The number one reason I hacked my Android phone is to tether it to my netbook. Tethering allows you to share a 3G data connection from your phone with another device. Normally, this tethering process is achieved over a WiFi connection.
My friends are amazed every time I show off this feature, but the major downfall is that it just absolutely shreds your battery. Most of the time when I tether, I end up plugging my phone into its charger.
Fans of the popular CyanogenMod will be happy to hear that the next release will include USB tethering. Now tethering can be done without always having to worry that you might kill your battery.
USB tethering will be built into the next CM release. Zinx ported the code from the Hero kernel, I did the rest. It’s as simple as hitting a checkbox and plugging in a cable. -Cyanogen
Another benefit of tethering in general is the huge speed boost I get from T-Mobile’s 3G network. Normally on my Android phone, I top off around 1 Mbps. However, when I am tethered the speeds increase to 1.8 Mbps (which is the current cap on T-Mobile’s 3G). I can hardly wait till T-Mobile upgrades to HSPA 7.2 later this year.
It is hard to believe that my phone could reach 7+ Mbps, but we will just have to wait and see. Heck, if I could just manage 5+ that would match a lot of cable internet connections (which is pretty mind blowing).