Using an iphone as a mobile hotspot question

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by intz2nu, Sep 13, 2015.

  1. intz2nu macrumors 6502

    intz2nu

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    #1
    Hello folks looking to maybe pick up the new iphone 6S and had a question. Could any of you tell me if its possible to use a smartphone as a mobile hotspot for internet when traveling? I currently have a mobile hotspot device with AT&T but have heard you can also use your smartphone as a mobile hotspt the same way as you would use a regular hotspot device. My question is if this is indeed the case is it a strong stable and reliable connection for internet? currently my hotspot gets me just a little over 34mbps for internet speed and it can hold a steady connection for a week or more without dropping. I'd really like some input as to how an iphone would hold up if it can indeed be used as a mobile hotspot for internet. Any and all input would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #2
    Yes, of course, depending on your provider allowing it on your plan, however. I can't say that I've used it extensively enough to guarantee that it will work as reliably as you have found your dedicated hotspot, but I've never had any issues with it. My kids stream video with it to their iPads while traveling and so long as we have signal it generally works fine.
     
  3. intz2nu thread starter macrumors 6502

    intz2nu

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    #3
    Ahh this is fantastic info. Thank you for your input as I've been debating whether I should move into the smartphone life style and do away with my dedicated mobile hotspot and this is something I've been debating on for a year now since I had got my mobile hotspot device and also know that now would be a good time to pickup the new 6S given its release soon.
     
  4. Illmaculate macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2015
    #4
    I have been using an old HTc desire S to use as a hotspot for my ip6 when required.

    Recently changed the htc to an iPhone 4, and I have been unpleasantly surprised. The hotspot on the ip4 absolutely stinks compared to a desire s.

    That said, yes you can:)
     
  5. dangerfish macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    #5
    Absolutely. I use my iPhone all the time. You just need to make sure you have the proper data and plan with your provider.
     
  6. dugbug macrumors 65816

    dugbug

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Location:
    Somewhere in Florida
    #6

    You can't compare a 6s (FIVE YEAR newer phone) to a 4! The op is wanting the latest.

    To op: even the 5 is impressive. And with the latest lte chipsets it will fly but watch your data usage.
     
  7. Newtons Apple Suspended

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #7
    The only problem I saw while using the iPhone for hotspot was it would eat through the battery quite quickly. I went with a cellular iPad Air 2 with cellular and it made a big difference.
     
  8. legioxi macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    #8
    Been using it as a hotspot for years. I run about 20-80GB of data a month through my phone without issue. Works like a champ.
     
  9. Cuniac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Location:
    Phoenix
    #9
    It works well, and will work as fast as the signal it receives. It can support multiple devices. It can use a tone of data though. Your iPhone when using cellular will generally compress browsing. However your other devices will just see it as wifi and run full steam. I have used it before when on trips to steam Netflix with out issue. Just as long as your getting 3G or higher it will work as well as your phone as that time.
     
  10. spazma7ik macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    #10
    I use hotspot for my home internet - ~600-800GBs a month no problem. UDP and unlimited mobile hotspot plan grandfathered in. :)
     
  11. intz2nu thread starter macrumors 6502

    intz2nu

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    #11
    Very very Awesome news folks this does have me interested in picking up the new iphone. I had created another thread in this category regarding the pre-orders that are currently being taken and right now the only thing holding me back is that there doesn't seem to be the unlocked versions listed.
     
  12. JawneeWin macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #12
    I use mobile hotspot through the iPhone almost everyday because I go to college... and as many people know... College wifi sucks. :)
     
  13. geoff5093 macrumors 68020

    geoff5093

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2014
    Location:
    Dover, NH
    #13
    You are the type of person that makes carriers like T-Mobile start cracking down on users such as yourself, and implementing a soft cap after hitting X number of GB's.
     
  14. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #14
    He's not on T-Mobile.
     
  15. geoff5093 macrumors 68020

    geoff5093

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    Sep 16, 2014
    Location:
    Dover, NH
    #15
    Doesn't matter, I just used t-mobile as an example. It's high users like him that make carriers notice abuse and enforce limits.
     
  16. spazma7ik macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    #16
    The limits have been in place for years and I can assure you it was never because of people 'like me'. That was the excuse they gave, sure, but it was always a money grab and it's worked out greatly for them. Unlimited means just that, not 10GB or 100GB or even 1000GB. It's unlimited. Get off your high horse.
     
  17. geoff5093 macrumors 68020

    geoff5093

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2014
    Location:
    Dover, NH
    #17
    If there were limits you wouldn't be using 800GB/mo. And it certainly is. If people are using hundreds of gigs, it just gives carriers reason to enforce tethering bypasses and throttle speeds
     
  18. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #18
    True.
    But carriers still have to follow the fcc rules on net neutrality and honor the agreements they signed with the government to purchase LTE spectrum.
    It's not just carriers can do whatever they want.
     
  19. wxnats macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2014
    Location:
    Virginia
    #19
    I use mine all the time. It works very well as a hotspot.
     
  20. Ledgem macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hawaii, USA
    #20
    Yes, it works well as a hotspot. Since it sounds like you're new to using the phone as a hotspot (tethering), I'll give you a bit more information about your hotspot options.

    The default tethering method is through wifi. Because it would consume battery needless to continually broadcast a wifi network, the tethering needs to be activated. Introduced in iOS 8, iOS devices and relatively recent Macs (anything that can seamlessly Airdrop with an iOS device, pretty much) are able to activate tethering, themselves; previously, you had to use the iPhone first, go to the tethering screen, and then join the network from your other device. It's much simpler now. The benefit of tethering this way is that there's little to no speed loss; it's almost as if your tethered device has the cellular connection, itself. The downside is that, because of the battery usage, the connection will automatically drop if it's inactive for a certain amount of time (some time between 10-15 minutes, I believe). You would then need to reinitiate the tether if you wanted to share the connection again.

    There are two alternate methods to tethering that people may not be aware of, particularly after "instant hotspot" in iOS 8 means that people aren't accessing the tethering screen much anymore.

    If you want to tether to your computer, it's as simple as connecting your phone to your computer via USB. If you're using a Mac (and possibly a Windows computer, although I've never tried), the tether begins automatically and the computer will use your phone for internet connectivity. The benefit of this is that, because the phone charges over USB as well, you don't need to worry about your phone's battery running out. One word of warning about tethering to your computer (regardless of whether it's through wifi, USB, or Bluetooth) is that the computer doesn't cut back on its data usage just because the connection is cellular. iOS devices are designed with mobility in mind, and tend to hold back data-intensive operations if they're not on a wifi network. Tethering with your computer can potentially blow through your data plan if you're not careful.

    The final tethering method is through Bluetooth. To set this up you'll initially need to pair your phone with the other device(s) that you want to tether with, which can be done through the Bluetooth settings. You only need to do that once per device. After that, you initiate the tether by going to settings > bluetooth on your device, and tapping the phone to initiate the Bluetooth connection (not very different from how to initiate an "instant hotspot", although you're going to Bluetooth instead of Wifi). Once the connection is made (and assuming you have "Personal Hotspot" enabled on your phone, just as would be required for all other tethering options), the tether begins. There are two benefits to tethering over Bluetooth. One is that it's very energy-efficient, and the other is that it doesn't time out. I have tethered this way to keep my iPad tethered for 8-10 hours, having an always-available connection, which is quite convenient. The battery drain to both iPad and iPhone were minimal, and that was with an iPhone 4S and a first-generation iPad Mini; newer devices will likely be even better. The downside is that Bluetooth seems to be a bit slower than wifi-based tethering. You probably won't notice the hit to your speed if you're doing email or web-browsing, but it may be more noticeable if you want to quickly update a large app over your cellular connection.

    Lastly, it's worth mentioning that your tethering speeds are ultimately dependent on your cellular carrier and on your reception. The iPhone 6S and 6S Plus support the newer wireless chips that can handle transfers of up to 300 mbps, but that won't help if you're in an area where the infrastructure is slow or where there's a lot of network congestion.

    Apple has done a lot of work to make tethering easier and more seamless over the past few years. Apple devices aren't cheap, but easy interoperability is one of Apple's strong points. Save some money and effort by utilizing those strengths. Happy tethering!
     
  21. squirrrl macrumors 6502a

    squirrrl

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #21
    I believe if you have Sprint, there's no option to use the phone as a mobile hotspot though I don't know if the hotspot will work through the "tethering" option that the person above posted. Can anyone confirm this?
     

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