How to Turn Android Phones Into Wi-Fi Hotspots

By James T Wood

Since the release of version 2.2 of Android, the ability to turn phones into Wi-Fi hotspots has been included with each phone. However, wireless carriers are free to modify the stock Android software to change or limit features. The Wi-Fi Hotspot feature is disabled on Sprint phones and replaced with the "Sprint Mobile Hotspot" application and adds a monthly charge for the service. Verizon Wireless keeps the standard Android functionality, but only enables a data connection for phones using the Wi-Fi Hotspot feature if an extra fee is paid. Check with your wireless provider for details regarding charges you might accrue if using the Wi-Fi Hotspot feature.

Step 1

Open the application launcher on your Android phone. Find the application provided by your mobile carrier for creating a Wi-Fi hotspot. For example, Sprint uses the "Sprint Hotspot" app and Verizon uses the "3G Mobile Hotspot" application. Tap the icon for the hotspot app.

Step 2

Give your new Wi-Fi hotspot a name you and other users will recognize. Enable security and set a password for your network you can securely share with everyone who will log onto the hotspot.

Step 3

Open the wireless connection manager on your computer and select the name of the network you created. Enter the password and connect to the network.

Tips & Warnings

  • Disable the Wi-Fi hotspot when you aren't using it to save battery life on your Android phone.
  • Speeds will vary depending on the connection your phone has. Typically, connection speeds won't be as good as a standard network, but they are acceptable for some work on the go. This isn't designed as a replacement for a home or business network connection.
  • Wireless phone providers have different fees and usage agreements. Some will allow unlimited usage while others will limit you to a certain amount of data per month. Know your usage agreement and any charges that may apply before using the hotspot feature.