20th Jun 2023

What is a mobile hotspot and how does it work?


Mobile hotspots, sometimes referred to as portable hotspots, are portable Wi-Fi connections that use your smartphone data, allowing you to connect other devices to the internet. To learn more about what mobile hotspots are, how they work and their various uses and benefits – read on!


What is a mobile hotspot?

Starting at the beginning, Wi-Fi connections are generally tied to physical locations through a router and if you walk or move out of range, you lose connection, and your internet drops out. Mobile hotspots on the other hand, as the name implies, can move around with you on the go.


How does mobile hotspotting work?

Mobile hotspots make use of your smartphones data to broadcast a Wi-Fi connection, allowing you to connect other devices like your iPad or laptop to the internet. This means that your other devices share your smartphones data connection. You can and should set up a password for your mobile hotspot, which means no one else can join your connection unless they have the password. This helps for not only data security, but also ensures no one else can use your mobile data.


What can you use a mobile hotspot for? 

A mobile hotspot can be used for nearly anything you need! Assuming you have phone signal (which is a key part of being able to use your data – if you have no phone signal, you’ll have no data), mobile hotspots are key for being able to have internet or Wi-Fi access in public from any device, so their uses can depend on your needs. 

Whether you are on the morning commute and want to do some work, want to hotspot your iPad for a child to play games or any other reason you may want to connect an additional device to the internet, mobile hotspotting is the perfect solution. From public transport to your office if the internet goes out or even a coffee shop, the uses are limitless.


How do I set up my mobile hotspot?

One of the best parts about using a mobile hotspot is that they are easy to set up. Sometimes sharing your data connection by way of a mobile hotspot is referred to as ‘tethering’ when your devices are linked.

Typically, your phone will have a Manage Connections or Settings menu and will include settings to help you set up.


The steps required will generally be:

1.     Turning the mobile hotspot option on

2.     You may have the option to maximise compatibility, which can be beneficial to turn on

3.     Set or change your password for your mobile hotspot connection

4.     Find your phone’s name on your other devices network and internet settings

5.     Click it

6.     Input the password

7.     Hit connect

8.     Use your mobile hotspot.


These steps may change depending on your phone model and setup, but as a general guide this will be the process you will follow.

As mentioned, it is strongly recommended that you set a password for your mobile hotspot to prevent others from jumping onto your connection.


What to keep in mind when using a mobile hotspot?

There are a few important considerations to keep front of mind when using your mobile hotspot, especially if it is something you do regularly.

Your data limit: Keep in mind that the more you use your hotspot, the more data you will be using. Generally, data usage is covered in your phone plan up to a certain amount and if you go over that limit the speed may reduce or you could be charged for the extra data you use. If you are downloading files, uploading them, or joining video calls via your hotspot it is important you keep an eye out for how much data you are going through.

Your battery life: Using your mobile hotspot will chew through your phone battery life. If you plan on being out all day but are using our mobile hotspot a fair bit, plan to have somewhere to charge your phone or even keep a portable charger on hand to make sure battery life is extended for as long as possible.


Want to update your data plan?

 If hotspotting sounds like the perfect solution for your needs but you either have an outdated device and want to update your mobile or want to add more data to your plan, the team at Southern Phone can help find you the perfect mobile solution.


View our plans or contact us to learn how we can help upgrade you today.


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