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

  1. abhi February 12, 2011 at 5:57 am #

    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.

  2. newapple February 19, 2011 at 11:00 am #

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

  3. louis vuitton March 7, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

    Useful to me. fggdfghfdsf

  4. jrecho March 11, 2011 at 2:59 am #

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

    • Scott March 12, 2011 at 11:12 am #

      Try looking under Settings > General > Network

      • Chris December 22, 2012 at 1:32 am #

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

  5. aismail March 15, 2011 at 3:09 am #

    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.

  6. Anon March 16, 2011 at 10:19 am #

    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!

  7. Rich March 17, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    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 August 2, 2011 at 7:31 am #

      enable the 3g and data, then personal hotspot appears

  8. Scott March 18, 2011 at 12:06 am #

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

  9. aismail March 18, 2011 at 6:29 am #

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

  10. aismail March 18, 2011 at 6:31 am #

    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!

  11. luciano March 18, 2011 at 6:08 pm #

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

    • Simon Ng March 19, 2011 at 12:55 am #

      Have you upgraded to iOS 4.3?

      • lucianorahal March 21, 2011 at 7:05 pm #

        Yes i have

  12. buckeyegirlie March 20, 2011 at 3:21 am #

    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

  13. Warr84 March 21, 2011 at 10:22 pm #

    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

  14. Ricardo Cavenecia March 29, 2011 at 1:21 am #

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

    • Simon Ng March 31, 2011 at 9:48 am #

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

  15. hopm April 12, 2011 at 1:04 am #

    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…

  16. Kunal May 19, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    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 July 31, 2011 at 2:29 am #

      Thanks, your instruction worked.

    • Kageche August 10, 2012 at 9:46 pm #

      That worked good on unlocked using Gevey. Thanks Kunal

  17. Naman May 20, 2011 at 11:38 pm #

    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

  18. David June 2, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

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

  19. Karthik June 5, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

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

  20. Titan June 8, 2011 at 9:49 pm #

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

  21. Barry June 26, 2011 at 9:30 pm #

    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 August 22, 2011 at 4:42 am #

      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

  22. zizo July 4, 2011 at 10:09 pm #

    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 :(

  23. Fm July 8, 2011 at 1:40 am #

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

  24. Lakhwinder Singh dhillon July 25, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

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

  25. Loren August 16, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

    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….

  26. Ray September 2, 2011 at 8:00 am #

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

    • Simon Ng September 2, 2011 at 12:02 pm #

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

  27. g-man September 29, 2011 at 11:05 am #

    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

  28. Great post. I used to be checking continuously this weblog and I’m impressed! Extremely useful information specifically the remaining part :) I care for such information a lot. I was seeking this particular info for a long time. Thank you and good luck.

  29. khall October 9, 2011 at 7:05 pm #

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

  30. Jasmine October 15, 2011 at 6:20 pm #


    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 February 7, 2012 at 10:54 am #

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

  31. Reetsdotcoza October 25, 2011 at 10:06 pm #

    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……

  32. bob October 31, 2011 at 8:00 am #

    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,

  33. Takis November 13, 2011 at 11:06 pm #

    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?

  34. THOUNE November 25, 2011 at 9:29 am #

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

  35. Linda December 4, 2011 at 11:38 am #

    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

  36. Abd December 10, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    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…

  37. lesh December 29, 2011 at 4:23 am #

    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.

  38. max January 11, 2012 at 9:51 am #

    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.

  39. Rock April 11, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

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

    • Simon Ng April 11, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

      @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 April 11, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

        Will it work in India?

  40. Rock April 11, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

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

  41. Kendall May 18, 2012 at 12:20 am #

    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.

  42. free recharge online February 3, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

    I seldom drop comments, but i did a few searching and wound up here How To Use Personal Hotspot on iPhone
    4 [iOS 4.3/4.2.6] | The iPhone and iPad Blog. And I actually do have
    a couple of questions for you if it’s allright. Is it only me or does it look like some of the responses look as if they are written by brain dead visitors? :-P And, if you are posting at additional social sites, I’d
    like to keep up with anything new you have to post. Could you
    list of all of all your community pages like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?


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