Despite living in the 21st century and all the promise that brings, we are still far from ubiquitous Wi-Fi. So what do you do when you need to get your laptop or non-cellular iPad online? You ‘tether’ it using Personal Hotspot on the iPhone.

What is Personal Hotpot?

Apple’s Personal Hotpot essentially makes your iPhone a source of wireless connectivity, just like your router is at home.

You can then use a laptop, a tablet or another device to connect to the internet by sharing the cellular data connection of the iPhone.

When would I use a Personal Hotspot?

Because this means you don’t need to access Wi-Fi, you can get online using a variety of devices as long as one of them has a data connection.

So when you are in a location that doesn’t have Wi-Fi, or the Wi-Fi is poor (we’re looking at you generic burger chain), you can still do what you need to do online as long as there is a data connection such as 3G, 4G, LTE, etc. (And because we are in the 21st century, soon add superfast 5G to that list).

How to set up Personal Hotspot on the iPhone

Go to Settings and then tap on Personal Hotspot. On the next page, toggle the slider to on.

Note: Some carriers don’t let you use Personal Hotspot on certain plans. If you don’t have this option you’ll need to contact your carrier.

How to use Personal Hotspot

You can connect either using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB.

To connect via Wi-Fi, turn the hotspot on and head to the Wi-Fi settings on the device you want to connect through.

Select your iPhone from the list of connections (it might show up as Your Name‘s iPhone) and add the password listed under the same screen you toggled the slider on. FYI, you can change this password by tapping on it.

To connect via Bluetooth, make sure you’re discoverable on your device by going to Settings> Bluetooth. You then have to pair your device with the one you want to use to connect to. This usually requires going to that device’s settings, looking up Bluetooth and tapping a Pair option. Then select your iPhone from available devices and connect.

To connect via USB you’ll need iTunes on your Mac or PC. Then connect via your standard Lightning USB cable.

How do I disconnect from Personal Hotspot?

Depending on your method of connection, you simply need to either turn off Personal Hotspot in Settings, turn off Bluetooth or unplug the USB cable. If you get back into Wi-Fi range, you can also disconnect by selecting a new network from SettingsWi-Fi on the secondary device.