Using the Personal Hotspot feature on the Apple iPad Air or iPad mini can save users money and offer a convenient connection to their iPad’s wireless data. People who don’t want to use something like Mi-Fi or Jetpack, which offer a mobile hotspot for up to 5-10 users, can offer connectivity without carrying a second device. This helps them and their family members, friends or colleagues get online. People can share a user’s iPad data via Wi-Fi, USB, or Bluetooth. We will explain how to set up and run each type of connection.
The Personal Hotspot feature only works on an LTE iPad Air or iPad mini. Contact the wireless carrier and add the device as a new device on a shared data plan or other wireless accounts. Usually this will cost as little as $5 to $10 or much more, depending on which carrier a person uses.
To do this, open iPad Settings. Turn on Cellular Data for iPad by tapping the left side and tapping the slider to make it appear green. Now tap just below and also turn on the feature by tapping the slider button until it appears green.
iPad warns the user if Bluetooth is not already turned on. Tap if you want to use Blueooth to establish a connection between iPad and computer. Otherwise, tap .
We recommend using only Wi-Fi and USB, as making a Bluetooth connection can be complicated on some devices. However, we will explain how to use it below.
The user can keep or change the suggested password. Tap in the middle of the screen to change the password. Clear the current password by tapping the little X at the right end of the line. Now type a new password and then tap Done in the top right corner.
iPad instructs users to establish a connection on the Personal Hotspot screen. See the picture above. Remember the iPad’s name, it’s usually something like Username’s iPad by default. The user can change this name in the General settings section. Tap across the left and then at the top of that screen. Now tap and clear the line and type a new name. Go back to Personal Hotspot by tapping on the left side. Note that the name has been changed in the instructions.
Making a Wi-Fi Connection
Use the second device’s instructions to connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot. Select the name listed in the instructions and type the password set in the steps above.
The second device will connect and use the iPad’s LTE connection to browse the web. Be mindful of how much data you use, as almost all wireless companies limit the amount of data a person can use per month.
The USB connection only works with laptops. Plug iPad into a computer using a USB charge/sync cable. Select iPad from computer settings. This may work differently depending on the computer. On Mac, it’s easy to select iPad from the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar. See the picture above.
For Windows, install and close Autoplay Window. The iPad installs the drivers and displays the Windows network dialog. Select Public Network and it should work now. Close the dialog and start browsing.
Making a Bluetooth Connection
If the above options don’t work, use Bluetooth to connect. Start by pairing the iPad with the computer. To do this, follow your computer’s instructions. The iPad will probably show a box asking to pair with the computer. It may ask the user to enter a code.
On a Mac, start by clicking the Bluetooth icon in the Menu bar and select . A box will pop up and show a list of connected devices at the top of the box and available devices at the bottom if Bluetooth is on. If not, open it to see the list. Click the button next to the iPad name. A box will pop up showing a code on the computer as shown above. On the iPad another box opens with the same code. Make sure they match and tap on it. Now the computer can access the Internet via the iPad.
iPad shows if any device is connected with a blue status bar at the top of the screen.