How to Make Your Phone a WiFi Hotspot

Make Your Phone a WiFi Hotspot

Have you ever been to a location without a WiFi signal when you needed it? Maybe you are working on a big project while waiting to pick up your child from daycare. At the last minute, a coworker needs you to share a file with them, or there is an important email that requires your immediate attention.

There are many scenarios where a WiFi connection is a necessity. The good news is that the majority of humans are walking around with WiFi in their pockets. If you have a mobile phone, you can create your own WiFi signal. Keep reading to find out how you can turn your phone into a WiFi hotspot.

How Does Your Phone Become a WiFi Hotspot?

You can use our phones as a mobile hotspot through a feature called tethering. This feature allows you to connect your computer or another device to your mobile device to use your phone’s internet connection.

When Should You Use Your Phone as a WiFi Hotspot?

Using your phone as a WiFi hotspot can be helpful in a variety of situations. You will not find every location you visit to have WiFi. In that case, use your phone.

Another common time to create a hotspot is when you are traveling. On average, Americans travel 13,476 miles annually. Those amount of miles equals three round trips from the U.S east coast to the west coast. All that time in a car would be more fun if you could use WiFi.

Power outages at your home or office could create a need to use your phone. Internet users can also avoid connecting to unsecured networks by using their phones as WiFi hotspots. For example, using your phone instead of the free WiFi at the coffeehouse would be safer than using a WiFi network without password protection.

How to Make Your Phone a WiFi Hotspot

Phones are not all the same. How you create a WiFi hotspot depends on your carrier and what type of phone you have.

iOS Devices

If you have an iPhone, then you’re running on iOS. To create a WiFi hotspot, follow these directions:

  • Got to settings.
  • Go to Personal hotspot. If you don’t see personal hotspot, tap on cellular > personal hotspot
  • You will toggle the switch to on.
  • Make a note of your password.

To connect to your hotspot, you will open the WiFi settings on your computer and locate your iOS device. Tap the device and enter your password. Once you have completed all the steps, you should be connected.

To disconnect, you will go back into settings and toggle off your personal hotspot.

Android Devices

Phones such as Samsung, Motorola, Google Pixel, and LG run on an android system. There are three ways to use these android devices as a WiFi hotspot.

Establishing a Wireless Connection

Here are the steps to follow on Android:

  • Open the Settings app
  • Tap the Network & internet option
  • Tap the Hotspot & tethering option
  • Tap the WiFi hotspot option
  • Follow additional instructions to finish setting up your hotspot.

These instructions may be slightly different depending on the particular device you own, but most are similar.

Connecting via USB

These are the instructions for creating a WiFi hotspot via USB. This option is not available on all Android devices:

  • Connect your phone’s USB cable to your computer.
  • Once your computer has set up the connection, open the Settings app.
  • Tap the option called Network and Internet.
  • Choose hotspot and tethering.
  • Toggle the USB tethering option on.

Use a Third-Party App

Older Android devices don’t have hotspot capabilities built-in. If you own an older device, you can still create a WiFi hotspot with a third party app. To do this, select an app from your store and install it. Follow the instructions your app displays.

A third party app highly recommended by experts is PdaNet+. This app allows you to connect computers and tablets without rooting.

When Should You Not Use Your Phone as a WiFi Hotspot?

The ability to use your phone as a WiFi hotspot is fantastic. It opens up more opportunities to work outside the office and enjoy surfing the net while you wait. Despite all the benefits of WiFi hotspots, there are times when you should not use your phone’s WiFi capabilities.

If you need to download large files or want to stream videos, don’t use your phone. Creating a hotspot shortens the battery life of your phone. Large files and videos will only continue to reduce your battery life more.

Don’t use your phone as a hotspot when you don’t have good reception. It will not work properly. Also, take notice if your phone is roaming. You could incur extra charges on your next bill.

What to Expect When Using Your Phone as a WiFi Hotspot

When you are using your phone as a WiFi hotspot, do not expect the same speed you have at home or work. Speed can vary depending on your location and how good your reception is.

You can expect larger bills if you use this option too much. When your phone is a WiFi hotspot, it does not change the amount of cellular data you have. It is not a special ticket to unlimited data. If you find yourself using this option regularly, you may need to change your data plan.

Lastly, don’t expect your battery life to last long. Personal hotspots will eat up a cell phone battery quickly. You will need to have a charger handy if you need this capability for long periods of time.

Conclusion

The ability to use your phone as a WiFi hotspot has given internet access to people in almost every situation and place. By following the instructions given, you can be surfing the web or working from anywhere in no time.

While this is a great benefit, take time to understand your cellular data plan and familiarize yourself with your device before using the WiFi option.

Brett Gordon
 

Founder and editor-in-chief of GetInternet. Having clocked tons of time in the broadband industry, today, Brett is dedicated to positioning GetInternet as a prime resource to simplify the broadband shopping experience.