Using your phone as a mobile hotspot offers an excellent way to stream movies and access other content on-the-go from your wireless enabled computer or other device. Utilizing your mobile phone as a hotspot is like having a portable router wherever you need it. The following are things to think about when considering using your smartphone as a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Note: Before you setup your wireless hotspot, contact your wireless service provider to make sure your monthly mobile plan allows tethering. Additionally, be advised that using your phone as an access point may use excessive data and additional fees may apply.
1. Finding a Hotspot Enabled Phone
When looking for a phone that allows Wi-Fi tethering, consider going to shop online for BB10 OS enabled phones. However, these are not the only phones that allow Internet tethering, so your options are very open. The type of phone you choose will affect your mobile hotspot speeds and other options. Be sure to choose a mobile phone that can keep up with your connection needs.
2. How Tethering Works
Tethering is the act of setting up a personal Wi-Fi hotspot, which allows you to use your phone as a modem and router. With a phone that allows you to tether, you can give any other device you own connection to the Internet. Generally, you will have to enable the hotspot option in the settings section of your phone, and you will have to configure a password so that strangers cannot piggyback off of your connection.
3. Figuring Out Costs
Almost all carriers offer the tethering option, and they will all charge you extra (monthly) for it. Generally, this feature will run you $15 – $30 a month, but there are apps that allow you to create free hotspots. Of course, carriers do not support these apps, and most carriers shut them down when they can. Some carriers have even been known to add a tethering fee to your bill, automatically, if you have been using one of these illegal apps.
4. Navigating Common Pitfalls
There are a few pitfalls to consider when setting up a personal hotspot through the use of your smartphone. One is data. Your data plan, if not set to unlimited, can be very quickly used by allowing your tablet or laptop to connect to your phone’s hotspot. The reason is because, often times, your other devices will think of your Wi-Fi hotspot as a fixed broadband line. There are apps that help you keep a close eye on your data, however.
A second concern is your battery. Running your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot really drains it of its juices, so consider plugging it in when using this feature, or consider carrying a second battery – just in case.
When considering using your phone as a mobile hotspot, remember to keep these ideas in mind. Though there are many free options, consider paying the extra money for this feature to obtain it legally.
Image source: Flickr by Tsahi Levent-Levi