Accessing the Internet from an iPad using an iPhone
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: I have an iPad 2 which uses O2 as its carrier. I am about to buy an iPhone 4S on O2 as well, and am wondering if I can get rid of the iPad 2 connection and drive it off my iPhone?
A: From a technical point of view this is definitely possible via a feature known as Personal Hotpot, introduced about two years with iOS 4. The Personal Hotspot feature allows you to share your iPhone’s data connection via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth with up to five devices, or with your computer via a wired USB connection.
To use the feature, you simply need to go into Settings and look for Personal Hotspot; if you’ve never configured the feature before, it may initially be hidden under General, Network, but once you’ve enabled it at least once it should appear on the main Settings screen, as shown above. Once enabled, your iPad should be able to find a Wi-Fi access point with the name of your iPhone; simply connect to this Wi-Fi access point and use the password shown on the iPhone Personal Hotspot screen and you’re good to go.
The catch here is that not all carriers offer the Personal Hotspot feature, and some carriers charge additional fees above and beyond basic data usage fees. According to Apple’s article on Locating Wireless Carriers, O2 appears to support Personal Hotspot; the feature is also colloquially known as “tethering” and many carriers simply include tethering as part of your normal data allotment while others require a special plan to make use of the feature. It is best to contact your carrier to determine if you need to have a specific data plan on your iPhone in order to access the feature or to avoid specific fees.
Barring any additional fees from your carrier, using Personal Hotspot to access the Internet on your iPad can be much more economical than paying for a separate data plan, but there are some considerations that you should be aware of. Firstly, you’ll be consuming the battery on two devices while doing this, thereby shortening the battery life of your iPhone for other uses such as phone calls. Depending on how much you plan to use your iPad with Personal Hotspot, you may want to consider an additional battery case or pack for your iPhone. Secondly, you’ll also be using your iPhone data plan for both devices; with larger data plans this is unlikely to be a problem unless you’re streaming a lot of video or downloading large files, but it’s something you’ll need to keep an eye on, particularly if you’re on a 1GB or lower plan.
On the other hand, using Personal Hotspot with an iPad has the advantage of allowing you to bypass many of the cellular data restrictions that Apple has built into iOS. Since as far as the iPad is concerned, you’re using a Wi-Fi connection, the 50MB limit on App Store and iTunes Store downloads does not apply; further, provided your carrier offers a fast enough cellular data connection you’ll potentially see better video quality with video streaming apps, which normally use a lower bit-rate over cellular data connections.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Invoxia adds Amazon Alexa to Triby
- Apple provides more details on new Apple Music API
- Apple Music for Android adds music videos, Family Plan support
- Icahn pulls out of Apple over China concerns
- Apple launches CareKit, with four apps debuting today
- Alleged schematics for iPhone 7 ‘Pro’ show up in Japanese magazine
- Nintendo bringing Fire Emblem, Animal Crossing to iOS
- FBI will not disclose San Bernardino iPhone hack
- Notes from Apple’s Q2 2016 earnings call
- Apple Q2 results: $50.6B revenue, 51M iPhones, 10M iPads sold
- August Doorbell Cam
- August Smart Lock HomeKit enabled + Smart Keypad
- ecobee3 HomeKit-enabled smart Wi-Fi thermostat
- Zagg Now Cam
- Yantouch EyE Portable Wireless Speaker
- Netatmo Wind Gauge
- Incipio Stashback for iPhone 6/6s
- Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt with HomeKit support
- ClamCase ClamCase Pro for iPad mini 4
- Brydge BrydgeMini II Keyboard for iPad mini 4
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app
- Inside the betas: What’s new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)
- Life with HomeKit: Our experiences with Apple’s home automation system
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)