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How to tether your iPad to your phone

Save yourself some money and forgo an LTE iPad by using your phone's hotspot feature.

With just a few taps you can connect your iPad to your iPhone or Android device, turning it into a portable Wi-Fi hotspot.

Using an iPhone

If you know how to select a Wi-Fi network on your iPad, you already know how to turn your iPhone into a hotspot thanks to Instant Hotspot, a feature Apple added with the release of iOS 8.

Meaning, you only need to open the Settings app on your iPad, select Wi-Fi and pick your iPhone from the list of available networks.

If your iPhone doesn't show up as an available network, ensure that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are enabled and that you are used the same iCloud account on both devices.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

You may need to set up Personal Hotspot for the first time on your iPhone by going to Settings > Cellular > Set Up Personal Hotspot and following the prompts.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

The process for enabling the hotspot feature on an Android device may differ due to customizations made by the manufacturer. Generally, you can set up your device's hotspot feature by opening Settings and using the search bar to find "hotspot."

After you give your network a name and password, open the Settings app on your iPad and go to Wi-Fi to select your network.

When you're finished, turn off the hotspot on your Android device and your iPad will disconnect on its own.

Henceforth, you will only need to enable the hotspot feature on your Android device. Your iPad will remember the network and automatically connect.

Secure your data

Regardless of the device you plan on using as a hotspot, it's a good idea to create a unique network name and password to keep your data safe.