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How to Use a Sprint Hotspot
Take your Wi-Fi with you.
T-Mobile acquired Sprint as of April 1, 2020. As such, we won't continue to update this article. You can read our T-Mobile review to learn what we think of T-Mobile, post-merger.
If you use Sprint for your wireless service, then I’ve some good news for you—Sprint offers the most generous hotspot allotments of any provider. Yes, Sprint does have its warts (mostly due to poor coverage), but Wi-Fi hotspot certainly isn’t one of them. Long story short, if you’re on a Sprint unlimited plan, you should be taking advantage of all that Wi-Fi hotspot data.
Essentially, if your device can connect to the internet via Wi-Fi, then it can connect to your Wi-Fi hotspot. For example, your laptop, Nintendo Switch, tablet, and other similar devices can connect to the internet via your phone's Wi-Fi hotspot.
We’ll walk you through how to use a Sprint hotspot so you can start using Wi-Fi from basically anywhere.
1. Make sure you have wireless hotspot data.
The first thing to check is whether or not you have hotspot data to use in the first place. If you have a limited Sprint plan, then your hotspot data will come out of your monthly data allotment. So if you have a 3 GB Sprint data plan for example, your hotspot data will pull from your 3 GB to create a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Be aware that Wi-Fi hotspots are serious data drains, so be careful with hotspots if you don’t have unlimited data, lest you incur some annoying data overage fees.
For all of you who are on a Sprint unlimited plan, here’s how the high-speed hotspot data allotments break down:
High-speed 4G hotspot data
Sprint Unlimited Basic
Sprint Unlimited Plus
Sprint Unlimited Premium
As you can tell, the better the Sprint plan you have, the more high-speed Wi-Fi hotspot data you get every month. So what happens when you run out of high-speed hotspot data? Your hotspot data drops down to 3G speeds instead of 4G speeds, which means you can still open your email and browse the internet somewhat comfortably, but streaming and more data-intensive activities won’t work well.
2. Make sure you’ve got service on your phone first.
Just like you can’t make a car go without gasoline, you can’t create a Sprint Wi-Fi hotspot without having service on your phone. To create a hotspot, your phone basically transforms your cellular service to a Wi-Fi signal. Sadly, this is where things get tricky with Sprint, considering it only covers 30% of the country with 4G coverage.1
Having service with Sprint can be harder than it sounds, so make sure to check the coverage map below before adventuring out into the wild hoping to create a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Sprint coverage map
3. Turn on your Wi-Fi hotspot on your phone.
Whether you’re using an Apple iPhone or Android device, the process of turning on your wireless hotspot will be different.
How to turn on your Wi-Fi hotspot on an Apple iPhone
It’s only two steps to set up your Wi-Fi hotspot on your Apple iPhone.
- Go to Settings.
- Go to Cellular
- Tap the slider next Cellular Data so that it looks green.
- Tap Personal Hotspot and click the slider next to Allow Others to Join so that looks green too.
- Customize your hotspot Wi-Fi with a password.
You should see something like this when you’ve enabled Wi-Fi on your Apple device:
How to turn on your Wi-Fi hotspot on an Android device
There are lots of different Android devices out there, but the steps should generally follow the pattern below for most Android phones:
- Open the Settings app.
- Hit the Network & internet option.
- Then go to Hotspot & tethering.
- Select Wi-Fi hotspot.
- Tap the slider to Bluetooth tethering.
- Customize your hotspot with name, password, etc.
Once you’ve enabled Wi-Fi on your Android device, it should look something like this:
4. Connect to your Wi-Fi hotspot on your device.
Now you can just go through the normal steps to connect your device to a Wi-Fi connection. The same exact thing you do at home to connect your device to the internet is what you can do on the go with a Wi-Fi hotspot.
For most devices, you want to look for a setting option and then an internet connections option. From there, you should hopefully see the Wi-Fi hotspot coming from your Sprint cell phone plan.
Are you having any problems connecting to your Sprint hotspot?
Want to learn more about Sprint? Read our full review.
Think a different provider will be a better fit for you? Read how the top cell phone plan providers stack up.