Hotspot and Tethering: 20+ Difference Between

The Internet has become a primary part of our lives, and we can not think of anything without its existence. However, when we do not have an Internet connection, we primarily use two methods to arrange Internet connectivity, i.e., by using Hotspot and Tethering.

We all have used these two methods, but most people do not know their differences. The significant difference between a Hotspot and Tethering is that the former is a wireless connection while the latter is not. 

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Key Differences

Hotspot

  • It can be best described as a network associated with sharing the device’s internet connection with another device without using a wire device such as a USB. 
  • This connection can occur between a computer/laptop, a mobile phone, and two mobile phones. 
  • The notable feature of this network is that it is a wireless connection meaning it does not require any wire to connect with other devices. To connect to another device, one needs to have a mobile phone that allows the use of a Hotspot. 
  • Since this connection does not require the use of any wires, such as USB, thus the computer must have the option to connect to a WiFi connection. The proper operation of this network can not occur if the computer does not have the option of WiFi. 
  • When people connect to a computer device through this connection, the speed that comes along with that is generally slower compared to Tethering. 

Tethering

  • It can be best described as a network that is concerned with sharing the home device’s internet connection with some other device with the help of a wire or USB since it uses a USB to establish a network. Thus, it is also referred to as USB Tethering. 
  • This connection only occurs between a computer/laptop and a mobile phone. This network can not take place between two mobile phones. 
  • The trademark feature of this network is that it is a wired connection meaning it requires the presence of a wire to establish a connection between two devices. This connection can not take place in the absence of a USB. 
  • A computer or laptop does not need to have the option to connect to WiFi as this network is established only with the use of a wire. 
  • When people connect to a computer device through this network, the speed that is associated with this connection is relatively higher than a Hotspot connection. 

Comparison between A Hotspot And Tethering 

Parameter Hotspot Tethering 
MeaningIt refers to a network or connection that allows internet sharing between two or more devices using wireless technology. It refers to a network or connection that allows internet sharing between two devices using wired technology. It mainly uses a USB; thus, it is called USB Tethering. 
TechnologyIt uses wireless technology to make its operation possible, meaning it does not require any wire, such as a USB, to establish an internet connection. It uses wired technology to make its operation possible, mainly a USB wire, which requires cables such as a USB to ensure an established internet connection. 
Takes place betweenThis type of connection can occur between a computer/laptop or two mobile phones. This connection can occur only between a computer/laptop and a mobile phone. 
Number of devicesOne of the hallmark features of this connection is that it can be connected to multiple devices. Unlike Hotspot, this connection can not be used to connect multiple devices as this connection uses a USB wire, which can only connect two devices. 
WireThis connection does not require the availability of any wire to operate as it is based on wireless technology. This connection is based on wired technology, and there is no doubt that this connection would work without the availability of a wire. 
WiFiModern technology also comes with modern prerequisites. When establishing this connection, all devices must have an option for WiFi connectivity. Without it, it is impossible to establish this network. This network does not care if the devices have the option of connecting to WiFi or not. All it needs is the availability of a USB wire. 
SpeedThis connection is associated with a slower speed than Hotspot. This connection is associated with faster speed than Tethering. 
Data usageIt is estimated that this connection has broader data usage than the Tethering connection. This connection is linked with slower data usage compared to the Hotspot connection. 
Battery consumption Just like Data usage, this network is also associated with higher battery consumption than Tethering. Along with slower data usage, this connection also consumes less battery than Hotspot. 
RangeWhen compared with the Tethering connection, this connection has a broader range as this connection is not connected to a wire. When compared with the Hotspot connection, this connection has a narrower range as it is connected to a wire, and its range is as long as the length of the wire. 
Compatibility There is more compatibility in this network as not only can devices easily be connected, but several devices can also be connected to this network. There is less compatibility in this network as only two devices can be connected, and in modern times, some devices also do not support USB usage. 
Suitable forThis connection is better when used for short-duration internet usage as this network offers lower speed and faster battery and data consumption. This connection is better for long-duration internet usage as this network offers higher speed and slower battery consumption and data consumption. 
AdvantagesWireless technology, connectivity for multiple devices, more comprehensive range. High speed, slow data usage, and battery consumption. 
DisadvantagesSlow speed, high data usage, and battery consumption. Wired technology, connectivity for only two devices, narrower range. 

Major Differences Between A Hotspot And Tethering 

What exactly is a Hotspot? 

A Hotspot refers to a network or a connection that allows internet sharing between two or more devices. It is a wireless connection meaning it does not require the presence of any wires, such as a USB.

This network can occur between a computer/laptop and a phone or between two mobile devices. However, it should be noted that computer devices must be able to connect to WiFi. The internet speed associated with this network is relatively slow and is known to consume more internet data than other methods, such as Tethering. 

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Key features of Hotspot: 

  • It refers to a network created between two or more devices using wireless technology for internet sharing. 
  • This network can be established either between a computer/laptop and a mobile phone or between two mobile phones. One of its other features that makes it very flexible is that one can easily connect two or more devices to this network. 
  • Since it is a wireless network, some requirements must be met by the computer device to make the network possible. Devices aiming to connect through this connection must have the option of connecting to a WiFi network. 
  • If compared to other wired networks, such as USB Tethering, this network is known to use more data and provide a lower internet speed relatively. 
  • This network usually results in faster battery consumption despite the slow data speed.
  • This network is typically ideal for those individuals who need an internet connection for a smaller period. 

What exactly is Tethering? 

Tethering, or USB Tethering, refers to a network or connection that allows Internet sharing between two devices using a wire, also known as USB. It is a wired technology that gets its name from using a USB that makes this network possible. This network takes place between a computer/laptop and a mobile phone.

It can neither take place between mobile phones nor can it take place between more than two devices. The internet speed associated with this network is relatively high and consumes fewer data than other modes of connection, such as Hotspots. 

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Key Features Of Tethering:

  • It refers to a network that is created between two devices with the help of wired technology for the purpose of internet sharing. Here, the wired technology is used as a USB; thus, it is also referred to as USB Tethering. 
  • This network can be created between a computer/laptop and a mobile phone. This network can neither be created between two mobile phones nor can it be used to connect multiple devices. Only two devices can be connected with each other to establish this connection.
  • Since it is a wired connection, one only needs the presence of a USB cable or wire to connect a mobile phone to a computer/laptop. 
  • Compared to other wireless technology connections, such as that of a Hotspot, this network has a faster internet speed and slow data usage. 
  • This network is associated with a slower utilization of a charged battery. 
  • This network is ideal for individuals who need an internet connection for extended periods. 

Contrast Between A Hotspot And A Tethering

Meaning

  • Hotspot – It can be best described as a network that allows multiple devices to connect with each other for internet sharing with wireless technology.  
  • Tethering – It can be best described as a network that allows two devices to connect with each other for Internet sharing with wired technology. It uses a USB wire in most cases, and hence, it is also referred to as USB Tethering. 

Technology

  • Hotspot – It operates on wireless technology, meaning it does not require the use of specific wires, such as USB or cable wire to establish an internet connection between two or more devices. 
  • Tethering – It operates on wired technology, requiring wires, most commonly a USB, to connect two devices. It can not function without the use of a USB. 

Takes place between

  • Hotspot – This connection can take place through two types of arrangement. It can occur between a computer/laptop and a mobile phone or two mobile phones. 
  • Tethering  – There is not much flexibility in this network compared to a Hotspot network because this connection can only occur between a computer/laptop and a mobile phone. 

Number of Devices

  • Hotspot – One of the notable advantages of this network that gives it an edge over Tethering is that one can connect multiple devices in this network. There is not any restriction on the number of devices one can connect through this connection. 
  • Tethering – This connection does not allow connecting multiple devices. Only two devices, i.e., one that shares the internet connection and the second that receives the internet connection, can be connected through this network. 

Wire

  • Hotspot – This network does not need the availability of any wires, such as a USB, to make the connection possible, as it is based on a wireless connection. 
  • Tethering – This network can not operate without a wire, mostly a USB. Without this wire, this network has no meaning. 

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What is a USB?

USB comes under the cable wires category, an acronym for Universal Serial Bus. It is specifically used to establish a connection between two devices to connect, communicate, and share. It is typically used to connect computers to various devices such as printers, mobile phones, cameras, speakers, etc. 

WiFi

  • Hotspot – This network is flexible but comes with some requirements. To connect to a computer or a laptop, it is a must for the concerned devices to have the option of connecting to WiFi. If a device can not link to WiFi, then the connection will not be operated. 
  • Tethering – This network has no impact on whether the computer has WiFi connectivity or not, as it is a wired connection and only needs the availability of a USB. 

Speed

  • Hotspot – When the devices are connected through this connection, the internet speed is typically slower than that of devices connected through Tethering. 
  • Tethering – When the devices are connected through this connection, the internet speed is typically faster than that of devices connected through a Hotspot. 

Data usage

  • Hotspot – One of the significant advantages of this network is that it usually consumes more data than Tethering. 
  • Tethering – This network is known to consume a lesser amount of data in comparison to the Hotspot network. 

Range

  • Hotspot – This connection is associated with providing more range than Tethering because, unlike Tethering, the range of this network does not depend on the length of the wire. Although its range has some limitations, it is wider than the Tethering range. 
  • Tethering – This connection provides a lesser range than Hotspot as the connection is made possible with the use of a USB wire; the range of this network is as long as the length of the wire. 

Battery consumption

  • Hotspot – This connection method has been linked with faster battery consumption than Tethering. 
  • Tethering – This connection method has been linked with slower battery consumption than Hotspot.

Compatibility

  • Hotspot – This connection is associated with better compatibility than Tethering because devices generally have no problems connecting to this network. These days most devices have the options of Hotspots and WiFi. 
  • Tethering – This connection is associated with lesser compatibility than Hotspot because multiple devices can not be connected through these devices. Secondly, some devices may not have working USB ports, or the wire may not respond as expected. 

Suitable for

  • Hotspot – This connection is ideal for short-duration internet sharing as this method is linked with slower speed, more data usage, and battery consumption. 
  • Tethering – This connection is ideal for long-duration internet sharing as this method is associated with faster speed, fewer data usage, and battery consumption. 

Advantages

  • Hotspot – Some of the significant advantages of this connection are that it does not require any wires such as USB, offers a wide range, can be used to establish a connection between mobile phones, and can be used to connect multiple devices. 
  • Tethering – This connection offers a faster speed, less data usage, and battery consumption. These are some of the advantages of this connection. 

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Advantages of Hotspot and Tethering

Hotspot

  • Wireless technology.
  • Does not need a USB.
  • Offers a broader range. 
  • Offers connectivity of multiple devices. 
  • It can be used to establish connections between mobile phones. 

Tethering 

  • High internet speed. 
  • Slow data usage. 
  • Slow battery consumption. 

Disadvantages

Hotspot – Slower internet speed and higher data and battery consumption are some of the disadvantages of this connection. 

Tethering – The inability to connect to several devices and a narrower range are some of the disadvantages of this connection. 

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Disadvantages of Hotspot and Tethering 

Hotspot

  • Slow speed. 
  • Fast data usage. 
  • Fast battery consumption. 

Tethering

  • Wired technology
  • Requires a USB for its operation. 
  • Narrower range. 
  • It cannot be used to connect multiple devices. 
  • It cannot be used to establish a connection between mobile phones. 

CONCLUSION

People often get confused when they hear Tethering and hotspots and use them interchangeably. However, the significant difference between Tethering and hotspots is that the former is based on wired technology and can be used to connect only two devices. In contrast, the latter is based on wireless technology and can be used to connect several devices. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

Q1. What is the difference between wired and wireless technology? 

The significant difference between wired and wireless technology is that the former uses wires for its operation. At the same time, the latter does not require the use of wires for its operation. 

Q2. Can you connect multiple devices on Tethering? 

It is impossible to connect multiple devices on Tethering as this connection uses a wire, known as USB, which can only be connected to two devices, i.e., one that shares the Internet while the other uses the Internet. 

Q3. What is the major benefit of using a Hotspot? 

The primary benefit of using this connection is that it can be used between two mobile phones, and multiple devices can also be used to connect. 

Q4. What are the prerequisites for a Hotspot and Tethering connection? 

To make the operation of a Hotspot connection successful, it is a must that a computer or laptop, or mobile device has the option of WiFi connectivity. On the other hand, it is a must to have a USB and a device where a USB can be used to make a Tethering connection successful. 

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