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How to Create a Mobile Hotspot with an Android Phone

The mobile hotspot feature allows your Android phone to share its cellular data connection by creating a Wi-Fi network. Other Wi-Fi devices — computers, laptops, other mobile devices — can then access that Wi-Fi network and use the phone’s cellular data network. The process is referred to as creating a mobile wireless hotspot, though no heat or fire is involved.

To set up a mobile hotspot with your phone, heed these steps:

  1. Turn off the Wi-Fi radio.

    There’s no point in creating a Wi-Fi hotspot when one is already available.

  2. Plug the phone into a power source.

    The mobile hotspot feature can draw a lot of power.

  3. Open the Settings app.

    It’s found on the apps screen. Some phones may feature a Mobile Hotspot or 4G Hotspot app. If so, open it instead.

  4. Touch the More item in the Wireless & Networks section, and then choose Tethering & Portable Hotspot.

    The Tethering & Mobile Hotspot item might be found on the main settings app screen.

    You may see text describing the process. If so, dismiss the text.

  5. Touch the box to place a check mark by the Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot or Mobile Hotspot item.

    The hotspot is on, but you may want to confirm some of the settings.

    If the hotspot doesn’t come on or the item is disabled, your phone is incapable of creating a Wi-Fi hotspot or that feature is unavailable under your data subscription plan.

  6. Choose the Set Up Wi-Fi Hotspot item to give the hotspot a name, or SSID, and then review, change, or assign a password.

    Touch the fields on the Set Up Wi-Fi Hotspot screen to assign a name and password. Touch the Save or OK button to set your changes.

When the mobile hotspot is active, you see the Hotspot Active notification icon, similar to the one shown. You can then access the hotspot by using any computer or mobile device that has Wi-Fi capabilities.

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To turn off the mobile hotspot, remove the check mark as described in Step 5.

  • The range for the mobile hotspot is about 30 feet. Items such as walls and tornados can interfere with the signal, rendering it much shorter.

  • When you use the mobile hotspot, data usage fees apply, and they’re on top of the fee your cellular provider may charge for the basic service. These fees can add up quickly.

  • Don’t forget to turn off the mobile hotspot when you’re done using it.

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