There's nothing worse than working on the go, from a hotel room or airport for example, to find there's no Wi-Fi internet access, or it's so rubbish it keeps dropping out. Alternatively, what happens if your ISP serving your home network goes down and leaves you without access to the web? Also see: Best MiFi 2016.

If you've got a smartphone then it's possible to turn your handset into a portable Wi-Fi hotspot using your device's 3G connection to access the web, a process that's called 'tethering'. In the case of Google Android handsets, the search introduced the feature when it unveiled Froyo, version 2.2 of its Android operating software. Those with smartphones running Google Android 2.1 or lower, you'll need to download an app such as PDANet or Easy Tether.

It's worth remembering to check your network's terms and conditions on tethering and keep an eye on your data allowance as depending on your web activities you could find yourself hitting your mobile data cap a lot quicker than you think. Exceeding your data limit may result in an unwanted charge.

Here's how to tether a Google Android handset running 4.1 Jelly Bean (the Sony Xperia Z), but the process is similar for older Android smartphones.

For more on tethering, see: How to use your smartphone as a Wi-Fi hotspot

Step one
From the Home Screen, select the Settings menu. It should look something like this. Tap More...

Android tethering 1

Step two
Select Wireless & Networks and then Tethering & portable hotspot.

Android tethering 2

Step three
Tick the box next to Portable Wi-Fi hotspot.

Android tethering 3

Step four
Tap Portable Wi-Fihotspot settings and you can edit the Wi-Fi network name, and choose a password.

Android tethering 4

Now on your PC or laptop, select your handset's network from the list of Wi-Fi connections available

Step five
Click connect and then you'll need to enter the password for the Wi-Fi hotspot. Once connected, you'll be able to surf the web using the handset's 3G or 4G connection to your heart's content.