How to USB tether a Samsung Galaxy S2

What is Tethering?

Tethering is the technical word for connecting your computer or laptop to the internet by using your cell phone as a modem. Doing this allows your computer/laptop to connect using the phones data network (so you're effectively browsing via 3G or 4G dependent on where you are) and, if you've a decent contract, do away all together with a home based internet connection.

This guide will explain exactly how to do this by using a Samsung Galaxy S2 running Gingerbread (Android 2.3.3) and a Windows 7 laptop, though much of the guide is applicable to any Gingerbread device and almost any Windows 7 device.

Make sure to tick this box when you're trying to set up a USB tethered connection
Make sure to tick this box when you're trying to set up a USB tethered connection | Source

The guide

To tether your laptop to your Samsung Galaxy S2 you need to connect the devices by a USB cable (if you've not got one then this one will work Micro USB Data Cable For Handsets) and then make sure that the phone is in phone mode. If your phone has opened in "USB mode" then click the phones home button to return to the phone mode.

Open the phones settings menu and then enter the "Wireless and Network" option (which is the top option in the settings menu). After progressing this far you will need to find the option of "Tethering and portable hotspot" which will be at the bottom of the screen when you first enter.

Inside the "Tethering and portable hotspot" menu you will notice the top option is "USB tethering" with a small tick box beside it. You will need to tick the box and then just put the phone down and let the computer or laptop do it's thing as it installs a number of drivers. From this point on everything you need to do will be through your computer or laptop. As soon as the drivers are installed you will notice an icon in the bottom corner saying "Network" by clicking on this the phone will be able to access the internet.

Although you may be done here, you may also be asked what sort of connection it is so just select "Home" option and you'll be ready to browse the internet with your phone acting as a wired modem. An alternative option to do this is to use a Wireless Portable Hotspot which can be done with out the need for a USB cable though it's a much bigger drain on the phones battery.

When you are done just disconnect the USB cable from Samsung Galaxy S2 and you'll lose the tethering connection and be able to use your phone as normal.

Issues with tethering

Tethering, whilst a great feature and a wonderful tool for the Samsung Galaxy S2 can, if misused, be very expensive. The internet browsing done when you're tethered is done via your data network, if you've a rather limited data plan with your phone you can end up incurring large charges for using the connection. If you've a truly unlimited data plan (as offered by 3 in the UK) then you can almost do with out a home connection however if you've only got something like a 250MB allowance you need to be careful, especially if you are using things like youtube as they will eat into your data plan swiftly.

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Comments 17 comments

nick 5 years ago

What a stupid article. It does nothing but go through the obvious menu clicks. The only problem that anyone would ever have is the absence of drivers and a PC's failure to install them automatically. That would be something worth writing about.


frustrated 5 years ago

i agree with u, truly a stupid article, wasted my time reading it!


darling 5 years ago

I thought it was very useful, since i was explaining how to do this to a friend who has this phone and i didn't so just wanted to make sure to explain how.

So thank you, i liked it.


Alan 5 years ago

Good article. Thanks I need to use this today to do some important stuff while on the road.

With regard to the first two comments. Would you propose that we eliminate articles from the internet in which you already have sufficient knowledge? That might take a while. Perahps it would be easier for you to select articles more carefully to learn from.


guy 5 years ago

If i leave my phone on "USB tethering" and then disconnect it from the computer will it still try tethering and be battery consuming??


S.Graveson profile image

S.Graveson 5 years ago from Cumbria, UK Author

Hi guy,

I'm not 100% sure, but I think from memory when you disconnect it the tethering stuff stops.


Hean Y 4 years ago

My Windows 7 can't automatically install the USB tethering driver. Is there any way I can download & install the driver manually?


xdive 4 years ago

Thank you very much. it is really useful


sandeep 4 years ago

it really works.Thankyou


manan 4 years ago

i tried it but drivers are nt atmtcly instald iz there any other way to install the drvrs?


Dima 4 years ago

It works switch you comp to install drivers from windows update


S.Graveson profile image

S.Graveson 4 years ago from Cumbria, UK Author

I should have also mentioned that will need to install KIES. Sorry I think I forgot that.


herp 4 years ago

you cant install drivers from win update if you don't already have some other internet connection. derp


MikeW 4 years ago

"Tethering is the technical word for connecting your computer or laptop to the internet by using your cell phone as a modem"

Well no. It's not a 'technical word', and it's used to indicate that your mobile phone is no longer (as) mobile due to being "tethered" to a lump of computer ! So it's the phone that's 'tethered' not the computer.


tard 4 years ago

Hello. I am clinically retarded. I found this article useful because I piss my pants every night and am dumber than a floating bag of shit. Does anyone out there have any advice that is useful to leople.with an i.q.,in the.double didigits? Keep in mind,.80 is still retarded


tard 4 years ago

Hello. I am clinically retarded. I found this article useful because I piss my pants every night and am dumber than a floating bag of shit. Does anyone out there have any advice that is useful to leople.with an i.q.,in the.double didigits? Keep in mind,.80 is still retarded


Beks 4 years ago

Thanks for the tip! very helpful.

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