Personal hotspot for iPhone 4: How to set it up

One of the potentially best new features in iOS 4.3 was opening up the personal hotspot feature, allowing you to share the mobile data connection of your iPhone 4 with other devices in near proximity, such as an iPad or a Macbook.

We say it is potentially one of the best new features, because for most people this does not come free with the networks. For most there will be a surcharge on top of your monthly tariff to open up access to the personal hotspot feature. We will come back to the cost breakdown for UK users right after the set-up guide.

How to set up iPhone personal hotspot feature

Personal hotspot on the iPhone 4 basically allows you to use your iPhone mobile data connection across other devices, utilizing the built-in wi-fi of the iPhone, allowing other idevices to connect to it and share an internet connection.

Here is how to activate it:

Go to ‘Settings’ –> ‘General Settings’ –> ‘Network’ and there you will find the ‘Personal Hotspot’ activation.

Setting up personal hotspot on iPhone 4

The process in itself is fairly simple as you can see. However many will run into default network messages once they attempt to set up personal hotspot. Below is information about what the different networks in the UK charges for personal hotspot service on the iPhone.

What are the networks charging

Although Apple has delivered this service to users, for most of us in the UK this is still a service that the networks, in my opinion, over-charge for. Charging extra for allowing you to use your mobile data connection allowance to share with other devices, an allowance that you are already paying for through your mobile monthly tariff, is just wrong in my book.

Electricpig has provided a good overview of the charges by the different networks for personal hotspot service.

Vodafone personal hotspot charges

Personal hotspot on Vodafone charges occasional users £5 per 500mb for 30 days, or if you are a regular user you can add an access tethering bundle at £10 a month for 1.5gb or £15 a month for 3gb.

O2 personal hotspot charges

You will be required to get an internet tethering bolt on that cost £7.50 per month for 500mb, and is only accessible for customers on pay monthly tariffs.

Apparently O2 might build in personal hotspot/tethering into some of their tariffs in the future.

Orange personal hotspot charges

For iPhone 4 owners on Orange it is bad news as they don’t offer any tethering for personal customers, only for business users.

Three personal hotspot charges

If you are on the Three network in the UK and want to use personal hotspot, then you are among the lucky ones. Three allows you to use personal hotspot feature for free, with the shared traffic coming out of your monthly data allowance. Depending on what tariff you are on, this could in fact be unlimited.

T-Mobile personal hotspot charges

They allow both pay monthly and pay-as-you-go customers to access personal hotspot at an extra charge of £5.10 per month for 1gb of data traffic.

T-Mobile also offers daily and weekly options for tethering, charging £2 for 250mb per day of use, or £7 per week for 500mb.

We would love to hear from readers who are using personal hotspot feature, or that have ways to work around this, so feel free to leave a comment below.


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One Response to "Personal hotspot for iPhone 4: How to set it up"

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