tethering, or phone as modem (pam), is the process of sharing a mobile device’s internet connection with another device, for example, a cell phone or a computer. bluetooth tethering is one of the ways to share the wireless connection of an android device with another device via bluetooth. Let’s say you’re using mobile data and someone wants to use your data too, but you don’t want to reveal the password. what would you do in that case? the answer is bluetooth tethering, which is available in android version 2.2 and above.
the phone that has data or is connected to wi-fi is called phone 1 (xt1068) and the phone that needs to access phone 1’s data via bluetooth is called phone 2 (ls-5502).
Reading: How to connect wifi with bluetooth
bluetooth tethering on phone
The steps to pin bluetooth on the phone are as follows:
1. turn on bluetooth on both phones. open bluetooth settings and keep both devices as discoverable. you can do it via settings->bluetooth->turn on. keep this screen open (fig. 1).
2. Pair the two devices. When Phone 1 is discovered by Phone 2, and vice-versa, a Bluetooth pairing code will ask for confirmation on both devices. Tap on Pair (Fig. 2).
3. Turn on Bluetooth tethering in Phone 1 from Settings->More->Tethering & Mobile Hotspot->Turn on Bluetooth tethering (Fig. 3).
4. Open Bluetooth settings (mentioned in Step 1) on both phones and keep them Discoverable. Tap on Phone 2 name in Phone 1 to allow it to use data via Bluetooth tethering (Fig. 4).
5. Since Phone 2 is connected to Phone 1 via Bluetooth tethering, it can now access Internet.
this was tested on moto g (2nd gen) with android 6.0 as phone 1 and lyf wind 3 with android 5.1.1 as phone 2, at author’s end. for testing at efy labs redmi 4 was used as phone 1 and htc u11 as phone 2.
Bluetooth tethering on the laptop
bluetooth tethering can also be done on a laptop in case ethernet or wi-fi are not available.
the steps are as follows:
1. turn on bluetooth on cell phone and laptop. pair the two devices. when these discover each other, tap the name of the laptop on the phone and vice versa. confirmation will be required on both devices. it’s time to match.
2. go to control panel->network and internet->network connections. you will see bluetooth network connection connected to redmi (phone name). disable the wireless local area network (fig. 5).
3. Connect the phone to Wi-Fi; it also works with cellular data. Turn on Bluetooth tethering on phone.
4. On the laptop, go to Control Panel->Devices and Printers->Bluetooth Devices. you will see your mobile device. right click on it and connect using the access point (fig. 6).
5. After a few seconds, the laptop will show an Internet connection via Bluetooth. In this case, Internet speed will be limited because of the limitations of Bluetooth technology. This technique is useful when you do not want to give Wi-Fi password to anyone.
Battery consumption is less when using bluetooth tethering compared to using a wi-fi hotspot. the only downside to this technique is that only one person can connect at a time.
This was tested on a windows 7 based laptop and a redmi 4 android phone.
nikhil shah is a hobbyist and interested in electronics and embedded systems