Tech Tips

How to use your iPhone & Android phone as a mobile hotspot

Want to connect your laptop to Wi-Fi while you’re on the go? Or maybe you’re working from home while social distancing, and your internet connection is less than stellar. If so, no need to rely on public networks—use your smartphone’s mobile hotspot to share internet with other devices using your mobile data. A friendly reminder that Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, among other carriers, offer hotspot plans, so check with your wireless provider to discover if additional data charges may apply.

What is a mobile hotspot?

A mobile hotspot lets you share your smartphone’s network connection with your other mobile devices so they too can connect to the internet anywhere that you have mobile service. Most smartphones, including the Samsung Galaxy and iPhone, have built-in features that allow you to quickly turn on a Wi-Fi hotspot from the Settings or App menu.

Sure, free Wi-Fi can now be found everywhere from coffee shops to national parks, but using public Wi-Fi always carries certain security risks and often requires you to give out personal information, like your email address, in order to use the service. Using your smartphone’s mobile hotspot allows you to put extra security measures in place to help protect you and your private information.

How to turn your iPhone into a mobile hotspot

  1. Tap Settings , then Personal Hotspot.
  2. Toggle on Personal Hotspot. Then, tap Wi-Fi Password to change the password for your shared network.
  3. Connect your computer to your phone’s internet. Tap your preferred way to connect below.

Note: Your iCloud devices will be able to use it automatically

How to turn your Android phone into a mobile hotspot

  1. Click on Settings, then Connections.
  2. Then, click on Mobile Hotspot and Tethering.
  3. Toggle Mobile Hotspot to On.
  4. Once toggled on, click on Mobile Hotspot again and scroll down to Password. Here, you can change the password to something difficult enough to help keep unwelcome guests from joining.

How to block others from using your mobile hotspot

The easiest way to block others from using your personal mobile hotspot is to protect it with a strong, complex password. Combine uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as numbers and special characters like $, @, and #, to create a password that’s at least 8 characters long. Don’t use personal information, like your anniversary or your pet’s name, and avoid using repetitive characters.

If you suspect someone is using your mobile hotspot without your permission, you can check to see who is on it by going to the Hotspot section in your phone’s Settings and scroll down to look at Connected Devices. If someone is on that you don’t want to be, disconnect your mobile hotspot altogether and reactivate it using a completely different password. Some devices also offer you the option to click on the user under Connected Devices and choose “Block.”

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