The release of the iPhone 5, which is capable of connecting to 4G LTE networks, finally gives the smartphone enough bandwidth to compete with the speed of many home wireless networks and Wi-Fi hotspots. And best of all, Verizon's iPhone 5 comes with a free hotspot feature, which allows you to tether your iPad to your iPhone 5 to use its Internet connection.
Unfortunately for AT&T and Sprint users, there is an additional charge of around $20 a month to use the tethering feature.
Here's how to turn tethering on for your iPhone:
- Go into your iPhone's settings.
- Choose General Settings from the left-side menu.
- Choose "Cellular" settings.
- In the Cellular settings, choose "Personal Hotspot".
- In this new page, flip the top switch from Off to On. If the hotspot feature is already set up on your account, this should turn tethering on. If it is not set up on your account, you may be asked to call a number or visit a website to set it up on your account. (Again, this is free for Verizon users. Other carriers may have a monthly fee.)
- Under the On/Off switch is a note that gives the name of your device, which is used to name your hotspot. Make note of the name given. This is the Wi-Fi network you will connect to on your iPad.
- Once tethering is turned on, you will want to choose a password. Tap "Wi-Fi Password" and enter an alphanumeric password that contains at least one letter and one number. (This isn't a requirement, but it is good practice to keep your connection secure.)
Now that the iPhone is setup to act as a hotspot, you will want to connect to it from your iPad using these steps:
- Go into your iPad's settings.
- Choose Wi-Fi from the top.
- If your iPhone's hotspot is turned on and your iPhone is near your iPad, you should see the device name under where it says "Choose a Network..."
- Tap the name of your hotspot and type in the password.
And that's it. Your iPad should now be connected to your iPhone and using its data plan for Internet access. Remember, most data plans have a maximum allowance with overage charges if you use too much data, so it is a good idea to refrain from tethering your iPad to your iPhone when you have access to an alternative such as your home's wireless network or a hotel's free Wi-Fi access. Also, avoid streaming movies from services like Netflix or Hulu Plus unless you know you have a large data allowance. (An average HD movie can take over 1 GB to stream, so on the minimal 2 GB data plan that most carrier's offer, just two movies can create expensive overage charges.)