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How to set up a mobile hotspot on Windows 10

Mobile hotspots let you use the Internet while on the go without the risks of connecting to an open network. While most commonly associated with smartphones, you can create a mobile hotspot with any Wi-Fi enabled Windows 10 device.

Screenshot of Windows 10 mobile hotspot settings

To get started, open the Settings app and click on the “Network & Internet” category. All the hotspot settings can be found on the “Mobile hotspot” page. The interface is the same whether you’re using a Windows 10 desktop or mobile device.

At the top of the screen, you’ll see a toggle button to enable and disable your device’s hotspot. You can also turn the feature on and off using the quick action button in Action Center.

Screenshot of Windows 10 mobile hotspot password editor

To change how your hotspot network is displayed, click the “Edit” button. Here, you can customise the network name that your device will broadcast itself as. You can also change the password to protect your mobile hotspot from unauthorised users.

Finally, at the bottom of the screen, there’s a toggle button that controls the hotspot’s “Turn on remotely” feature. This lets another device request that the hotspot be turned on, if the two are paired over Bluetooth. When enabled, this will make your hotspot show up in a paired device’s Wi-Fi menu even if it isn’t turned on. When you connect to it, a command will be sent over Bluetooth to enable the hotspot automatically.

Screenshot of Windows 10 Wi-Fi menu showing a turned off hotspot that can still be connected to

To connect to a hotspot that’s already turned on, open the Wi-Fi menu on the device you want to use and choose the network name you configured earlier. Your device will connect to the hotspot and all its traffic will be routed through the hotspot. You can connect up to 8 different devices at once but heavy usage will quickly drain the host’s battery and consume its data allowance.

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Do you use mobile hotspots to connect to the web?