Technology has completely revolutionised our way of life over the past decade, making even seemingly difficult tasks much easier to complete and accomplish. There probably isn’t a better example of this prevalent technology than mobile devices, which are changing our habits in a number of ways.
They allow us to reach far and wide across the world in real time, allow us to shop for products and services, and otherwise find what we need to know. One way that the use of internet and data has changed revolves around tethering. Do you know what tethering is and what limitations come with it? Below, we’ll discuss the main premise of tethering, as well as where you can expect to find it.
How Tethering Works
Tethering at first seems like a complicated concept: what does the word even mean? Simply put, tethering pertains to the act of using your mobile device’s cellular data connection to “tether” another device to it, allowing said device to access the internet through your mobile connection. This allows for an array of different devices to connect to the internet when a traditional network is not available. Laptops, tablets and many other devices can be tethered through an existing mobile connection. There are several ways to tether, including through a traditional wireless connection, Bluetooth, and even wired connections (USB). Learn more as technology is changing at very fast pace.
In previous years, tethering was a rather exclusive feature on some carriers that often came with hidden costs. Almost every carrier offers free tethering today, however, which makes it quite easy to setup and begin utilising. Beware, though: some carriers either do not offer or limit the amount of data (beyond your plan’s limits) when you have a SIM only contract (you can compare a variety of SIM only contracts through SIM Only Expert to get the best deals). This does not mean, however, that other contracts do not put some limits on the amount of data you can use via tethering. Whether you already have service through a carrier or are comparing plans at the moment, we’ll discuss your options through four major carriers.
Tethering on Three
Three doesn’t offer as much flexibility as the other networks when it comes to tethering, but the average internet user will be just fine with it. If you have a traditional contract through Three, then you’ll be able to tether up to 2 GB of data each month. If you have less than 2 GB of data each month, then you’ll only be able to tether up to the full amount – not 2 GB. One benefit with using a SIM only contract is that Three provides them with the ability to tether up to 4 GB of data each month (a Three-exclusive perk in that you can tether more than traditional contracts). While the tethering options may be more limited, Three’s plans are often the most affordable (like a 600 minute, unlimited text and unlimited data package for less than £20 per month).
Tethering on EE
As with O2, EE plans allow you to use up to all of your monthly data allotment toward tethering. With plans as large as 20 GB – enough for almost anyone – you’ll be able to stream movies, music and plenty more through your direct mobile or tethered connection. Unlike Three, EE cuts the amount of data you can purchase if you’re on a SIM-only contract (10 GB). For example, a 10 GB data package that includes unlimited talk and text will cost approximately £30 per month, but you can get a cheaper package with a 12-month agreement and 5 GB of data for a little over £20 per month.
Tethering on Vodafone
Vodafone also offers unlimited tethering on all of its plans (up to your total data amount), but you will probably end up paying much more for service through them than through the other carriers. £30 per month for a 12 month contract is about as cheap as you can get, and said plan offers 4 GB of data with unlimited texts and unlimited calls. Those who need even more data can find a plan starting around £40 per month that offers 10 GB of data.
Tethering on O2
As with all other carriers on our list, tethering through O2 comes at no additional cost to consumers. O2 has recommended, however, that older customers check with the carrier before tethering, as some of their plans may still be configured to bill users for tethering. Falling in the middle in terms of cost among the carriers, O2 does offer unlimited tethering, with users being able to use up to 100% of their data allotment. For £25 per month, users will be able to enjoy unlimited text, unlimited minutes and 5 GB of data (all of which can be tethered).
Now You Know
If tethering is your number one concern when selecting a carrier, then fear not: all carriers now offer some form or another of the service. The devil is in the details, however, so be sure to find the right package for you. With the information given to you above, you can now use sound judgement to find the right plan.