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I'm using my cellphone to connect my laptop to the web.

I think connecting my cellphone to my laptop with a USB cable would be the safest connection but if I go wireless, is it safer to connect to my cellphone with Bluetooth tethering or with Wi-Fi hotspot?

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As mentioned in the comments, WiFi is most definitely more secure, as long as you use WPA2. Do not configure your phone hotspot to open, or to use WEP, as one is completely without encryption, and the WEP is completely broken and has been for a long time.

Also make your password some random combination of numbers and letters, as you can still crack WPA2, if the password can be easily guessed, for example a short word. Using 16 characters of random numbers, letters and symbols makes this very hard on the other hand, since you just need to test every single possible password instead of just going through a dictionary.

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In any case Bluetooth is always safe because once paired the connection is fully encrypted and there is no chance of interception in traffic of devices. While using WiFi hotspot there is chance of getting your traffic hijacked if not encrypted or getting deauth packets , which is quite annoying and can't be stopped . Again choice is yours because Bluetooth offers safety while WiFi hotspot offers speed of connection . Another work around is you can run VPN on laptop to prevent spying by encrypting traffic if someone have access to your hotspot. Also you will need WiFi hotspot for internet access to multiple devices while in Bluetooth you can't do this.

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    Simply, no. WPA2 is a safe crypto standard, and I'd argue that its safer than Bluetooth, on the fact alone that Bluetooth pairing actually is a lot less safe in implementation than typing in WPA2 PSKs. (i.e. people will just pair with devices that have the same name as theirs if their device is in discovery mode – and Bluetooth device names are typically broadcast publicly; you'd typically just need a "higher power" transmitter to outshine your phone, and no-one will wonder if neither side asked for PINs) Feb 18, 2017 at 11:03
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    getting deauth packets , which is quite annoying and can't be stopped I promise, similar attacks can be executed against Bluetooth. Feb 18, 2017 at 11:03
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    Oh, and saying "people might not notice they use an unencrypted or weakly encrypted Wifi standard" is no disadvantage compared to Bluetooth – which, prior to v2.1, had only optional, and also very weak, crypto, and I've yet to see a single Bluetooth manager that informs users about the crypto used on a Bluetooth connection Feb 18, 2017 at 11:08
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    Guess how easy it is to forge MAC addresses Feb 18, 2017 at 13:44
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    Bluetooth is... really insecure. Most versions used the horribly inefficient E0 cipher. Some old versions didn't even use key exchange and the security was based on a 4 digit PIN!
    – forest
    Jun 19, 2018 at 8:28

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