Share Your Windows Phone Internet Connection Using The Tethering Feature

Christian Cawley 23-12-2011

windows phone tetheringWindows Phone is becoming an increasing popular platform, but its initial release in 2010 baffled commentators by omitting key functionality such as copy and paste and tethering. Omitting these features arguably punished the platform, resulting in some poor early reviews. Making matters worse was the fact that devices from Samsung and LG had wired tethering functionality that could be enabled via a hidden engineer’s console, resulting in a platform offering tethering on some handsets but not others. Hardly ideal!


Microsoft has since resolved these shortcomings with the latest release of its successor to the clunky old Windows Mobile. Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango You Can Now Try Out Windows Phone 7.5 Mango On Any Smartphone [News] No matter how you look at it, Windows Phone 7 is getting harder and harder to ignore. Many Android and iOS lovers would rather turn a blind eye to the emerging mobile OS from Microsoft;... Read More ” is currently shipping on new devices from HTC, Nokia and Samsung and first generation devices can be upgraded to run this version of the software, which includes wireless tethering. This will enable you to share your mobile Internet connection with other devices.

Why the Big Deal?

windows phone tetheringNews of this feature came late in the day (release day in fact!) thanks to Microsoft being cagey about some of the details of the Mango release. Despite being a much-requested function there was never any confirmation (although plenty of denials) that tethering of any kind would be included.

Fortunately for Windows Phone users, wireless tethering is now a possibility. The benefits of this are considerable. For instance, you might own a tablet, netbook or laptop and have no wireless functionality or access to any nearby wireless networks. Thanks to wireless tethering you can easily use your Windows Phone as a Wi-Fi router and connect to the Internet!

There are a couple of things to bear in mind, however. The first is that if your mobile phone contract does not have suitable Internet usage terms you could easily end up being billed for more than you can afford, so before proceeding, check the small print.

The second point to consider is that using wireless tethering can be quite draining on your mobile phone battery, so it is advised for only short-term use unless you are able to keep your Windows Phone charged.


Activating Internet Sharing

Microsoft’s inclusion of wireless tethering was done with so little fanfare that you might be forgiven for not realising that it is included on Windows Phone Mango. To get started using this function, you will need to open the Settings menu. This can be found on the Start screen and is also available by swiping left or tapping the arrow in the top-right corner of the screen.

tethering a windows mobile

With the Settings menu open, first scroll down to Mobile network to confirm that both Data connection and 3G connection are activated. You will need the 3G connection active if you are to have any hope of achieving fast mobile Internet! Enable these options by tapping the switches; when active they will be highlighted to match your phone’s current accent (the color of the tiles on your Start screen).

Tap the Back button on your phone to continue. You will now need to find the Internet sharing option in the Settings menu; a single tap of the switch in this screen will enable tethering.


tethering a windows mobile

By activating wireless tethering you will also activate your phone’s wireless function, which is one of the reasons why battery life is affected by this feature.

The Internet sharing screen will now display a few instructions, advising you that up to 5 guests can share your phone’s mobile Internet connection. A default broadcast name will be listed along with a password that you can use on any device that will be used to share the connection. The number of connected devices will also be listed.

Connecting To Your Windows Phone Wireless Hub

You don’t have to use the default options, however. By tapping the Setup button you can configure your own broadcast name by tapping into the field and overtyping the existing name; the same can be done with the password (a minimum of 8 characters is required) and you can also switch the Security type between Open and WPA2. Remember to tap the OK button when you’re done.


windows phone tethering

With the options set as required and Internet sharing activated you will now be able to connect to your phone as if it was a standard wireless hotspot. Any tablet, e-reader, laptop, netbook, even a desktop computer or another mobile phone can take advantage of your Windows Phone Wi-Fi hotspot by simply identifying the device’s broadcast name and entering the password.

Battery & Security Considerations

Despite the excellent flexibility that wireless tethering offers, there are obvious drawbacks. The first is with the battery life; the more users you allow to connect to your Windows Phone the more data will be processed and the greater reliance on both mobile Internet and Wi-Fi. You could end up with your phone’s battery being seriously drained in under an hour!

Although an open (password-free) connection is available as an option, this isn’t recommended unless you’re in a relatively remote area. The last thing you need – especially if you’re billed on mobile Internet data usage – is to be sharing your connection with unauthorized people.


Despite the battery issues, this is a welcome addition to Windows Phone, one that is quick and easy to use and is great for providing a much-needed Internet connection to other devices.

Let us know if you have any questions or problems setting it up.

Related topics: Internet Connection Sharing, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Tethering, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone, Windows Phone 7.

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  1. inglizh
    June 10, 2012 at 5:02 am

    me no speeck inglizh

  2. Yeslie
    May 27, 2012 at 3:52 am

    i just buy i nokia 800 but i need to know what i need to do if a what to share my internet with my PC. i always do with JOIKUTSPOT and now is not available for the phone i really worried.

  3. Robert N
    May 11, 2012 at 2:46 am

    All this is well and good. I wasn't having trouble connecting my tablet to the phones wi-fi AP but after it connects it doesn't recognize the connection past that. Try to browse the internet on the tablet and nothing...keeps telling me to check my connection. Both devices say they are connected? Any way to fix this issue you know of??

    • Christian Cawley
      May 14, 2012 at 1:13 pm

      Hi Robert

      I'm not aware of this problem and it certainly isn't one I've come across on any of my gear. What tablet and OS are you using? I wonder if anyone reading has experience of this happening.

  4. David Marshall
    April 19, 2012 at 8:56 am

    The tethering option seems to be unavailable on my Nokia Lumia 800; supplied last month by Vodafone Ireland. Interestingly before buying it, I asked if it were just a manilla version of Nokia's Mango implementation, and was told it was. Clearly it's not.

    I've not seen another Lumia 800 so I can't say if tethering is available from other carriers or not. Bit of a 2 steps forward, 1 step back experience with WP7.5. There are still lots of things that I can't do, that were easily achievable on my WM6.1. And so many of the so-called "apps" are really applets just making up for the lack of functionality in the OS.

    Great OS, I really love it; but I could do more with my old windows phone, even if it did take a few milli seconds longer.

  5. Repease
    March 3, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Both T-Mobile and Nokia deny this feature is available on the Lumia 710 with Windows 7.5 Mango OS version 7.10.7740.16.  Waht's up with that?

    • Christian Cawley
      March 8, 2012 at 6:32 pm

      I believe we're still awaiting tethering for Nokia devices which is a big shame.

  6. Alvin Tran
    February 25, 2012 at 12:06 am

    will ATT charge an extra for thering if i uese this feature?

    • Christian Cawley
      February 29, 2012 at 7:11 am

       Hi Alvin
      You will need to check the details of your contract and perhaps contact ATT to confirm this.

  7. Abhilash Kumar
    February 13, 2012 at 1:17 am

    Will the option of Internet Sharing only come up if the Mobile Network settings are taken care of? Or is it always there in the setting menu?

    • Christian Cawley
      February 19, 2012 at 9:25 am

       Hi Abhilash - you should find that the option is there after upgrading to Mango/7.5. As it requires your mobile 3g (or whatever mobile internet speed you have) connection then when it isn't available you either have the wrong settings or you're using a Nokia. Nokia devices should be receiving an upgrade soon to address this omission, I understand.