A mobile Wi-Fi router supplies wireless internet to phones, tablet, computers, and other gadgets. Android can do the same thing. Android phones and tablets double as Wi-Fi routers. With the help of free apps, you can easily activate this feature and turn your Android into a wireless internet hotspot.
Before you head to the Google Play Store, please make sure that your device has this feature. Only devices running Android 2.2 Froyo, 2.3 Gingerbread, 4.0 Honeycomb, 4.1 Ice Cream Sandwich, 4.2 Jelly Bean, and upcoming versions may be used as mobile hotspots. To check for the Android version of your device, go to Settings > About Phone and look under “Android version”.
Your smartphone or tablet must also have a SIM card and an active mobile data connection. Having a monthly data plan is a plus. If you have a Wi-Fi-only device, you won’t be able to turn it into a wireless internet hotspot since the feature relies on 3G or 4G mobile data.
FoxFi (by FoxFi software)
The free app turns compatible Android units into portable Wi-Fi routers by using your current data plan. It’s a “no-root” app which means that you don’t have to root device, let alone risk bricking it to get this feature. According to the developer, it works on most Samsung, LG, and Motorola phones. The app is also effective on HTC phones running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
FoxFi does not work on Samsung Admire, LG Revolution, Motorola Droid 1, Motorola Triumph, and old HTC models. It is also incompatible with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean except for Verizon Galaxy Nexus. Because it is WPA-secured, you also can’t connect using any computer, tablet, or game console.
The best part about FoxFi is that it doesn’t require you to sign up for an extra tethering plan. But if you have monthly limits on data, expect to reach your cap faster when connecting multiple devices to your Android. If your network provider disallows tethering, download and install FoxFi add-on – free from Google Play Store.
Note: FoxFi is not available to Sprint and AT&T users via the Google Play Store. You can go to this website to download the .apk and install it on your phone.
WiFi HotSpot / WiFi Tether (by InnodroApps)
Turning your Android phone into a wireless internet hotspot is a tedious process. Accessing this feature varies across phone models and Android versions. This free app acts as a shortcut so you can easily enable and disable the Wi-Fi hotspot feature. It immediately takes you to the phone settings for activating this feature.
The app doesn’t work on Samsung Galaxy S2 but it works on the Galaxy S3.
WiFi Tethering (by OpenGarden, Inc.)
FoxFi had one major drawback – it doesn’t share wireless internet to all computers, tablets, or game consoles. WiFi Tethering is a fix for people who need to share their 3G and 4G data to Windows, Mac OS X, Ubuntu, PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox. You don’t have to worry about tethering fees since the app prevents networks from detecting tether use. Unlike FoxFi however, it requires a rooted device.
Some tips before using your Android as a Wi-Fi hotspot…
If your network provider imposes data limits, remember to monitor your data usage regularly. Users with unlimited data plans don’t have to worry though. If your provider doesn’t allow tethering without a tethering plan, use apps that prevent them from your activities. Otherwise, a stationary wireless internet connection is still your best option. It allows you to connect multiple devices online without worrying about reaching your data cap or paying fees for tethering or extra data.