide to teather your smartphone to another device.
This is especially true if the data plan on your smartphone is limited. Going back to the online conference call example, it can be very easy to use an entire gigabyte of data in a matter of minutes.
Streaming video is the one thing that uses the most data and bandwidth no matter what the source of it is. Even browsing social media can use a lot of data as well. Snapchat and Instagram stories, for example, nearly always stream in high quality. This is also something to be aware of.
When should you tether data to your PC?
The answer to this question relies on three things.
First, you need to determine if tethering is necessary. Simply put, it should only be done when there is no other option. Even a very weak Wi-Fi connection is preferable to tethering because at least when you do this, you will not be using data from your smartphone.
Second, you should be very aware of how much data your smartphone can utilize in your mobile plan. While most mobile plans understand the necessity for tethering and offer unlimited data plans, some others do not. Before you tether anything to your PC, check to see if your smartphone has data limits. If it does, plan accordingly.
And finally, you need to also know exactly why you are tethering data to your PC. If you are doing something that does not require a lot of data, like checking emails or preparing a report, you will not need to worry too much. These things do not use a lot of data.
If you need to watch a video or seminar online, however, you might need to make some adjustments compared to what you were doing when your PC was using a Wi-Fi connection.
Do not be afraid to tether data to your PC if you need to. However, you need to understand what happens when you do this, and prepare accordingly.
Emily Jacobs is Happiness Ambassador for SpeedCheck.org
She loves to write latest technology trends and love to share her knowledge through her articles.