Does using mobile hotspot hurt your phone?

When using the mobile hotspot feature on your smartphone, you transform it into a little hotspot hub for nearby devices. However, does using mobile hotspot hurt your phone?

Just about every smartphone can work like a dedicated Wi-Fi hotspot. Using your phone as a hotspot allows users to share their cellular data with other devices, like tablets and laptops, especially when you cannot connect to public, work, or home networks.

Other devices can connect to your mobile hotspot through Bluetooth, USB cable, or Wi-Fi connection. However, you have to keep in mind that using your phone as a mobile hotspot will chew through your battery life and data plan, mainly if you perform heavy tasks, like streaming high-quality videos for long hours or downloading large files.    

Does using my phone as hotspot damage it?

Whether you have an iPhone or an Android phone, it has the ability to act as a hotspot. Its in-built hotspot feature aids in avoiding insecure Wi-Fi networks that threaten the safety of your data and devices. All you need is an active data connection on your phone and a phone with an activated tethering feature.

With an active mobile data plan, Wi-Fi- enabled devices, such as laptops, gaming consoles, PCs, and other phones can tap into your cellular data connection. Connecting your device to your phone, whether wirelessly or through a USB cable when using it as a mobile hotspot, is what is referred to as tethering. As a result, the mobile phone will function just like any other modem or router.

Likewise, when you connect another device to the internet sharing device, allowing the two devices to share their internet connection, that connection is the mobile hotspot part. Once you activate the tethering on your phone and configure the hotspot, any device can access the network by choosing its SSID name and entering the set password

Despite mobile hotspots being much safer than public Wi-Fi networks, there are the implications of using your phone as a mobile hotspot, especially when used for continuous long hours.

Here are some possible consequences of using your phone as a mobile hotspot.

Slow speeds

One of the most notable issues of using a phone as a mobile hotspot is its significantly slower speed compared to MiFi hotspots or Wi-Fi. Most signals shared by phone-based hotspots are spotty, meaning that if your phone runs out of mobile data, the speed of your connection changes drastically. As a result, it is advisable to use it only when you need to perform an urgent task that requires an internet connection. 

Massive data usage

When you transform your phone into a hotspot, you are likely to incur additional data charges as it quickly eats up your monthly data allowance provided by your network carrier. Furthermore, this occurs even faster when you share your internet connection with more than one device. Therefore, it is best to consult your carrier on their best mobile hotspot plans to monitor your hotspot data usage. You may also opt to manage the number of devices connected to your mobile hotspot to limit the amount of data used.

Your phone’s battery life will drain quickly

Using your iPhone or Android phone as a mobile hotspot wreaks havoc on its battery life. Already, when phones access the internet normally, they consume a lot of battery power. Mobile hotspot demands much more power than the phone’s regular internet use because it sends information to the connected devices while relaying data from in and out of its hotspot network. As a result, it is best to invest in a separate mobile hotspot device if you heavily rely on using the hotspot feature on your phone.

However, you can save your phone battery life when using it as a hotspot by turning off any unnecessary services running in the background. You can also reduce the brightness of your screen, turn off location services, enable the lock screen setting, and putting your phone in the Do Not Disturb mode. Keep your phone cool by placing it on a flat and dry surface and plug it in when using it as a hotspot can also save its battery life.

Possible interception of your information

When using your phone as a mobile hotspot, you create a two-way communication street. As a result, if you provide the internet connection, you are vulnerable to an attack from your guest. Likewise, if you are the guest, you grant access for the host to frolic through your connected device. Therefore, information sent through this channel is vulnerable to possible attack or interception of the transmission through packet sniffing. If you are a business owner, guests can access your confidential information by circumventing your network. Consequently, it is best only to allow people that you completely trust to tether to your device.

Cause of the problem
State of the problem
Solution
Slow speeds
avoidable
Limit the number  of connected devices
Massive data usage
unavoidable
Subscribe to a hotspot plan from your carrier
Your phone’s battery life will drain quickly
unavoidable
Turn off unnecessary services running in the background, reduce screen brightness, place the internet sharing device on a flat and dry surface, plug in the phone while using it as a hotspot
Possible interception of your information
Avoidable
Allow access to only trusted devices

Conclusion

One of the greatest perks of modern civilization is the ability to access the internet wherever you go and at any time. Mobile hotspots are best for getting us out of tight spots, like sending in an overdue report or looking up flight schedules on the go. As a result, it is advisable to use it as a backup option and not the primary source of connection due to the nature of connection and possible costs it can accrue.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does continuously using your phone as a mobile hotspot decrease its performance?

If you often perform high network activity on the connected devices and the mobile phone simultaneously, it is likely that your phone, which is the internet sharing device, will drastically decrease in performance.

Why does my cell phone get hot when using it as a hotspot?

You are likely pushing your phone to its absolute max by passing a lot of data through it.

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