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When you enable the standard tethering on Android, can you specify/by default does it use an existing WIFI connection to transfer traffic if possible? For example, at home I might have a WIFI network named home_WIFI, which I don't want strangers connecting to for security reasons. On the other hand, I'd like to let set up a publicly accessible access point (my Android phone) by the name of say public_net which they can connect to. What I would then like is for my Android phone (public_net) to route any traffic through home_WIFI behind the scenes, rather than using the expensive/slow mobile data.

Does anyone know if Android already does this/can be made to do this? When I setup tethering, I get a tethering active notification, but am unsure whether it's defaulting to WIFI or mobile data behind the scenes...

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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Generally speaking, one wireless radio can communicate with only one wireless network.

Therefore:

If your phone is configured to connect to 'home_WIFI', that's the wireless network its radio is attached to, and it'll get its internet access there.

If your phone is configured to tether for 'public_net', that's the wireless network its radio is attached to, and it's getting its internet access from the cellular network.

I don't expect you'll find any phone with the multiple WiFi radios necessary to perform the function you're asking for.

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As stated, it's not really possible but what you can do is connect (through USB) your android phone to a computer, enable tethering on the phone, and set up a bridging scheme for the android phone network adapter through to the Ethernet adapter on the PC.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc781097%28v=ws.10%29.aspx - more information on bridging

With a configuration like this, your android phone acts as a WiFi hot spot that passes network traffic to your PC and your PC passes network traffic to your router and then the internet.

I haven't personally tried this but it should work.

Alternatively, you could get a dual-band wireless router that effectively creates two wireless networks (5GHz and 2.4GHz) which can be configured separately.

In either case, public or home WiFi access point will still be on your LAN and as such, is still not very secure to leave open to the public.

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Additionally, a lot of routers offer a guest VLAN with a special guest password and no access to the main LAN. And I suspect it would be cheaper and more effective (range, power, etc.) to get a cheap wireless router rather than using a phone. –  Bob Mar 1 '13 at 16:14
    
Yeah I would say to go that route instead. –  Enigma Mar 1 '13 at 16:18

You cannot share your Wi-fi connection using a Wi-fi tethering, but you can do so using either USB or BT. Android will use whatever internet connection (Mobile data or Wi-fi) available when tethered via USB or BT.

Keep in mind there might be a speed cap doing this with BT tethering.

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