Hotspots: How to Use Your Phone to Make Wi-Fi
How Hotspots Work
Hotspots are a unique innovation that creates Wi-Fi signal from your cell phone. Both technologies rely on radio waves so it’s a matter of simply changing them slightly to make them usable for Wi-Fi. These are a ton of reasons why this can be helpful, it allows you to connect to the internet while traveling and you can connect multiple devices. While this can be useful for some quick fixes not many people can rely on hotspots as a primary source of broadband.
Most smartphones offer an option to use hotspots just by enabling a setting, but this is usually fairly limited. Most carriers that allow you to use this simple enabling feature will also throttle your data after a limit. Even on unlimited plans At&T and Sprint will throttle after around 22 – 23 GB of data and T-Mobile after 500 GB. This can be an issue as the average user consumes about 190 GB of data a month. So if you want to stream TV or videos you would be out of luck as these are the major data pits today.
If your phone doesn’t have a setting to enable a hotspot you can always purchase a device to get your hotspot enabled. But expect to pay quite a bit for them. Not only will you have to purchase the initial hardware but also for the data you’ll be using along with them. If you plan on heavily relying on your hotspot one helpful trick is to add your hotspot as a new line on your phone plan. That will usually net you the most data per dollar.
Not all hotspots are created equal. You have to watch out for a few key things when shopping around for the right one. We recommend looking for models that use the Qualcomm Snapdragon X12 or X16 modems. These are the top of the line and will make sure that you are getting the fastest internet. Another important feature to look for is 5GHz support, this technology is significantly faster than its 2.4Ghz predecessor. If you can’t get a model with these features you could end up having slower internet than some of the nicer new phones. You can also find models that have convenient LCD displays to help with setup and monitoring of the device.
Weak Hotspots and How to Fix Them
If you already have a hotpot and aren’t getting the speeds you want a cell phone signal booster is the best way to fix that. Like we talked about earlier the hotspot uses cell phone signal to create the Wi-Fi signal. So the Wi-Fi can only be as strong as the cell phone signal coming in. If you’re using a hotspot while traveling and need steady signal a vehicle signal booster is something to think about as well for when you simply have to be connected. If your home or office has both bad Wi-Fi and cell reception a signal booster could be a solution to both of those problems.