How Do I Connect My Cell Phone to My Computer to Access the Internet?

By Steve Gregory

Updated September 28, 2017

Items you will need

  • Modem capable cell phone

  • Data plan

Connect Your Cell Phone to Your Computer to Access the Internet
i laptop image by Dušan Zidar from

Many computers have Wi-Fi capabilities and can easily connect to the Internet when there are wireless networks available. However Wi-Fi networks are not always available. Fortunately you can connect to the Internet using your cell phone in the absence of a wireless network. The process of using your cell phone to provide Internet access to your computer by using it as a modem is also known as tethering and you can achieve this by following some simple steps.

Call your cell phone company and ask them if the model you possess has the ability to tether. Although your phone may be able to access the Internet on it's own it may just be data capable and not tether capable. If your phone is not tether capable purchase one that is.

Sign up for a data plan. You will need a data plan in order to use your phone as a modem. A data plan allows your cell phone to access the Internet and transfer the information back to your computer. Contact your phone company to review the different plans available. Your cell phone company representative will be able to help you choose the right plan for you based on your estimated usage.

Install the necessary software on your computer to access the Internet through your cell phone. Your cell phone service provider will either supply you with the software to install on your computer or you can use the connection application already on your computer. If you have the supplied software follow the installation instructions. If you do not have the software navigate to the "Start Menu" on your computer open the "Control Panel" and click the "Network" icon. Click the "Set up a Connection or Network" icon and follow the instructions given.

Activate the modem on your cell phone. Follow the directions in your cell phone's manual to find the modem option. Follow the instructions to activate your phone's modem. Different phones will have different directions and instructions specific to the brand and model type so always follow the user manual that came with your phone.

Connect the phone to your computer. Use the USB cord that came with your cell phone to connect to your computer or if your phone is capable connect through Bluetooth. In order for Bluetooth to work both your cell phone and your computer must have Bluetooth installed. After your cell phone is connected to your computer run the software to access the Internet through your phone. The software will give you detailed step by step instructions to connect to the Internet.

Once everything is connected and working you will be able to browse the Internet.


Some representatives from your cell phone provider may not be aware of the process of connecting your computer to the Internet using your cell phone so keep asking until you find one that knows the process.


Some providers charge a tethering fee on top of the cost of the data plan. Ask your provider company for more details.