How to … use your phone as a wifi hotspot

A quick fix for a broadband emergency

 

Earlier this week, disaster struck. Virgin Media’s broadband service went down. For hours.

If you depend on your internet connection for work or entertainment, as many of us do, a glitchy broadband connection is a problem.

In an emergency though, you can use your smartphone as a stand in, once you have a mobile data connection.

A couple of things to watch out for:

Only do this if you are sure you have enough of a data allowance to cope with tethering it to your PC, tablet or other device. Streaming video, for example, will eat into your data allowance pretty quickly, depending on the quality you are streaming at. If you have a 1GB allowance each month, you might want to look at other options.

Also, check with your mobile provider what the out of allowance fees are. It can add up quickly if you are deemed to be using data outside your allowance.

Finally, double check your mobile provider allows tethering. In the past, some people have been caught out by tethering their phones to other devices, thinking that they were using their data allowance when in fact they were being charged. That can be an expensive mistake to make.

To enable your wifi hotspot on your phone:

On iOS

Go to Settings>Mobile Data and select Personal Hotspot. Switch the slider to On. If your wifi and Bluetooth are switched off, you will be prompted to turn on Bluetooth and Wifi, or else connect via a USB cable. If you want to connect wirelessly - to another phone or tablet, for example - you’ll have to switch on wifi at the very least.

You’ll also see your Wifi password on that page, which is automatically generated. You can change it by selecting wifi password, and putting your own password of choice.

On Android

Go to Settings>Mobile hotspot & tethering and select mobile hotspot. Switch it to On.

On the same page, you can change your password, or limit what devices can connect to your hotspot.

To connect to your wifi hotspot to your chosen device, simply go to your wifi settings and look for your phone’s name in the list of wifi networks, select it, put in your password, and you are good to go.

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