How to Use an iPhone as a Data Hotspot

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Access to the Internet is vital in today’s hyper-connected world. And, it’s not always possible to find a Wi-Fi hotspot you can easily connect to. Because of my extensive travel, I used a Wi-Fi hotspot for many years to make sure I could connect to the Internet anywhere I had a cellular signal. It worked great but cost $50 a month for 50 GB of data download.


When Apple released iPhone 12, it included the ability to use your iPhone as a data hotspot. I quickly realized that I could use my phone to connect to the cellular data network to replace my separate hotspot.

I assume similar capabilities are available on the Android platform.

The availability of Wi-Fi has increased significantly over the last few years. I always worry about security using an unknown Wi-Fi signal. So, many times I may choose to use my iPhone hotspot instead of an available Wi-Fi signal. This is especially true if I want to do sensitive transactions such as accessing my bank account. Accessing the cellular data network is more secure than an open and unknown Wi-Fi signal.

Using your iPhone as a data hotspot is simple.

  • From the Settings app on your iPhone, tap Personal Hotspot.
  • Toggle on “Allow Others to Join.”
  • Go to your other device (laptop or tablet) and select the option for iPhone.
  • The first time you use it, you will need to enter the iPhone Wi-Fi password
  • You can connect to your iPhone’s data using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or a USB cable. I usually use Wi-Fi.

iPhone HotSpot

I also have an iPad but elected not to get cellular capability and, instead, use my iPhone to connect to the Internet. If I don’t have a Wi-Fi signal, I connect to my iPhone. This saves me a little bit of money on the cost of the iPad and the additional monthly cellular data fee.

I suspect many of you are already using this capability of your iPhone. I am writing about it this week 1) as a reminder and 2) to help those who didn’t know their phones could function as a data hotspot.

What other tools do you use to access the Internet on the go securely?

Steve Anderson provides information to insurance agents about how they can use technology to increase revenue and/or reduce expenses. He speaks professionally to hundreds of agents each year on the future of technology, the social web, and how insurance agencies can establish their Internet presence.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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