Sharing Wi-Fi Data Via Bluetooth

BY NIKHIL SHAH

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Tethering, or phone-as-modem (PAM), is the process of sharing of a mobile device’s Internet connection with another device, say, a cellphone or computer. Bluetooth tethering is one of the ways of sharing the wireless connection of an Android device with another device using Bluetooth. Say, you are using mobile data, and someone wants to use your data as well but you do not want to disclose the password. What would you do in that case? The answer is Bluetooth tethering, which is available on Android version 2.2 and above.

The phone that has data or is connected to Wi-Fi is referred to as Phone 1 (XT1068), and the phone that needs to access Phone 1’s data via Bluetooth is referred to as Phone 2 (LS-5502).

Bluetooth tethering on phone

Steps for Bluetooth tethering on phone are as follows:

1. Turn on Bluetooth on both the phones. Open Bluetooth settings and keep both devices as Discoverable. You can do this via SettingsBluetoothTurn on. Keep this screen open (Fig. 1).

Turning on Bluetooth
Fig. 1: Turning on Bluetooth
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2. Pair the two devices. When Phone 1 is discovered by Phone 2, and vice-versa, a Bluetooth pairing code will ask for confirmation on both devices. Tap on Pair (Fig. 2).

Sending Bluetooth pairing request
Fig. 2: Sending Bluetooth pairing request

3. Turn on Bluetooth tethering in Phone 1 from SettingsMoreTethering & Mobile HotspotTurn on Bluetooth tethering (Fig. 3).

Turning on Bluetooth tethering in Phone 1
Fig. 3: Turning on Bluetooth tethering in Phone 1

4. Open Bluetooth settings (mentioned in Step 1) on both phones and keep them Discoverable. Tap on Phone 2 name in Phone 1 to allow it to use data via Bluetooth tethering (Fig. 4).

Connecting Phone 1 with Phone 2 via Bluetooth tethering
Fig. 4: Connecting Phone 1 with Phone 2 via Bluetooth tethering

5. Since Phone 2 is connected to Phone 1 via Bluetooth tethering, it can now access Internet.

This was tried on Moto G (2nd Gen) having Android 6.0 as Phone 1 and LYF Wind 3 having Android 5.1.1 as Phone 2, at the author’s end. For testing at EFY Labs, Redmi 4 as Phone 1 and HTC U11 as Phone 2 were used.

Bluetooth tethering on laptop

Bluetooth tethering can also be done on a laptop in case Ethernet or Wi-Fi is not available.

Steps are as follows:

1. Turn on Bluetooth in the cellphone and laptop. Pair the two devices. When these are discovered by each other, tap on laptop’s name in the phone, and vice-versa. A confirmation will be needed on both devices. Tap on Pair.

2. Go to Control PanelNetwork and InternetNetwork Connections. You will see Bluetooth Network Connection Connected to Redmi (name of phone). Disable Wireless Local Area Network (Fig. 5).

Wireless network connections disabled on laptop
Fig. 5: Wireless network connections disabled on laptop

3. Connect the phone to Wi-Fi; it also works with cellular data. Turn on Bluetooth tethering on phone.

4. On the laptop, go to Control PanelDevices and PrintersBluetooth Devices. You will see your mobile device. Right-click on it and connect using Access Point (Fig. 6).

Cellphone’s Bluetooth device shown on the laptop
Fig. 6: Cellphone’s Bluetooth device shown on the laptop

5. After a few seconds, the laptop will show an Internet connection via Bluetooth.
In this case, Internet speed will be limited because of the limitations of Bluetooth technology. This technique is useful when you do not want to give Wi-Fi password to anyone.

Battery consumption is lower when using Bluetooth tethering as compared to using a Wi-Fi hotspot. The only disadvantage of this technique is that only one person can connect at a time.

This was tested on Windows 7-based laptop and Redmi 4 Android phone.


Nikhil Shah is a hobbyist and is interested in electronics and embedded systems

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