How to Create a Bluetooth PAN (Personal Area Network) on Android

Today, smartphone penetration is higher than its ever been. These devices now offer a lot of functionality, border-line phasing out certain gadgets altogether. For instance, we now stream music on our phones, meaning MP3 players and iPods no longer have a place. More relevant to today’s topic, Cellular dongles, popularly referred to as modems are quickly becoming a thing of the past.

One thing keeps skipping people’s attention is Bluetooth. Before portable hotspot and Wi-Fi tethering was a thing, we shared our phone internet using Personal Area Networks, also called Bluetooth Tethering.

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How to tether using Bluetooth

To enable Bluetooth Tethering, go to Settings >> More >> Tethering & Portable hotspot >> select Bluetooth Tethering.

 

The main challenge of Bluetooth tethering, like with USB tethering, is that it only supports one device at a time. That is the device that’s connected to your Android via Bluetooth. But if you need more users to share your phone’s internet, then you can enable the wireless hotspot as well. It turns Android supports USB tethering and wireless Hotspot to run at the same time. This might put a huge strain — battery and data — on your phone though.

If you’re not keen to broadcast your WiFi SSID in a public place, you might want to consider using Bluetooth instead. It is far more discreet and since fewer people would think to look for Bluetooth PAN networks in crowded places, it just might be safer than Wi-Fi networks that are often susceptible to hacks.

However, it is important to note that Bluetooth doesn’t quite match Wi-Fi or USB in throughput and you’ll be therefore stuck with rather slow internet speeds, even if your phone does have decent internet. Tethering is a quick and dirty way to connect your devices to the internet using your smartphone’s data plan. But it should serve as a temporal measure since any form of tethering exposes your phone to wireless hacks, strains your phone’s battery and exhaust your mobile data faster.