Ask The Techspert: Using Personal Hotspot

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In the previous Techspert article, Connecting to Wi-Fi, we discussed how to wirelessly connect your smartphone and computer to the internet and recommended taking extra care when using public Wi-Fi. This article will cover a safe way to connect to the internet wirelessly in public by using your smartphone as a personal hotspot.

Personal hotspot is a smartphone feature that allows you to share your phone’s internet connection with other devices. It creates a private Wi-Fi bubble powered by your phone’s data. All recent Android and iOS smartphones come with the personal hotspot feature.

How to set up a personal hotspot

On Android:

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Tap Network & internet.
  • Select hotspot & tethering.
  • Tap on Wi-Fi hotspot.
  • Make a note of the password or change it if needed.
  • Turn on the switch beside Use Wi-Fi hotspot.

Ussing Personal Hotspot

On iOS:

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Go into Personal Hotspot
  • Make a note of the password or change it if needed.
  • Turn on the switch beside Allow Others to Join.

Using Personal Hotspot

What about my phone’s data plan?

Some cellular carriers offer a separate data allotment for hotspot usage, and others combine it. Other phone plans do not allow the use of the hotspot feature. Always check your phone plan for more information about hotspot usage

When to use the personal hotspot feature?

Since most phone plans do not offer unlimited hotspot support, you should utilize the feature only when needed. For example, when you want to connect your computer or tablet to the internet in an area without Wi-Fi. Personal hotspot also comes in handy when you need a secure Wi-Fi connection for your other devices, no matter where you are.

Things to keep in mind

  • The hotspot feature can be heavy on the phone’s battery.
  • Using the hotspot feature, you can share your phone’s data with up to 10 devices.
  • The data used with a hotspot connection depends on your internet activity. When connected to a hotspot network, limit your internet activities to small tasks like sending emails, etc. Watching a movie on a hotspot network can quickly be costly.
  • For heavy internet users, hotspot devices are available. Most cellular carriers offer these hotspot devices with a separate data plan from your phone. You can find more information about hotspot devices in this article by DigitalTrends.

Leave a comment below with any questions or input that you might have.

Jonathan-Techspert-techTechspert Jonathan is Senior Planet’s Sr. Digital Community Relations and Product Specialist and a former Senior Planet San Antonio technology trainer. He is also an iOS developer with a background in Information Systems and Cyber Security.

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