Setting up an Android smartphone or tablet as a WiFi adapter is easy to do.
It can be good for a quick solution for a Desktop computer that needs a wireless connection or broken WiFi on a laptop.
Be aware not all cell phone Carriers allow for this and may turn off the WiFi forcing you to use your Data plan.
For this reason it is best to use an Android device not setup on a Cell Plan so there is no chance of running up the data.
Any old Android Device will work. I have even used old Galaxy S2 and S5 with no problem with them working very well.
I have a Galaxy S9 which is tied to my cell plan and turns off the WiFi so it can not be used.
There is many cheap low cost WiFi dongles for a long term solution but an Android smartphone can be used as a short term quick fix.
Read Here for Our Picks of Best Wireless USB Dongles.
Below are the steps to follow to use an Android Device as a wireless USB adapter along with screenshots if needed.
Some phones and Android version may vary in setup but will be close to the following instructions with no need to Root the phone.
Steps To Use Your Android Phone as a USB WiFi Adapter
- Go to Settings–>Wireless & Networks Connect To the WiFi
- Connect to a PC with a USB Cable
- Go to Setting find Mobile HotSpot or Tethering and Enable it
1… Connect the Android Smartphone or Tablet to the WiFi.
2… Plug in the phone to the computer with a USB cable.
Sometimes Drivers for the phone will need to be loaded. Usually it is automatically found.
3… Go to Setting and find Mobile HotSpot and Tethering
On the new smartphones it is under Connections.
On the old Galaxy S1 it is called Tethering and Portable HotSpot.
4… If a warning box comes up and says the WiFi is being shut off the phone can Not be used as a WiFi Adapter.
If you use a smartphone tied to a Cell Plan and it turns off the WiFi it may run up your bill depending on your Data Plan.
5… After Tethering is turned on it should be ready to use.
Usign a Android device and a USB WiFi adapter is easy to do simply be careful if the device is on a cell plan.
Many cell phone Carriers will turn off the WiFi and force it to use the Data Plan which can run a bill up.
Using a old cell phone with no cell plan is best since there is no chance of it using Cell Data.