Tethering Vs Hotspot: Differences And Similarities

Tethering Vs Hotspot

Tethering vs Hotspot, a debate that sees no end; the evolution of the internet has allowed mankind with modern technology and more efficient ways to share information around the globe. The internet is a service in itself, but it provides other services as well.

Today we can access the internet using different technologies like satellite telephone wires, cable wires, wireless and mobile connections. Among this connection to the basic concept of connectivity is coined: Tethering and Hotspot.

Tethering and Hotspot are two different means of connection that can be used with the help of an internet connection. Read on to understand them better.

What Is Tethering?

What Is Tethering

Tethering is the process of connecting two devices with the help of a USB cable that acts like a Modem. This method is usually used to provide an internet connection to the devices. It offers a convenient way to connect the devices for varied purposes.

In addition to that, it uses less battery and is comparatively cheaper than the other process. Tethering can be further divided into three categories.

  • USB Tethering: This tethering method uses a USB cable to allow the device to use an internet connection.
  • Bluetooth Tethering: This method is mostly used for sharing data from one device to another.
  • Wi-Fi Tethering: This tethering method is used to share the internet among the device with the help of a wireless network.

What Is A Hotspot?

What Is A Hotspot

A hotspot is an area in which devices have access to connect with the internet on the wireless network. This method is pretty much common for everyone and is used mostly to share and transfer user data. The devices that provide connection to the devices are called Modem or routers.

Although tethering is always a cost-effective option, hotspots have become a norm due to their ability to connect multiple devices simultaneously. Despite the benefits this network brings to the table, it is a power-consuming network.

Here are a few benefits you can enjoy:

  • It provides access to multiple devices.
  • Reliable, as it does not disconnect even after prolonged use.
  • It works even with a medium internet connection speed.
  • Forms portable wireless network.

Tethering Vs Hotspot: Is Tethering Safer Than Hotspot?

Hotspot has garnered a rather controversial reputation in the industry due to the security risk it brings. As you can understand, the issue is related to the public Wi-Fi hotspots. It is true that public hotspots can be risky while sharing sensitive data.

The major risk with the wireless signal is that it can be intercepted. And to be fair about both the network connection, this interception makes others worry about their security.

For us, the real concern regarding hotspots is data usage and power consumption. When you use your phone as a hotspot, the battery drains out quite fast, and data is consumed more than you have actually used it.

Tethering Vs Hotspot: Does A Personal Hotspot Waste Battery?

Perhaps this is the most concerning aspect of the hotspot. When you are out there with charge points, you have to really think about using the hotspot as it escalates battery drainage. According to many tech experts, connection sharing is a heavy process, and hence, it puts strain on the battery.

Now that you know the risks associated with the hotspot, the common workaround solution is to use USB tethering. Unfortunately, in some cases, even USB tethering doesn’t work. In this light, the most optimal way of sharing is connecting your device with a Modem.

Tethering Vs Hotspot: Which Is More Secure?

When it comes down to security, undoubtedly, Tethering is more secure than Hotspot as they are connected with USB cables. On the other hand, hotspots are prone to interference and can be easily breached with Wi-Fi sniffers. This is the reason why experts ask you to keep a strong password for your hotspot.

Connecting the public hotspot is the least secure network and is always prone to external attacks. You just understand that just because a hotspot needs a password to connect doesn’t mean it’s secure. There is always a possibility of leaking sensitive data online.

Tethering Vs Hotspot: Which Is Faster?

Security aside, the speed of the connection determines your online experiences. Hence, when it comes down to speed comparison of mobile hotspots and USB tethering, there are three factors that you need to look into.

  • Signal Quality: Checking whether the quality of the signal remains the same after traveling from the router to the device.
  • Source Signal: checking the speed of the internet.
  • Strength: The Deteriorating rate after traveling the distance.

To compare tethering and hotspot, let’s consider that both networks have the same internet connection speed. Now coming to the signal quality, when we compare the signal quality of the two. USB tethering holds the advantage as the data is confined within the wires safely.

However, with the wireless connection, there is always the possibility of interference. Now to be fair, the difference will be negligible and will hardly be noticed. Still, there will be some rare cases where you will find a good connection over a hotspot.


Here are a few frequently asked questions that are asked by many to further understand the network.

Q1. Wi-Fi or Ethernet: Which Is Better?

Wi-Fi and Ethernet both have their advantages over the others. Hence, they need to be chosen wisely. While Wi-Fi is more suitable for homes where there are a limited number of devices to connect with the network, Ethernet is more of a commercial thing. Ethernet is mostly used in the workspace to have access to uninterrupted high-speed networks.

Q2. Can My Phone Be Hacked Via Hotspot?

Well, it certainly is possible. This is why we always ask our readers to put a password over their hotspot for additional security.

Q3. Wi-Fi Or Bluetooth: Which One Is Better For Tethering?

While choosing one between the two, you must consider the fact that Bluetooth does not connect two devices at a time. However, it is certainly power-friendly. Now the rest is up to you. If you have multiple devices to connect, Wi-Fi is better suited for tethering.

Wrapping Up

Tethering and hotspots have their strengths and weaknesses. In short, the former offers speed and reliability, whereas, the latter offers convenience. Before you can go with any network connection, going through needs first will give you a definite answer over Tethering Vs Hotspot.

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