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How to Use the Samsung Galaxy S4 as a Personal Hotspot

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The Samsung Galaxy S4 can act as a personal hotspot, a portable internet connection that can connect laptops, tablets and portable gaming devices to the Internet anywhere there is a cell phone signal.

Thanks to 4G and 4G LTE coverage, the Galaxy S4 personal hotspot delivers connection speeds faster than many home connections. Whether you call it a personal hotspot, portable hotspot, Mobile hotspot or just tethering — we’re talking about using the Galaxy S4 to connect other devices to the internet.

Read: Best Samsung Galaxy S4 Cases

The most common method is to use WiFi, but users can also plug the Galaxy S4 into a computer so that the phone charges while using it as a personal hotspot.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 can act as a personal hotspot to connect up to 10 devices.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 can act as a personal hotspot to connect up to 10 devices.

To get started you will need to make sure the Galaxy S4 is on an account with the personal hotspot feature enabled. For accounts that are on a Mobile Share plan, the personal hotspot feature is included. For users on a individual plan, users need to be on the DataPro 5GB plan, and users can turn it on or off on a monthly basis without changing their contract.

If in doubt, follow these steps to turn the Samsung Galaxy S4 into a personal hotspot. If the account needs changed it will tell users right off the bat.

How to Turn the Samsung Galaxy S4 into a Personal Hotspot

Some carriers will include a Personal hotspot app that makes this setup easier than visiting settings. The AT&T model features a Mobile Hotspot app. Tapping on the Mobile Hotspot app will get things started for most users.

No matter how you get to the Galaxy S4 mobile hotspot settings, the rest is quite similar. For users without a dedicated app, get started below.

Pull down the Notification drawer and tap on the Settings cog in the upper right. This opens up the device settings menu which features four tabs. The settings opens to the last tab the user used, so if it is not already there tap on Connections.

Use the Galaxy S4 as a mobile hotspot.

Use the Galaxy S4 as a mobile hotspot.

Next up, tap on Tethering and portable hotspot. On this creen users can tap On, next to Mobile Hotspot. This will turn the Galaxy S4 into a personal hotspot with the default settings and default password.

If subscribed to a plan that supports personal hotspot, this will switch to On and show users the connection details. By default the connection is secure and uses the Galaxy S4 name. Users can customize the name and create an easier password by editing the settings.

Change settings on the Galaxy S4 hotspot.

Change settings on the Galaxy S4 hotspot.

Tap on Configure to change the hotspot name and password. It is not a good idea to leave the network wide open as it would let anyone connect and use the limited data on your account. After changing the options tap Save. If the hotspot is active you may lose connection while the settings are changed.

Once the Samsung Galaxy S4 mobile hotspot is turned on, go to wireless settings on the computer, tablet or gaming system and search for the Galaxy S4 network name you just created. Enter the password an hit connect. IF possible it is a good idea to remember the network for faster connections going forward.

From here you should be all set to use the Galaxy S4 as a personal hotspot. It is a good idea to also set up alerts for data usage. Go back to Settings -> Connections -> Data usage. From here you can drag the slider to set a warning after a certain amount of data is used in a billing cycle. This will help prevent surprises due to faster data usage while on a personal hotspot.

Josh Smith is Editor of GottaBeMobile and Notebooks.com. He's always looking for ways to help you get the most of your gear and loves to talk about tech on radio and TV. Josh uses an iOS and Android devices as well as Mac and Windows Computers. Josh Smith on Google+ Email: [email protected]

13 Comments

  1. Jake

    04/29/2013 at 3:43 pm

    Very useful guide Josh, thumbs up!

    For more info on the S4 visit http://samsung-galaxy-s4-news.blogspot.com/

  2. Dan

    06/02/2013 at 8:28 pm

    Hi, does this guide: http://draalin.com/how-to-tether-your-samsung-galaxy-s4/

    work the same way for the usb tethering? Or should I only use the wi-fi? (Asking because I want it fast as possible)

  3. MOHIT AGRAWAL

    07/06/2013 at 8:24 am

    thANKYOU SO MUCH

  4. Lunnia

    07/09/2013 at 11:28 am

    Very Useful!

  5. mark

    07/14/2013 at 5:43 am

    Thank you for the info its always easy when you know how cheers for the write up

  6. Verna

    08/03/2013 at 2:08 pm

    Will this work on a Laptop?

    • Shilpan

      08/30/2013 at 11:50 am

      your phone turns into a router. you can even connect your xbox and play games online.

  7. Sumit Prasad

    08/28/2013 at 5:02 am

    Can we selectively disconnect one of many connected wireless devices?

  8. jj

    09/05/2013 at 6:20 pm

    Im glad i found this

  9. loureen

    10/02/2013 at 11:07 am

    It asks for a network key when I try to connect my laptop. What’s the key?

    • Illusiv3lion

      10/09/2013 at 11:14 pm

      That would be the password. If you did not set one then leave it blank

  10. Inesha

    11/21/2013 at 2:39 pm

    My phone is not giving the hotspot option. I have had over three brand new replacements and none of them have a tethering or hotspot option listed under settings. Do you know what may be causing me to have this issue? I have already verfied that I have the selected plan option on my device. PLease Help

  11. donna

    03/12/2014 at 3:40 pm

    where do i get my password from?

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