The INSIDER Summary:
- One of the iPhone’s most useful features is the ability to turn your cellular data into Wi-Fi.
- You can find and enable “Personal Hotspot” in your iPhone’s Settings menu.
- However, this feature is only included in certain data plans, so you should check with your phone carrier before using it.
One of the iPhone’s most useful features is the ability to turn your cellular data into Wi-Fi.
Known as tethering, Personal Hotspot has been available on the iPhone 4 and later since it was introduced on iOS 4.3 in 2011.
If you’re a college student or someone who travels a lot for work, you’ve probably heard of or used this feature. If not, however, the good news is that it takes mere seconds to set up.
First, make sure Wi-Fi is enabled on your iPhone. Then, go to your iPhone’s Settings menu and tap “Personal Hotspot.” On iOS 6 or earlier, go to Settings > Network > Personal Hotspot. Once you’re there, tap the toggle next to “Personal Hotspot” to begin sharing your phone’s connection to the internet with nearby devices such as your laptop.
To connect a device to your Personal Hotspot, just enable Wi-Fi on that device, select your phone’s name on the list of available networks, and enter the randomly-generated password shown on the Personal Hotspot screen. If you want to change the password to something that’s a little easier to remember, tap “Wi-Fi Password.”
You can also connect devices to your Personal Hotspot via Bluetooth or USB.
While this feature is technically free to use, Personal Hotspot is only available if tethering is included in your phone’s data plan. For example, Verizon includes tethering, or Mobile Hotspot, on the following plans: the new Verizon Plan, The Verizon Plan, The MORE Everything® Plan, and the $40 to $70 monthly prepaid smartphone plans.
If you’re not sure whether your plan supports Personal Hotspot, you should check with your phone carrier.
Also, if you don’t have an unlimited data plan, keep in mind that your Personal Hotspot can quickly drain your data if you’re doing things like downloading apps or streaming movies. Be sure to check your data usage to prevent yourself from going over your limit and having to pay the price on your phone bill.
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