Access to WiFi hotspots can be crucial for travel or when you need to save your mobile data, but how do hotspots work? Learn more about the two types of WiFi hotspots, when and how to use them, and what to consider when you do.
Mobile hotspot plans provided by Xfinity Mobile
Xfinity Mobile's network includes millions of secure WiFi hotspots across the country that customers can access from any WiFi-enabled device. These access points are other Xfinity Internet customers whose broadband routers broadcast a second signal, which is usable by any Xfinity Mobile customer.
The main advantage of these unlimited hotspots is they don’t use the data from your mobile plan, meaning you can:
- Save your data if you don't have unlimited.
- Access the Internet when traveling without worrying about reception or roaming charges.
- Have Internet access without paying more, even if you’ve used all your monthly data.
Mobile WiFi hotspots
If you don't have access to your carrier's data hotspot network and need to use the Internet on your computer or another non-mobile device, you can use your phone as a mobile WiFi hotspot. In this case, connect your device to your phone and use your phone's data connection to access the Internet. Follow these steps to access this feature:
- Go to your “Settings” menu
- Look for “Wireless & Networks” or “Networks & Internet”
- Choose “Hotspot and Tethering”
You’ll have the option to turn your hotspot on and off, set a password for access, and set maximum data consumption limits to control how (and how much) you use the hotspot.
Generating a hotspot using your phone will work anywhere you have a signal, making it the most flexible and portable option. It will use your plan's data and drain your battery faster than normal, though, so it is best used only when you don't have access to a hotspot network.
Choosing a plan and using your hotspot
There are a few important things to keep in mind about hotspots, especially when deciding on a plan.
First, think about the content you access from your device. If you stream large amounts of data from your phone or travel often and can't access your home's WiFi, you'll want a plan through a carrier with a hotspot network. Many sites consume more data on a computer than on mobile, and streaming video typically displays at a lower resolution on a cell phone. As a result, using your phone as a hotspot to stream media on your computer will use more data than streaming the same content on the phone itself.
Once you've got an idea of your intended usage, determine how much data you need. Look at your monthly data usage on the devices you use out of the house. Once you've estimated the amount of data you need, compare the prices for by-the-gig, unlimited, and plans that include a hotspot network.
Finally, check your carrier's hotspot network coverage. You'll want to be covered in locations you frequent, such as at work or your child's dance studio, or the network won't be useful to you. Keep in mind, using your phone as a mobile WiFi hotspot only works where you get reception.
Carrier-supplied hotspot networks offer Internet access on the go and can save you money on your monthly bill. Consider your data needs, and visit Xfinity Mobile to find a plan that suits your lifestyle.