How Do I Share My iPhone’s Internet Connection?


Whenever you hear someone talking about “tethering” their iPhone to another device or using a “hotspot” to gain Internet access, they are talking about sharing the Internet connection from their iPhone with something else. Smartphones can access the Internet through a cellular or mobile network in addition to accessing it through Wi-Fi. However, many devices, such as tablets or laptop computers, do not have the ability to access the same cellular or mobile network. Fortunately the iPhone has the ability to share its cellular connection with another device so that the other device can view Web pages and connect to other applications that require Internet access.

Our guide below will show you where to find and enable the Personal Hotspot on an iPhone, as well as identify the Wi-Fi network name and password that will need to be entered on the secondary device so that it can use the share Internet connection.

 

How to Use Personal Hotspot to Share Your Cellular Internet Connection With Another Device

The steps in this article were performed on an iPhone 6 Plus, in IOS 9. The steps are the same for other models of iPhones, running several earlier versions of iOS.

If you are sharing this Internet connection while you are on a cellular network (click here to find out how you can check) then you could wind up using a lot of data. Certain activities, such as downloading large files or streaming video, will use more data than others. If you are on a cellular or mobile plan where you have a limited amount of data each month, then you should keep a careful eye on the connected devices that are using your Internet connection.

Step 1: Tap the Settings icon.

open settings

 

 

Step 2: Select the Personal Hotspot option. Note that if you do not see a Personal Hotspot option here, then you will need to select the Cellular option instead, then choose the Personal Hotspot option on that menu. After enabling the Personal Hotspot from the Cellular menu, it will appear in the location identified in the image below.

open personal hotspot

 

 

Step 3: Tap the button to the right of Personal Hotspot to turn it on.

turn on personal hotspot

 

 

Take note of the Wi-Fi name that should now be listed under the Personal Hotspot, as well as the password listed to the right of Wi-Fi Password. You will need to know this information for the other devices to connect to your iPhone and share the Internet.

find personal hotspot network name and password

 

 

You will see a horizontal blue bar at the top of the screen to let you know when another device is using the Hotspot. You can turn off the Hotspot at any time by returning to the menu in Step 3 and turning off the button to the right of Personal Hotspot.

While the method described above will allow you to use Wi-Fi for the shared Internet connection, you can use Bluetooth or USB instead. The methods for making connections of those types are shown on the Personal Hotspot menu.

 

Since some apps on your iPhone will use more data than others, it might be a good idea to restrict some of them to Wi-Fi. For example, learn how you can limit Twitter so that it only accesses the Internet when you are connected to Wi-Fi. You can use the same method in that article to disable other apps, too.

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