There are few things as frustrating as really needing an internet connection – to send an important document to your boss, for instance – and realising your Wi-Fi has gone down, or slowed to a crawl.
Never fear! You can use your smartphone as a mobile hotspot to surf the net or get those important emails winging their way through cyberspace.
This is very useful if you're travelling and need to connect your laptop, tablet or camera. Plus, if you're feeling generous, you can let your friends and family connect to your hotspot when they've run out of data.
It’s called tethering or internet sharing. And it’s really easy to set up.
While each phone is slightly different, it should be a pretty straightforward process to set up your personal hotspot (as it’s called on Apple devices). Simply find the Hotspot option on your phone and enable it.
On both Android and iOS, you’ll find it under Settings. On Android, select Wireless & Networks > Tethering & portable hotspot. On Apple, look for Personal Hotspot.
If you have a BlackBerry, go to System Settings > Network Connections > Mobile Hotspot.
You’ll be asked to configure it with a network name and password, which you’ll then use to access the net from your tablet, laptop or another smartphone.
If you don’t want to use your phone as a hotspot, you can also buy a portable Wi-Fi hotspot or MiFi. They work just like a wireless router but access the net via a SIM card. Your other option is to invest in an internet dongle.
You can pick up a dongle or MiFi with a data plan from Vodacom Online.