How to Use My Android Phone as a Hotspot

The mobile hotspot function first became available on Android devices with the release of Android 2.2, also called Froyo. Subsequent releases, including Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), continue to support mobile hotspots. Although the function isn't available on every phone, it is supported by at least a few phones from all four major carriers: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon. HTC, Motorola, Samsung and LG all make phones capable of creating a mobile hotspot. If you're away from a Wi-Fi connection, you can use the portable hotspot function on your Android smartphone to share your connection with a laptop or tablet, making it easy to keep up work while on the go.

Enabling the hotspot creates a Wi-Fi network that anyone within range can use to connect to the Internet. This connection uses your data plan, so be warned that overuse can lead to bandwidth throttling or hefty overage charges. Keep strangers from leeching off your bandwidth by securing the hotspot with a password.

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Press "Home," "Menu," "Settings" on your compatible Android phone.

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Tap "Wireless & Networks" and then "Tethering and Portable Hotspot." Check the "Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot" option. A Wi-Fi symbol will appear on the status bar and notifications panel to indicate that your phone is now broadcasting a signal.

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Tap "Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot Settings" and then"Configure Wi-Fi Hotspot." Change the SSID -- the network name -- if you want to.

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Select "WPA2 PSK" under the Security settings. Enter a secure password for the hotspot connection. For the strongest security, use a mix of numbers and letters at least eight characters long and avoid words found in the dictionary. Tap "Save."

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Open the Wi-Fi settings on your tablet or computer. Choose the SSID that corresponds with your mobile hotspot and enter the password you created to connect to the new network.

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Close the hotspot when you're finished using it to preserve battery life. Open the Settings application and tap "Wireless & Networks" and then "Tethering & Portable Hotspot." Uncheck "Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot."