Chromebooks

Accessing the web on Chromebooks without a Wi-Fi access point

Chromebooks are built to deliver a consistently fast, easy-to-use and secure experience. And when you’re using a Chromebook, you should be able to access the internet quickly and effortlessly, no matter where you are. But the availability of an internet-enabled Wi-Fi access point isn’t always a guarantee. Starting today, Instant Tethering is available on more Chromebooks—this means that you can connect to the internet via a paired Android phone’s cellular network connection, as long as tethering is enabled on your mobile data plan.

Normally, connecting to your phone’s hotspot is a multistep process—one that involves switching on the hotspot on your phone, specifying a network SSID and password, opening the other device's settings to connect to the hotspot, then disabling the hotspot manually when you no longer need it. Phew! But with Instant Tethering, you can pair your Android phone with your Chromebook during an initial set-up process, then accessing the internet only takes a single click.

When your Chromebook detects that it has no Wi-Fi access point, it provides a notification that a data connection is available through your mobile device. Instant Tethering is activated once you click the “Connect” button on that notification. Additionally, Instant Tethering will automatically disconnect if it detects 10 minutes of no activity to save you power and data.

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Before today, Instant Tethering was available on only a few devices, including Pixelbooks and Pixel Slates paired with either Pixel or Nexus phones. But now, Instant Tethering is available on 15 additional Chromebook models and over 30 cell phone models. And we’ll be bringing Instant Tethering to even more Chromebook and phones in the coming months.

This is our latest feature that allows Chromebooks to work better together with Android devices. You can read more about Instant Tethering, how to enable it, and find out if it works with your devices here.