How to tether an iPhone to make a wireless hotspot
AppleInsider may earn an affiliate commission on purchases made through links on our site.
Not every device can be native to a 4G or 5G network. Here's how to set up your iPhone to act as a wireless hotspot for other devices when a robust Wi-Fi connection isn't available.
Before you start connecting devices, you'll want to verify the broadcasting capabilities, costs, and speeds with your carrier. Some, like T-Mobile, for example, will let you only connect at 3G speeds unless you opt for a more expensive plan offering.
Others have hard data caps, or additional fees.
Setting up your iPhone's hotspot
To start providing Wi-Fi network service to other devices from your iPhone, you'll need to ensure that the feature is active.
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Scroll down and tap on Personal Hotspot.
- Tap the Allow Others to Join button.
- Customize your Wi-Fi password to ensure your connection remains secure.
Your iPhone will provide internet access to other Apple devices without needing your Wi-Fi password as long as you log into the same iCloud account.
Joining a personal iPhone hotspot network
Now that your iPhone hotspot is active and ready to broadcast a Wi-Fi signal, it's time to connect your devices.
- Open the wireless network settings on your device. Usually, network options are in system settings.
- Look for your iPhone under Personal Hotspots or Available Networks.
- Tap on your iPhone and, when prompted, enter your Wi-Fi password to connect.
You can also connect your iPhone to a device via a USB cable. To connect with a USB, follow these steps:
- Plug iPhone into the device.
- Choose iPhone from the list of available networks.
- If prompted, enter your Wi-Fi password and connect.
Connecting your iPhone to a device with a USB cable is useful when attached to a travel router. This circumvents the three to five connected device practical limit.
Even when connected to 5G, this feature won't replace home or office Wi-Fi connections. Instead, it's a feature meant for on-to-go connections where a more robust option doesn't exist.