Question of the Week: How do I speed up my tethered connection?

One of the great things about Android is the ability to “hack” and tether two devices to share one internet connection. I’ve used a variety of different apps for this, including my two favorite apps, FoxFi and Barnacle (root required), both free. Now though, I use Verizon’s app to manage my tethered connection.

Sadly, many people find slower-than-expected speeds after they tether their device. This disappoints a lot of people because they expect their connections to be a lot faster than a “normal” connection. The fact, and shocking truth for many, is the speed of your tethered connection depends on the underlying connections. Specifically, we’re talking about your wireless carrier’s connection.

First, upgrading your device will allow you to take advantage of the high-quality data speeds now available for cellular devices. This includes upgrading from 3G to 4G LTE. You can run a speed test using the Speedtest.net app, just to see what your benchmark carrier speed is.  Upgrading to a 4G LTE capable device will add 5+ more times speed.

Second, you may want to switch carriers, if you’re not getting quality connections. I like Verizon because it’s fast. Need proof? Here’s 4G LTE:

And this is my home WiFi connection:

Same device (Motorola Droid Bionic), tests run 5 minutes apart. I guess the only difference would be the “ping location,” Tulsa versus Oklahoma City, but even that doesn’t have much play. Verizon is just fast.

Finally, if you’re an extremist, or have some skills in modifying you device settings, you can try overclocking, which will help enhance processor speed. This may also help boost your device’s computing power to handle more processes. I do not recommend this method.

So, if you’re having fits about your tethered connection, maybe it’s you, and not them.

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Jeff Taylor

I’m just an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life. I’m also an attorney and I blog about Android for lawyers. You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.