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How to Use the Galaxy S9 as a Mobile Hotspot



This guide explains how to setup and use the Galaxy S9 as a mobile hotspot. Your phone is capable of sharing its data connection with a laptop, tablet, or portable gaming system thanks to the hotspot feature. Essentially turning your phone into a WiFi network. In other words, using your phone’s internet connection on other devices.

While on fast Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile 4G LTE the Galaxy S9 is faster than some people’s home internet. Then, you can use that fast internet on any device, instead of paying for expensive hotel WiFi while you travel.

Read: How to Disable Pre-Installed Apps on Galaxy S9

Using the Galaxy S9 as a personal hotspot is often called a mobile hotspot, portable hotspot, or even tethering. You can quickly turn on your hotspot and choose a password, that way the connection is secure. Or, use USB tethering for an even more secure connection. We’ll explain both in our video and instructions below.

Before we start, keep in mind that some carriers (like Verizon) charge an extra monthly fee for the hotspot function. Furthermore, most unlimited data plans don’t allow it at all. If you try the steps below and it fails, call your carrier and add the hotspot feature. That said, you can easily burn through an entire 5GB data plan for the month in one day using a hotspot, so use caution.

How to Use Your Galaxy S9 as a Mobile Hotspot

  • Head to Settings from the app on your home screen, app tray, or by pulling down the notification bar and tapping the gear-shaped settings button
  • Tap Connections
  • Scroll down and select Mobile Hotspot and Tethering
  • Select Mobile Hotspot (or turn on the switch)

  • You can use the included name and password, or create your own
  • Now tap or swipe the switch to turn on your hotspot
  • Next, it will verify your account has the hotspot feature, and begin sharing a WiFi connection
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to connect your other devices to your Galaxy S9 hotspot

It looks confusing, but it’s extremely simple. Once you turn it on your other devices will instantly see your Galaxy S9 as an internet source. Then, go to WiFi settings on your laptop, tablet, computer, or gaming device and find it. You’re basically connecting to the Galaxy S9 just like you do WiFi at home, at Starbucks, or in a hotel. It’s the same process.

Before you go too far, it’s a good idea to hit the three dots in the top corner of the screen and select Timeout settings. Then choose how long your Galaxy S9 hotspot stays active when it’s not in use. By default, it will automatically turn off after 10 minutes of inactivity. This saves battery life, and your data.

Toggle On/Off Your Galaxy S9 WiFi Hotspot

Now that you have it all set up, here’s how to quickly turn the hotspot on and off without fumbling through settings.

The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ have “Quick Settings” in the notification pulldown bar on the top of the screen for easy access. Swipe down from the top of the screen twice to see an expanded few of all the quick settings. Typically there are options for WiFi, Bluetooth, Sound, Flashlight and other useful settings.

Find the Mobile Hotspot quick-setting tile, and tap it once as shown above. This instantly turns the hotspot feature on and off. Allowing you to quickly share your internet access without messing with the settings menu.

How to Use Galaxy S9 Tethering

You can share your data connection with a USB cable too, instead of as a wireless hotspot. Using the USB port on the bottom of the phone delivers a faster and more secure connection. This is in the same settings menu under USB Tethering.

  • Head to Settings from the app on your home screen, app tray, or by pulling down the notification bar and tapping the gear-shaped settings button
  • Tap Connections
  • Scroll down and select Mobile Hotspot and Tethering
  • Select USB Tethering (grayed out until you connect the USB cable)

From here just turn on USB tethering, then plug the USB cable into your computer or laptop. On a Mac, you will need to go to Network Preferences and set up USB tethering as a network option. On Windows, a small pop-up should prompt you to connect to a new network and your device may need to download and install some drivers first.

It’s easier and more convenient to just use the Galaxy S9 WiFi hotspot, but some will prefer tethering instead. Also, most wireless providers do not allow tethering but give it a try just in case.

Potential Hotspot Problems

In closing, we have one more tip for you. Make sure you keep an eye on your data usage. If you have an unlimited data plan you’re fine, but for everyone else, a hotspot is dangerous. That’s because in just a few hours you can easily use the entire 5GB plan you have each month. Watching a few Netflix shows will burn through your entire plan in a matter of hours.

We recommend heading into Settings > Connections > Data Usage and watch it closely so you don’t go over your limit and get overage charges on your bill. We saw one comment where a user received a $900 bill from Verizon. That’s because iPhoto automatically backed up photos to the cloud after a vacation. He was on a mobile hotspot, and it used up all of his data.

Be careful if you see automatic updates, photo backups, software updates to your actual computer, and several other similar situations. Additionally, roaming charges apply if you’re out of the country. Using a hotspot while traveling abroad can quickly add up to a huge fee when you get home. Just use caution, and pay attention to what’s using the data on your phone.

While you’re here, learn about using the Galaxy S9 Night Mode Filter, or get a durable Galaxy S9+ screen protector and keep your phone safe.

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