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How to Turn Your Mobile Phone into a Wi-Fi Hotspot

How to Turn Your Mobile Phone into a Wi-Fi Hotspot

When you’re out of the house and relaxing at a public joint, you’d probably browse for any public Wi-Fi available. However, public Wi-Fi is very dangerous even if you’re accessing encrypted websites.

Enabling your Wi-Fi hotspot feature on your Android handset enables one to create a safe and reliable portable Wi-Fi network so as to connect other devices to the internet. If you’re in need of using your laptop to connect to the internet but have no Wi-Fi near you, one can always utilize the data plan on their phones.

There are mainly two basic reasons that one may want to use a hotspot. They include:

  1. Convenience – it takes a little bit of time to find the network and log on to use the internet, whereas turning on the hotspot on your phone is much quicker.
  2. Security – A small percentage of us are exposed to any dangers on cybersecurity. A public network is less secure inherently than a private network that you’re running yourself.

How to Set Up a Wi-Fi Hotspot on Android Devices

To set up your portable Wi-Fi Hotspot on your Android phone, simply go to Settings and scroll to “More Networks” and tap it (Other phones may have Connections instead of More Networks). Once there, you’ll find “Tethering and Portable Hotspot”.

There are actually two options you can choose to go for. You can tether your phone using a USB connection to save a lot of battery power. As a matter of fact, connecting your phone to the laptop is a great way to set up a hotspot.

Select the “Tethering and Portable Hotspot” and choose between Portable Wi-Fi hotspot and USB tethering. Selecting Portable Wi-Fi hotspot will result in a pop-up window telling you that selecting this option will turn the Wi-Fi off.  It may seem counter-intuitive but for it to work, it has to turn off the Wi-Fi in order for you to turn on the hotspot – which is directly connected to the phone’s radio.

Other Options

If your carrier doesn’t allow your phone to harness the data plan on your phone, one may still get around this by using third-party apps. To set up a hotspot with a service plan:

  1. Check With Your Carrier

While some services include free mobile hotspot usage on all plans, not all wireless services allow the use of mobile hotspots without paying an extra fee. If your plan does not support mobile hotspots, you will not be able to enable your hotspot.

  1. Open the Settings Menu

You can access this from the Settings app on your home screen or app drawer. You can also press the phone’s menu button and selecting “Settings”.

  1. Tap “More” in the “Wireless and Network” Section
  2. Tap the “Tethering and Portable Hotspot Menu”

This is typically located in the “Wireless and Network” section of the Settings menu. You may need to tap “More” to find it.

  1. Tap the “Set Up Wi-Fi Hotspot” to Change Your Settings

Adjust your hotpot settings before activating your mobile hotspot, you should ensure that it is properly secured and that the SSID network name does not contain any personal information.

  • Security – Unless you’re trying to connect an old device that does not support newer security protocols, you should always have this set to WPA2-PSK.
  • Hotspot Frequency Band – By default, this is set to 2.4 GHz. You can always keep this setting but you may want to change it to 5 GHz in crowded areas. 5 GHz lowers the range.
  • Password – You should always have a password set without exception. Make sure that it is strong and memorable as one has to enter it on the devices they are connecting to the hotspot with.
  1. Check the Portable Wi-Fi hotspot Box to Enable the Hotspot

Your service plan will be checked to see if you are allowed to create one. If you receive an error, you need to contact your carrier and inquire about setting up a mobile hotspot on your plan. You may not have access to it unless you spend more money.

  1. Connect to the Hotspot on Another Device

Open the “connect to network” menu on the device you want to connect to the hotspot. You should see your new hotspot in the list of available networks. Select it and enter the password you created. Your device will now connect to the hotspot.

  1. Tap the “Data Usage Option” in the “Wireless and Network” Section of the Settings Menu to Monitor your Data Usage.

Using your hotspot will burn through your allotted data much quicker than simply using your phone to browse the internet. Be prepared to see your usage increase when using your hotspot.

Third-Party Apps and Tethering Restrictions

There are third-party apps available in the Google Play Store for those whose Android devices don’t have built-in methods. At times, the phone carrier might place restrictions on data usage for devices that connect via hotspot. Apps such as PdaNet+ offer a work-around, but one might find they require a rooted phone that bypasses tethering restrictions on your Android phone entirely.