Connecting or ‘tethering’ a smartphone with 3G connectivity can be an excellent way of getting internet access on your laptop when you’re out and about and there’s no WiFi available. The feature, available on most devices, effectively turns your smartphone into a WiFi hotspot which your laptop can access.

The procedure is fairly similar but varies slightly from device to device. Here’s a breakdown of how to do it.

Note: Tethering a laptop to a smartphone to use the internet means the laptop is using the phone’s internet connection and therefore any data limitations or costs that go with the contract. Make sure you have enough data allowance to use tethering to avoid running up a large bill from your mobile operator.

How to connect an Android 3G phone to laptop

Step One

Navigate to the Wireless and Network settings menu. Some phones have an app in the apps menu for creating a wireless hotspot.

Step Two

Click Tethering and Portable Hotspot or similar option.

Step Three

Turn Portable WiFi hotspot or similar on and set a network name and/or password.

Wireless & Networks

Step Four

Connect to the network on your laptop via the available wireless networks in the bottom right hand corner (Windows).

PC Wireless

It is also possible to tether/WiFi hotspot with a Blackberry, iPhone and Windows Phone so look out for upcoming articles on how to tehter on each of these.