How to connect a smartphone to computer via USB

If Wi-Fi isn't holding up for you, you can try connecting over USB or other adapter-type instead.

Connecting your smartphone to your laptop via USB seems quite appealing, but it's not always the easiest option. Below I provided three options for tethering your phone to better Internet, with the recommended option first.

Connecting smartphone via Ethernet

One easy option is to buy a smartphone to Ethernet adapter; this can be either USB-C, micro-USB, or Lightning port-based smartphones. These then can connect directly to your router via an Ethernet cable.

You can find details on how to buy and connect such an adapter here:

If you'd need to be able to charge while connected, there are adapters that offer charging and Ethernet at the same time. I would recommend buying a 100-mbps adapter over a gigabit adapter, as compatibility will probably be better with the 100-mbps adapter and it is still more than sufficient. There's plenty of options on Amazon for under $20.

Reverse tethering over USB

If you're trying to get away on a budget or don't have access to Ethernet at all, another option is do a reverse-tether to your computer. You can use your smartphone's USB cable for this, but this method is a bit challenging to setup and not all devices will probably be compatible with it.

There are many approaches to setting this up, such as this one:

Many of these approaches require root-access to your Android / iPhone device and need a lot of low-level networking setup. As a result, unless your phone already has the feature supported in its settings somewhere, it may be too tricky for most users to setup. A functional paid-option may exist for this, though I'm not sure what it is.

Reverse tethering over Wi-Fi

If you're still okay with using Wi-Fi, but just need to connect to the computer directly, you can use Windows 10 mobile hotspot option. This is pretty easy to setup, assuming you can find the correct settings on your computer for it and if you have an available Wi-Fi adapter to use as the tether. The option may not appear if you only have one network adapter. Details linked below:

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