Connection of a mobile device is possible through a Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or through a cable called USB.
Tethering is the sharing of a mobile device’s Internet connection with other computers that are connected. Tethering your phone to the computer through USB that acts as a USB modem is Mobile Tethering whereas Mobile Hotspot also called Personal Hotspot is the act of creating a Wi-Fi network and the phone is a modem or router in that case.
A mobile hotspot is the most pervasive approach to tethering. It can be easily set up and there is a presence of Wi-Fi which makes it enough and extra components are not needed.
On the other hand, tethering via Bluetooth seems difficult to set up and decreases the speed, making it slower than Wi-Fi. It was a traditional method before Wi-Fi was introduced.
Tethering over USB is quicker and utilises low power consumption as the device is charged over USB. The disadvantage being many devices do not support USB tethering. For configuration, special drivers and software is needed.
In the UK, monthly plans from Three (3) network include ‘personal hotspot’ feature, since 2014. Tethering uses Network Address Translation (NAT) to share internet. The shared internet has a public IP. Software’s such as Connectify Virtual Router has an inbuild tools that let share internet by turning on the Wi-Fi on the laptop or phone into a virtual hotspot.
Wi-Fi’s and hotspots are found in private and public places. It can be set up at home by connecting to a wireless router.
Advantages of Mobile Hotspots over Tethering
Phone Battery: Draining phone’s battery while using hotspot to get work done.
Diversifying SIM Carriers: Using best carrier that provides better services or while roaming.
Using Multiple devices: Using multiple devices to rely on. Hotpots put a limit on the number of devices that can be connected to internet.
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