At FixIT Mobile, we’re proud to serve as your comprehensive smartphone repair and use specialists in Salt Lake City and nearby areas. Not only do we offer the very best in smartphone repair and other device repair services, we’re also happy to help our clients with any of the basic functionalities of their phone, plus how to utilize these features without risking any software or even hardware issues cropping up.
One feature that’s incredibly common and is used regularly by both Apple and Android owners: The ability to set up a mobile hotspot from the phone, one that can provide a wireless internet connection for other devices. This can be incredibly useful when there’s no readily available Wi-Fi and a wired connection is unavailable or impractical.
But in order to use this feature, it’s important to understand a few things about how it works and some of the potential dangers of doing so without taking a few precautions. Here are the basics on how to set up a mobile hotspot, using the iPhone as our test example — plus some basics on how to connect to a personal hotspot that’s been set up in various ways.
Adding a Personal Hotspot on iPhone
When you look to set up a hotspot from your iPhone, what you’re really doing is taking your phone’s 4G or 5G connection to cellular data, and sharing that connection with other devices. The advantage of doing this is that, if you’re paying for a data plan that offers “unlimited” hotspot usage (as most do), you can share that data connection with other devices without having to pay extra for each one. In other cases, you can use this form of internet connection when others aren’t available, such as in a hotel room or at an airport.
To set up a personal hotspot on an iPhone, go to: Settings > Cellular > Personal Hotspot. You’ll need to turn on the switch here, and then tap “Wi-Fi Password” to create a password for your hotspot. This is the password that other devices will need to enter in order to connect.
There will also be the option “Allow Others to Join,” which you should generally toggle on as long as you trust the people you’re sharing your connection with. With this option enabled, anyone within range of your iPhone’s hotspot will be able to connect to it, as long as they have the password.
What if your Settings menu does not display the Personal Hotspot option? In this case, your first remedy should be checking that you’re running the latest carrier update, plus that you’re on the most recent iOS update for your iPhone. If you’re using an older model iPhone (such as the iPhone 6 or SE), it’s worth considering upgrading to a newer model, as support for these features will eventually be discontinued.
If you’ve checked that both of those things are up-to-date and Personal Hotspot is still not appearing in your Settings, it’s possible your plan itself does not include data tethering. While most plans today include this service, some older plans or prepaid plans may not. In this case, you’ll need to upgrade your plan or find an alternate means of connecting to the internet.
Our next several sections will look at how to connect devices to your hotspot once it’s set up — using a few different methods that might be available.
The most common method of accessing a mobile hotspot is via standard Wi-Fi. When you’re in range of the hotspot, open up the Settings on your device and look for the network called “Personal Hotspot.” This will be the name of your iPhone’s hotspot, followed by a number (usually 6 or 8).
Once you’ve found this network, enter the password you created earlier and hit “Join.” Note that every device will need this password in order to access the hotspot.
Note also that some older devices may require you to manually connect via Wi-Fi, instead of automatically doing it for you. This is typically only an issue with earlier models, however; newer Apple and Android devices should be able to support automatic connection (and usually do).
In other cases, you can use Bluetooth to connect a device to your new mobile hotspot. Go to your Settings and find the Bluetooth page, then grab the device you’re looking to connect. You will then have to pair it with your iPhone, following whatever on-screen instructions are available.
Once it’s connected, you can bring up the Settings again and look for the Personal Hotspot connection option — then enter the password to begin using it.
If you’re using an older model of iPhone or another device that doesn’t support Bluetooth connections, don’t worry — you can still use a USB cable to make the connection. This will require that both devices be physically close to each other, as the cable has to be connected directly from one to the other.
Once they’re connected, go back to your Settings and find the Personal Hotspot connection option. At some point, an alert will pop up on your screen asking if you trust the device — you should answer yes. From here, enter the password and you’ll be all set to go.
Once you’ve connected, remember to watch your data usage. Some carriers will charge a separate fee for the use of a personal hotspot, so check with them if you have any concerns about this. You can also choose to turn the hotspot off when not in use to save data.
For more on how to set up and access a mobile hotspot from your smartphone, or to learn about any of our phone repairs, tablet repairs or other device repair services in SLC, speak to the staff at FixIT Mobile today.