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How to set up a mobile hotspot on Android

Mobile hotspot button on Android Quick Settings.

While using your smartphone as your sole internet source is not preferable, there are times when turning your Android phone into a hotspot can really come in handy. Learning how to set up a mobile hotspot on Android may be helpful when your main internet connection goes down, for example.

In this post we will show you the ins and outs of setting up a mobile hotspot on Android, so let’s get started.

Editor’s note: Please take the time to get to know your mobile carrier and the service plan you have purchased. Not all plans allow for tethering and hotspot services and may incur additional charges. Also, some carrier-branded phones may have disabled hotspot capabilities altogether on your Android phone. We’ll try to get you up and running with a few techniques today, but it simply may not be possible on your device.

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How to set up a mobile hotspot on Android

Mobile hotspot button on Android Quick Settings.

You have likely seen the hotspot button in your device’s quick settings drawer. While that is the fastest and easiest way to turn your mobile hotspot on and off, you are going to want to take a moment to configure things first.

Here’s how you configure a hotspot connection on Android:

  1. Open the Settings app;
  2. Select the Network & internet option;
  3. Select Hotspot & tethering;
  4. Tap on Wi-Fi hotspot;
  5. This page has options for turning the hotspot feature on and off. Additionally, you can change the network name, security type, password, and more;
  6. Follow instructions to customize the hotspot feature to your liking.

The hard part is over. All there is left to do is to turn on the hotspot feature. There is a handy toggle to do so in the settings, or you can use the notification shade’s quick settings.

Keep in mind that smartphone manufacturers often add their own UI elements to the experience. This often means moving settings and options around. We based these instructions on the stock Android settings menu in a Google Pixel 3 XL. Things might be slightly different depending on which device you own, but it should be relatively similar.


Set up mobile hotspot with a third-party app

Google Play Store app showing up on Pixel 3 smartphone

Any recent smartphone should come with hotspot capabilities built-in. This wasn’t the norm in the past, though. Those of you using older smartphones might not have a tethering/hotspot option at your disposal, in which case you might depend on using a third-party app.

Two of our favorite options are PdaNet+ and Portable Wi-Fi hotspot.


What’s next?

There are a bunch of great apps in the Google Play Store that provide these and similar services for hotspot and tethering. Keep in mind that your best bet is to use the default Android or carrier tool. Third-party options are for the few users left who still need such services.

It is also important to keep security in mind when using a mobile hotspot. You should be able to trust the hotspot that you’ve created for yourself, but if you are connecting to other networks, you may consider a VPN Proxy service. We’ve looked at a number before, including Hotspot Shield.


Wrapping up

That’s how you setup hotspot on Android. Do any of you have other methods you prefer to use? Let us know in the comments!


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