Sometimes we find ourselves with no Wi-Fi, but needing to go online on a laptop or tablet, so you’ll want to know about Wi-Fi hotspots.
There are two ways to access the internet wirelessly. Cellular service is generated by the cell tower infrastructure. It is generally limited to cell phones and some higher end tablets. To use cellular service, the device has to be in range of these cell towers. A paid subscription for the data being used is also required.
Wi-Fi is a different kind of a wireless connection. It is generated by a router and is available to most tablets and computers. The device in this case has to be near the router and needs the Wi-Fi network name and password.
The key to a Wi-Fi hotspot, is that a cell phone with a connection to cellular service can act like a router and create a Wi-Fi network that a computer or tablet near it can join. In this way, a laptop can go on the Internet in an area that has cellular service but not a router with a Wi-Fi network.
Purchase a Wi-Fi Hotspot
A WiFi Hotspot in this case is a small device that connects to the Internet via cell towers. The device then provides a Wi-Fi connection for other devices. This type of device will require the purchase of a monthly data plan. The data allowed will be limited based on the level of the plan.
This type of device is especially useful for people who routinely find themselves in locations where there is cellular service, but no Wi-Fi.
How to Create a Wi-Fi Hotspot with a Phone
On an iPhone, open Settings and scroll down to Personal Hotspot.
Tap the > next to Off.
The wifi network name will be the same as the name of the phone. The Wi-Fi password will be shown here.
If you want to allow other devices to log into this Wi-Fi network, tap the slider to the right of Allow Others to Join.
That will open the following information describing the ways to connect to this Wi-Fi network.
The process on most Android phones is very similar. Slide your finger down from the top of the screen to display the control panel, which may have a Hotspot icon. Otherwise open settings and choose the Internet settings.
Things to know
The Wi-Fi network you are creating will use your cellular data plan. If you have limited cellular data, this might be a concern. Even if you have a cellular plan with unlimited data, the data transfer rate may be slowed down when you are using it as a hotspot.
Only devices that you allow to connect to your Wi-Fi hot spot will be able to access this network. You control the password for logging into this network.
Remember to turn off the hotspot when you are done using it. This will protect you from accidentally using more data than you intend.
If you would like some help with this process, just call or email and we’ll be happy to assist you! If you have specific questions, or if our terminology isn’t clear, please use our contact form to send us a message. Thank you!