When you don’t have access to a Wi-Fi network, or when you only have access to a public, unsecured Wi-Fi network, you can easily convert your smartphone into a personal hotspot and share its mobile data connection with other devices (e.g. smartphone, laptop, cellular tablet). In this article, you’ll learn how to share your personal hotspot over Wi-Fi, USB cable and Bluetooth.
- What is a hotspot?
- What is tethering?
- How to set up a personal hotspot on your Xperia smartphone
- Final tethering tips & tricks
A hotspot is a physical location where you can get Internet access, usually using wireless (Wi-Fi) technology. All you need is a wireless local-area network (WLAN) with a router connected to an Internet service provider.
Hotspots are either public or private. You’ve most likely already connected your smartphone to a public Wi-Fi hotspot in places like airports, coffee shops or hotels. Setting up a private hotspot through mobile tethering comes in handy when no public Wi-Fi is available.
Tethering, also known as phone-as-modem (PAM), is a term used to describe sharing your mobile device's cellular data connection with other devices by turning your mobile device into a modem/router. The hotspot feature of your Xperia smartphone allows it to transform its cellular 3G or 4G connection into Internet access that other devices can use.
Before you start
- Not all network providers allow tethering to other devices. Carrier restrictions and additional costs might apply. If you can’t access all the options explained in this article, contact your network provider to verify that you can use tethering with your plan.
- Make sure the following settings are selected on your Xperia smartphone:
- Mobile Data is enabled.
- Wi-Fi, Data Saver and Airplane mode are turned off.
Set up your personal hotspot
Open the expandable sections below to learn how to share your personal hotspot over Wi-Fi (Portable hotspot), USB cable and Bluetooth.
- Sharing your mobile data connection may increase your data cost. Make sure to read your data plan before using tethering.
- USB tethering consumes less battery than Wi-Fi (Portable hotspot) or Bluetooth tethering.
- Consider using a power bank when tethering via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
- Bluetooth tethering’s maximum speed is lower than that of USB tethering or Wi-Fi Portable hotspot.
- The speed of tethering depends on how fast and stable your cellular signal is (e.g. concrete and metal walls can affect cell phone signal).
- Distance limitations apply when sharing your mobile connection via Wi-Fi (similar to a Wi-Fi router) or Bluetooth.
How many devices can connect to my personal hotspot at once?
The number of devices that can connect to your personal hotspot at one time depends on your network provider and smartphone model. For example, Xperia 10, can share its mobile data connection with a single computer using a USB cable or with up to four different devices through Bluetooth.
How to use Quick Settings to access Portable hotspot settings
- For detailed information on Bluetooth pairing, refer to the article: What is Bluetooth pairing?