Q:

How does a Wi-Fi hotspot work on the iPhone?

A:

Quick Answer

The iPhone Wi-Fi hotspot feature establishes a mobile connection with nearby devices through Bluetooth, USB or Wi-Fi Connections. The Wi-Fi hotspot feature establishes a wireless router, which allows the iPhone to transmit and share data with nearby devices, such as computers, tablets and mobile gaming devices.

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Full Answer

The iPhone Wi-Fi hotspot feature is available for any iPhone 4 or newer model running iOS 4.3 or higher. In addition to these requirements, an iPhone must have an active data plan with the tethering feature activated. This feature is separate to most data plans but can be added by the carrier.

To establish a Wi-Fi hotspot for an iPhone, tap the Settings icon and select Network if the phone is running iOS 7 or older or the Personal Hotspot icon if running iOS 8 or newer. If the tethering feature is activated on the data plan, the user is given a Wi-Fi password and three options for connection: Wi-Fi, USB or Bluetooth. To activate the connection, tap the Personal Hotspot slider so that the green bar is visible and follow the instructions provided for each connection source.

If connecting through a Wi-Fi connection, the user must select the iPhone from the Wi-Fi settings on the computer or other wireless device. Then enter the password when prompted. If connecting using Bluetooth the user must pair the iPhone with the computer and then follow the instructions provided to link the devices together. To connect with a USB cable, the user must plug the iPhone into a computer and select the iPhone connection from the list of available network services in the settings menu.

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