USB Tethering or Wi-Fi Hotspotting

While completing and uploading an assignment not too long ago, I used my cellular mobile as a hotspot. I then wondered if there is any difference between USB tethering or a Wi-Fi hotspot. My main concern was the amount of data consumed through either method. My research, however, taught me a lot more. Both approaches have pros and cons which we will take a look at.

USB Tethering Pros

When your cell phone is plugged into your PC or laptop to supply the internet connection, your cell phone remains charged or charging. Even when connecting through a USB 2 port, you will get a faster speed than when connecting via Wi-Fi to your phone on the 2.4ghz spectrum. The only annoyances here, are that this allows a connection for only one person, or rather, device, it also means you have to have a cable and an attachment. This will make your once portable device a little more uncomfortable to move around.

Wi-Fi Hotspot Pros

This is the more convenient way of providing internet to a device, as it is wireless. There is also the added benefit of being able to connect multiple devices. If your phone is only capable of 2.4ghz and the gateway is squeezed, your phone could give you a ping speed of 6mhps. The laptop or tablet will provide you with a 25% lower rate. 2.4ghz spectrum always seems to be congested, no matter how close your cell phone is to the device. There are also a few security steps you should take when using your mobile as a hot spot:

  • Disable your SSID
  • Create a super-strong password
  • Encrypt your wireless connection

Remember your data is floating around out in the open, so there is always a chance someone will try hack into it. When all you want is to connect one device, UBS tethering is best. This is why the batteries on both devices will last longer. The connection will be speedier and when in a public place no one will be able to hack into your data If you are travelling and the accommodation doesn’t have free Wi-Fi. It’s best to purchase a travelling router or dongle. You will not be able to connect your phone to the dongle for wireless internet, or internet at all.

With a portable or travel modem, you can connect multiple devices to it, but if it is your phone you want to join, you’ll have to keep the router close by so it is in range of your cell phone, often meaning carrying it around with you. This is an attractive choice if you want to accommodate your friends and family too.