When you are out and about and are in dire need for a Wi-Fi connection, where do you go? Sometimes there are important tasks that you can't accomplish on your smartphone alone and may require a laptop or a tablet's applications.
Although there are plenty of locations to go for free and public Wi-Fi access, they're not actually the safest way to access the internet on the go. If you're on the road all the time, you might even be thinking of purchasing an instant hotspot gadget and data plan from your cellphone carriers.
But did you know that you might not have to because there's already one in your pocket?
Yes, most newer smartphones including iPhones and Android phones already have built-in support for internet connection sharing via personal hotspots.
This option basically turns your smartphone into a Wi-Fi router with its own network for connecting your other gadgets.
This will surely come in handy if you're traveling with a laptop, a tablet or a portable gaming console. You can even connect a streaming device if ever you get stuck in a hotel room without an internet connection.
Important: Now, depending on your data plan, your phone's hotspot or tethering feature could cost you extra charges or may not be available so check with your carrier about your mobile data plan first.
Also, data used by your connected gadgets will be taken off your mobile data allowance so use it sparingly to prevent data overages.
Ready to learn how?
How to turn on an iPhone's Personal Hotspot feature:
1. Go to your iPhone's Settings then tap on "Personal Hotspot."
2. On this "Personal Hotspot" settings page, it is recommended that you first set up a strong password under "Wi-Fi Password."
3. Toggle "Personal Hotspot" to On (It turns green).
4. If your iPhone's Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are off, a prompt will appear asking you to turn them on. If you opt not to, your tethering will be limited to USB only.
5. Scan the available Wi-Fi networks from the gadget that you are connecting, your iPhone's hotspot will show up with its name (an iPhone's name can be set under Settings >> General >> About).
6. Connect to the iPhone then enter the Wi-Fi password you entered on step 2.
7. Congratulations! You are now connected to your iPhone's Hotspot.
Alternatively, you can also tether to your iPhone's Hotspot using Bluetooth or a USB cable.
To use your iPhone's Bluetooth hotspot, open your gadget's Bluetooth settings, find your iPhone on the list of available Bluetooth devices, then pair by entering the pairing code and accepting the request.
Tethering via USB cable is simple. As long as your iPhone's Hotspot is turned on and it's connected to your computer via USB then you're all set.
How to turn on an Android phone's Portable Hotspot feature:
1. Go to your Android's Settings >> Wireless & networks then tap "Tethering & portable hotspot."
2. Tap "Set up Wi-Fi hotspot."
3. Here, it is recommended that you customize your Network name, add security then set up a strong password.
4. Scan the available Wi-Fi networks from the gadget that you are connecting, your Android phone's network name will show up with its name.
5. Connect to the Android phone by entering the Wi-Fi password you entered in step 3.
7. Congratulations! You are now connected to your Android phone's hotspot.
(Note: You can't use your Android's Hotspot feature if Data Saver is on.)
Similar to the iPhone, you can also tether to your Android phone via Bluetooth or a USB cable.
To turn on, go to your Android's Settings >> Wireless & networks, tap "Tethering & portable hotspot" then tap "Bluetooth tethering" to turn it on. Just pair your gadget to your Android via Bluetooth to start tethering.
To connect via USB cable, go to your Android's Settings >> Wireless & networks, tap "Tethering & portable hotspot" then tap "USB tethering" to turn it on. Connect your gadget to your Android phone via USB cable to start tethering. (Note: Macs are not compatible with Android USB tethering.)