What if you were out one day and suddenly an emergency meeting comes up and you need to connect your laptop or tablet to the internet but there’s no WiFi available nearby? Sounds nerve-wracking, right?
Don’t stress, because you have the next best thing in your hand already—your smartphone.
Yes, you read that right. All you need is your smartphone to function as a mobile hotspot kinda like a portable wireless router to share its network connection to your other devices.
“How can I use my smartphone as a mobile hotspot?” If you’re asking yourself this question, just stay tuned! Because I’m going to answer all that and more.
<<Looking for a reliable mobile hotspot? We found the 13 best portable hotspots perfect for teachers!
What is a mobile hotspot and how can a teacher benefit from it?
Imagine that we were back in the era of new-age technology, where computers were just starting to thrive back then and the internet was just being introduced to the masses—it was an absolute frenzy!
It helped revolutionize our world for the better, especially in the field of education.
But who would’ve thought that just a couple of decades later everything we need is now compressed into one small brick that we now call a smartphone?
We no longer need to have separate gadgets for certain tasks, if you need a calculator your phone has one. Need to take a picture? Your phone has a camera as well. Need to send an email? No need for a computer—because all you need is in the palm of your hand.
Smartphones have become so powerful today that they can even share their network connection to other nearby devices and act as a mobile hotspot which lets you share your smartphone’s network connection with your other devices.
And once they’re connected to your smartphone’s mobile hotspot, they too can connect to the internet as long as you have a stable data connection anytime and anywhere. Amazing right?
Think of them like portable wireless routers that you can use on the go and is particularly useful especially when there’s no WiFi available nearby and you really need it asap. For security reasons, mobile hotspots have their advantages too as most public WiFi networks can pose a threat to your online security too.
Most smartphones across different brands are already equipped with this feature which is thankfully very easy to set up and use as well and for the next part of our quick article, I will explain how to set up and use your mobile in just a few easy steps.
How Can I Use My Smartphone As A Mobile Hotspot? Answered in 3 Super Easy Steps!
Mobile Hotspot 101: iPhone Guide
Step 1: Tap Settings > Tap on Cellular > Tap on Personal Hotspot or Settings > Personal Hotspot
Step 2: Toggle on the slider next to “Allow others to join”
Step 3 (optional): tap “Wifi Password” to change the preset password to your preferred password for your shared network. You can now connect your other devices just like how you’re connecting to a WiFi network. Connect to your phone’s internet and you’re good to go.
Note: Steps may vary depending on your iPhone’s current iOS. Also, if you do not see the personal hotspot option you may contact your carrier to confirm if you can use the Personal Hotspot with your current plan.
Mobile Hotspot 101: Android Guide
Step 1: Tap Settings > Tap on Connections
Step 2: Tap on Mobile Hotspot and Tethering > Toggle the slider for Mobile Hotspot to On
Step 3: Afterwards, you can click on Mobile Hotspot again, and just below you should be able to see the section for the password.
Click on it and you should be able to set your personal and preferred password. In this way, you’ll be able to keep your mobile hotspot private and keep unknown devices from connecting at bay.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Mobile Hotspot
Of course, all things have their own pros and cons and that includes mobile hotspots. Here are some of the main aspects to help you decide when and where it’s necessary for you to use a mobile hotspot.
The advantages of a mobile hotspot
If you’re always on the go and need to access the internet across multiple devices then a mobile hotspot would be a great choice for you. As long as you have your smartphone with you and a good network signal you’ll have access to the internet without any issues.
Say goodbye to scouring multiple cafes just to get a decent WiFi connection. You can just simply find a comfortable spot and open your mobile hotspot and browse away.
Using your smartphone as a mobile hotspot does not mean that your network connection is only limited to smartphones only.
The great thing about mobile hotspots is that you can connect 5 up to 10 WiFi-based devices including laptops, tablets, other phones, and just about any other type of device that is WiFi-enabled. It’s just like a normal Wi-Fi source that you have at home.
A thing that teachers will also love about mobile hotspots aside from their mobility and versatility is how easy it is to use. With just a few taps here and there you’re all set with a good reliable internet source anytime and anywhere as long as your smartphone has great signal reception.
There’s no need for complicated set-ups and separate software to set up your own mobile hotspot because most brands have already built in the mobile hotspot feature which is really a game-changer on how we connect to the internet.
The disadvantages of a mobile hotspot
Just to give you a heads up, when it comes to speed a mobile hotspot might not be able to provide you with the same speed your home WiFi gives.
But I can tell you that it will give you a decent download and upload speed that can allow you to download files, attend zoom meetings, and do just about any regular browsing activity without a hitch.
2) Data Capping
Depending on your current plan with your carrier, you might not be able to get unlimited data connection the same as what you’re getting from your home WiFi plan. You might only be allotted a certain amount of gigabytes of data until your data will be capped by your carrier.
So it’s best to check with them first and see if you need an upgrade for your data allocation, that is if you’re planning to use your mobile hotspot frequently.
Try to analyze your data connection needs, if you think your current plan provides you with enough then good for you, if not you can always ask for an upgrade.
Another factor for you to take into consideration if you’re planning to use your mobile hotspot is its cost because unlike public WiFis it’s not free.
It is indeed a bit more pricy than WiFi home plans but if you do really require the data when you’re on the go and need to use your mobile hotspot, then I suggest you properly allocate a budget for your data usage.
And of course, when it’s not in use make sure to turn it off because some apps when they’re running in the background can still consume data silently without you even knowing it. This will then preserve your data for things that you actually need them for.
Steps To Take To Keep Your Mobile Hotspot Safe
If you were to pick between a cafe’s free public WiFi network or your very own mobile hotspot, which one will you choose? For me, it would be your own personal mobile hotspot, especially for security concerns. Using your own mobile hotspot lessens the chance for a number of security risks.
To further increase your protection from malware, ransomware, and hackers that can intercept your data when using your mobile data you can follow these steps below:
1. Protect your connection with a strong and complex password. It is recommended that you create a password that’s 8 characters long from a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters along with numbers and special characters as well (E.g !, @, #, $).
This will then heighten your security and will also keep unwanted devices from connecting to your mobile hotspot.
2. Another great tip is to change your connection’s password every now and then, this will make it harder for hackers and other anomalies from getting into your mobile hotspot’s connection.
3. Avoid downloading and extracting from unknown attachments and never access suspicious websites and links. Downloading unknown files or media can also pose a threat to your security.
4. To heighten your security, even more, it’s best to use a virtual private network to help you establish a secure connection between you and the internet. This also helps to mask your browsing activity from prying eyes especially when you’re out in public.
A VPN also helps to hide your actual IP address and even make your location invisible to everyone, this is a great wall to use especially if you want to counter any external attacks to your connection and security as well.
If you think that there are unknown devices connecting to your mobile hotspot you can simply check through your smartphone’s mobile hotspot setting in the Connected Devices section and you can choose to block that device from connecting to your mobile hotspot again.
There are pros and cons to weigh when it comes to using your smartphone as a mobile hotspot, but one thing is for sure having this feature is extremely helpful especially for emergency situations when you really need to stay or be connected.
I hope that this was helpful to you! If you have any additional questions about mobile hotspots just leave a comment down below, and I’d be glad to answer them all for you.
Until our next one! Stay safe!