There might come a time when you need internet access on your tablet or laptop, but you’re not near a free wi-fi hotspot. All that you have is your 3G/4G connection on your phone. In these cases what you can do is tether your connection from your phone to your laptop or tablet.

Now, I’ve already covered tethering in more detail here, so if you don’t know what it is, why you might tether or it’s pros/cons, you’ll want to take a look at that article.

For everyone else, I’ve listed below 9 different tethering apps for the Android for you to check out.

1. PdaNet (Free/$15.95): PdaNet is regarded as one of the best tethering apps for the Android. It can be tethered via USB or Bluetooth to Windows or Mac, displays data usage in real time and it attempts to hide from your mobile internet provider so that you don’t get in trouble for tethering without having a plan. PdaNet also doesn’t require root access to run. You can access the free trial for 14 days (or permanently without access to secured websites) or buy the full version for $15.95.

2. ClockworkMod Tether (Free): ClockworkMod is compatible with Mac and Windows computers, and does not require you to root your phone. It’s a very well-liked app — it has over 7,500 5-star ratings.

3. WiFi Tether (Free): The WiFi Tether comes with a few different features including 128-bit WEP encryption, access control and the ability to disable tethering after it’s been idling for so long. This app does require a rooted phone.

4. FoxFi (Free): With the FoxFi app you don’t need to install anything on your computer, nor do you have to root your phone. It supports a connection from tablets as well as gaming consoles. By setting a proxy server address you can also hide your tether usage.

5. Easy Tether Lite (Free / $9.99): The Easy Tether does not require you to root your phone and does not have any tethering fees. It works with the major game consoles, as well as Windows, Mac and Ubuntu. The only way to access secured sites or tether game consoles is to buy the full version of the app for $9.99.

6. AndroidTethering: Works for Windows and does not require root access.

7. Wireless Tether for Root Users: Features include the ability to control access to the network and 128-bit WEP encryption. You will need a rooted phone. This is one of the highest praised tether apps for the Android with an average rating of 4.5/5, and nearly 18,000 5-star ratings (compared to 2,300 4-star and 900 3-star ratings). Keep in mind that Wireless Tether does not support tethering via USB cable.

8. Barnacle Wifi Tether: Barnacle shows you your data usage in real time and requires a rooted phone. According to LifeHacker, the biggest downside to this app is that when it decides to not work (apparently it’s intermittent), you have very few options or methods for troubleshooting or support.

9. WiFi Tethering: This is a wifi only tethering app and requires you to have a rooted phone. There is a forum and FAQs if you run into any installation or usage problems.

Those are the top 9 tethering apps I managed to come up with. What about you? Have you used any of these tethering apps for the Android (or maybe a different device)? What do you think? Have you used a different tethering app that we don’t have on the list?