Using your phone’s 3G signal as a Wifi hotspot

Posted: February 24, 2011 by nwsix in Features & Functions
Tags: , , , , , ,

by Daniel Masoliver

Connectivity is everything. Emailing, filing copy, uploading exclusive video content – all impossible without access to the internet.

Sounds obvious. And all of these things you can do from your smartphone, of course. But there are times – if you’re live blogging an event, or you need to have multiple tabs open on your web browser, or you’re using a fancy program to edit some multimedia content – that you probably won’t want to be fiddling about on your phone’s touch screen.

And if you find yourself without an internet connection then? Well, your smartphone can still come to the rescue. This very blog post, written on my laptop, is brought to you courtesy of my HTC Desire’s 3G signal.

Most phones using the Android operating system (like my HTC Desire) now come with the ability to turn your phone into a portable Wifi hotspot. They do this by using your phone’s 3G signal, and techno-magically converting it into a Wifi signal that your laptop can pick up and connect to.

I’ve been using my phone as a Wifi hotspot for a couple of months now. As you might expect, the connection speed is nowhere near as fast as a broadband connection. But, somewhat surprisingly, it is quicker than using the internet on the phone itself.

Something to bear in mind, however, is that if you’re using the internet for data-heavy operations – watching lots of Youtube videos, for example – then you are likely to go over your monthly data allowance, as set by your mobile phone operator.

If you’re planning on using your phone as a Wifi hotspot on a regular basis, then I recommend signing up to a mobile contract that offers either a large or unlimited data allowance.

Three Mobile is currently offering unlimited data for £25 a month, including a free smartphone, which is the best unlimited data plan out there [at time of writing].

How to use your phone as a Wifi hotspot:

Android users – go to Settings, Wireless & Networks, Portable Wifi Hotspot.

iPhone users – download MiWi from the App Store.

For more detailed instructions, click here.

If you know how this can be done for any other platforms (Nokia, Blackberry), then let us know in the comments section below.

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