If you are out somewhere and find there’s no Wi-Fi connection for your laptop or you don’t want to run the risk of using a public Wi-Fi network, you can always press your phone into service as a Wi-Fi hot spot. Using your phone this way is often called tethering, and it’s usually quick and easy to set up, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
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What You Need to Know About Tethering
Different carriers and plans have different rules about tethering. To avoid unexpected charges, always check before you use your phone as a hot spot. Tethering is typically included, but it will count against your data allowance.
Even with supposedly “unlimited” data plans, there are some limitations. Web browsing should not be a problem, but if you want to stream video to your laptop using your phone as a Wi-Fi hot spot, for example, you may run into restrictions. Throttling is common when certain data limits are reached, so check the fine print on your plan.
For tethering to work well, you will need a strong mobile data connection on your phone. When your phone acts as a hot spot, it works just like a mini router and appears as a regular Wi-Fi network option, so it’s vital to set a password, or anyone can connect and use your data.
While it is typically slower than regular Wi-Fi, a strong 4G or 5G signal will allow for relatively fast speeds. Using your phone as a hot spot will also rapidly drain the battery, so it’s smart to snag a portable charger and be aware that it can cause your phone to get very warm.
How to Set Up Your iPhone to Be a Wi-Fi Hot Spot
It’s a cinch to set up tethering on your iPhone. Here’s how: