The Samsung Galaxy S5 is capable of sharing its connection with other devices like a laptop, tablet or portable gaming system thanks to a personal hotspot feature. When you use the Galaxy S5 as a personal hotspot you can connect other devices to the Internet anywhere you have a good cell phone signal.
This technology allows users to turn a single 3G, 4G or 4G LTE connection into one that is shared with several devices. While on a 4G or 4G LTE connection some users will gain speeds faster than a home internet connection. This is a great way to stay connected while traveling without paying expensive hotel WiFi charges or stopping at a restaurant to get work done on a trip.
Using the Samsung Galaxy S5 as a personal hotspot is often called a mobile hotspot, portable hotspot or simply tethering. Whatever you call it, this is how you can share your Galaxy S5’s internet connection with other devices.
Most of the time using the Galaxy S5 as a hotspot means sharing the internet connection over WiFi, but users can also share the connection with a USB cable to keep the Galaxy S5 charged while using it as a personal hotspot.
Many plans allow owners to use the Galaxy S5 as a personal hotspot without any additional fee, but not all accounts include this. If you are on a shared data plan on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon the personal hotspot feature is included. For users that are not on a shared data plan there is often an additional monthly fee of $15 to $30. If you are using the Galaxy S5 on Virgin Mobile or Straight Talk there are no official options to use the Galaxy S5 as a personal hotspot.
This is something you can turn on when traveling and turn off when you are done so that you aren’t wasting money. For users with a Galaxy S5 on a smaller regional carrier check with your company to find out pricing.
Using the Galaxy S5 as a personal hotspot will use more data than simply surfing on your phone and you should make sure that your computer is not backing up files, downloading updates or other tasks that use a lot of data while on a personal hotspot. If you use too much data you will need to pay extra on your next bill.
This guide shows you how to use the Samsung Galaxy S5 as a personal hotspot. If your account is not set up for it the phone will tell you and direct you to contact customer service.
How to Use the Galaxy S5 as a Hotspot
There are many ways to turn the Galaxy S5 into a personal hotspot. We’ll cover one method that will work on all carriers, a tip for AT&T users and how to create a hotspot shortcut to quickly turn the Galaxy S5 hotspot on and off.
If you are an AT&T customer there is a Mobile Hotspot app hidden in the AT&T folder. This app is a shortcut to the default Galaxy S5 personal hotspot settings. Users can drag this to a home screen for faster access.
On any Galaxy S5 pull down the Notification Drawer and tap on the small Settings icon in the upper right. This opens up the main settings menu. From here scroll down to the Network Connections group and tap on Tethering and Wi-Fi Hotspot.
This screen will show a Mobile Hotspot setting that uses WiFi and a USB tethering option that uses a USB cable connected to your computer. When connecting by USB the Galaxy S5 supports one device. While used as a Mobile Hotspot the Galaxy S5 supports up to 10 devices.
Tap on Mobile Hotspot. This screen shows if the hotspot is active, the Galaxy S5 network name and a warning that using the Galaxy S5 as a personal hotspot can use a lot of data. Before tapping the toggle to turn the Galaxy S5 hotspot on, tap on the three dots in the upper right to change the settings.
Tap on Configure and then change the Network SSID to something you recognize, like Josh’s Hotspot. Scroll down and change the default password to something that you can remember but will be tough for a stranger to guess. When you are done tap on Save.
Before you go any farther it is a good idea to tap on the three dots again and choose Timeout settings. Choose how long the Galaxy S5 should keep the hotspot running with no devices connected. Keep in mind the longer you set this time the faster battery life will run down even when you aren’t using the Galaxy S5. It is a good idea to set this for 10 minutes or less.
With the Galaxy S5 personal hotspot set up you can now turn it on with the toggle at the top of the screen. This will show a warning that turning the hotspot on will turn off WiFi. Tap Ok and the main screen will then show the Galaxy S5 hotspot as on, the network name and password as well as devices that are connected. Users can now search for the connection on a computer, tablet or gaming device and connect.
Samsung Galaxy S5 USB Tethering
If you plug a Micro USB cable into the Galaxy S5 and connect it to a computer the USB Tethering option lights up as available. Tap on the option to activate tethering.
On a Mac you will need to go to Network Preferences and set up USB tethering as a network connection. On Windows a small popup should prompt you to connect to a new network.
This is an option, but for most users it is easier to set up and use the Galaxy S5 as a Mobile Hotspot over WiFi and simply plug-in to a computer or charger for power.
Galaxy S5 Personal Hotspot Shortcut
If you don’t have a shortcut to turn the Galaxy S5 hotspot on you will need to download a free Hotspot toggle widget from the Google Play Store. There are many options, but the free Hotspot Toggle Widget works well on the Galaxy S5.
Install this widget, then tap and hold on the Galaxy S5 home screen until the options appear. Tap on Widgets and scroll until you see the Hotspot Toggle widget. Tap and hold on the widget and place it on your home screen.
From there you can tap to turn on the Mobile Hotspot and tap again to turn it off. This is faster than going to settings and faster than using the AT&T mobile hotspot shortcut.