A Personal Hotspot lets you connect to the internet when there is no wi-fi network available. It’s simple to set up and a feature every iPhone owner should know about.

What Is A Personal Hotspot?

Unlike the Mac, the iPhone has access to a cellular network and it can connect to this from virtually anywhere.

In simple terms, the Mac uses the iPhone as a conduit to access the internet:

iPhone connects to the internet using a cellular network

Hotspot is now available on iPhone

Mac connects to Hotspot on the iPhone

Mac now has access to the Internet. 

Is A Hotspot Included With My Plan?

Look at your mobile plan online or call your carrier to find out.

When you use a Personal Hotspot with your Mac, the web pages, images, and videos you view are downloaded through your phone.

Each carrier and each plan limits the amount of Hotspot data you can download. Some also throttle the download speed. It’s critical to find out what these limits are before you use a Hotspot. Data overages can be very expensive.

That said, there are many great Hotspot plans out there. It’s worth finding out what your plan covers because this is an incredibly useful feature

Setting Up A Personal Hotspot

On your iPhone go to Settings > Personal Hotspot. There are 3 settings:

  1. Allow Others to Join – Toggle this on. This lets you join the Hotspot
  2. Wi-Fi Password – You can use the password shown or tap to change the password.
  3. Maximize Compatibility – Use this if you are having trouble connecting. If not, leave this turned off.
Personal Hotspot - Settings

On your Mac, click on the Wi-Fi symbol in the top right-hand corner of the toolbar.
Under ‘Personal Hotspot’ click on the name of the Hotspot.
The Hotspot symbol turns blue when it connects.

Personal Hotspot - On Mac

That’s it…  surf the internet.

Personal Hotspots work with the iPad, and even to some non-Apple devices. I’ve used it with a Microsoft Surface tablet with no problems.

What If I Can’t Connect?

If you are having trouble, click to access Apple’s troubleshooting guide.

Devices can also connect to the Hotspot on the iPhone using Bluetooth or a USB cable. Check out Apple’s guide.

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John Carroll - No Problem Mac

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