The Basics of Mobile Hotspots

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Mobile hotspots bring Wi-Fi anywhere you have wireless service.

What is a mobile hotspot?

A mobile hotspot is a device that connects to a wireless network and then broadcasts a Wi-Fi signal. This allows you to connect your devices to the internet anywhere you have wireless service.

While some people use their smartphones as mobile hotspots, there are also devices designed specifically for this purpose.

A couple reasons you might want a mobile hotspot

  • Backup internet service. If you suspect you might temporarily lose your home internet connection, it can be nice to have a backup option. This can be especially true for people who work from home. If something goes wrong with your normal Wi-Fi connection, you may be able to fall back on your mobile hotspot to keep your devices connected.
  • Wi-Fi away from home. Another reason some people buy mobile hotspots is because they want to connect to the internet while they are on-the-move. That means no more searching for coffee shops just for the Wi-Fi.

Don’t overlook prepaid options

One key decision you’ll need to make if you buy a mobile hotspot device is whether you want a prepaid hotspot plan or a postpaid hotspot plan. A postpaid plan is a wireless plan where you may have the ability to pay for overage usage after the fact, i.e., on credit, while a prepaid plan is one where you pay in advance.

There are advantages to both options. For example, a prepaid plan may be a good alternative if you’re looking for flexibility and affordability. With postpaid, you don’t have to worry about forgetting to pay upfront for your data, because it comes with your plan each month.

Tips for using a mobile hotspot

  • Place the hotspot wisely. Your devices will connect to Wi-Fi more easily when they are closer to the hotspot. This means that if multiple people are going to use your Wi-Fi connection, you’ll want to place your device in a central location. You’ll also want to avoid any obstructions between your mobile hotspot and your connected devices. For example, if there is a wall between your computer and your mobile hotspot, that may impact your connection.
  • Be mindful of data usage. Keep in mind that anything you do on the hotspot will use wireless data. One thing to watch out for is the number of devices you have connected. More devices on the connection means you’ll use more data. Be especially mindful of data-intensive tasks, such as HD streaming or online gaming.

Hopefully, this post provided you with some useful information. If you want to learn more, you can also read this article on how to set up your phone as a hotspot.


 This article is AT&T sponsored content written by Matt Johnsen, a TechBuzz contributor. The statements in this article are his own and don’t necessarily represent the positions, strategies, or opinions of AT&T.

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