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FAQ: Tethering and Personal Hotspots

Last updated by Isabel M

A Note About Tethering on GSM Devices

Only 3G wireless tethering is supported for GSM devices. If you are having trouble with tethering on your GSM device, confirm that you are connected to 3G or WCDMA data and not LTE or 2G (GSM).

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Using your phone as a personal hotspot--or tethering--can be a great way to stay connected while you're mobile. Below are some frequently asked questions about tethering.

 

1. What is tethering?

Tethering (or hotspotting) is allowing other devices, like a computer or tablet, to use your phone's connection to the cellular data network in order to access the Internet. You can do this by connecting physically to your phone with a USB cord or you can enable your phone's Wi-Fi network and connect to that.

2. Do I need to enable tethering on my account?

Yes. If your device is capable of tethering that option will be listed in the Megabytes section of its settings page in your Ting account. Make sure the option is "Enabled". If tethering isn't an option on your device, then the option will not show up in your device settings at all.

 

CDMA Device

2. Do I need to enable tethering on my account?

 

GSM Device 

 

 

3. How do I know if my phone supports tethering?

All smartphones sold by Ting can tether unless it states otherwise in the device information. Feature phones, as a rule, cannot tether.

If you're getting ready to purchase a device for BYOD, then you'll want to check the specifications for that device to see if it supports tethering. Websites like GSM Arena are a great resource for finding this type of information. You'll want to look for terms like "Wi-Fi hotspot" in the specifications under Data and/or WLAN information.

4. Are there any extra fees for tethering?

There are no extra fees for having the tethering feature enabled on your account. However, any data you use while your phone is tethered will be billed.

5. Will I see the data usage from tethering split out on my bill?

No. Just like the cable company, they can tell you that you watched TV, but not what you watched. We can tell that you've used data and we can even tell you which device on your account incurred the data usage, but we don't know whether you were watching a video on your phone or tethered to your computer so you could watch a video that way.

6. How can I keep on top of my data usage while tethering?

It's harder to keep on top of all the processes on your computer that might use data in the background so it's a good idea to have data usage alerts/hard caps set up when tethering to your phone. Just keep in mind, if your device is in the middle of a process that uses data (i.e. downloading a file, watching a continuous play list of videos or an app running in the background) that process will need to complete before an alert is sent or a hard cap kicks in.

While the cost of services like Netflix or Hulu are relatively low and static, they incur data usage if you use them while tethered to your phone. We would recommend against using these types of services while tethered to your phone unless your are very clear on the data costs it's likely to incur. To get a sense of how different activities stack up in terms of data usage, try out our usage calculator.

7. Can my phone be connected to another Wi-Fi network while tethering?

No. Your phone cannot be connected to another Wi-Fi network while you are using it as a hotspot and, generally, there's no reason to try that. If there's a Wi-Fi network available and your computer or tablet is Wi-Fi capable, then you should just connect those devices to that network directly.

8. Are there any restrictions on tethering?

Tethering is not an option while roaming domestically and may not be available while roaming internationally.

9. How do I enable tethering on my phone?

It's pretty easy. Check out this article for details on how using the tethering feature on your phone.

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