This article will guide you how to use Cell phone as a WiFi hotspot.
With so many devices operating wirelessly these days, wireless internet access is almost everywhere. Having said that, taking advantage of tethering, one of the best smartphone functions, is not a tedious task. The feature lets your phone act as a Wi-Fi hotspot and share internet access to multiple Wi-Fi or Bluetooth enabled devices. The feature is a boon to many smartphone users who are always on the move.
Similar to how mobile hotspots work, these phones use a data network from their service providers to connect to the internet and distribute the data transmission to multiple devices. Though network providers charge you extra for internet access and tethering, it is a service worth utilizing, saving your time and efforts in finding a public hotspot. The Android market offers the most number of hotspot-capable mobile phones. All major network carriers support tethering services.
How it Works?
The way tethering works varied depending up on the phone and the OS platform, and majority of the Windows and Android phones support tethering. To initiate tethering, you need to launch the tethering app on your phone. In iPhones, it is under General<Network<Personal Hotspot. In most Android phones, it is under Network Settings. The next step is a one-time network configuration using a network name, security password and encryption type. As most phones come with WPA2 protection these days, you need not worry about others hacking into your mobile network.
Once the network is configured, the mobile acts as a Wi-Fi hotspot, and the network name appears in the other Wi-Fi enabled devices. Most network providers let you start the service directly whereas some require you to contact them for the settings, which will be delivered to your phone via a message.
Connecting Other Devices
Connecting other devices such as tablets, computers, mobiles etc can be done through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or using a USB cable to wire the device to the hotspot mobile. Choosing Wi-Fi will let you choose the network from the Wi-Fi network list. You can follow the same steps you take to add a wireless network to your computer along with entering the SSID and encryption details set up by the phone network. This finishes the set up and the next time you try to connect to the Wi-Fi network, you are not required to enter the SSID and password for the network. Once found connected, you can verify by opening a browser and accessing a website. By now, the network settings will be automatically saved in the device.
The networking sharing capacity depends upon the phone and the network in question. However, most models support the sharing of between five to eight clients. While doing so, the bandwidth is shared and spread out, thereby slowing down the network speed in each device. Moreover, the speed of the network depends on your network provider, the distance between your mobile phone and the network’s closest transmission tower, and the congestion of the network at the moment you are connecting. Most network carriers impose a data transfer limit. Upon crossing the limit, you will be charged for each extra MB you use.
On an average, most mobile phones offer a Wi-Fi range of 100 feet. Unlike Wi-Fi routers, the bandwidth and signal strength descents once you move away from the Wi-Fi spot. In most cases, phones with CDMA-based 3G networks and HSPA-based 3G networks undergo network interruption upon making or receiving a call. However, 4G phones bypass such issues.
In addition to what your network provider offers, there are apps that let your phone act as a Wi-Fi hotspot. While your network providers charge you a fee for tethering, these apps let you connect free of cost. Such apps like MyWi for iPhone, Android Wi-Fi tether for Android phones etc lets you tether without the approval from your network carrier, which is an offense and a dangerous activity. Most network carriers scan for such the mobile numbers that have these apps activated and might even upgrade your tethering plans and charge you for the services. In extreme cases, the carriers cut off your services upon discovering this activity.
Connecting your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot eat up a lot of battery. If you are travelling, it is wise to have a backup battery handy. While connecting from home, plug in the mobile charger for uninterrupted internet access.