Discover how to share your iPhone’s mobile net connection
For some time now, the iPhone has had the ability to share its 3G mobile broadband connection with other devices, meaning anywhere your phone has signal, you can get a laptop or Wi-Fi-only iPad online, even if there’s no Wi-Fi network nearby. The ‘new iPad’ Wi-Fi 4G now also features this functionality, so it’s able to share its blazing internet connection if you live somewhere with LTE coverage. Activating and using Personal Hotspot is easy, though different devices support it in different ways — and we’ve covered all the basics here.
The most important thing to know beforehand, though, is whether your carrier and contract support Personal Hotspot. Tethered data is treated differently to regular data, so not just any old contract will do. If you know you’ll want to use Personal Hotspot, make sure you discuss the option with your network provider before taking out a new contract. If you already have a contract, it’s possible that tethered data could be added to it, so ask your carrier. But make sure you keep an eye on what your data caps are — it’s easy to forget you’re browsing over a mobile connection if you’re on a laptop, and if you use more data than is provided by your allowance, the costs will soar rapidly.
Creating Hotspots Get your other iOS devices connected
01 Turn on Personal Hotspot
Go to the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad 4G + Wi-Fi, and tap Personal Hotspot (which is just under the Wi-Fi options). You can activate Personal Hotspot by changing the switch to ‘On’. The message beneath will change to say that the device is now discoverable, and will tell you what name it will appear with. You may get a message saying that to activate personal hotspot on that device you need to speak to your network provider. Most information about tarifs can be had from a mobile company’s website.
02 Connect over Wi-Fi
You can connect to your iPhone 4, iPhone 4S or iPad Wi-Fi + 4G over Wi-Fi, letting devices such as a Wi-Fi-only iPad get online using your 3G or 4G mobile broadband. Look in the Wi-Fl list for the device you want to connect, and you should be able to see your Hotspot. Enter the password displayed on the Hotspot device’s screen (this can be changed from the default if you want). The Hotspot device will tell you when another device has connected to it. Just look out for the name of the device (eg) Matt’s iPad.
03 Alternative connections
The iPhone 3GS/4/4S and the iPad Wi-Fi + 4G are all capable of sharing their internet connection over USB or Bluetooth, as well. To connect using Bluetooth, go to Settings > General > Bluetooth on your device, and turn it on. Select to pair with the ‘Phone from the computer or iPad you want to share the connection, and follow the instructions on-screen. For connecting over a USB connection, plug your iPhone into your computer, then use your network settings to configure the connections.