Can my iPad use my iPhone’s data connection?

Have you ever been stuck with no internet availability for your iPad? Although most of us have Wi-Fi at home, and Wi-Fi in hotels and cafes has become commonplace, there are still times when you can be stuck without a Wi-Fi signal for your iPad. But as long as you have your iPhone, you can easily share your iPhone’s data connection with your iPad through a process called “tethering.” And believe it or not, a connected connection can be almost as fast as the “real” connection.

You can turn on the hotspot on your iPhone by going into your phone’s settings, selecting “Personal Hotspot” from the menu on the left, and pressing the Turn On Personal Hotspot button. When the hotspot feature is enabled, you need to choose a password to connect to the hotspot.

On the iPad, you should see the iPhone hotspot in Wi-Fi settings. If not, turn Wi-Fi off and back on to make sure the list is updated. Once it appears, simply tap on it and type in the password you gave the connection.

Does linking cost money?

Yes, no and yes. Your telco may charge you a monthly fee to tether your device, but most carriers now offer free tethering on most limited plans. A limited plan is a plan that limits you to a lot of data, like a 2 GB plan or a 5 GB plan. These include both family plans and individual plans. Since you’re drawing from a cube, providers don’t tend to care about how you use the data.

On unlimited plans, some carriers like AT&T charge an additional fee, while other carriers like T-Mobile will simply throttle your internet speed if tethering exceeds high limits.

It’s best to check with your specific plan to see if there are any extra charges for tying someone up. In either case, linking will use some of the allocated bandwidth, so yes, it will cost money in the sense that additional bandwidth may need to be purchased if the maximum is exceeded. And telecom companies often charge a premium for this, so it’s important to keep track of how much data is being used.

What are the alternatives to tethering?

The alternative is to find a free Wi-Fi hotspot. Most cafes and hotels now offer free Wi-Fi. If you travel, you can use a combination of hotspots and free hotspots. Just remember to log out of your iPhone when you’re not using it. Also, when using a free Wi-Fi hotspot, it’s a good idea for security reasons to “forget” the network when you’re done using it. This prevents iPad from automatically trying to connect to it in the future, which can pose security risks to your iPad.