Connecting Your Mac Through Your iPhone with Personal Hotspot

If you are out of the house and need to connect your MacBook to the Internet you can use your iPhone's personal hotspot function. This allows you to connect through your iPhone's mobile data connection. This is handy when you'd rather not use public Wi-Fi or none is available.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Connecting Your Mac Through Your iPhone with Personal Hotspot.

Suppose you're out and about and you've got your MacBook with you and you want to connect to the internet. But all that's available maybe is Wifi you don't trust or maybe no WiFi at all. Well you can connect to the internet on your MacBook through your iPhone using most carrier plans today.

This is called Personal Hotspot. Look on your iPhone, under Settings, you'll find it right there near the top. Personal Hotspot. You can see I've got it turned off. If I tap it I can turn it on. Notice also there's a password there, a WiFi password. I can change that very easily. Once I've turned it on I see it appear on my Mac under WiFi. So if I click on the WiFi icon here I can look and, sure enough, I can see right here My iPhone, that's the name of my iPhone, and you can see it matches the name shown on that Personal Hotspot screen.

I can select it. If I've never connected to it before I may have to enter the password and once I do that once I'm all set. You can see that instead of getting a little WiFi signal icon up here I get this little link icon to show that I am connected via Personal Hotspot to my iPhone. This is called tethering. You can actually do this, you can see on the screen here using WiFi, you can also use Bluetooth and it gives you instructions there or even connect your MacBook to your iPhone with the USB cable if you wish.

All these work equally as well as all the connection types are going to be probably faster than you mobile internet connection. You can then use your MacBook as you would normally if you were connected to the internet. Now, of course you're using your bandwidth on your phones plan so you want to be careful with this if you've got limited bandwidth.

But it's great for just checking your email or checking something at a website when you don't have any other option. If you have a good bandwidth plan this is probably a decent option for using on a daily basis perhaps say while taking a train or bus or other mode of transportation to and from work. For instance you can actually check your email on your Mac rather than your phone which sometimes can be a lot faster with a nice big screen and keyboard and all of that. So I prefer that when I have a chance rather than trying to read and answer email or check things on the web on my phone by itself.

So it's good to know it's an option there. To get rid of it when you're done you can switch back to your regular WiFi, simply switch WiFi off, or you can turn off Personal Hotspot if you wish on your phone just to make sure you're not connected anymore.

Comments: 7 Responses to “Connecting Your Mac Through Your iPhone with Personal Hotspot”

    John C
    2 years ago

    Very appropriate video. I’ve been using the iPhone hotspot for a quite a while and this will save me having to show others how to set it up and use it.

    2 years ago

    Is it best to turn off the Hotspot on your phone when you are through using it or can you leave it on with out running down your battery, etc?

    2 years ago

    Marcia: I don’t think it should affect the battery that much either way.

    Ethel W
    2 years ago

    Can I assume that this will work for an iPad as well?

    Rod Lewis
    2 years ago

    When my iPhone has Mobile Data turned off, Personal Hotspot is greyed out. Can I use P.H. with phone connected to wifi? In other words I want to create a secondary wifi network, not using cellular data at all. The purpose is to connect an AppleTV to the secondary network when it cannot “agree” to the initial network. (in this case a public library in NZ)

    2 years ago

    Rod: Yes, Personal Hotspot is for creating a Wi-Fi network with your mobile connection as its Internet access. There is no way to create a new network using another network with your iPhone.

    2 years ago

    Ethel: Yes, or anything that uses Wi-Fi, like handheld game devices, other iPhones, etc.

Comments Closed.