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How To Use Personal Hotspot on iPhone 4 [iOS 4.3/4.2.6]

Atnt verizon iphone 4 comparison form wifi1A few days ago we talked about all of the expected features in iOS 4.3. Out of those the one getting the most attention is the mobile hotspot feature. Seen first on the Verizon iPhone 4, Personal Hotspot turns your iPhone into a Wi-fi access point using which you can share iPhone’s internet with five devices.

Our readers are already familiar with Internet Tethering on iPhone. Earlier this could only be done via USB or Bluetooth, thus imposing some severe limitations. Firstly, the iPhone’s data network could only be shared with one device at a time and it only worked with laptops. However, with the addition of wi-fi hotspot we can now share it with our iPod Touch and iPad too. Those who travel frequently will find it mighty useful.

This guide will show you how to activate personal hotspot on your iPhone and share it with your wireless devices.

Please note that this is a new feature currently available only on Verizon iPhone 4 running iOS 4.2.6 and iOS 4.3 Beta. It will be available to all GSM iPhone 4′s when iOS 4.3 is released on the rumored date of 14th Feb, 2011.

To use personal Hotspot for the first time, go to Settings > General > Network > Personal Hotspot. This option will be available only if your network provider allows Internet tethering. If it worked before on previous versions of iOS, hotspot will work just fine.

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Turn on Personal Hotspot by tapping once on the On/Off button. You will be prompted to enter a wi-fi password.

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After entering the password hit Done. Next you will be asked how do you want to share the internet access. If the Wi-fi or Bluetooth radio are Off they will be turned on automatically.

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Go ahead and choose Wi-fi and USB only. Your iPhone is now broadcasting a wi-fi network with the password you selected and the name of the network is same as that of your iPhone.

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Now go to any wireless device like your iPod Touch or laptop and look for networks. My Mac was pretty quick to discover it.

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The broadcast strength seemed strong enough. No matter where the iPhone was left in the room, the signal showed up pretty strong.

Once connected, the iPhone will display a blue status bar(just like earlier with Internet Tethering) showing how many devices are connected.

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If you keenly observe the hotspot service while using it, you will notice that it automatically shuts itself off after an hour approximately if not used. We do realize that wi-fi hotspots are power hungry and don’t go easy on our batteries. In order to make the hotspot active again just visit the Personal Hotspot pane which is now on the first page of your Settings app.

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While the mobile hotspot is on over wi-fi, the iPhone can’t connect to other wi-fi networks. If you need to connect to other networks on the iPhone but leave the hotspot on go to Settings > Wi-fi and tap on Disconnect wi-fi clients.

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In case you aren’t on a 3G network the hotspot will obviously stop when you make or receive a phone call. However, once the call is over everything resumes just like the call never took place. Overall, I loved the simple yet effective implementation including the power saving part.

We are not sure at this point if the Personal Hotspot feature will be released only for the iPhone 4 or older iPhone 3G/3GS too. For that we’ll have to wait for the iOS 4.3 release. The iOS 4.3 beta clearly added this service only to the iPhone 4.

About Megha Bassi

Megha Bassi has a strong fascination for all things Apple. Not only does she religiously follow Mac and iPhone news, but also loves writing about everything pertaining to it, be it publishing useful tutorials or app reviews.

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  • abhi

    snapshots show person is using Airtel India on iPhone 4.
    What i am curious to know is how he has unlocked iphone 4 in India.
    I have iphone 4 from last 3 months and just using it as ipod touch.
    2 days back i updated it to 4.2 and greenpoison or redsnow do not work bcz these are not hactivation jailbreaking solution.
    can someone plz help how to jailbreak/unlock iphone 4 running on fw 4.2.
    I dont have official sim :(
    thats why i am surprised to see Airtel India in snapshots.

    Thanks in advance.

  • newapple

    Thanks for the detailed instructions. Not sure why apple didn’t think i needed that in my startup info.

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    Useful to me. fggdfghfdsf

  • http://marocdata.com jrecho

    I don’t understand I upgraded my Iphone to 4.3 but in the network setting I do not have personal hotspot

    • Scott

      Try looking under Settings > General > Network

      • Chris

        I don’t have a “network” option after going to settings/general. What gives?

  • aismail

    hi there. i tried looking under settings, general, network .. but i don’t have the personal hotspot there. i’ve been looking for it for several days now since i updated to the new 4.3 software, but all i have under network are: enable 3G, mobile data, mobile data network, data roaming, VPN, and Wi-Fi.

  • Anon

    I have the same problem as aismail above. Only difference is, I was able to make the personal hotspot work the first time I upgraded to iOS 4.3 and it worked perfectly. Now after a few days, I’m trying to look for it again but the option for personal hotspot no longer appears where it first used to be or where it is as described in the screenshots above. I’m wondering how it chooses to appear or disappear in the settings area. Can someone please help? Thank you!

  • Rich

    I upgrade my phone to 4.3 and am having the same issue. I can not see the personal hotspot selection under network settings?

    • ss

      enable the 3g and data, then personal hotspot appears

  • Scott

    Some websites are suggesting resetting network settings to get Personal Hotspot back.

  • aismail

    Thanks Scott, I just tried that though it didn’t work!!!

  • aismail

    Is it possible that some countries have a different version of the iOS 4.3?! like how some apps aren’t available in all countries’ online app store, could it be that the itunes downloads a certain country’s version?! that’s the only logical explanation i can come up with!

  • luciano

    I cannot find the hotspot tab on my iPhone4. What should I do?

    • http://www.simonblog.com Simon Ng

      Have you upgraded to iOS 4.3?

      • lucianorahal

        Yes i have

  • buckeyegirlie

    You have to have internet tethering through your network to use the new Personal Hotspot, so if your provider doesn’t support the internet tethering than you wont have access to the personal hotspot

  • Warr84

    this hotspot feature will only work if you have a datapro 4gb on your plan, an extra $60 a month,i myself will pass, not worth it

  • Ricardo Cavenecia

    I’m on iOS 4.3.1 and still don’t see the personal hotspot option under the network menu; how come?

    • http://www.simonblog.com Simon Ng

      Try to reset the network setting and you can further refer to this article for the details.

  • hopm

    you need to turn in the personal hotspot in the tetherme section towards the bottom. Once you turn this on a personal hotspot tab will appear right below Wi-Fi…

  • Kunal

    You can enable the hotspot feature in iPhone 4 (Unlocked using Gevey sim / Not jailbroken) by going to Settings -> General -> Network -> Cellular Data Network and scroll down till the end, there you will find Internet Tethering APN option, just put your service providers APN there and you are ready to go on tethering….

    • Grateful

      Thanks, your instruction worked.

    • Kageche

      That worked good on unlocked using Gevey. Thanks Kunal

  • Naman

    Can any one explain me, how can I unlock my Iphone 4 4.3.2 in India?

    Please help me, to come out from this long waiting

  • David

    4.3.3 – Working on same, if its not activating please restart your iphone

  • Karthik

    Hello: can we surf in iphone coonecting to internet with datacard in laptop by Using wifi hot spot.. please give some suggestions…

  • Titan

    Do I have to unlock my iPhone to get this feature to work with my iPad????

  • Barry

    Hello. Can I ask you this please. When I turn my personal hotspot on, on my I Phone 4, I can see another device connected. So it shows as 2 Connections.

    My worry is this, I only use it for my Kindle device. It’s the basic kindle without 3G built into it.

    I have changed the password so no one else can possibly know it to connect. Yet there is another device showing as connected.

    Is it possible that a neighbour may be using an over-ride software package to allow him or her to connect to my I Phone 4 like it or not ?

    Does such a thing exist ? I am very worried.

    Thankyou for your help.

    Yours Barry

    • tricia

      I had this worry as well….
      it happens when your iphone is connected to your laptop at the same time you are connected via Hotspot.
      hope this helps

  • zizo

    hi ,,
    i have the ‘ personal hotspot ‘
    but the problem is when i tap ” on ” i dnt get the password part =/
    .. so its not working ,, can u help me plz :(

  • Fm

    I don’t understand what they have done, and I don’t like it… change it back. >:(

  • Lakhwinder Singh dhillon

    I had same problem. Just removed onavo profile, and it works. What’s onavo? Just google it man.

  • http://www.dealsformums.co.uk Loren

    Mmmm, all sounds good – haven’t tried it yet but will. The only downside I can see if that I’m intending to use this iPhone connectivity to update my website whilst on holiday in Spain. Using the 3G connection is going to cost me a sweet fortune!! So may have to go and find an internet cafe instead….

  • Ray

    Can you please let me know the APN settings for tethering Airtel Delhi

    • http://www.simonblog.com Simon Ng

      @Ray, I think you can call up Airtel’s customer support directly for the APN settings.

  • g-man

    uh ya im pretty mad that i have to call verizon to set up my hotspot! and the face that my mom has crappy us cellular and a cheap droid and her mobile hotspot works its ridiculous that i go and pay 30 more a month as her and plus her phone cost 0 dallers and mine cost 200 dallers common really what is goin on here? why does verizon get away with ridiculous priceing grrrrrrrrrrr

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  • http://wanttoknw khall

    can i still use the iphone connectione with out the waifi ,i meant just thrught the usb ?

  • Jasmine

    Hihi,

    Would appreciate anyone who has an answer to help me on this.

    I just updated from ios4.1 to ios5 mainly because of the personal hotspot usage as i travel very frequently.

    I have a problem with personal hot spot as it keeps choosing my carrier 3g network instead of the wireless network that my iphone is connected to.

    My phone will automatically go to the 3g mode when i access the personal hotspot page. However once i go back to settings and wifi, the wifi signal will appear.

    Its been so frustrating and puzzling. i want my phone to choose the wifi network simply because its free and cheaper but its not doing so at all.

    Using my carrier’s 3g will incur cost and much slower speed as well.

    Thanks alot for helping with my queries.

    • Krista

      You should be able to go in and turn off the cellular data.;

  • Reetsdotcoza

    Would like to know if it is possible to get a Micro sim card for my iPhone 4 at the airport in Mumbai and be able to use it throughout India with no hassles using it as a personal hotspot for my iPad2 on prepaid……

  • bob

    I have the iphone 4s and when i use the hot spot it runs slow and my phone gets hot. Then it will run realy slow and says its not connected to the internet. Also my phone get hot when im using it for more than 15 min, Im also new with verison, Can any one give me an answer,

  • Takis

    Hello,
    is it possible to transfer my iphone’s wifi internet, to a mac with no airport card? What I would like to do is use my iphone’s wifi internet to another mac through cable. Is it possible to connect it without using my 3g internet but only my wifi internet?

  • THOUNE

    Need help : How to check who are connecting my personal hotspot? Thanks alot.

  • Linda

    I have the iPhone 4s w/ hotspot my problem is when I connect my Wii it has my name for the hotspot but when it does the connection test it fails everytime!! It either says no Internet connection or no access point. I use my Wii for Netflix. My hotspot connects to e everything else…iPod touch, ipad2, computer. It’s just not connecting with the Wii ant suggestions. Thx

  • Abd

    I used to connect my laptop (Dell) to my iphone 4 personal hotspot. However, i decided to change the password one day and since then I couldn’t connect my laptop to the iphone wireless. My laptop sees the iphone network but when i try to connect it shows that there is a problem connecting to the network.. If anyone could please help me with this I will appreciate it…
    Cheers

  • lesh

    Hello all. I have question regarding possible battery damage when using hotspot. If I use hotspot a lot, will it reflect on battery life and is there any particular way to use hotspot in order to minimize possible damage? Thanks.

  • max

    I just spoke to Verizon. I have to pay $20/ month for 2GB data, using my iphone as a hot spot. I’ve used Verizon for a long time and thought I was grandfatered in to unlimited, they said no. Apparently they changed everything in July 2011, and now everyone pays.

  • Rock

    Hi, can anyone tell me if personal hotspot from iPhone 4s to iPad works…. Thanks

    • http://www.simonblog.com Simon Ng

      @Rock, do you mean you want to turn iPad into a WiFi hotspot? For now, Apple only supports this feature on the New iPad. If you’re using iPad 2 or the original iPad, you may need to jailbreak it and install MyWi.

      • Rock

        Will it work in India?

  • Rock

    Hi can any one tell me if personal hotspot from iphone4s to iPad works in India… Thanks

  • Kendall

    For old AT&T users, the Tethering enabled plan runs $50/monthly. I have an old plan that isn’t offered so I’m only paying $15/monthly. Would have to have that plan for all 3 phones on our line to be able to use as hotspot so we’re checking out other options.

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