Can You Connect to Netflix With Sprint Wi-Fi Hot Spot?

By Melly Parker

An HDMI cable provides a high-quality connection for video streaming.
i Ethan Miller/Getty Images News/Getty Images

A Sprint Wi-Fi hot spot enables you to share the data plan available on your Sprint device with any other Wi-Fi compatible device. Many of those devices can access streaming video sites like Netflix so that you can view videos when you're away from your home Internet connection. There are several aspects of connecting to Netflix via a Wi-Fi hot spot to consider before you decide whether it's the right choice for you.

Player Device Considerations

Your Sprint Wi-Fi hot spot can provide a wireless connection to any device that has Wi-Fi capabilities. To use your hot spot to view Netflix, you must be using a device that can connect to Wi-Fi and that's compatible with the hot spot device you own. Netflix is available on computer browsers and also via mobile apps available through the app store associated with your smartphone or mobile device. Make sure the device can connect to Netflix before attempting to watch videos via a Sprint Wi-Fi hot spot connection.

Wi-Fi Speed Considerations

Another consideration is what speed you need to view Netflix because your connection needs to be running at 0.5 megabits per second for you to view any streaming content. According to TechHive, a technology information site, the average Sprint download speed on 3G was 0.4 megabits, as of May 2013. To see what speed your Wi-Fi hot spot offers, run a speed test (links in Resources) using the device on which you'll watch Netflix. If you're getting above 0.5Mbps, you can watch Netflix on the device with your Sprint Wi-Fi hot spot. You'll have better results with a higher speed, though. Netflix recommends a speed of at least 1.5Mbps for its users, but if you have a speed of at least 3Mbps, you can watch content at DVD quality. To watch videos in high definition, your speed needs to be at least 5Mbps. If your hot spot can connect to a faster data network, like Sprint's LTE network, you'll have better results on Netflix.

Data Considerations

Each data plan offered by Sprint for hot spot users offers a different amount of data. Compare the level of data you'll use when watching Netflix to the data provided with your plan to see if it will work with your Sprint Wi-Fi hot spot, and set your video quality on the Netflix website to keep your streaming data usage limited, if necessary. A low data usage takes up 0.3GB per hour, while medium uses up to 0.7GB per hour. The high data usage setting varies depending on what you're watching, using up to 1GB per hour for normal content, 2.8GB per hour if you're watching HD content or 4.7GB per hour if you're watching 3-D videos.

Successful Wi-Fi Usage

If you plan to use a Wi-Fi hot spot with Sprint to watch Netflix on a regular basis, consider which hot spot device you're going to use. Many people use their phones as a hot spot generator, but that can increase the temperature of your phone and drain its battery power. You can also choose an external, stand-alone Wi-Fi hot spot that might come with an external antenna, increased battery capacity and a variety of network choices, like 3G and LTE.