This guide explains how to use your Galaxy S9 as a mobile WiFi hotspot. Your phone can share its data connection with a laptop, TV, tablet or portable gaming system thanks to its hotspot feature. Basically, this means using your phone’s internet connection on other devices when you’re stuck at home or anywhere where there is no internet. The same steps work on almost all new Samsung Galaxy phones.
These days your carrier 4G LTE from Verizon or AT&T is faster than some people’s home internet. And instead of paying for expensive hotel WiFi while traveling, you can channel that fast internet to your Galaxy S9 and send it to other devices around you.
Using the Galaxy S9 as a personal hotspot is often referred to as a mobile hotspot, portable hotspot, WiFi hotspot, or even tethering. Either way, here’s how to quickly turn it on and use this helpful feature on your phone. Watch our video below or keep reading for step-by-step instructions.
Before you begin, note that some carriers (like Verizon) may charge an extra monthly fee for hotspot functionality. However, most carriers make this feature free during certain events or national emergencies.
If you try the below steps and it fails, call your carrier and add the hotspot feature or ask. Once you have it installed, be careful if you don’t have unlimited data because if you’re not careful you can use up all your data within a day.
How to Use Your Galaxy S9 as a Mobile Hotspot
It looks confusing, but it’s extremely simple. When you turn it on—your other devices will instantly see your Galaxy S9 as an internet option in the settings menu. So go to the WiFi settings on your laptop, tablet, computer or gaming device and find it. Basically, you’re connecting a device to your Galaxy S9 just like you would to WiFi at home, at Starbucks, or in a hotel. Same process.
Turn Your Galaxy S9 WiFi Hotspot On/Off
Now that you have everything set up, here’s how to quickly turn the hotspot on and off without messing with the settings.
Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ have “Quick Settings” in the notification pop-up bar at the top of the screen for easy access. Swipe down twice from the top of the screen to see an expanded few of all the quick settings. Usually there are options for WiFi, Bluetooth, Sound, Flashlight and other useful settings.
Find the Mobile Hotspot quick setting tile and tap it once as shown above. This instantly turns the hotspot feature on and off. It allows you to quickly share your internet access without messing with the settings menu.
How to Use Galaxy S9 Tethering
You can also share your data connection with a USB cable instead of a wireless access point. Using the USB port on the bottom of the phone provides a faster and more secure connection. It’s in the same settings menu below.
From here turn on USB tethering, then plug the USB cable into your computer or laptop. On Mac you need to go to Network Preferences and set USB tethering as a network option. In Windows a small popup will ask you to connect to a new network and your device may need to download and install some drivers first.
Simply using the Galaxy S9 WiFi hotspot is easier and more convenient, but some will prefer tethering instead. Also, most wireless providers don’t allow tethering, but try it just in case.
Potential Port Issues
To finish, we have one more tip for you. Be sure to pay attention to your data usage. It’s fine if you have an unlimited data plan, but for everyone else, an access point is dangerous. This is because you can easily use the entire 5GB plan you have each month in a matter of hours. Watching a few Netflix shows will burn your entire plan in a night or two.
We recommend that you enter and watch closely in order not to exceed your limit and not to pay excessive usage fees on your bill. We saw a comment where a user received a $900 bill from Verizon. This is because iPhoto automatically backs up photos to the cloud after a vacation. He was on a mobile hotspot and used all his data.
If you see a few cases like automatic updates, photo backups, software updates on your real computer, and so on, be careful. Also, roaming charges apply if you’re out of the country. Using an access point while traveling abroad can quickly incur a huge toll when you get home. Just be careful and pay attention to what is using the data on your phone.
Learn to use the Galaxy S9 Night Mode Filter while you’re here, or get a durable Galaxy S9+ screen protector and keep your phone safe.