Hotspot Data Usage: Everything You Need to Know

About Hotspot Data Usage, One of the best things about wireless internet is wifi hotspots. Not only are they convenient when you’re out in public and want to browse social media and check your emails, but also when you download an app. Most people often associate wifi hotspots with workplaces and public areas. However, can you create your wifi hotspot using your smartphone? 

The phone uses cellular data to create a hotspot that connects other devices to its network. Both android and iOS phones have this capability. Additionally, you can purchase mobile wifi hotspots built to convert cellular data connections to strong wifi connections.

Table of Contents

What Is a Hotspot

The term “hotspot” refers to any location where you can use wifi to access the internet. You can wirelessly connect your devices to the internet through hotspots through public or private networks. They’re common in libraries, lounges, and airports around the world. 

Moreover, most smartphones can act as a wifi hotspot for other devices like tablets and computers to connect. Many carriers offer mobile hotspot services at an additional charge.

Man holding laptop accessing hotspot

Man holding laptop accessing hotspot

What Are the Types of Hotspots

Hotspot networks fall under two categories, free and paid. You’ll find free hotspots in public places like coffee shops and hotels. Therefore, you don’t have to pay a fee to use them. 

Besides, paid hotspots will direct you to a login screen, where you enter a password or process a payment. Only after keying the password or paying the fee does the user get access to wireless internet services. 

How Do You Connect to a Hotspot

How you connect to a wifi hotspot varies based on the device you’re using, but the following steps will give you a general overview of the process. 

  • Click on the wireless icon on your device, check the nearby networks, and select one.
  • Enter the password or security key if its a secured network
  • Select the type of network, either public, home, or work (for Windows devices)
Password box

Password box

How to Use Your iPhone as a Mobile Hotspot

Apple devices use personal hotspots to share cellular data when you can’t access wifi. Besides, to set up a personal hotspot, you need to follow these steps:

  • Open Settings > Cellular > Personal Hotspot or Settings > Personal Hotspot
  • Click on the slider that says “Allow Others to Join.”
  • Open the wifi menu and input the selected device(s) password to grant access.

N/B: If you don’t see the “Personal Hotspot” option, contact your service provider. Ensure that you can use this feature with your current mobile data plan.

Two people sharing the internet using personal hotspot features

Two people sharing the internet using personal hotspot features

How to Check Hotspot Data Usage on iPhone

Want to know how to check hotspot data usage on iPhone? You’re not alone. Many iOS users monitor the data usage statistics of their Apple devices. 

  • Open Settings > Cellular Data>
  • Scroll down and check total data usage next to the Personal Hotspot tab
  • You can also check the data usage of individual apps under the Cellular Data section. 

Now you know how to check your hotspot usage. 

How Do You Ensure Security for Your Hotspot?

Stay On Top of Your Passwords

Always set a strong password. Cybersecurity experts recommend a combination of numbers and symbols. However, the longer and more unique it is, the better. 

Change the Network Hotspot Name

A unique SSID (service set identifier) protects your login credentials in case hackers compromise an extensive database with pre-set passwords and usernames for portable routers. Therefore, avoid using similar names as your primary email or other social media tags. 


VPN sends traffic through an encrypted tunnel, keeping your online activity private and secure. Premium VPNs offer protection for multiple devices, ideal for mobile hotspots. 

Virtual private network technology secures network

Virtual private network technology secures the network


Can Someone Steal Your Data From Hotspot?

Free public wifi may sound attractive, but you risk your privacy when using it. Hackers and fraudsters can capture your data over public internet connections. Moreover, they can access passwords, bank account details, social media accounts, and other private information. Always turn off your wifi or use VPN when in an area with free public wifi.

Can Someone Use My Mobile Data Hotspot?

You can connect other devices to your hotspot. The devices will use data from your mobile plan or wifi, depending on how you set up the hotspot. Besides, it depends on hotspot data usage and the number of devices connected to it. It only happens if someone knows your hotspot password or you connect them to your mobile data hotspot.    

Can Someone Who Is Sharing My Hotspot See My History?

Only you, the wifi owner, and the wifi provider can see your browser history through the router’s admin panel. In addition, sharing your wifi hotspot cannot access this information as they do not have administrative privileges. 


As more cities, organizations, and institutions introduce public wifi hotspots, it’s more important to understand how they work and the potential risks involved. Therefore, always practice caution, as you would with anything else. As a general rule, never do anything on public wifi that could compromise your data. It involves transactions or accessing medical records. 

Smartphone with a list of WIFI network connections

Smartphone with a list of WIFI network connections

If in doubt, switch off your wifi and use your mobile data, or install a VPN to encrypt your information and protect you from data leaks. Tools like password managers and encryption are at your disposal. Therefore, you shouldn’t have to worry when you browse on a public hotspot at an airport, coffee shop, or hotel lobby. 

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