How to Turn Your Mobil Phone Into a Wi-Fi Hotspot

By Lynn Burbeck

Depending on the type of cellphone, you may be able to use it as a mobile hotspot for accessing the Internet on your desktop or laptop computer. This can be a handy feature for frequent travelers, students and businesspeople who don't want to depend on public Wi-Fi service to check email, browse the Internet and review documents. Whether you have a phone that can be used as a mobile hotspot will depend on whether you have Internet service on your cellphone and a cell carrier that supports mobile hotspots.

Step 1

Contact your cellular provider to inquire about whether you can use your phone as a mobile hotspot. Carriers such as AT&T and Verizon have data packages that customers can purchase, which allow them to use their mobile devices as a wireless hotspot. Pricing for these packages vary depending on the amount of data transfer you require. Whether you can use your phone as a hotspot will also depend on the type of phone you have. Popular phone models that have this capability include the iPhone and Android.

Step 2

Sign up for a data package with your provider so you can begin using your cellphone as a mobile hotspot. Data plans are charged monthly and added to your cellular phone bill.

Step 3

Create a connection between your laptop and your cellphone by following the instructions on your specific device. On the iPhone, you must go to the "Settings" menu, click on "General," click on "Network" and select "Set Up Personal Hotspot." To enable mobile hotspot, or tethering, on the Android, you will need to purchase and install an application from the Android Market such as PDAnet or Easy Tether. In addition to downloading the application on your phone, you will need to install the necessary software on your computer from the application websites.

Step 4

Browse the Internet on your computer once you've successfully connected your computer to your phone's Internet signal. Depending on the type of phone you have, you will be able to connect via wireless signal, Bluetooth and USB.