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How to use a personal hotspot on a Verizon phone

In most cases, you no longer need a separate device.
By
December 8, 2022

Setting up a mobile hotspot to work on your laptop or tablet while away from your usual Wi-Fi router is a simpler matter than it once was. In most cases, you no longer need a separate device. These days, the biggest issue surrounding personal hotspots is data and speed caps. If you’re on a metered plan, you can start racking up quite a bill if you don’t keep an eye on your limit. And on unlimited plans, most carriers, Verizon included, will throttle your data speed on hotspots. This is so users don’t start replacing their home Wi-Fi with an inexpensive phone running its hotspot 24/7.

Knowing how to use a personal hotspot on a Verizon phone starts with knowing what plan you are on. You also should know what your data needs are, because at a certain point of consumption, it’s going to make more sense to get an unlimited plan. From there, setting up and using a personal (mobile) hotspot couldn’t be easier.

Read more: How do hotspots work? Mobile hotspot technology explained

QUICK ANSWER

Once you are certain that your plan has mobile hotspot capability included, go into your Settings menu. In the Connections section of your Android device, you should find a menu choice for Mobile Hotspot and Tethering wherein you can switch your mobile hotspot on. Then you can connect your laptop or other device by connecting to Wi-Fi, choosing your Verizon hotspot as your network.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

How to set up and use a Verizon personal hotspot on an Android device

Set up

To begin, make sure you are on a Verizon plan that includes hotspot data (see below). Also make sure that you have data remaining on your plan for the month, and that you are in reach of Verizon’s network. Then open the Settings menu by swiping down on your main screen and tapping on the gear icon.

Verizon Hotspot Gear Icon
Kevin Convery / Android Authority

Tap on Connections.

Settings Menu
Kevin Convery / Android Authority

Tap on Mobile Hotspot and Tethering.

Connections Menu
Kevin Convery / Android Authority

Then tap on Mobile Hotspot (and not the button to the right of it).

Mobile Hotspot Menu
Kevin Convery / Android Authority

If it is your first time setting up your hotspot, you will be asked to name your new Wi-Fi network. You will also have to assign a password. Once you enter these and tap Save, your hotspot is ready to activate.

Configure Mobile Hotspot
Kevin Convery / Android Authority

Tap on Mobile Hotspot again and confirm that you have set up a wi-fi network for your hotspot feature.

Mobile Hotspot Network Details 1
Kevin Convery / Android Authority

Turn on

On the Mobile Hotspot and Tethering screen, there should be a switch next to Mobile Hotspot. Tap on it to turn on your hotspot.

Switch On Mobile Hotspot
Kevin Convery / Android Authority

Note: We used the Samsung Galaxy Flip 4 to create the screenshots and the step-by-step instructions. Please note that the exact instructions may be a bit different depending on your device and Android version.

Users of other devices (in this case, a tablet) looking to use your phone’s internet access just need to turn on their Wi-Fi and look for the network name that you assigned when you set up your hotspot. Then they can enter the password you set up and begin to use the internet. Depending on which Verizon Android phone you are using, up to 10 devices can connect to your hotspot at once.

Verizon Hotspot Network Available 1
Kevin Convery / Android Authority

How to set up and use a Verizon personal hotspot on an iPhone or iPad

Set up

The procedure for setting up a Verizon hotspot on an iPhone or iPad is very similar to working with an Android phone. Before you begin, make sure your phone plan includes hotspot data. Begin by opening the Settings menu and tapping on Personal Hotspot.

Turn on hotspot on iOS 1

You’ll need to give your hotspot a password. Once that’s in place, you’re ready to turn on your hotspot.

Turn on hotspot on iOS 2

Turn on

On the Settings page, the Personal Hotspot menu choice should have a switch to the right to toggle the hotspot on and off. Tap on the switch to turn your hotspot on. Anyone wishing to connect their device to your hotspot needs to look for the network name and enter the password you set up in the previous step. According to Apple, between three and five devices can connect to your hotspot simultaneously.

Turn on hotspot on iOS 3

What hotspot plans does Verizon offer?

Almost every plan Verizon offers some hotspot data. Their plans that include hotspot data are divided into three categories: prepaid plans, unlimited plans, and add-on plans specifically for cellular-enabled devices like tablets.

Prepaid plans are helpful to those who find themselves with bad credit. Verizon’s prepaid plans all come with hotspot capability. But only the Unlimited Plus option comes with a significant amount of data to feed hotspot users, as you can see.

Verizon Hotspot Prepaid Pricing
Kevin Convery / Android Authority

Unlimited plans refer to the talk and text capabilities of the plan, which are unlimited. The hotspot data the plan comes with, however, is definitely limited. You can keep using the hotspot after you go over the 25GB or 50GB limit for the month — but your speed will be severely throttled. If you plan to use significant hotspot data, don’t go for the introductory plan, unless your hotspot plans are very basic.

Verizon Hotspot Unlimited Pricing
Kevin Convery / Android Authority

Verizon’s add-on plans for tablets and wearables with cellular capability come with hotspot data, but they require a phone plan, and your phone plan already comes with hotspot data in most cases, so don’t get one of these plans for their hotspot capability alone.

Verizon Hotspot Tablet Pricing
Kevin Convery / Android Authority

Verizon offers loyalty discounts after a few months, and sale prices also happen. So if you are in the market for a new phone plan with hotspot data, call Verizon to ask what the best deal they can offer you is.


Read more: The best mobile hotspot plans right now

FAQs

Anywhere you can connect to Verizon’s cellular network.

The number varies by phone model. Some Androids will let up to 10 devices connect, while iPhones allow for three to five.

Yes, it will, anywhere you have access to Verizon’s 4G LTE network. (Verizon’s 5G only works in the US.)

It hides your mobile hotspot from nearby Wi-Fi devices so they don’t see your mobile hotspot as a Wi-Fi connection option.