Thursday, June 11, 2015

How To Connect Your WIFI Only IPad To The Internet When There's No WIFI

The IPad makes a great traveling companion. You can read a book, listen to music, review your photos, watch a movie and even get some work completed. Suppose some of those items are not on your IPad. We have become much more dependent on the "cloud" as online storage services have become ubiquitous and virtually free. What do you do if you need that larger IPad screen "real estate", but are unable to find a WIFI connection to the Internet? The base IPad doesn't include cellular data access (LTE), and it costs an additional $130 for this feature - which cannot be added after purchase. If you did "pony up" the extra cash for that cellular modem, you will still need to pay an additional monthly fee for a specific "bucket" of data.


On occasion, you may be able to locate a free WIFI Hotspot. These are convenient, but as we have said before, they are often insecure. Fortunately, there is another alternative - use your Smartphone as a Hotspot. Since, your mobile phone is already connected to the Internet via it's cellular data connection, use it as a gateway for your IPad or any other WIFI tablet or laptop. A few years ago, Mobile Carriers, particularly in the US, discouraged this practice by charging customers a monthly service fee for enabling Hotspot or Tethering. Times have changed, and most carriers (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint) now include Hotspot as a feature within their Prepaid Services. Of course, an IPad that is using your Smartphones connection to the Internet, is also using data. So, the IPad's data use will count against your Smartphone's monthly data allotment.

So, how do you use Hotspot? Generally your Smartphone (IPhone, Android, Windows) will have a Menu in the Settings area with an item called Hotspot or Tethering. When you turn this on, your Smartphone will broadcast a WIFI Name (SSID), just like any other wifi router. Simply connect your tablet via wifi, using the Name and Password shown in the Hotspot Menu. Here are the specific directions for the IPhone.

1. On your IPhone - Tap Settings and then select the Personal Hotspot menu.

2. Turn on your Personal Hotspot and view the Name and Password to access the connection. This Password can be changed to whatever you want - but choose wisely.

3. On your IPad - Tap Settings>WIFI and look for the Name of your IPhone above. Tap the Name and enter the Password. You are now using your IPhone as a WIFI Hotspot for your IPad.

Enjoy the larger display, but remember that you are using your IPhone's data - there is no "free ride".