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I have a rooted Samsung Galaxy S3.

I am about to go abroad and will need to connect my laptop to the Internet without having someone come and install a DSL or cable router (as the waiting time to install these is quite long I would be gone before the internet technicians drop by).

So what I have decided is to purchase a SIM card and connect my laptop to my android phone to do internet browsing. My understanding is that with tethering I can transform this phone into a router or wireless hotspot.

  1. What are tethering options (settings or apps) for this phone?
  2. Is it better to connect the PC to the phone wirelessly, via a USB cable to use tethering, or via Bluetooth tethering? In terms of speed, I guess Wi-Fi tethering would be superior here.
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In my experience, bluetooth tethering (using Bluetooth Garden) has been problematic. It disconnects too often, or can't open certain sites.

USB tethering (via ClockworkMod Tether) was OK. This way, my phone would be charging while providing internet to my laptop. Downside is I needed to install a program (not an issue, because the program is safe) on my laptop. Another downside is I couldn't tether another device (like a tablet) to the phone.

Turning my phone into a hotspot, was a better choice. I could surf with little issues. I could connect my tablet or laptop to the phone via WiFi. However, this drained my battery quickly. I'd occasionally fix this by plugging my phone to an outlet with a charger.

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I use all 3 methods and prefer USB tethering if possible.

Some notes on each:

USB tethering

  • Exclusive for one device (there's only 1 cable)
  • charges the phone
  • Safe (network is not exposed wirelessly)
  • No driver needed (recent Macs/Win/Linux)
  • Best speed and latency (USB 2.0 has 480MBit/s)
  • Tethers any active connection on the phone (wifi, 3G)

Wifi tethering

  • more than one client at once possible
  • Wifi chip may draw extra power in this mode
  • Easy and well known setup on clients
  • No strings attached :-)

Bluetooth tethering

  • Doesn't draw extra power when enabled
  • Can be enabled 24/7
  • Capps speed at respective BT speed (2MBit?)
  • It's really OK (speedwise) for surfing

I tether my PC via USB (most of the time to a wifi network], my tablet tethers via BT primarily, but I switch to wifi as needed too. I use this app to automatically enable BT tethering on my Nexus phone. The "BT tethering always on" is very cool when I'm on a train and use my tablet: No need to enable (and remembering to afterwards disable) wifi tethering, the phone just stays in my pocket.

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