How to Hotspot on Your Mobile Phone

Hotspotting is a feature available on most mobile devices that allows people to share their wi-fi network with others nearby. It’s especially helpful for people who need to connect multiple devices to the internet on the fly.

Keep reading to learn more about how hotspotting works and how you can set a wireless hotspot up on your own smartphone.

 

How to Set Up a Hotspot

Setting up a hotspot on your mobile device is quick and easy. First, make sure that your phone’s software is updated to the latest version.

Depending on your phone, the step-by-step set up process may vary slightly. However, most will require you to go into your device’s “Settings” options.

Set Up Hotspot on Android

To set up the hotspot feature on your Android phone, navigate to “Settings”, tap on “Network & Internet”, and go into “Hotspot & Tethering”. From here, you can share your hotspot connection via wi-fi, USB or Bluetooth.

Set Up Hotspot on iPhone IOS

To set up the hotspot feature on your iPhone, simply head into “Settings” and enable “Personal Hotspot”. You will need to toggle on the “Allow Others to Join” option.

After enabling your hotspot, you can set up your own wi-fi password to secure your hotspot data usage and wi-fi network. By setting up a password, you can manage your mobile hotspot by picking and choosing which devices you allow to connect to your network. 

Pro tip: Make sure you also keep an eye on your phone plan’s data allowance so that you don’t run out of your high speed data by hotspotting to more devices. 

 

How to Connect to a Hotspot

Connecting to a hotspot is similar to connecting to any other wi-fi network. The process is generally the same across all devices and hotspot networks.

Below are the few steps you need to take to connect to a hotspot:

  1. Tap on the wireless icon on your device
  2. Enter the security key or wi-fi password as directed (you will need to find out the password from the hotspot owner)
  3. Choose the network type to determine how discoverable your device will be to other devices (e.g. private or public) and allow access permission

Follow the steps above and you’ll be able to connect to all hotspot wi-fi networks on any device.

 

How do Hotspots Work?

Hotspots need a connection to a cellular network to work. Service providers such as Boost Mobile give your phone access to internet, which you can then hotspot to other devices such as tablets and laptops.

Hotspots usually provide a wi-fi connection via 3G, 4G, or 5G wireless technology. Mobile data speeds usually average around 50Mbps, although some may reach up to 1,000 Mbps. If your phone plan uses 3G or 4G wireless technology, you may experience lower speeds when sharing internet access with your hotspot.

Due to being conveniently accessible, you can set up a personal hotspot on your phone to share with people nearby or your other wi-fi enabled devices. 

 

Hotspot FAQs

What is a hotspot?

A hotspot is a physical place where users can wirelessly connect to a local network to access the internet. They are also known as “wi-fi hotspots” and “wi-fi connections”. Just like a regular wi-fi network from any internet service provider, all types of devices can connect to and use a hotspot, from phones to tablets to laptops and computers. 

Gone are the days of using a USB cable to connect to the internet - hotspots are a much easier and more convenient way to stay connected to the internet. A hotspot can be private or public, depending on the service provider. Public hotspots are normally available at hotels, coffee shops, airports and shopping centres. Some may require a password for exclusive access to the wi-fi hotspot.

On top of regular hotspots are mobile hotspots. As the name implies, these hotspots can move around depending on the location of the dedicated hotspot devices. You can use your mobile phone as a hotspot to share your cellular network and internet connection with others. This is a process known as “tethering”.

Do hotspots use more data?

Hotspotting from your phone will naturally use more data as another device will be connected to your network. Devices of the same type such as another smartphone will use similar levels of data, while larger devices such as laptops may use more data.

How to use iPhone as hotspot?

You can use an iPhone as a hotspot by simply going into your “Settings”, tapping “Personal Hotspot” and toggling the “Allow Others to Join” option. You can set a wi-fi password as well to make your hotspot connection more secure.

Does hotspot drain battery?

Using your phone as a mobile hotspot will drain battery on your device. This is because your phone is using more power to stay connected to a wi-fi network while sharing it with others.

How secure is a mobile hotspot?

Most phones offering mobile hotspot features have some form of default security such as WPA-PSK encryption, an SSID and network key. However, to add a greater level of security, it is recommended that you set a wi-fi password on your hotspot so that only devices you approve can access your network.

Is there 5G hotspot?

Many cellular data providers now allow hotspots to work over a 5G network. This allows connections to be quicker and smartphones to access faster internet speeds via hotspots.