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How to Tether an Android Tablet to a Computer for Internet Connection Sharing

Updated on September 25, 2015

Internet Through a USB Tether -- Making it Work!

So you want to tether your tablet to your computer so that you can share your Internet connection via USB. What a great idea! There are loads of super reasons to do this. Maybe you don't have a wireless network at home, or maybe you just want to save some of your precious data limit. Perfect! The theory is flawless, but the trick is getting this tether system to work. Since I struggled so much, I thought I'd share my findings and help y'all avoid some serious frustration.

If you're interested in the straight how-to of USB tethering, feel free to scroll down to the instructions section. I wouldn't want to hear my own dumb story either!

IRULU 10.1 inch Android 4.2 Tablet PC, Dual Core RK3028 CPU, Dual Cameras, with Black Color Standard USB Keyboard Case Stand
IRULU 10.1 inch Android 4.2 Tablet PC, Dual Core RK3028 CPU, Dual Cameras, with Black Color Standard USB Keyboard Case Stand

Android tablets are amazingly affordable, especially if you go with a lesser known or off-brand product. I'm really happy with the iRulu tablet that my dear husband bought. In fact, we like it so much, that we went a head a bought reciprocal gifts, so he can have one too. This 10-inch tablet with UBS keyboard and folio case is under $100. How can you beat that? And it has a 3.8 star rating on Amazon.

 

Problems with Thethering

Tablets! So many of us are entering a new world of computing. Especially after the holidays, a lot of folks will be testing out their new toys. Most of us aren't technological geniuses, yet we're trying to cope with these crazy new devices. After all, they should be easy to use. If 5-year-olds can do it, the rest of us should be able to, too. Or not!

So I was lucky enough to get a sweet 10-inch off-brand Irulu tablet with an Android operating system from my dear husband. I was aglow with excitement. Since I don't have a wireless network at home, I was happy to learn from the tiny brochure-style tablet manual that I could share my PC's internet connection through USB, a marvel called tethering.

It sounded great, but the experience of actually making it happen was awful. I was ready to tear my hair out and smash my pretty new toy against the wall. I literally spent days trying to figure this stupid thing out. I had like 20 different help tabs open, including that one from Google that says to download a tetherxp.inf configuration file that doesn't exist! I know you've been to that page too! People have a million crazy answers that don't actually solve the problem.

Here's my solution and I hope it works for you too!

Tethering Your Internet Connection: The Easy Way!

Before you try the other more complex options, follow these simple steps to see if your computer is already configured and ready for tethering.

Time-Saving Tethering Tips.

To save time, you can start here to see if you're able to share your PC's Internet connection without activating special services or enabling USB debugging.

Enabling a USB Connection

Enable USB Internet on Your Tablet

The first thing you need to do is start your tablet's UBS Internet wizard.

  1. Click on the wheel-shaped settings icon.
  2. Under the "Wireless & Networks" section, tap "More."
  3. Select "USB Internet." The wizard will guide you through the setup as seen in the following graphics.

Confirming Your OS Setting

Use the drop-down menu to select your PC's operating system. I'll be using Windows 7. Then, tap "Next."

Finalize the Setup

A message telling you to enable internet connection sharing (ICS) will pop up. Go ahead a click "Done" You will enable ICS later.

Enabling ICS on Your Computer

After your tablet is connected, follow these steps to enable Internet Connection Sharing on your computer.

Step 1

From your computer's Control Panel, single click "Network and Sharing Center." The exact wording may vary depending on your OS and how you're viewing the page.

Step 2: Enable ICS

You should see two networks. One is your home computer, and the other is your tablet.

Click on the blue Local Area Connection associated with your computer's Home Network. This will open up a window that shows the connection status.

Step 3: Internet Connection Properties

On the status window, click on the "Properties" button. This will open up a second window with detailed settings.

Step 4: Allow ICS

The fourth and final step is to enable sharing of your main Internet connection. Here's what you need to do.

In the properties window, select the "Sharing" tab.

Tick the box that allows other devices to use the connection.

Hit "OK." Then, try to access the Internet using your tablet.

Thethering is Easy!

This should be all that you need to do! If you've connected to the Internet successfully before, uncheck the ICS box and then recheck it to jump start the process.

Other Options for Tethering a Tablet

If these steps didn't work for you, you may need to change your computer's settings. Follow the steps below to make sure that your computer is properly configured.

Configuring Your Computer for Internet Connection Sharing

1. Click "Start," and type "Services" in the search bar.

2. In the results, click the "Services" entry with the wheel icon.

3. On this screen, you will activate several services that enable ICS.

To open the "Properties" menu double-click on the entry, and select "Automatic" startup from the drop-down menu. These services will be activated when you re-boot. In addition to selecting the automatic startup option, you can right-click on the entry and click "Start" to use the service without re-booting.

Enable all of the following services to use ICS:

  • Application Layer Gateway Service
  • Internet Connection Sharing (ICS)
  • Network Connections
  • Network Location Awareness (NLA)
  • Plug And Play
  • Remote Access Auto Connection Manager
  • Remote Access Connection Manager
  • Remote Procedure Call (RPC)
  • Telephony

Tip: If you're using Windows XP, use the run function. Type "services.msc," and hit enter.

Setting Up An Android Tablet for Tethering

USB Extension Cable

Belkin USB Extension Cable (10-Feet)
Belkin USB Extension Cable (10-Feet)

Extend the reach of your dongle with a handy male-to-female USB extension cable! It's the perfect accessory for any tethered tablet!

 

1. Start by connecting your tablet's USB dongle to your computer. It helps if you have a long female-to-male USB cable, so that you don't have to be hunched 6 inches away from your PC. Ask me how I know this!

2. On your tablet, access the Settings page by tapping the wheel icon.

Scroll down to the System section.

Tap Developer Options.

Scroll down to the Debugging < USB Debugging.

Check the box next to USB Debugging to enable. Agree to any dialog boxes warning of possible risks or conflicts.

3. Tap the back arrow at the top of the screen to go back to the main Settings page.

Near the top of the Settings menu. Tap More under the "Wireless & Networks" header.

Tap the entry "USB Internet," and follow the on screen instructions.


Enabling Internet Sharing on Your PC

Now, on your computer, click the "Start" button.

In the search field, type "adapter."

From the results, click "View Network Connections."

On XP, access network connections from the control. You can also use this method on Windows 7.
On XP, access network connections from the control. You can also use this method on Windows 7.

This window in the control panel will show your internet connections. After you enable USB tethering on your tablet, a new connection will pop up on this page. For me, the icon was at the bottom.

5. Now, right-click the network icon for your original LAN connection. For me, this was at the top and named "Local Area Connection."

After right-clicking, select "Properties" from the menu.

Enabling ICS

Select the second tab, entitled "Sharing." Check both boxes, "Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection." And "Allow other network users to control or disable the shared Internet connection."

Sharing A Network Connection

NOTE: If this is your first time configuring the connection, you may need to select which network you want to share the connection with from a drop-down menu. This is especially true is you have more than two networks. Make sure to select the newest connection that appeared when your tablet was hooked up. The original connection is the sharer. The new connection is the recipient/sharee.

Now, you should be connected. To confirm your connection, right-click on the new connection, and click "Status." The connection should be sending and receiving packets.

Instructions for Tethering an Android Tablet

The order that these steps are completed is important.

1. Configure your computer for Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) via services.msc.

2. Connect the tablet, and enable USB Internet on the tablet side.

3. Open your network connections from the control panel, select your main connection, and allow Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) from the properties menu.

4. Start surfing the web and downloading apps through your tablet!

Were my instruction clear? Were you able to tether your tablet?

5 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of Android Tethering Instructions

Tethering a Tablet and PC Going Forward

After the initial setup, this is what you'll need to do to enable tethering in the future.

1. Connect the tablet to your PC via USB.

2. From the tablet's settings menu, tap more under the Wireless Networks and Internet heading. Check the box next to enable USB Internet, and follow the on-screen instructions. You'll need to select your OS and confirm. Then, you'll be connected! No other configuration steps are necessary!

Enabling ICS Video Tutorial

Tips for Tethering

1. But, there isn't an Internet sharing option!

If you only have one Internet connection, like most people, you won't be able to set up sharing until you have a second connection to share it with. That's way you need to go ahead a set up things on the tablet-side before trying to enable sharing.

2. I don't have USB Internet settings on my tablet!

If your tablet isn't equipped with UBS Internet settings, you can enable tethering by downloading the free app "PDANet+." It includes an Android app and some software and drivers for you PC. The basic version is free, but there is a daily limit. Download PDANet through the developer's website or on GooglePlay.

3. Help, the computer isn't recognizing my tablet!

If for some reason, your PC's plug and play functions aren't working and recognizing the tablet as a USB device, you may need to install drivers provided by the manufacturer.

Did it Work for You?

Were your able to tether using these instructions?

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Were You Able to Tether Your Android Tablet?

I hope this solves the problem and helps you connect to the Internet quickly and easily! If you had success or still need help, feel free to share your experiences in the comments section.

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    • Ghaaz B profile image

      Ghaaz B 2 years ago from The internet

      Awesome! A very detailed and well presented guide with plenty of good information and pictures to help along the way.

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