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Samsung Mobile Hotspot: Key to Continuous Connectivity

Away from home and seeking an internet connection for your laptop without compromising your privacy on public networks? Likewise, facing a technical issue with your home Wi-Fi, and you have tasks to complete on your computer?

Come with us as we discover the mobile hotspot—a feature to utilize your smartphone as a mobile Wi-Fi router, enabling you to share your mobile data and connect other devices to the internet securely.


Mobile Hotspot on Samsung
 

What Is Mobile Hotspot?

A hotspot is normally a physical location that provides wireless internet access to anybody with an electronic device that supports Wi-Fi technology. When it is combined with mobile, it turns into something else, however, with similar functionalities. 

A mobile hotspot on Samsung smartphones and tablets (only available for LTE and 5G tablets with active service) is a secure way to turn your mobile device into a Wi-Fi router that provides internet access to up to 10 nearby devices using either the mobile device's cellular data or another physical Wi-Fi router.

Similar to a normal Wi-Fi router, it has a configurable 'Network Name' and 'Password' for other devices to connect to the mobile hotspot. Apart from that, the connection can be made by scanning the QR code or turning on Auto Hotspot for the devices that signed in to the same Samsung account without a need to enter the password.

Other than, basic configurations ranging from changing the network name to the network security key, there are advanced ones as well that include setting a mobile data limit and turning the mobile hotspot off when no device is connected for a certain time (5 minutes, 1 hour, and so on).

 

Mobile Hotspot Icon on Samsung

Activate Mobile Hotspot 

When you find yourself away from your home Wi-Fi and have tasks to complete on your laptop, or when your older devices struggle to connect through the router, there is no need for an additional gadget to securely link all your technological devices to the internet. 

Similar to not requiring a digital camera for photos or a watch for checking the time, the solution lies in turning your Android phone into a Wi-Fi router using the mobile hotspot feature. This way, you may seamlessly handle tasks on the go without the need to seek public Wi-Fi networks, ensuring the privacy of your online activities.

Still, it is important to mention that not all mobile carriers provide mobile hotspot and tethering services, or even if they do, the service plan you have purchased/subscribed to may not include these features

To avoid incurring additional charges, it is advisable to visit your mobile carrier's website or contact their customer support via phone, whether you are with T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, or Vodafone, to gather comprehensive information about yours.

Here is how to turn on a mobile hotspot:

  1. Open 'Settings'.  
  2. Select 'Connections'.
  3. Tap 'Mobile Hotspot and Tethering'.
  4. Switch on 'Mobile Hotspot'.

Turn On Mobile Hotspot using Settings on Samsung (1/2)
Turn On Mobile Hotspot using Settings on Samsung (2/2)

Alternatively,

  1. Swipe down once from the top of the screen using two fingers or swipe down twice from the top of the screen using one finger to access the 'Quick Settings Panel'.
  2. Find and tap on the 'Mobile Hotspot' button.   
  3. Cannot see a 'Mobile Hotspot' button?:
    1. Swipe left until the last screen of the Quick Settings Panel. 
      1. Alternatively, tap 'three-vertical-dots' at the top right and select 'Edit Buttons'.
    2. Tap '+' (Add) button. 
    3. Tap and hold the 'Mobile Hotspot' button and move it to the Quick Settings Panel.
    4. Tap 'Done'. 

Turn On Mobile Hotspot using Quick Settings Panel on Samsung
 

Connection Methods to Mobile Hotspot

Connect using Wi-Fi (Available Networks)

Establishing a connection to either a Wi-Fi network or a mobile hotspot is identical, given that the mobile hotspot essentially serves a similar function as a regular Wi-Fi network. 

Just like other secure Wi-Fi setups, gaining access to the internet through a mobile hotspot necessitates entering a password, emphasizing the importance of locating the password beforehand.

Find Mobile Hotspot Password

Here is how to find mobile hotspot password on Samsung:

  1. Open 'Settings'.
  2. Select 'Connections'.
  3. Tap 'Mobile Hotspot and Tethering'. 
  4. Tap on 'Mobile Hotspot'.
  5. Password will be available under the 'Password' heading

Find Mobile Hotspot Password on Samsung (1/3)
Find Mobile Hotspot Password on Samsung (2/3)
Find Mobile Hotspot Password on Samsung (3/3)

Upon activating the mobile hotspot and obtaining the network name along with the password, it becomes viable to establish a successful connection using the Wi-Fi menu

As the guide illustrates the process of connecting a mobile hotspot through the Wi-Fi menu on a Samsung device, it is noteworthy that these instructions remain applicable across diverse devices, including iPhone, Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux. 

The only variability lies in the distinct names of the categories you will need to select or tap, which vary across the platforms.

Here is how to connect from other devices with a password: 

  1. Open 'Settings'.
  2. Select 'Connections'.
  3. Tap 'Wi-Fi'.
    1. Alternatively, swipe down from the top of the screen using two fingers > tap and hold the 'Wi-Fi' button.
  4. Find your mobile hotspot's network name in available networks and tap on it.
  5. Enter password.
  6. Tap 'Connect' and wait for the connection to be established.


Connect Mobile Hotspot using Wi-Fi Menu on Samsung (1/2)
Connect Mobile Hotspot using Wi-Fi Menu on Samsung (2/2)

Connect using a QR Code

Having trouble locating special characters in your password on another device, or is the password overly long for security reasons? In such cases, an option is to eliminate the password by scanning a QR code.

Additionally, there is no need to display your phone screen when scanning the QR code. The QR code can be saved as an image in the Samsung Gallery or shared with others using Quick Share, PrivateShare, or any other available method.

However, the short end of the stick is that the QR code is a one-time creation for repeated use and lacks encryption. That means that QR code patterns never change and anyone with access to that QR code can find out the Wi-Fi hotspot's password. 

This is why you may need to weigh the decision of when to share the QR code picture and when to simply display your phone screen.

Here is how to connect a mobile hotspot using a QR code:

  1. Open 'Settings'. 
  2. Select 'Connections'.
  3. Tap 'Mobile Hotspot and Tethering'.
  4. Tap 'Mobile Hotspot'.
  5. Tap 'QR Code'.
    1. Tap 'Save as Image' to save it to the Samsung Gallery to use in time to come or tap 'Share' to share it with your friends using system or third-party apps
  6. Scan the QR code on the other device to connect.

Connect Mobile Hotspot on Samsung using QR Code (1/3)
Connect Mobile Hotspot on Samsung using QR Code (2/3)
Connect Mobile Hotspot on Samsung using QR Code (3/3)

Connect using Auto Hotspot

Planning to use the connection on your other Samsung devices and do not desire to enter the password manually or scan a QR code? This time, the perfect and distinctive solution is the 'Auto Hotspot'.

Essentially, Auto Hotspot automatically shares your phone's Wi-Fi or Mobile Data with devices signed in to your Samsung account, as well as those within your Samsung account family group, without any password requirement at the present time or in the time to come.

When both the mobile and auto hotspot functions are activated, the connection is displayed within the 'Auto Hotspot' section rather than 'Available Networks' in the Wi-Fi menu. It is named by the sharing Samsung device' model number (starting with SM-). 

A simple tap is all it takes to connect (no entering password, no scanning QR code), and once established, the network name changes from the model number (phone name) to the mobile hotspot's network name.

Even when the mobile hotspot is recently in the off state, devices signed into the same Samsung account or family group can remotely reactivate it. However, provided that it is deactivated again using the sharing device, reactivation becomes impossible until it is activated on the sharing device once again.

Here is how to turn on the auto hotspot and invite family members:

  1. Open 'Settings'.
  2. Select 'Connections'.
  3. Tap 'Mobile Hotspot and Tethering'.
  4. Tap 'Mobile Hotspot'.
  5. Toggle on 'Auto Hotspot'.
  6. Tap on 'Auto Hotspot' in order to display your Samsung Account and invite your family members:
    1. Tap 'Family Sharing'.
    2. Select 'Invite Members'.
    3. Either select the family member using 'Contacts' (only demonstrates the phone numbers linked to a Samsung Account) or enter the Samsung Account ID or additional phone number using 'Account'.
    4. Tap 'Invite'.

Turn On Auto Hotspot on Samsung (1/3)
Turn On Auto Hotspot on Samsung (2/3)
Turn On Auto Hotspot on Samsung (3/3)

Here is how to connect a mobile hotspot using auto hotspot:

  1. Open 'Wi-Fi' on the other Samsung device.
  2. Tap the network name under 'Auto Hotspot' to connect.

Connect Mobile Hotspot using Auto Hotspot on Samsung (1/2)
Connect Mobile Hotspot using Auto Hotspot on Samsung (2/2)

Configure Mobile Hotspot 

Your mobile hotspot is up and running, but perhaps the default settings are not quite hitting the mark. You have the flexibility to customize both basic (like changing the network name and password) and advanced settings (such as Wi-Fi sharing and settings a mobile data sharing limit). 

Whether the basic configuration settings (network name, password, band, and security) seem familiar or unfamiliar, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the terms and their characteristics before diving into the how-to part.

Begin with, the network name, the hotspot visible with that name in the 'Available Networks' of the Wi-Fi menu, which can contain numbers and special characters but must not exceed 32 characters

The password, serving as the security key to determine who can connect to the internet and who cannot, should consist of at least 8 and up to 61 characters, allowing letters, numbers, and special characters, however, emojis and unconventional characters are not permitted.

The band setting determines the radio frequency used by the hotspot, with options including 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The 5 GHz band, a more recent addition, provides higher data transfer rates and encounters fewer obstacles. 

Despite its superior performance compared to the 2.4 GHz band, it has limitations, such as a shorter coverage range, making it more effective over shorter distances. Additionally, only newer devices support 5 GHz, potentially posing connectivity challenges for older devices.

The security options come in informal terms, with choices between 'secure' and 'insecure', and in formal terms as 'Open' and 'WPA2 PSK'. 

In the context of 'Open Security', think of it as a Wi-Fi network akin to an unlocked door, allowing anyone to freely enter and join the Wi-Fi network. 

Conversely, 'WPA2 PSK' (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 with Pre-Shared Key) operates like a locked door, requiring a specific key (password) for access to the Wi-Fi network.

Here is how to configure basic settings on the mobile hotspot:

  1. Open 'Settings'.
  2. Select 'Connections'.
  3. Tap 'Mobile Hotspot and Tethering'.
  4. Tap 'Mobile Hotspot'.
  5. Tap 'Configure'.
  6. Delete the existing credentials and enter the new ones. 
  7. Tap 'Save'.

Configure Mobile Hotspot on Samsung (1/3)
Configure Mobile Hotspot on Samsung (2/3)
Configure Mobile Hotspot on Samsung (3/3)

Advanced Configuration Settings 

Control Your Data Usage: Set Mobile Data Limits

In situations where you have a limited mobile data plan that is insufficient for sharing, especially with the potential for incurring high additional charges, it is prudent to set a data limit for your mobile data usage.

This data limit can be set anywhere from 1 MB to 9999999999 MB, measured in megabytes. For those less familiar with the units, it is helpful to note that 1000 MB is equivalent to 1 GB, 2000 MB to 2 GB, and so forth.

Once this designated data limit is reached, the mobile hotspot feature is automatically turned off, leading to the disconnection of all devices previously connected to the hotspot. 

Upon reactivating the mobile hotspot, the data usage counter resets to zero, allowing you to resume sharing until the data limit is reached once again.

Here is how to set mobile data limit:

  1. Open 'Settings'.
  2. Select 'Connections'.
  3. Tap 'Mobile Hotspot and Tethering'.
  4. Tap 'Mobile Hotspot'.
  5. Tap 'Configure'.
  6. Tap 'Advanced'.
  7. Tap 'Set Mobile Data Limit'. 
  8. Enter the limit in megabytes (MB).
  9. Tap 'OK'.

Set Mobile Data Sharing Limit for Mobile Hotspot on Samsung (1/4)
Set Mobile Data Sharing Limit for Mobile Hotspot on Samsung (2/4)
Set Mobile Data Sharing Limit for Mobile Hotspot on Samsung (3/4)
Set Mobile Data Sharing Limit for Mobile Hotspot on Samsung (4/4)

Standard or Unique Identity: MAC Address Type

MAC Address Type is a technical facet of the hotspot, so we will strive to explain it straightforwardly.

Imagine you and us, regular people with common names like 'Jack' or 'Angelina'. Similarly, every Samsung phone or tablet connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot has its own unique name, often difficult to pronounce, such as '00:1a:2b:3c:4d:5e' or '00-1a-2b-3c-4d-5e', referred to as the 'Phone MAC', and this identifier remains constant.

On the flip side, the 'Randomized MAC' is akin to a secret agent adopting various false names based on the mission. In the digital realm, the name shifts from '00:1a:2b:3c:4d:5e' to '00:1b:2c:3d:5e:6f', and this process repeats each time your device attempts to connect to the Internet.

Given that the randomized MAC Address Type enhances the privacy of the mobile device by avoiding exposure, it is advisable to keep the settings unchanged—select 'Randomized MAC'.

Here is how to select MAC Address Type:  

  1. Open 'Settings'.
  2. Select 'Connections'.
  3. Tap 'Mobile Hotspot and Tethering'.
  4. Tap 'Mobile Hotspot'.
  5. Tap 'Configure'.
  6. Tap 'Advanced'.
  7. Tap 'MAC Adddress Type'.
  8. Select MAC Address Type (Phone or Randomized)Randomized is recommended.

Select MAC Address Type for Mobile Hotspot on Samsung (1/4)
Select MAC Address Type for Mobile Hotspot on Samsung (2/4)
Select MAC Address Type for Mobile Hotspot on Samsung (3/4)
Select MAC Address Type for Mobile Hotspot on Samsung (4/4)

Turn Off the Mobile Hotspot When No Device is Connected For

The impact on battery life is an undeniable truth when using the Mobile Hotspot. Unlike regular Wi-Fi routers focused solely on connecting service providers and customers, phones have the added complexity of managing numerous apps in the background and foreground. Plus, amid a busy schedule, it is easy to forget whether the hotspot is left active.

In such circumstances, enabling 'Turn Off When No Device Connected For' is a must. It comes with several options but they can be categorized under two categories which are 'no timeout' and 'desired time'. 

The former category (no timeout) consists of just one option that directly sets no timeout and keeps the hotspot open even if there is no connected device

The latter category (desired time) consists of 5 different options which are 5/10/20/30/60 minutes, so according to your needs the desired time can be set with ease.

Here is how to turn off a mobile hotspot when no device is connected:

  1. Open 'Settings'.
  2. Select 'Connections'.
  3. Tap 'Mobile Hotspot and Tethering'.
  4. Tap 'Mobile Hotspot'.
  5. Tap 'Configure'.
  6. Tap 'Advanced'.
  7. Tap 'Turn Off When No Device Connected For' and select the desired time.

Enable 'Turn Off Mobile Hotspot When No Device Connected' on Samsung (1/4)
Enable 'Turn Off Mobile Hotspot When No Device Connected' on Samsung (2/4)
Enable 'Turn Off Mobile Hotspot When No Device Connected' on Samsung (3/4)
Enable 'Turn Off Mobile Hotspot When No Device Connected' on Samsung (4/4)

Hidden Network: Make Hotspot Private

Hidden Network, as the name implies, hides the network, making it invisible in the Available Networks list. One might question the logic behind activating the hotspot if it cannot be accessed. 

It is actually still accessible and the primary reasons for enabling this feature are security, safeguarding the connection from potential attackers, and privacy, allowing the sharing of mobile data or Wi-Fi without detection by freeloaders (maybe your friends).

Here is how to hide a mobile hotspot:

  1. Open 'Settings'.
  2. Select 'Connections'.
  3. Tap 'Mobile Hotspot and Tethering'.
  4. Tap 'Mobile Hotspot'.
  5. Tap 'Configure'.
  6. Tap 'Advanced'.
  7. Toggle on 'Hidden Network'.

Hide Mobile Hotspot in Available Networks on Samsung (1/4)
Hide Mobile Hotspot in Available Networks on Samsung (2/4)
Hide Mobile Hotspot in Available Networks on Samsung (3/4)
Hide Mobile Hotspot in Available Networks on Samsung (4/4)

Regarding how to connect to a hidden network, there are two methods: either activate 'Auto Hotspot' before hiding it or manually input the network name and the password using the '+ Add Network' button on Wi-Fi settings.

Here is how to enter the Wi-Fi credentials manually to connect to a hidden network:

  1. Open 'Settings'.
  2. Select 'Connections'.
  3. Tap 'Wi-Fi'.
    1. Turn on Wi-Fi, if not before.
  4. Tap '+ Add Network'.
  5. Enter your mobile hotspot's network name and password, select WPA/WPA2-Personal security, and toggle on 'Hidden Network'.
  6. Tap 'View More' to see additional settings ranging from MAC Address Type to IP Settings.
  7. Tap 'Save'. 
    1. It will immediately connect as long as the mobile hotspot is turned on the sharing device.

Connect a Hidden Mobile Hotspot on Samsung (1/3)
Connect a Hidden Mobile Hotspot on Samsung (2/3)
Connect a Hidden Mobile Hotspot on Samsung (3/3)

Protected Management Frames: Increase Mobile Hotspot Security

This represents another technical expertise that effectively safeguards the network against specific attacks, thereby reinforcing security measures to block security breaches.

However, the downside is that it may hinder the connection of certain older devices as it requires both the access point and the connected devices to be compatible with the technology.

Here is how to activate 'Protected Management Frames':

  1. Open 'Settings'. 
  2. Select 'Connections'.
  3. Tap 'Mobile Hotspot and Tethering'.
  4. Tap 'Mobile Hotspot'.
  5. Tap 'Configure'.
  6. Tap 'Advanced'.
  7. Toggle on 'Protected Management Frames'.

Increase Mobile Hotspot Security with Protected Management Frames on Samsung (1/4)
Increase Mobile Hotspot Security with Protected Management Frames on Samsung (2/4)
Increase Mobile Hotspot Security with Protected Management Frames on Samsung (3/4)
Increase Mobile Hotspot Security with Protected Management Frames on Samsung (4/4)

Power Saving Mode: Preserve Battery Life

When turned on, 'Power Saving Mode' carefully analyzes the traffic on the hotspot to identify the most effective strategies for preserving the device's battery life

Through that analysis, it may implement measures like lowering screen brightness, restricting CPU and background app usage, and disabling vibration, resulting in a decrease in overall battery consumption.

Here is how to turn on power saving mode for mobile hotspot:

  1. Open 'Settings'. 
  2. Select 'Connections'.
  3. Tap 'Mobile Hotspot and Tethering'.
  4. Tap 'Mobile Hotspot'. 
  5. Tap 'Configure'.
  6. Tap 'Advanced'.
  7. Toggle on 'Power Saving Mode'.

Turn On Power Saving Mode for Mobile Hotspot on Samsung (1/4)Turn On Power Saving Mode for Mobile Hotspot on Samsung (2/4)
Turn On Power Saving Mode for Mobile Hotspot on Samsung (3/4)
Turn On Power Saving Mode for Mobile Hotspot on Samsung (4/4)

It is important to note that such optimizations might have an impact on the performance of certain features, such as online gaming and video streaming.

Given this information, we intend to experiment to determine whether there is a noticeable distinction between the activated and deactivated versions.

To add complexity to our assessment, we engaged in a 10-minute session of playing an online mobile game for each trial.

Power Saving Mode Off: The battery level commenced at 84% and concluded at 80%. Given that the feature was disabled, there were no noticeable lags or performance drops in the game.

Power Saving Mode On: In that instance, the initial battery level was 80%, concluding at 78%. Despite contrary indications, the variance in gaming performance was minimal, marked by only occasional lags.

There is a discernible battery savings, amounting to a 2% reduction in the mathematical sense, which may seem modest but could accumulate significantly over time, such as a 12% battery preservation over 60 minutes.

Wi-Fi Sharing: Share Wi-Fi instead of Mobile Data

While the primary purpose of having a Mobile Hotspot is often to share mobile data in places without Wi-Fi, the Wi-Fi connection of a Samsung phone can also be shared with other devices. This is particularly useful in areas with weak router coverage.

'Wi-Fi Sharing' essentially connects the phone to a Wi-Fi router and extends the connection to other devices that may struggle to connect directly to the main router

The setting may be manually enabled or disabled but is automatically activated when 'Auto Hotspot' is turned on.

Here is how to share Wi-Fi instead of mobile data using mobile hotspot:

  1. Open 'Settings'.
  2. Select 'Connections'.
  3. Tap 'Mobile Hotspot and Tethering'.
  4. Tap 'Mobile Hotspot'.
  5. Tap 'Configure'.
  6. Tap 'Advanced'.
  7. Toggle on 'Wi-Fi Sharing'.

Share Wi-Fi instead of Mobile Data for Mobile Hotspot on Samsung (1/4)
Share Wi-Fi instead of Mobile Data for Mobile Hotspot on Samsung (2/4)
Share Wi-Fi instead of Mobile Data for Mobile Hotspot on Samsung (3/4)
Share Wi-Fi instead of Mobile Data for Mobile Hotspot on Samsung (4/4)
 

Conclusion

Capturing pictures does not require a camera, only a smartphone is enough. Similarly, connecting your devices to the internet under the open sky does not need an additional Wi-Fi router – a mobile hotspot suffices. As long as your service plan includes a mobile hotspot and tethering, it is possible to share your mobile data to connect your laptop and other devices to the internet. Moreover, you have the option to personalize the network name and password, and enable various advanced settings such as power saving mode and mobile data limits.

Feel free to reach out with any questions or issues related to Samsung mobile hotspot. Share your concerns in the comments, and we are here to provide assistance and guidance. 

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