I’m going to show you how easy it is to turn your Galaxy S4 into a personal WiFi access point. Then you can access the internet from your laptop, tablet, or even another phone all while using your phone as an access point.
1. Enter Settings
The fastest way to get to Settings is to swipe down from the top edge of your phone to open the notification drawer. Then tap the Settings gear in the upper right corner.
2. Open More Networks
When holding your phone upright in portrait mode, you’ll see four tabs along the top: Connections, My device, Account, and More.
Touch the Connections tab then tap More Networks to enter the Mobile Hotspot settings.
3. Swipe the Mobile Hotspot Switch On
After tapping More Networks, the Wireless and Networks screen appears. Swipe the Mobile Hotspot switch to On.
An Attention notice pops onto the screen telling you that the phone has to disable Wi-Fi in order to turn your phone to a personal Wi-Fi access point. This is okay; tap OK
4. Configure the Mobile Hotspot
When you touch OK, the configuration box opens.
The Network SSID (Service Set Identifier) is the name of the network. I called my fixedByVonnie.
If you tap Hide my device then the phone won’t send out a beacon advertising itself to the world. That way, the guy sitting next to you in Starbucks won’t even know about your little personal hotspot.
Hiding the network name increasing security a little (security through obscurity) however, you’ll have to manually connect your devices to your mobile hotspot since it won’t automatically show up the WiFi list. I often find that having a strong password is good enough so I usually leave this unchecked.
Incidentally, strong passwords get stronger faster with length not characters.
So howPizzabarkcanadagaziboYah00flue is significantly stronger than $dk@#Z even though the latter looks more complex. When it comes to security, a random string of desultory text is always superior to a short string of unintelligible alphanumeric garbage.
5. Optional – Limit Access to Specific Devices based on MAC Address
You can even tighten security a little more by restricting access to devices that have a specific MAC Address.
After you choose Save on the mobile hotspot configuration screen you have a choice.
Right now any device can connect to you as long as it knows your password; however, if you want to change this, touch the hotspot name you created, just under the green on button, and then change the connection mode to Only allowed devices.
Now press the Allowed Devices button in the bottom left corner of the screen.
Next tap the plus sign in the upper right corner of the screen to add the MAC Address of your device. In this example, I’m going to add the MAC address of my laptop.
On my Windows 7 laptop, I opened a command prompt by clicking Start, typing cmd, and pressing Enter.
Then I typed:
The Physical Address is another name for the MAC address. In the graphic below you can see my MAC address is 080027193d4a (neither the dashes nor case counts, uppercase is identical to lowercase)
Then back on my phone I entered that MAC address and touched OK.
Now I can use my laptop to connect to my mobile hotspot. And it’s secure. Even if someone guesses my password they couldn’t connect unless they could somehow spoof my MAC address.
Now back on my laptop I can connect to the new mobile network!
That’s all there is to it. Don’t forget to swipe the mobile network off when you’re finished so you don’t kill your data plan and battery. Also, you should check your mobile data usage and set alerts to warn you before you hit the limit.