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How to Set Up a Mobile Hotspot on Any Device

If you find yourself in a place without WiFi, you can always use your phone, or any device with data, as a mobile hotspot. Here’s how to set up a hotspot on your phone or computer. 

What is a Mobile Hotspot? 

A mobile hotspot converts the 3G or 4G signal from cellular networks into a WiFi signal. Many smartphones and computers have the ability to share their data via tethering. 

Warning: Using your phone as a mobile hotspot will eat up your data. Contact your mobile phone service provider for more details on your data plan. 

How to Set Up a Hotspot on iPhone

If you’re using an iPhone or another iOS device, follow the steps below to set up your mobile hotspot:

  1. Open the Settings app. This is the gear-shaped app that comes pre-loaded on all iPhones and iPads. 
  2. Then tap Cellular.
  3. Go to Personal Hotspot. 
  4. Toggle the slider to turn on the personal hotspot. You will know it is on if it is green.
  5. Finally, enter a password.
How to Set Up a Mobile Hotspot on iPhone

Now that you have turned your device into a hotspot, you will have a new WiFi network with the same name as the device.

How to Turn on a Mobile Hotspot on Android

If you’re using an Android, here’s how to turn on tethering to share your data: 

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Then tap your network and connectivity settings option.
    • On Samsung phones, this will be under “Connections.”
    • For Motorola Moto and Google Pixel users, this will be under “Network & Internet.”
    • LG phone users will find this option under “Tethering.”
    • Huawei users will have to go to “Wireless & Networks.”
  3. Open Hotspot & Tethering. This may also be labeled “Tethering & Portable Hotspot” on your phone.
  4. Tap Portable Hotspot.
  5. Toggle the switch on to share your data. In this page, you can choose to configure your hotspot settings, such as your data limit, network name, password, etc. 
How to Turn on a Mobile Hotspot on Android

Depending on what phone you have, you can also turn on your mobile hotspot by swiping down from the top of your phone screen and selection Mobile Hotspot from the quick access menu.

Mobile Hotspot from the quick access menu

How to Setup a Mobile Hotspot on a Mac

If you’re working on a Mac, here’s how to set up a mobile hotspot: 

  1. Click on the Apple icon on the top left corner of your screen.
  2. Then click System Preferences. 
  3. Select Sharing.
  4. Click Internet Sharing on the lower-left panel. 
  5. From the “Share your connection from” dropdown, choose an internet connection. If your computer is connected via Ethernet, choose that. Otherwise, it’s best to choose iPhone USB.
  6. Choose Wi-Fi from the “To computers using:” options. At this point, you can choose to configure your Mac mobile hotspot by clicking on the WiFi options button. Click OK when done. 
  7. Click the square next to Internet Sharing again. This will turn on your hotspot.
  8. From the pop-up click Start to share your connection. 
how to set up a mobile hotspot

If you want to change your hotspot settings, click Wi-Fi options at the bottom-right corner of the System Preferences window. From there, you can set a Wi-Fi password or change the network name, which will be the name of your computer by default.

set up a mobile hotspot mac

How to Set Up a Mobile Hotspot on a Windows PC

For Windows users, follow the instructions below to set up a mobile hotspot from your computer: 

  1. Click the Windows start button. This is the button shaped like the Windows logo in the bottom-left corner of your screen.
  2. Then select Settings. This is the gear-shaped icon just above the power icon.
  3. Go to Network & Internet.
  4. Then click Mobile Hotspot. This will be located in the left sidebar.
  5. Choose the connection that you want to share. Your options will depend on what kind of internet connection your computer has.
  6. Select Wi-Fi from the “Share my Internet connection over” list.
  7. Turn on “Share my Internet connection with other devices.”
How to Set Up a Mobile Hotspot on a Windows PC

You can also change your hotspot name and password by clicking the Edit button under “Chare my Internet connection over.”

how to set up a hotspot

You can also use a dedicated mobile hotspot router made to connect to the internet anywhere. Check out our list of the best mobile hotspot routers on the HelloTech blog.  

Updated on January 29, 2020

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