Difference between USB Tethering and Mobile Hotspot

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Tethering and Hotspot are the technical terms that are primarily used at the time of Internet connectivity. Both will connect you to the Internet.

Tethering is used when connecting mobile phones with other devices like laptops or other devices using USB cables or Bluetooth. In contrast, hotspot is the one that connects one device to another with the help of Wi-Fi. However, Bluetooth tethering does not use more battery than Wi-Fi tethering.

USB Tethering and Hotspot: Are They Same?

No, USB tethering and hotspot are not the same. Tethering and hotspot are not only different terms, but these terms mainly refer to intersecting concepts. However, some people use them simply as comparison points.

  • Tethering technically means a connecting device that has internet connectivity like laptops and mobiles. You can do tethering via Bluetooth, USB, or Wi-Fi. Sometimes setting up with tethering devices is difficult as some devices are working as multifunctional modems.

  • Hotspot gives access to the internet to the other device. Hotspot can have passwords also and can be free depending upon the owner of the internet connectivity device. The tethering feature has been marked as ‘Hotspot’ for the Android and iOS platforms.

Which is better, tethering or hotspot?

It depends upon your condition. If you want to quickly sent an email, you can do that with tethering; otherwise, the USB cable is a good option. The main difference between tethering and mobile hotspot is all about what function you want.

The mobile hotspot will let strong activities, such as online gaming, watching Netflix, and any other thing requiring a constant 4G LTE connection.

Tethering is a good option for those who want a fast connection but not for those who want to share large data files. Unfortunately, tethering is not a good option for a wireless solution since its establishment.

The following table highlights the major differences between USB and Tethering −

Tethering is a process in which you can share the data or anything while connecting the device with the help of a Data cable or USB cable.A hotspot is a process in which you can share the internet of one device to. Another machine has Wi-Fi access in it to use the other device's internet. You can call it as a WLAN connection also.
Speed of the internet is faster in tethering.Whereas speed is slow when using the internet with the hotspot.
It needed both a mobile phone and USB cablesWhile it requires only a mobile phone.
In mobile devices, the hotspot is not necessary for tethering.The hotspot option is a must in mobile phones.
It does not waste the battery of the mobile.It wastes so much battery life.
It has a preset range, which is the length of the USB cable.It has a fluctuating range but is limited.
For the long-term connection, it is used.This connection is for the short term.
Wi-Fi functionality in the computer is not necessary.Wi-Fi function is important to have in the computer.
It uses less data as compared to hotspots, therefore, it is more efficient.It uses more data than tethering.
You cannot connect multiple devices using tethering.You can easily connect multiple devices at the same time.

Which is safer, hotspot or tethering?

Nowadays, hotspot reputation is not good because of its security issues. There are more security issues from the public hotspot. However, mobile hotspot is less harmless.

If you want an inaccessible connection, USB tethering will be safer.


Tethering and hotspot are both used for sharing internet connections. There are many advantages or disadvantages of hotspot and tethering. It all depends upon what your requirement is. So search it out what is your need according to that use.

Published on 17-Aug-2021 14:09:27