Home Android How to Use the Galaxy Note 4 as a Personal Hotspot

How to Use the Galaxy Note 4 as a Personal Hotspot

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 can act as a personal hotspot, a portable internet connection that can be shared to the millions of iPad, Nexus 7 and laptops we use. Letting them connect to the internet anywhere there is a cell phone signal. Here we explain how to use the Note 4 as a personal WiFi hotspot.

Whether you call it a personal hotspot, portable hotspot, Mobile hotspot or just tethering — we’re talking about using the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 to connect other devices to the internet. Our smartphones signal and internet connection for data can be shared and essentially deliver faster speeds than many home networks to your laptop or tablet, no matter where you are.

Read: 51 Galaxy Note 4 Tips & Tricks

It’s a concept and feature many users still don’t understand, but below we’ll explain just how easy it is to use your Galaxy Note 4 (or any Android phone really) as a personal hotspot and internet connection. This is a useful feature that if your carrier plan allows, you’ll want to take advantage of.

The Galaxy Note 4 display is stunning, but not as bright as the Galaxy S6 display.

The most common and preferred method is to use WiFi tethering. Essentially sharing your phones data connection over WiFi to any of your devices. Whether this be your laptop, or sharing it with tablets in the car for your kids. It’s similar to how you connect to the Starbucks WiFi on an iPad, only it’s using your phones connection. Alternatively there’s also wired USB tethering, so your Galaxy Note 4 can charge while it shares that connection to your Macbook, Galaxy Tab S, or laptop of choice.

The easiest way to do this requires users to have an account through their carrier with support for the hotspot function, which sadly will usually cost an extra $15-$20 a month unless you’re on some of the recent high limit data plans. Many of the mobile family share plans however have hotspot enabled, just make sure you don’t use it all and go over the limit. It’s the easiest way, but it’ll cost ya.

Below we’ll explain where to go in settings to enable the personal hotspot, how to change the name and add a password so others can’t use it if you’re in public, then how to actually connect your laptop or tablet to your Galaxy Note 4 connection.

Instructions

To enable a wireless personal hotspot you’ll start by heading into settings by tapping the gear-shaped settings icon, or swiping down and hitting settings in the notification pulldown bar. The first column on the Note 4 is connections, and it’s one of the first options.

Settings > Tethering and hotspot > and swipe the on/off switch to turn it on.

Note4-tether

This will turn on tethering with all of the default settings, so you’ll want to change them and add a password if you’re in public so others can’t use it too. Next you’ll tap on the device name, or menu (3 dots up top) and “configure hotspot” to change the name from Note 4 xxx to something more personal, and make sure to add a unique password. WPA2 is the most secure, enter the password, and hit save.

Note4-hotspot1

Now when you head back to the original settings hotspot page it will show the name, and any connected devices. Alternatively you can manage what devices are allowed to connect, for added security and connectivity control. Let the kids tablet connect while on the road, or whoever you’d like.

Your iPad or laptop can now simply search for a WiFi connection just like you always do, find the Note 4 with the name you created, enter the password and you’re set. You’re now using its internet connection on another device. Again, if you don’t have an unlimited data plan be careful, as you can quickly use your entire months limit and get stuck with huge overage charges.

USB Tethering

In the same Tethering and hotspot menu in settings, you’ll notice there’s also a “USB tethering” option below the WiFi hotspot on/off switch. Instead of sharing the connection over WiFi where anyone can connect, USB tethering uses the micro-USB cable provided with your Note 4. Plug this into your laptop, and into the Note 3, and you can share the internet connection via USB. This is faster, more secure, usually more stable, and will even charge your Galaxy Note 4 at the same time.

Note4-wiredtether

Using USB is our preferred method for tethering and using a hotspot function, not to mention it charges up your device at the same time to keep you full of battery for a days work.

Read: How to Make a WiFi Hotspot Widget on Android

If your carrier happens to be one that wants to charge $10 or $20 for the hotspot function, or it doesn’t come free with your carrier plan, there are a few other options. In the Google Play Store you can find “Tether without root” apps that once setup, will enable USB tethering to share the internet connection all for free. Our favorite is Klink, since it’s a simple wired connection, but Easy Tether Pro and other options are also available for those interested.

Some third party options require root access (Android’s version of Jailbreak) and some don’t. Unless you’re an advanced user the tether without root options are your best bet.

Last but not least, it’s a good idea to add a data usage reminder or alert so you don’t spend all of that 5GB data plan. Head into Settings > connections > data usage and set the slider at an appropriate limit to keep things under control.

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5 Comments

  1. Philip J

    09/26/2015 at 2:37 pm

    for note 4 and s6 users, this will definitely work on sprint and may work on other carriers: try this method to ENABLE YOUR NATIVE HOTSPOT WITH OR WITHOUT ROOT ! ! ! ! this is way better than any 3rd party tethering which is a tether work-around, this MSL method will save you battery, and I had google play services issues and adblock issues when using 3rd party ones.

    The first thing you need is your MSL code, call or chat and tell them you’re going overseas, of have an MMS continuing problem, or need to re-provision your phone. If your phone is paid off they will give it out no problem, if you owe a balance it may take more convincing or you can find an app that tells you your MSL code. Try a few times if they’re stubborn.
    Now open the dialer and enter ##DATA# (##3282#)
    Click on the Edit button in the popup and enter your MSL code and click OK.
    Now navigate to APN settings from the Mobile Networks menu and open APN2 EHRPD Internet and APN2 LTE internet individually and change APN Type to default,mms,dun.
    Save the settings in both the APN configurations and reboot the device.

    The native hotspot works way better, no more google play services issue for me, and the phone runs cool and less battery drain! ! ! !

    Reply

  2. Ray

    11/12/2015 at 5:52 am

    I have the Galaxy Note 4, recently purchased in early September of 2015. On the elderly Samsung Droid Charge that it replaced, I used a “Foxfi” app that worked just great. On the Note 4, there is a lot of drama with the Foxfi app that I find unacceptable.

    As I am one of the old VZW “unlimited data” users that VZW hasn’t managed to run off yet, I want an app that uses from my unlimited data as Foxfi did with my old Droid Charge. Unfortunately, on the newer Note 4, the Foxfi requires me to have screen locking enabled, something that is an enormous PITA for me. Why is my screen being locked any of their business or concern????? Also, using Foxfi with my Note 4, there are tons of warnings that 3rd parties all over hell and creation are monitoring all of my correspondence because of the app, I guess. WTF????

    Can anyone else recommend a better, less drama-filled app for wifi tethering to my Note 4 that pulls data from my unlimited VZW account?

    Thank you!

    Reply

  3. SMW

    11/20/2015 at 6:58 pm

    Is Foxfi still working on your Note 4? Mine stopped today as well as on my Note 3 and wife’s S5. Any other options? Fixes?

    Reply

  4. Ray

    01/18/2016 at 8:38 am

    Hi SMW! Sorry, I just now found your question. I had a friend remove the FoxFi garbage from my phone. I was sick to death of having to unlock my screen every time I used the phone as well as the idea that they kept warning me about other parties monitoring my transactions

    FoxFi worked great on my Droid Charge, but was lousy on my Note 4. Still hoping to find a viable alternative to FoxFi.

    Reply

  5. ravi

    06/14/2016 at 9:57 pm

    In my note 4,the mobile hotspot couldn’t starts..becouse there is a must and should condition.that is Smart phone mobile hotspot service added to your rate plan??what is dat meaninig plz explain

    Reply

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