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Imagine a fine day out of town, away from your busy home. Fortunately, you have a good signal for your hotspot to enjoy going online with your laptop by the beach in case you need work. But suddenly your family or friends want to use your hotspot since they don’t have an internet connection on their devices. Can you at least spare a bit of your bandwidth with some of them?
Hotspots of any kind allow more than one device to get connected to the internet. This applies to any kind of hotspot available in the market, including smartphones. However, there is still a limit.
To find out what those limitations are, I will explain everything that I have experienced so far in tinkering with hotspots. I will provide certain factors which allow some devices to get connected to a certain hotspot.
I will also tell you the average limit set for each type of hotspot to avoid disconnections to the internet.
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You can always let more than one device use the hotspot connection. But of course, all hotspot users want to enjoy the internet to the fullest.
That means disconnections from the internet and slow speeds should be minimized, if not completely prevented.
As a technical support specialist, I have figured out that there are several factors wherein multiple devices can cause internet issues.
Based on experience in troubleshooting, and how my hotspot works, here are the factors that I have observed so far:
You have to check your current internet rate plan first before you think about sharing 4 or more devices. Your internet plan reflects the limit of the data transmitted by your provider to the hotspot.
This is measured by megabits per second (Mbps). Having a higher internet speed indicates that your hotspot can share enough data with more devices at the same time.
Typically, the lowest rate plan available to offer is around 5 to 10Mbps. This type of internet speed is extremely slow in some countries that offer very high internet speeds.
This low rate plan might be available anymore in certain countries due to higher demands of internet speed. An internet speed this slow can provide sufficient connection for 2 to 3 devices only.
The most recommended plan will be around 20Mbps or above if you want to connect more than 3 devices. In that way, you can feel assured that your internet connection will neither go slow nor disconnected.
But if there is a need to connect more devices in your hotspot, you can either choose an even higher rate plan.
Take note that internet speed is not just the only factor that can let you provide a connection to a lot of devices. If your hotspot cannot provide sufficient connection despite having a very high rate plan, the next step might help you.
Mobile hotspots are wireless devices that do not rely on electricity, unlike routers.
This provides you the benefit of accessing the internet wherever you go, which is why even phones have this handy feature nowadays. This will let you share how your home network is set up for your friends and family.
But just like a phone, these hotspots have a signal that can go up and down depending on your current location. No matter how high your internet connection may get, expect that your internet will run slow when the signal is very poor.
Gladly, this is very easy to resolve, even for non-tech-savvy users. If your download speeds run low because of poor signal, your connection can run slower if you are sharing the hotspot.
To adjust your signal on the hotspot, simply reposition the hotspot around the place where you are at. Mobile hotspots have a signal level indicator found on their LED lights or screen, which you can monitor in real-time as you move around.
If the signal strength goes up, stay there and see what happens next. Otherwise, reposition the hotspot or yourself.
Take note that places that have a poor phone signal or poor coverage from your provider can also affect the hotspot signal.
For further assistance regarding your signal, contact your hotspot internet provider for troubleshooting.
Just like a router, hotspots have a limit on how many devices they can provide internet connection. But take note that the limit depends on the make and model of your device.
The device’s hotspot capacity depends on the make and model. It is also implied that the latest, and pricier, hotspots in the market have higher capacity than most models.
Based on the different factors that were discussed above, the limit of the hotspot itself plays a huge role in stabilizing the internet connection that it can share. You can also contact your internet or mobile service provider about the limit of their hotspots.
But to give you more information about this, the next topics that I am going to discuss contain everything you need to know about finding out the capacity of the hotspot.
I will also explain some tips to control the number of people connected to your device.
Sharing is still caring after all, which is why it’s best to share your hotspot connection quickly once your friends or family asked for it. To memorize the steps needed to connect a device to your hotspot, here are the steps for every type of hotspot:
Take note that the steps that I will provide are sorted out based on the type of hotspot that you are using. Here are the following steps on every variation of hotspot that you and others can enjoy:
Your smartphone has the capability of sharing your mobile data internet to others using the Personal Hotspot option of your phone. All smartphones have this awesome feature, and the steps to set it up are very easy. Here are the following:
- Go to your phone’s Settings.
- Choose Connections/Network/Internet/Cellular (depending on your phone’s make and model) > go to Personal/Mobile Hotspot.
- The menu will give you options to change the hotspot name and password, and see more details.
Once you have set it up, and seen the Wi-Fi name and password, tell or show it to those you intend to share your internet connection with.
The mobile hotspots offer a better range than the smartphone hotspot and are known to have a higher limit, which will be discussed later on. To help you in finding out the password of your Wi-Fi, here are the steps that you can do:
- Find the default password of your hotspot by finding the label at the back of it.
- Provide the password to the person you intend to connect to your phone, or you can proceed with changing the password once you connect first using the default password:
- To proceed with changing the password, look for the hotspot’s IP address, admin username, and password located at the same label where the default password is.
- Enter the IP address on the web browser of the device where your hotspot is connected at.
- Type the admin username and password once prompted.
- Depending on your make and model, look for the option where you can change the Wi-Fi name and password at the hotspot menu’s dashboard.
- You may change the Wi-Fi name and password of your device at this point.
Once done, you can go ahead and provide your Wi-Fi name and password to those who want to share connections with you.
Now that you know how to share your hotspot connection, you should also learn how to monitor the number of devices connected to it.
It is best to control the capacity of your hotspot, especially if you need to have a good internet speed for important online stuff. Here are the steps that you can do to connect to your hotspot based on the type of hotspot in use:
The smartphone hotspot’s menu where the current devices connected are shown can be found by doing the following:
- Go to your phone’s Settings.
- Choose Connections/Network/Internet/Cellular > go to Personal/Mobile Hotspot.
- You might need to look for an option called Connected Users, depending on the make and model of the phone. Some have the list of connected users at the Personal Hotspot main menu.
- You can see the names of the devices listed there, as well as further details like date and time.
The standard hotspot has the following steps to follow to view its overall usage
- Look for the hotspot’s IP address, admin username, and password located at the back label.
- Enter the IP address on the web browser where the hotspot is connected to.
- Type the admin username and password.
- Look for an option called DHCP clients, Usage, Attached Devices, or Connected Devices. This depends on your hotspot’s make and model.
- You will see complete details of the device connected to your hotspot, as well as an option to kick them out if needed.
There is a limit set on hotspots to ensure that the device will not overheat due to a load of work being done by it and to avoid disconnections.
The limit or capacity of the hotspot depends on the make and model of the device as well. The factors mentioned earlier also impact the limit on the hotspot, but what I am going to discuss is the actual capacity of the hotspot.
This is already set from the hardware to ensure that the hotspot will not get overloaded, and will be able to provide the bandwidth that it can divide equally.
This is all based on the features and specs present in the hotspot. For standard hotspots, it can reach up to 15 devices. You should check your network or internet provider for the capacity of the hotspot they are selling to learn more.
For smartphones, it depends on the mobile data plan of the device. But in most cases, smartphones can share without any disconnection for up to 4 to 5 devices.
Just keep on track of your signal and internet speed to ensure a fair share of data to your friends and family.
Hotspots are built just like a router: wireless and meant for multiple devices. It might not be as strong as a router when dividing your overall internet connectivity. But it is still the same Wi-Fi that people enjoy, which is why it’s worth sharing!