Android User Guide
The "Tether It" app for Android based smart phones implements all possible tethering options, without requiring a tethering plan from your carrier, or rooting your phone. You use this app to share your smart phone's Internet connection with your computer, tablet or other devices. Only one click is required to turn WiFi, Bluetooth or USB tethering on or off. The amount of mobile data used during the current tethering session is readily available.
Following are details of the various tethering options supported by this app:
WiFi tethering turns your smart phone into a WiFi hotspot and allows multiple clients (PCs, tablets, etc.) to share the phone's Internet connection. This option supports WPA/WPA2 based security to prevent unauthorized users from connecting to your hotspot (e.g. at an airport or other public places). This is the fastest and easiest way to tether, however, it may not work on all smart phones due to blocking implemented by some carriers. Also, battery usage increases when this tethering option is turned on since both mobile data and WiFi are enabled at the same time.
Bluetooth tethering can be used to share you smart phone's Internet connection with one client (PC or tablet) over Bluetooth. If tethering for a PC, the PC will require either a builtin Bluetooth adapter or an external Bluetooth dongle. Most tablets have builtin Bluetooth support, however, the tablet must be running Android 4.0 or higher. Bluetooth tethering provides data rates that are generally lower than those achievable using WiFi or USB tethering, but the battery usage is lower. This option should work regardless of smart phone manufacturer or the carrier being used.
No extra drivers ("Tether It" app specific) are required for this option to work properly.
USB tethering can be used to share you smart phone's Internet connection with one client using a USB cable. This option requires the installation of a network driver and application on the PC side. This driver/application is currently available for PCs running Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8. Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the driver/application are available from SNRB Labs. USB tethering provides data rates that are generally faster than those achievable using Bluetooth tethering but may be lower than what is possible over WiFi. USB interfaces are available on all modern PCs/laptops, and as a bonus, while the phone is providing Internet connectivity to the PC, the PC is charging the phone over the USB connection! This option should also work regardless of smart phone manufacturer or the carrier being used.
Tablet side software (BT tethering only)
If you want to tether your tablet to your smart phone, you have two choices: WiFi tethering or Bluetooth tethering. With WiFi tethering, no separate app needs to be installed on your tablet. However, if you want to use Bluetooth tethering, you will need to run this ("Tether It") app on both your smart phone and your tablet. For Bluetooth tethering to work, your tablet must be running Android 4.0 or higher. The "Tether It" app needs to be configured differently on your smart phone and tablet, as described below in the Configuration section.
PC side software (USB tethering a PC)
For USB tethering, the following drivers/applications are available from the "Drivers" section of the "Tether It" web site:
32-bit driver/application for Windows XP/Vista/7/8
64-bit driver/application for Windows XP/Vista/7/8
Drivers for other operating systems are under development. Please email SNRB Labs email@example.com for more details.
On the main screen of the app, with one click you can select WiFi, Bluetooth or USB tethering.
For simplicity, by default, WiFi tethering is configured with no security. It is recommended that you click on "Setup WiFi hotspot" and select WPA or WPA2 PSK security, and set an SSID and Password of your liking. No special configuration is required for Bluetooth or USB tethering.
Please note that while one form of tethering is active (corresponding checkbox is checked), the other two forms cannot be activated. Also, WiFi hotspot settings can be changed only when WiFi tethering is inactive.
When the app is installed for the first time, it will come up in Server (Phone) mode. This mode is good for a majority of the cases. However, if you want to set up Bluetooth tethering for a tablet, when you run the "Tether It" app on the tablet, the mode needs to be changed to Client (Tablet) mode (on the tablet only). To do so, click on the "Client (Tablet) Mode" menu item. If need be, from client mode, you can go back to server mode by simply clicking on the "Server (Phone) Mode" menu item.
- On your smart phone, run the "Tether It" app.
- If desired, click on "Setup WiFi hotspot" to configure the SSID, Security type and Password. As a default, security is not enabled and the SSID is set to "AndroidAP."
- Select the "WiFi hotspot" option. The WiFi hotspot in the smart phone should be set up within a few seconds.
- If you view the "Wireless Network Connections" on your PC, tablet or other device, this new hotspot should be visible. Simply connect to it and start surfing the Internet!
- Once the WiFi connection comes up from your PC to the smart phone, the PC may display a "Set Network Location" dialog box for you to choose the network type for this new connection (e.g. Home, Work, etc.). This dialog box should come up only the first time you tether to your smart phone. Make a selection and start surfing the Internet.
- To stop tethering, on the PC side, go back to the "Wireless Network Connections" screen and click on the " Disconnect" button corresponding to the hotspot provided by your smart phone. On the smart phone side, unselect the WiFi hotspot option on the main screen of the "Tether It" app.
Bluetooth Tethering - PC
- On your smart, phone, run the "Tether It" app and select the Bluetooth tethering option. After a few seconds, you will get a dialog box asking your permission to make your phone visible to other Bluetooth devices for 120 seconds. Please allow this so that the PC can discover the phone.
- It is assumed that appropriate drivers are already installed on the PC for the Bluetooth adapter or dongle that is on the PC side. If not, please follow the instructions provided by your PC and/or Bluetooth dongle manufacturer. The rest of the instructions in this section assume that you are running Windows 7 on your PC. (Instructions for other operating systems will be similar, but may not be identical.)
- On your PC, go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Devices and Printers and click on "Add a device."
- In the resulting window, you should see your smart phone listed as one of the devices that can be added. Click on it to select it and then click on "Next." (If you get to this step more than 120 seconds after starting Bluetooth tethering on your smart phone, then you will not see your smart, phone in the list. In that case, select the Bluetooth tethering option again on the main screen of the "Tether It" app and allow the phone to be visible to other Bluetooth devices for the next 120 seconds.)
- You will see a "Bluetooth pairing request" dialog box on your smart phone with a Bluetooth pairing code (or passkey). Click on "Pair" to allow pairing with your PC.
- You will also see a dialog box on the PC showing the same Bluetooth pairing code. Select the "Yes" radio button and then click on "Next."
- Your PC will find the appropriate device drivers and install them. This may take several minutes. After the drivers have been installed, you can click on the "Close" button in the "Add a device" window to close that window.
- The above steps are needed one time only. Once completed, your PC is ready to connect to your smart phone over Bluetooth to access the Internet. The next few steps are needed every time you want to tether your PC to your smart phone.
- Run the "Tether It" app on your smart phone and select the Bluetooth tethering option. You don't need to make your phone visible to other Bluetooth devices anymore.
- On your PC, go to Control Panel Hardware and Sound >> Devices and Printers, and double click on the icon corresponding to your smart phone.
- In the resulting dialog box, you will see an option to connect to the Internet using your phone. Click on the "Connect" button for this item to start accessing the Internet over your smart >> phone's data connection!
- Once the network connection comes up, the PC may display a "Set Network Location" dialog box for you to choose the network type for this new connection (e.g. Home, Work, etc.). This dialog box should come up only the first time you tether to your smart phone. Make a selection and start surfing the Internet.
- To stop tethering, on the PC side, click on the "Disconnect" button. On the smart >> phone side, unselect the Bluetooth tethering option on the main screen of the "Tether It" app.
- Important note: On some smart phones, after a fresh install (or after pairing), Bluetooth tethering does not work until the phone is rebooted. Please reboot your phone if Bluetooth tethering does not work for you even after following all of the above instructions.
Bluetooth Tethering - Tablet
- On your smart-phone, run the "Tether It" app in Server (Phone) mode (which is the default).
- Select the Bluetooth tethering option. After a few seconds, you will get a dialog box asking your permission to make your phone visible to other Bluetooth devices for 120 seconds. Please allow this so that the tablet can discover the phone.
- On your tablet, run the "Tether It" app in Client (Tablet) mode. Then, follow these steps and the on-screen instructions:
- Click on "Pair/Configure Connection to Phone" button.
- You will see a list of Bluetooth devices on the tablet screen. If your phone (that will be providing the tethering service) is not in this list, click on "Scan for devices" so that the list can be refreshed.
- When your phone appears in this list (or if it was already there, and a re-scan was unnecessary), click on it to select it and pair with it. (The Pair/Configure steps need to be done the first time only.)
- You will see a "Bluetooth pairing request" dialog box on your smart-phone with a Bluetooth pairing code (or passkey). Click on "Pair" to allow pairing with your tablet.
- You will see a similar dialog box on your tablet with the same Bluetooth pairing code. Click on "Pair" to pair with your phone.
- On the next screen, click on the "Connect to Phone" button to start the tethering operation.
- Click on the "Disconnect from Phone" button to stop tethering.
- If you ever want to associate your tablet with some other phone (for tethering purpose), you can use the "Pair/Configure Again" menu item to break the current association and then follow the above steps again.
On some devices, after a fresh install (or after pairing), Bluetooth tethering does not work until the phone/tablet is rebooted. Please reboot your device if Bluetooth tethering does not work for you even after following all of the above instructions.
Some apps check to see if either mobile data or WiFi network is up. Such apps will not recognize the Bluetooth based network as a valid network, and will not work.
- If you haven't already done so, get the appropriate driver/application installation file for your PC operating system type: 32-bit version or 64-bit version. Execute this ".msi" file by double-clicking on it. This will install a network driver and a small Windows application (called "Tether It-PC") on your PC. This needs to be done one time only.
- The "Tether It-PC" application is written using Microsoft's .NET framework 3.5. Windows 7 uses this version of .NET framework. On other versions of Windows (XP, Vista or Windows 8), if .NET 3.5 framework is not already installed, the Windows operating system will detect this, and guide you to download/install it.
- To tether your PC to your smart-phone for Internet access, connect the PC to the smart-phone using a USB cable.
- Run the "Tether It" app on your smart-phone and select the USB tethering option.
- Start the "Tether It-PC" application on your PC. You can get to "Tether It-PC" by clicking on Start - All Programs. For convenience, you can create short-cuts to this application on your desktop or taskbar.
- To start tethering, click on the "Start Tethering" button.
- To stop tethering, click on the "Stop Tethering" button. Click on the "Exit" button to terminate the "Tether It-PC" application. On the smart-phone side, unselect the USB tethering option on the main screen of the "Tether It" app.
Mobile Data Usage
You can monitor the amount of mobile data used while a tethering session is up by going to the notification drawer and viewing the notification area of the "Tether It" app.
Free vs. Premium version of the app
The free version of the "Tether It" app is provided so you can evaluate the app and make sure it works well for you before buying it. The free and the premium versions have the exact same feature set except for one difference: each time a tethering session is started using the free version of the app, it has a 15 minute usage limit. After 15 minutes, the tethering session will automatically drop. (You will be able to activate tethering again, however, each session will have a 15 minute time limit.)
If you are using Bluetooth tethering between your smart-phone and tablet, you can run the free version of the app on your tablet. The 15 minute time limit is not enforced when "Tether It" is running in the Client (Tablet) mode.
Your feedback is always welcome! Please contact SNRB Labs at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions, reporting bugs, feature requests, etc.
Please visit http://www.snrblabs.com/TetherIt for more details.