Wireless Internet  - Using Your Cell Phone as a Wireless Router

If you need to get online where there is no available internet access, such as a hotel or rural area, using your cell phone as a wireless router is a great alternative. In order to do this, you will need the following:

  • A mobile phone with internet capability
  • A data plan that includes internet access
  • A 'host computer' such as a laptop
  • A USB cable

Essentially, what you'll be doing when you use your cell phone to get internet access is creating a WiFi hotspot. But in order to do this, one computer is needed in addition to your cell phone. This computer is what you will use to surf the internet. Without one, you won't be able to get online.

Before You Begin The Process, Be Aware Of The Following

  • Using your cell phone as a wireless router can cause you to go over data limits set by your cell phone carrier, because surfing the internet requires much more data than simply speaking on your phone. So researching the costs with your carrier beforehand is a good idea to ensure you don't incur extra fees. Alternatively, you can choose a plan with more or unlimited data.
  • Phones that use a 3G or 4G network to access the internet will be much faster than other network types.
  • Using a cell phone to get access to the internet will use up its battery life very quickly. So ensure that you have charging tools nearby and handy. You can also charge your phone while you are using it as a router.
  • The tips in this article can be applied to android, Blackberry, iPhone and Windows mobile phones.


If your computer has WiFi ability already, follow the steps below. If not, please see the next section.

  1. Connect your cell phone to your computer with the USB cable.
  2. Find and open the internet sharing application on your cell phone. If you don't have one, they can be downloaded. Common software includes WalkingHotSpot (for 3G phones) and PDANet (for android and Blackberry phones).
  3. Press the "talk" button on your cell phone to begin the connection. Your phone should then display some sort of message to indicate that you are connected. If it does not, you can try starting your phone's web browser to see if you're connected or not.
  4. Set up your laptop to enable sharing of the internet signal. From your Control Panel, select "Network Connections". You should see your wireless network connection. Right click on it, and choose "Properties". In the window that pops up, click on the Wireless Networks tab. In the Preferred Networks section, select "Add" to add a new connection. Give your new connection a name, and select your encryption type (this is important, as it keeps your connection secure). Finally, at the bottom of the Preferred Networks section, make sure that you "This is a computer-to-computer (ad hoc) network; wireless access points are not used" is selected. This is what identifies your computer as the 'home base'. Click ok to save your changes, and exit the Control Panel.
  5. Verify that you are connected by opening a web browser on your laptop.

If you are having trouble trying to get connected, seeking advice from those knowledgeable about computers can help. Or, before traveling to your hotel or a rural area, you can obtain advice from online communities about how to successfully turn your cell phone into a wireless router.

As broadband technology advances, make sure you are connected with the best internet service providers for your home and on-the-go internet access needs.