Whether you are using an iPhone or an Android smartphone, you can turn your phone into a WiFi hotspot if you know how to use hotspot. It’s not only one device that can share your internet connection but multiple devices. You just need to make sure that you have the right service plan.
Sharing internet or using your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot is also called “tethering” and not all mobile plans allow it. So check with your service provider and see if you have tethering or hotspot feature. Other times, it’s just a matter of upgrading your plan.
How Does Hotspot Work?
The way that your phone works as a hotspot when you try to understand how to use hotspot, is that it shares your 4G LTE connection to another device. So, you have to have a 4G or LTE connection on your phone to do this. You cannot be using another Wi-Fi connection and share it. You are extending your LTE connection to someone else.
Number of Devices
You should be aware that there is something called a tethering allowance. This is allotted by your mobile carrier and determines how much Wi-Fi you can share with other devices. Take note that your tethering allowance is not the same as your data plan.
Some unlimited data plans come with a 5GB tethering allowance. This can differ per mobile carrier. It can be more than that or less. If you have unlimited data plan, that means you can use as much data on your own smartphone but it’s not unlimited use for those connected to your hotspot. Once a laptop or a mobile device connects to your hotspot, there can be a limit of up to 5GB for the month.
A big disadvantage of using your device as a hotspot once you learn how to use hotspot is that it consumes a lot of battery life. Most phones can only run up to about 4 hours when they are in hotspot mode. If you plan to use hotspot a lot, it’s a good idea to have an additional battery or a battery case. You can also have your power bank handy.
How to Use Hotspot?
Now that you understand how using hotspot works, we can go to the steps of how to use hotspot. There’s nothing really complicated about it. It’s very simple and usually only requires that you turn on some buttons on your phone’s settings. Here is how to use hotspot on both Android smartphones and iPhone devices.
If you are using an iPhone or maybe an iPad version that has a 4G connection and allows hotspot, the first thing you need to do is to go to your Settings. This is the gray icon that looks like a gear.
Once you’re in Settings, go to the Cellular option. From there, you can tap on Set Up Personal Hotspot. From there, go to Settings again and choose Personal Hotspot.
Once you are on the Personal Hotspot page, you can see at the very top, a button that you can toggle on and off. This is what you need to tap anytime you want to activate your personal hotspot for others to use. Tap on this button to turn on your personal hotspot and make sure that it has turned Green.
You would have to click on Agree to the Wi-Fi and USB Only. And your hotspot will now be active.
Once it’s active, you can set up the password if you want others to enter a password before being able to connect to your hotspot once they know how to use hotspot. Below the Personal Hotspot button is the Wi-Fi Password. There will be a default password assigned to you but you can change that by tapping on the password and entering your preferred password.
Now that you know how to use hotspot on Apple devices, just remember to turn it off when not in use to avoid battery drain or other people connecting to you without your permission.
On Android phones and tablets, the method is slightly different to activate hotspot. Here are the steps on how to use hotspot on Android devices running on the most recent OS.
First, go to Settings and from there, you can see a set of sub-menus. Go to the Wireless & Networks menu. Below that, you can see options like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Data Usage, and More. Tap on the More button to show more options.
At the very bottom, below Data Usage, you can see Tethering and portable hotspot. Next, tap on Set up Wi-Fi hotspot.
It will then show you another pop-up wherein you can enter your hotspot name and password. Input or type the network name that you want to start on how to use hotspot on android. Below the network name, you can set up a password. You will see that you have a few options for the password type that you want. It is recommended to use WPA2 because it is a combination of letters and numbers, and is usually harder for hackers to guess. This way, you can avoid unwanted people connecting their devices to your mobile hotspot. Enter your password.
Now you can turn on the service as a final step on how to use hotspot on android. There is a toggle button to quickly turn on the hotspot right in the settings or you can use the shortcut under Quick Settings.
Additionally, you can also install widgets so that you can just tap on an icon to quickly turn your hotspot on and off, once you have set it up.
Another cool option on how to use hotspot that you can try is to tell and command either Siri or Google to turn on your hotspot for you. Simply activate the voice command from the home screen or by long pressing the home button on iPhone and tell Siri or Google to turn on hotspot.
On the other hand, for iPad users, check out our tips on how to make your iPad charge faster.