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Is it possible to use the data allowance of a phone contract on a laptop? At the moment, I have a usb dongle which I use when I need to use my laptop away from home. Instead of using this dongle, can I make my phone act as a dongle?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can if your phone and your telco allow it.

I certainly do this with my Android phone on a pre-pay (PAYG) mobile phone account with O2. I use a USB cable (same one for charging, syncing data to PC) but you can also usually use a bluetooth wireless connection between phone and computer.

It is called "tethering"

See also mobile broadband vs tethering, any benefits to dongles e.t.c

Note that many phone companies dislike tethering as they believe netbooks/tablets/desktops use more data bandwidth than mobile phones. Phones bundled with monthly contracts may have restrictions on tethering.

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If tethering is turned on and used via usb, no one else can rob me of my data allowance can they? That can only happen if I have tethering via bluetooth right? – oshirowanen Sep 17 '11 at 16:18
You need to check with your provider. If they disallow tethering on your plan, and you circumvent that rule they might detect your usage and charge you. – Keltari Sep 17 '11 at 16:51
@oshirowanen: Tethering over a USB cable doesn't allow other people to make use of your bandwidth (unless you also make Internet access available over WiFi - some phones, including Android phones can act as a mobile WiFi router). – RedGrittyBrick Sep 17 '11 at 18:29

If you have driver+tool that allows you to access your phone's functionality you can use it . If you are on a linux machine all you need is Blueman .
And as Red mentioned if your carrier allows it , you can do it.Most of them do anyway (I am yet to encounter someone whose carrier doesn't allow it)

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I'm assuming Blueman is for bluetooth tethering right? How about Linux and USB tethering? – oshirowanen Sep 17 '11 at 16:20

Basically it depends whether your phone + carrier allow it.

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I know that the carrier allows it, but I am about to upgrade my phone, and will make sure it has tethering functionality! – oshirowanen Sep 17 '11 at 16:19

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