How to Turn iPhone Into Wi-Fi HotSpot
The iPhone Personal Hotspot feature allows you to share the iPhone’s cellular internet connection with other devices, whether that’s a Mac, iPad, another iPhone, Windows PC, Android device, or anything else that can connect through wi-fi. This feature basically turns your iPhone into a mobile wi-fi hotspot, allowing other devices to connect to the internet through the iPhone’s cellular data connection. Sometimes this is referred to as “tethering”, and it’s a really handy feature for everyone to use and be aware of.
Setting up iPhone Personal Hotspot feature is particularly convenient for when your other devices need access to the internet, but there is no available wi-fi connection, which can be a frequent situation for travelers, workers, students, or anyone else who has a need for a temporary internet connection on their devices.
How to Setup iPhone Personal Hotspot for Wi-Fi Sharing
Here’s how to set up and use the iPhone Personal Hotspot feature.
- Open the “Settings” app on iPhone
- Select “Personal Hotspot”
- Toggle the switch for “Allow Others to Join” to the ON position to enable Personal Hotspot on iPhone
- Recommended but strongly optional, setup a personal hotspot password by tapping “Wi-Fi Password”
- Now you can connect to the iPhone Personal Hotspot from other devices
The iPhone wi-fi hotspot has been enabled, and is now ready to use.
How to Join the iPhone Personal Hotspot from Another Computer / Device
From another computer or device, joining the wi-fi hotspot created by the iPhone is easy. Simply look for the iPhone name in the list of available wi-fi networks, and then join that network, authenticating as usual.
On the Mac, joining an iPhone Personal Hotspot is extra easy, as the wi-fi menu has a dedicated area to personal hotspot connections:
This feature has been on the Mac for a while, and it works great.
Similarly, you can connect an iPad to the iPhone wi-fi hotspot easily with the Instant Hotspot feature as well.
Help, Personal Hotspot isn’t showing up, the setting doesn’t work, or isn’t working!
If you do not see the Personal Hotspot option in Settings, or you can not enable the setting, it’s likely that your iPhone cellular data plan does not support the feature.
Remember, not all cellular carriers support Personal Hotspot, so if you do not see the feature available, or you can not turn the feature on with your iPhone, you may need to reach out to your cellular carrier provider support to learn more about how Personal Hotspot is supported for your particular data plan.
If iPhone Personal Hotspot is not working at all, you may want to consider taking additional troubleshooting steps as covered here, which may help get you online.
Important Considerations for Using iPhone Personal Hotspot
Some things to keep in mind when using the Personal Hotspot feature of iPhone are:
- Carrier Restrictions: Not all cellular carriers support Personal Hotspot. If you do not have the feature available on your iPhone, you will want to contact your cellular carrier and learn what your plans options are for using Personal Hotspot. Additionally, many carriers place limits on hotspot usage, or charge extra to access the feature.
- Data Usage: Personal Hotspot uses your iPhone’s cellular data plan, so be aware of your data limits to avoid unexpected overage charges. Some cellular data plans may be unlimited, but have limits on Personal Hotspot. It’s also much easier to use a lot more cellular data when using a computer than a cell phone, so be mindful of your internet usage.
- Battery Usage: Personal Hotspot will drain your iPhone battery much faster than usual, so you may want to plug in your iPhone during Personal Hotspot usage.
- Security: Be sure to set a wi-fi password to protect your Personal Hotspot and prevent unauthorized access. If the password you use is too simple, or others know it, you may want to change the personal hotspot password
Personal Hotspot is a fantastic feature that has been available on iPhone for a long time. Whether you’re a traveler or not, it’s still useful, even as a backup internet connection if your primary connection goes down.