Android phones have a handy feature that lets you share your cellular connection with other devices, turning your phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot. In many situations, this can be a lifesaver. If you own a 5G Chromebook, like the Acer Chromebook Spin 714, or a 5G tablet, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+, getting online won't be a problem. For many devices, a connection to Wi-Fi or a cable is required to access the internet.


There are several reasons you might not get Wi-Fi. During a power outage, Wi-Fi goes offline unless you have a backup power source. When traveling, you’ll find that most networks are locked, requiring a password. Open Wi-Fi networks are often slow and difficult to connect to. Even worse, unknown or insecure networks might reveal your personal data.

What you need is a way to share your phone’s cellular signal. Google makes it relatively easy to turn your Android phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot or connect to a Chromebook with Instant Tethering.

How to enable the Wi-Fi hotspot feature on your Android phone

You can create a Wi-Fi hotspot with your Android phone to share your internet with other devices that lack mobile connectivity. If you can’t or don’t want to use Wi-Fi, connect a USB cable or try Bluetooth tethering instead.

Before the first use, you need to enable a Wi-Fi hotspot. The next time you need it, you can switch on the hotspot in a few taps.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap Network & internet.
  3. Go to Hotspot & tethering.

  4. Tap Wi-Fi hotspot and set the Hotspot name.

  5. Set a password and turn on the Use Wi-Fi hotspot switch to start sharing.

Going to Settings each time to enable a Wi-Fi hotspot may not be the most efficient way, and that’s when the Quick settings tiles come to the rescue.

Add a Wi-Fi hotspot shortcut in Quick Settings

Quick Settings in Android make enabling and disabling essential features on the fly easy. Here’s how to add the Wi-Fi hotspot tile to your device’s Quick Settings to toggle it on or off.

  1. Swipe down twice from the top of the screen to reveal the full Quick Settings panel.
  2. Tap the pen icon.
  3. Scroll down and find the Hotspot tile.

  4. Drag and drop the tile above.
  5. Click the back arrow in the upper-left corner.

  6. Find and tap the Hotspot tile in Quick Settings to start the hotspot.

Enable USB tethering on Android

While most modern devices come equipped with Wi-Fi, sometimes you may have connectivity problems, especially with older laptops. In that case, you can share your data using USB tethering if you have a good quality USB cable. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Connect the phone to your computer using a USB cable.
  2. Swipe down to open Quick Settings and tap the Android System notification.
  3. In the Use USB for section, select USB Tethering.

  4. If you don’t see the notification, insert the USB into another port.
  5. Alternatively, go to Settings > Network & internet > Hotspot & tethering and toggle on USB tethering.

Enable Bluetooth tethering on Android

If both USB tethering and Wi-Fi hotspot aren’t working, Bluetooth tethering is an option, but you should use this as a last resort since it’s slow.

  1. Connect both devices via Bluetooth.
  2. On the device you want to share the internet from, go to Network & internet > Hotspot & tethering and toggle on Bluetooth tethering.

  3. Once done, you can access the internet on the other device.

Bluetooth tethering is slow and potentially unusable compared to a Wi-Fi hotspot. If you must resort to this method, limit your internet use to the bare minimum. Avoid streaming video or updating apps which could take a long time.

Use the Instant Tethering feature to connect your Android phone and Chromebook

Many of the best Chromebooks lack 5G or LTE capabilities, but you can fill that gap with your Android phone. Google’s Instant Tethering feature makes it fast and easy if you’ve already connected your Android device to ChromeOS in Phone Hub. Once done, follow these steps:

  1. Open Phone Hub by clicking the phone icon on the right side of the shelf.
  2. Click Enable Hotspot to turn on your phone’s hotspot and establish a private connection with your Chromebook.

  3. You can also enable it by expanding ChromeOS’s Quick Settings, clicking the arrow beside the network tile, and selecting your phone.

You can use this feature to share the internet via mobile data and Wi-Fi from your phone. However, you’ll need to turn on mobile data on your Android device for it to appear on the Chromebook. Once you’re connected, turning off your mobile data won’t disconnect your devices.

Beware Android battery drain and mobile data limits

Using your Android phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot consumes battery life at a faster pace. It might also cause your device to overheat, especially in summer. If you turn on the hotspot and forget to turn it off, you’ll lose a lot of battery.

Charging speed is an area where Android phones have improved over the years and can help if your battery level drops too low after sharing your internet connection. Some Android phones support fast charging but don’t come with a fast charger. Our guide to the best fast chargers can help.

Another issue is using mobile data quickly. While an Android phone is designed to use the internet sparingly, a laptop preloads web pages that you might not visit, refreshes content in the background, and might download system updates. You could have unexpected trouble if your mobile internet plan has limits that cause slowdowns or overage costs.

You might want to periodically check your mobile data usage if you have any concerns.

An Android hotspot can save the day

Your Android phone is a capable device, but sometimes you need a larger screen. Sharing your mobile internet to a tablet or laptop allows you to easily navigate a spreadsheet or share a video with a friend.

If you forgot to do something at the office, you might be able to fix something before it’s a problem by connecting your work laptop to an Android hotspot while you’re between locations. This is safer than using a public Wi-Fi connection that might not be secure.

Beyond personal use, you might save the day by sharing your Android phone’s mobile internet as a Wi-Fi hotspot.

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