How to Turn Your Smartphone Into a Router

by David Weedmark
Jupiterimages/ Images

One of the advantages of having a smartphone is the ability to tap into a 3G or 4G network to access the Internet from a laptop or other Wi-Fi device. Most smartphones today have this option built into the device, without the need to install apps. Use of this feature may be limited by your wireless carrier. In some cases the feature is available only under some service plans and sometimes for an additional monthly fee. Once you have determined that your phone plan includes this feature, setup is just a few taps or clicks away.


Step 1

Tap the "Settings" icon in the iPhone home screen.

Step 2

Select "Personal Hotspot" and then tap the "On/Off" toggle to activate the feature.

Step 3

Make a note of the Wi-Fi Password displayed on the screen, or tap the password to change it if desired.

Select the iPhone from any Wi-Fi computer or device. The iPhone's name is listed as one of the available networks. Enter the password when prompted to connect to the iPhone.


Step 1

Open the "Settings" menu and tap the "Wireless & Networks" option.

Step 2

Scroll down the screen and then tap "Tethering & Portable Hotspot."

Step 3

Select "Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot."

Connect to the Android smartphone from any Wi-Fi-enabled computer or wireless device by selecting "AndroidAP" from the list of available networks.

Windows 8

Step 1

Turn on your Windows 8 phone and slide the Start screen to the left. Select "Settings," and then tap "Internet Sharing."

Step 2

Tap the "Sharing On/Off" toggle to the "On" position.

Step 3

Tap "Setup." Type a name for your mobile hotspot and then enter a password.

Locate the name you used for your mobile hotspot in the list of available networks from your computer or other Wi-Fi device. Type the password you selected to connect to the Windows 8 phone.


Step 1

Turn on the BlackBerry and click the "Manage Connections" icon or the "Connections" option at the top of the screen.

Step 2

Select the "Mobile Hotspot" check box to enable the BlackBerry's Mobile Hotspot mode. The Mobile Hotspot icon, which looks like a bull's-eye, appears at the top of the home screen.

Connect to the BlackBerry just as you would any router from your computer or other Wi-Fi device. Note that if you receive a call, Mobile Hotspot is disabled until the call is completed.


  • Ensure your phone is fully charged, or connect it to a power adapter, before using it as a personal hotspot. Using this feature drains the battery quickly.


  • While a smartphone works well to get Internet access from computers and other Wi-Fi devices, it does not work as a true router. It can't connect network components or be used to manage or monitor network traffic.


Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images

About the Author

A published author and professional speaker, David Weedmark has advised businesses and governments on technology, media and marketing for more than 20 years. He has taught computer science at Algonquin College, has started three successful businesses, and has written hundreds of articles for newspapers and magazines throughout Canada and the United States.

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