How to connect a laptop to phone internet with a Wi-Fi hotspot
Wi-Fi hotspots are becoming more common in public places, but neither these nor your home internet connection are reliable all of the time. Your smartphone offers a backup, and it’s possible to connect to its mobile data connection should you need to get online on another device.
Many mobile tariffs now offer unlimited data, especially as we move into the 5G age, but if you are on a metered connection do be careful how much extra data this will consume. (It will also drain your phone’s battery faster.)
The process, known as tethering, is very similar to the theory behind using a mobile Wi-Fi router, but doesn’t require you to purchase additional hardware, nor remove your SIM from your phone.
Below we’ve provided steps on how to share your Android phone’s internet connection; see our separate guide on how to set up internet tethering on iPhone.
Share Android’s internet connection as a Wi-Fi hotspot
• Open the Settings menu and tap on ‘Network & Internet’
• Choose ‘Hotspot & tethering’
• You’ll need to set up the Wi-Fi hotspot for first time use, so select that option
• By default your phone will have a Wi-Fi hotspot name, with security turned on and a default password. You can use these as they are or change them to something you’re more likely to remember, simply by tapping on each field, entering a new name or password, then tapping Ok
• Slide across the toggle at the top of the page to enable the Wi-Fi hotspot, and give your password to anyone you wish to allow access to it. They can then connect to your Wi-Fi hotspot as they would any other wireless network
• To improve energy efficiency you can set the Wi-Fi hotspot to automatically disconnect when no-one is using it – just tap Advanced and then enable ‘Turn off hotspot automatically’