You have three choices when it comes to tethering your smartphone’s internet connection to your laptop: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and USB. It turns out there’s a bigger difference between them than you might expect.
Guiding Tech runs down a few of the pros and cons of each connection, with the conclusion basically boiling down to:
- Wi-Fi has faster theoretical speeds and allows more devices to connect at once. However, it drains battery life faster and takes a while to connect.
- Bluetooth doesn’t go as fast as Wi-Fi, but on a 3G connection, that may not matter. Only one device can connect at a time, but it’s much faster to connect — in some circumstances, you may not even need to take the phone out of your pocket.
- USB is the fastest and least battery-draining method, but it requires a cable.
So, if you’re still on a 3G connection, Bluetooth is almost always the better wireless option. Even if you have 4G, it still seems like a good way to save some battery. If you have 4G and want to take advantage of that faster speed — at the cost of more battery — Wi-Fi would be the better option. If you have a cable, USB is the best way to go for speed and battery life, but we know that isn’t always an option.
It’s something to think about the next time you tether your phone. Check out the links below for more info.
Bluetooth or Wi-Fi? The Best Way to Use Your iPhone As a Wireless Personal Hotspot [Guiding Tech]
Do Not Use Wi-Fi for Tethering your iPhone [Basil Salad Software]