Verizon iPhone 4 Personal Hotspot

One of the news features introduced with the Verizon iPhone is personal hotspot. Personal hotspot allows you to connect up to 5 devices to Verizon's 3G network through your iPhone 4 via Wi-Fi. Watch the video above for a quick look at how to connect a Mac and iPad to Wi-Fi with personal hotspot.

Connecting with Wi-Fi personal hotspot is a breeze. After enabling it in the iPhone 4's settings, you just find the network with the device you want to connect with, enter in the password, and you're good to go. Check out our tip on how to use Wi-Fi personal hotspot for more details and follow on after the break to see how it works...


So, personal hotspot is easy and convenient, but is it fast? Absolutely. I am very impressed with how quickly websites load on both my MacBook and iPad while connected with Wi-Fi personal hotspot on Verizon's 3G network. I was expecting much slower results. Ally's doing speed tests so check back soon for more details on the exact numbers,

Battery life

Personal hotspot does make an impact on the iPhone 4's battery. In 20 minutes, I lost 7% battery life while connected to my MacBook. Because of this, when using a device that can double as a power source for your iPhone, like a laptop, I recommend doing so. You might think this defeats the purpose of Wi-Fi and doesn't make it any different than tethering via USB - the speeds are comparable. However, the biggest advantage to Wi-Fi personal hotspot over USB tethering is the ability to connect devices like iPads or other mobile phones that don't have USB ports. Additionally, Wi-Fi personal hotspot allows the connection of up to 5 devices at once. So if one device is helping power your iPhone that still leaves room for up to 4 others over Wi-Fi.

(If you really hate the idea of connecting for power, you can use an external battery case like the mophie juicepak air or juicepak plus)


Personal Hotspot requires a 3G Mobile Hotspot plan on Verizon and is an additional $20 on top of your required voice and data plans. This plan includes a separate 2GB reserved just for 3G Mobile Hotspot and if you exceed 2GB, it'll cost you an extra $20.

Simultaneous voice and data

Because Verizon's CDMA EVDO Rev A network is incapable of handling voice and data simultaneously, the personal hotspot connection will be unavailable for the duration of any incoming and outgoing phone calls. You can ignore calls and continue using data but if you accept a call, the data gets paused. Once the call is ended, personal hotspot will automatically reconnect.

Personal hotspot on AT&T

As of now, Wi-Fi personal hotspot is not available on AT&T, but it has been announced that the feature will indeed be available soon, but no dates have been given yet, and it will require an iOS 4.3 update. However, AT&T does offer tethering over USB and Bluetooth. Verizon iPhone personal hotspot

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Leanna Lofte

Former app and photography editor at iMore, Leanna has since moved on to other endeavors. Mother, wife, mathamagician, even though she no longer writes for iMore you can still follow her on Twitter @llofte.

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Reader comments

Verizon iPhone 4 Personal Hotspot


Hot spot with verizon is going to be useless, 1. speed is way slow, 2. you will loose data as soon somebody call you.
So iPhone for my taste is nothing without that..! sorry but is a fact jack..!

Simultaneous data is a deal breaker for me personally but I don't think most care. And if you have been on Vdub with a smartphone already you should be used to it. At least Verizon has it compared to AT&T at the moment.

phone first came out on AT&T I considered but service in my area on AT&T was poor. Then Verizon came out with Pre+ with mobile hot spot free. This convinced me to purchase instead of the Iphone. I use the hot spot when traveling to connect my laptop and surf web. Was main reason I bought the Pre instead of Iphone. Have never been sorry. Now with hot spot on iphone and Verizon, I would consider Iphone but am waiting for pre 3 to compare. I am an apple lover with and Imac and am really torn. But the mobile hot spot was a great boon to me as I could surf web while riding in car and at locations where there was no wifi. I highly recommend it.

Why not connect to your MacBook via Bluetooth instead of Wi-Fi? Battery usage should be quite a bit less.

Much better service than AT&T, I love it and am glad i do not have dropped calls like with AT&T

Has anyone noticed that Apple seems to have broken the tethering feature with the iOS 4.3 release?
I have an AT&T iPhone4, and I have been using the tethering feature in iOS 4.2, and loving it, for months now.
Recently, I upgraded to iOS 4.3 when iTunes prompted me. The next time I went to use tethering, I noticed it had been renamed to Personal HotSpot. The problem is, that it does not work as well as it used to. Almost every time I'm on a call now, the data channel drops, and this never happened in iOS 4.2.
If there was an easy way to get back to iOS 4.2, I would go back immediately. Any ideas?