Back in the day when the cellular network made its way to the mainstream user, the ability to call and text other users across the world seemed like a dream. However, the inception of the internet and commercializing it globally is what really opened up doors to creating the network that billions of users have access to today, not just through their computers, but through their mobile devices as well.
The lifeblood of the internet today can be considered
Wi-Fi, which allows you to break free from the shackles of the cord and go wireless.
What makes mobile devices stand apart from other wireless smart devices like
your laptop is the ability to wirelessly connect to the internet even when
there isn’t a Wi-Fi network around. Moreover, turning your smartphone into a
mobile hotspot is what has really changed the game, since it allows you to use
your phone as a wireless router.
This opens up the door to sharing the mobile data on
your phone with a laptop, another smartphone, or basically any Wi-Fi enabled
device. This is why the Mobile Hotspot feature comes as a built-in ability in
not just Android, but iOS devices as well, and here’s how you can turn your phone
into a Wi-Fi hotspot by using the Settings app in the phone itself or employing
a third-party app to easily manage the feature.
How to Use Your Android Phone as a
Since the ability of sharing the mobile internet on
your Android device with absolutely any smart device is highly desirable,
Google has made it a stock feature that can be found on each and every modern
Android device. Ever since the release of Android 5.0 Lollipop, Mobile Hotspot
button has also found its place on the Quick Settings panel when you pull down
on the screen.
Setting up the Mobile Hotspot
Before you can go ahead and start sharing the cellular internet on your Android device with other smart devices across a wireless network, you need to configure the mobile hotspot. While you can set up your mobile hotspot as an “Open Network” (Wi-Fi network without a password), we highly recommend that you set up a password for the mobile hotspot as an added safety measure.
Pull down on any screen on your
Android device to view the notification shade.
Tap on the gear icon on the bottom
right corner of the panel to open the Settings app.
In the Settings app, find the Network
& Internet tab (Pixel devices) or the Connections tab (Samsung
Scroll down to find the Hotspot
& Tethering menu and tap on it.
Now open the Wi-Fi Hotspot tab
on the next screen.
Here you can choose to change the Hotspot
Name, choose the Security encryption level, and enter the Hotspot
Once you have everything configured and ready to go, all you need to do is press the toggle switch next the Wi-Fi Hotspot tab to enable it. You can now go ahead and scan for available networks on the other smart devices and the Hotspot Name that you have saved your mobile phone’s hotspot connection should appear.
Additionally, you can make the Mobile Hotspot feature
easily accessible by adding it to the Quick Settings menu. All you need to do
slide down to view the notification shade, tap on the Edit icon and then
drag and drop the Hotspot tile to the Quick Settings window. You
will then be able to access the Mobile Hotspot service on your Android device
directly from the Quick Settings menu in an instant.
How to Use Your iPhone as a Wi-Fi
While Apple was late to join the party of helping users wirelessly tether the internet across multiple devices, you now do have the ability to turn your iPhone into a Wi-Fi hotspot. The ability to do so comes built into the Settings app itself, but just like you would want to on an Android device, it is recommended that you first set up the Personal Hotspot feature and password protect it before moving forward.
On your iPhone, go ahead and open the
Settings app, then select Mobile Data. (On devices running iOS 10 or
later, whereas the older versions of iOS have it as Mobile)
Tap on the Personal Hotspot tab, and
set the toggle switch to ON to enable the Personal Hotspot. (Tap the
slider so that it turns green.)
If the Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth toggles are turned
off, the system will ask you if you want to turn them on. Select Wi-Fi and
USB Only on the pop-up menu and the hotspot will be activated.
Tap on the Wi-Fi Password tab and
enter your password which will be used to secure your mobile hotspot
Now that the personal hotspot is active, you will be able to see the
name of your iPhone as an available Wi-Fi network under the Wi-Fi search menu
of other devices. Simply use the Wi-Fi password that you had saved previously to
access the personal hotspot and start using the internet from your iPhone on
With the methods that have been highlighted above, you can carry your
very own portable Wi-Fi hotspot anywhere at any time. However, the idea of
using your Android or iOS device as a full-fledged wireless router is not
perfect, since in most cases, the mobile data plan that you’re on is tied down
to your network carrier and the restrictions it puts forward.
There’s a good chance that the mobile data plan of your network carrier
restricts you to a certain amount of bandwidth each month, which is why it is
crucial that you don’t “let it lose” when it comes to using your phone as a
mobile hotspot. Make sure that you don’t update apps or stream tons of content
when using your smartphone as a mobile hotspot and you should be fine.
Will you be using your mobile device as a portable Wi-Fi hotspot to get
some entertainment going or get some work done on the go? Share your thoughts
with us in the comments section right down below or highlight any questions
that you may have, and we’ll be sure to respond right away.