The first thing to keep in mind is that using your mobile phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot isn’t the best option. There are other options out there, but one looks at whether they want to use their phone’s 4G LTE connection to connect their laptop or tablet to the internet if they’re in the middle of nowhere and need access to the web. Here is how you can do it only if you’re connected on 4G LTE service from a mobile network operator. This article will show you how to use the iPhone Wi-Fi hotspot without cellular data.
How To Use iPhone Wi-Fi Hotspot without Cellular Data
- Connectify on iOS
There are several apps that will let you turn your iOS device into a portable wireless hotspot—but one of our favorites is Connectify from Acrylic Software. You can download it for free (you’ll need $9.99/month for premium features). Once installed, open it up and tap Start Hotspot. This will create an ad-hoc wireless network via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi—your phone will now show up in a list of networks on other devices.
Connectify can share either its own internet connection or yours (through tethering). In order to connect, simply select Connectify and enter any login credentials required by your network provider or router. The app even supports guest access so friends on their phones can get online, too. While you’re connected, there’s also a handy map view so you can see just how far your signal reaches. When done with your hotspot session, tap Stop Hotspot and everything should go back to normal—though note that it may take a few minutes for all devices to reestablish their connections.
- Connectify on Android
Since most devices with Android operating systems can connect to Wi-Fi networks, why not turn that into an Internet connection for others? It’s actually pretty easy. All you need is an app called Connectify on an Android device. Connectify can create its own Wi-Fi network any device will connect to, like a miniature personal hot spot for devices that don’t have one built in. To get started, open up Connectify and make sure it detects all available networks. When there are some listed in green, tap Start Hotspot at the bottom of the screen.
- Use an Apple Watch as a mobile hotspot
If you’re running out of mobile data but want to keep surfing, you can still get online on your Apple Watch. This is possible thanks to an iPhone feature called Personal Hotspot. To enable it, open Settings on your phone and navigate through Cellular until you see Personal Hotspot, then flip it on.
From now on, whenever you’re connected via Bluetooth to another device—like an Apple Watch—you’ll automatically connect over Wi-Fi and leave behind a personal cellular hot spot for any other device that needs one. They will charge you for any usage incurred while using Personal Hotspot, including when another device uses your connection—but at least there’s no need for tethering (unless you have multiple devices).
Keep in mind that if you don’t have an unlimited data plan, enabling Personal Hotspot could result in some hefty overage charges. Also, switch off Personal Hotspot once you’re done with it; otherwise, your iPhone will continue eating up cellular data even if it’s not actively being used by another device.
- Use mobile internet devices
If you don’t have an internet connection at home, or if it’s too slow to make watching videos or listening to music practical over mobile, you can get a USB mobile internet device. They usually cost between $15 and $50 and are often called 3G sticks or MiFis.
These devices usually plug into your computer via USB and give you access to the Internet on 3G networks. Theoretically, they should work in most countries, but I can guarantee they will not work in many African countries.
The only alternative is expensive roaming from your service provider (if available). You may also need software for your PC to set up a wireless network for them to connect to. You might be able to find one that connects directly with no software required. Either way, these are great little devices for getting online when there’s no other option!
- Don’t forget you can tether too
Most people know they can turn their phone into a portable Wi-Fi router with their phone’s hotspot feature. But did you know you don’t need cell service for that to work? All you need is Wi-Fi. (At least, if both your computer and your phone are on iOS.)
- Head over to Settings.
- Go to Cellular.
- Then toggle off Enable LTE.
This will leave on 3G for some functions (like texting), but it will also allow you to create and share a mobile hotspot with other devices in range of that Wi-Fi connection. From there, just head back into Settings > Personal Hotspot and you can enable tethering from there and choose who gets priority if bandwidth is limited—your laptop or Apple Watch? Your tablet or Bluetooth speaker? It’s up to you! And yes, even though your iPhone won’t be able to connect to any cell towers while tethered like this, you will still get notifications like texts and emails.
They’ll come through just fine. The only downside here is that streaming music might not be possible since it needs internet access. And of course you have to monitor how many data you have left so as not to run out before billing period ends. However, if most of what you do involves text messaging and emails plus Facebook and Twitter updates, there’s no reason you shouldn’t take advantage of an unlimited plan for all these small bits at least once in a while!
You’ve learned how to use the iPhone Wi-Fi hotspot without cellular data with the aid of this article. If you have any question, drop them in the comment section and one of our editors will respond to you ASAp.