How To Use Your Android Smartphone As A Mobile WiFi Hotspot?

One might think that WiFi is such a widespread technology that no matter where you go, you will have access to a free hotspot and the Internet. While WiFi is indeed very popular it is far from being available everywhere. You might encounter many situations when you need Internet access but there is no WiFi network nearby. When that happens, you can use your smartphone and its 3G or 4G connection and you don't even need a cable. This tutorial will cover all steps necessary to share your Android smartphone's mobile network connection with other devices and turn it into a mobile wireless hotspot:

When And Why Would You Use A Portable Hotspot?

The number of possibilities is quite large, but they all boil down to a single problem: you need Internet access and don't have any wireless or wired network to connect to. Usually all mobile network operators have mobile Internet coverage wherever there is a cellular signal, so you can make use of this instead of WiFi.

Creating a portable hotspot on your Android smartphone allows you to share the smartphone's mobile data connection via WiFi, so that other devices can connect to the Internet through it.

Of course, using your smartphone's mobile data can incur additional charges. Make sure that you have enough traffic left on your monthly plan, or switch to an unlimited mobile data plan if you need this feature often.

NOTE: you will not be able to connect to a wireless network with your smartphone while the hotspot is active, since the WiFi antenna is used for allowing other devices to connect to the hotspot.

How To Turn On & Set Up A Portable WiFi Hotspot On Android

Due to the incredibly numerous variations of the Android platform and the many kinds of modifications different manufacturers implement on their Android smartphones, you might find some of these settings in different places. We are using a Oneplus One running Android 5.0 Lollipop for demonstration, but don't be afraid: these are some quite basic settings and you should find them in the same (or at least similar) place on your smartphone as well.

First of all open Settings: to do this, tap the All apps icon on the smartphone's home screen. This is usually in the center of the bottom row and looks like a grid of dots.

When the list of all your apps opens, look for the Settings icon: the symbol is a wrench or a cog wheel most of the times.

The first part of the Settings screen on Android is usually the Wireless & networks section, and this is what we're looking for: tap More here to access the additional wireless settings.

Here, tap on Tethering & portable hotspot to start setting up your hotspot.

The first thing you should do is tap Set up Wi-Fi hotspot to configure the hotspot settings before starting it.

On this screen you can do two things: give the hotspot a name (this is the network you'll connect to on your computer or other devices) and possibly enter a password.

Enter any name you'd like in the Network name field then select a security setting under the Security drop-down menu: None disables security and the connection will not require a password (this is not recommended), so you should choose WPA2 PSK and enter a minimum 8 characters long password in the field below. You might want to check the Show password box to make sure you've typed just what you wanted. Finally, tap Save to save all settings.

Once you're done with the setup, tap Portable Wi-Fi hotspot to turn on the hotspot. The message Portable hotspot x active (where x is the name of the hotspot you've set up) will appear to indicate that the hotspot is functional.

Now you can connect your devices to the newly created wireless hotspot.

When devices are connected to the hotspot, depending on the version of Android you are using, a notification might appear, letting you know how many devices are connected to the hotspot.

How To Turn Off A Portable WiFi Hotspot On Android

Turning off the mobile hotspot is just as easy as turning it on. As a matter of fact, you need to follow the exact same steps you did, when you turned it on. So, from your smartphone's main screen tap All apps (the six little dots icon), then Settings. Here, look for More, under Wireless & Networks and tap on it.

Then tap Tethering & portable hotspot, and finally tap again on Portable Wi-Fi hotspot to turn it off. We suggest turning off the hotspot when you're not using it in order to save power and decrease mobile data traffic.

Conclusion

Setting up a portable hotspot is very easy on Android and it can be a life-saving feature: whether your router malfunctioned or you are somewhere with no access to WiFi, it can let you use your smartphone's data plan to access the Internet. If you have any questions regarding hotspots on Android, let us know in the comments. Or, if you had any interesting stories where a mobile hotspot got you out of a sticky situation, please, share it with us.