Android Devices: Tethering and Portable Wi-Fi Hotspots

Depending on your model of Android device and your carrier, you may be able to share your Google™ Android™ device's mobile data connection with a single computer via a USB cable or via Bluetooth: this is called tethering. You may also be able to share your Android device's data connection with up to five devices at once, by turning your phone into a portable Wi-Fi hotspot.

You can learn about tethering and creating a portable Wi-Fi hotspot in Sharing your mobile data connection.

If you want to tether your Android device via USB to a computer running Windows XP, you must prepare your computer as described in this article.

USB Tethering with Windows XP

Windows XP contains the drivers you need to take advantage of USB tethering, but you must install a configuration file before connecting your phone to your Windows XP computer, to instruct Windows XP how to configure itself to use those drivers.

  1. Download the following configuration file (tetherxp.inf) to your Windows XP computer. Typically, you can right click on the link and choose "Save As". (If your browser appends .html to the file name, you will need to edit the name to remove the .html extension.)
  2. Use the USB cable that came with your phone to connect your phone to your computer.
  3. On the Android phone, press Home, press Menu, and touch Settings to open the Settings application.
  4. Touch Wireless & networks > Tethering & portable hotspot.
  5. Check USB tethering.
  6. When Windows XP’s New Hardware Wizard opens, select No, not at this time and click Next.
  7. Select Install from a list or specific location and click Next.
  8. Click Browse to browse to the directory where you installed the configuration file you downloaded in Step 1 and click Next. Windows XP uses the configuration file to configure itself to support USB tethering with the Android phone.
  9. When Windows XP finishes installing the software for Android USB Ethernet/RNDIS, click Finish.

You can now use the new Windows XP local area network connection provided by your phone via USB tethering. For more information about configuring networks in Windows XP, see the documentation that comes with Windows.