How to Connect to a Mobile HotSpot When Landing in No-Man’s Land

You aim to be productive whenever you can grab a few moments. But inevitably, there are times you are stranded by the Internet. Like a pigeon with no homing device.

blogger in the kayak needs a mobile hotspot to connect

Take it from me, as a blogger in a kayak, you need a mobile hotspot.

Maybe you are in a cell dead zone, or maybe that chic Manhattan cafe limits how long you can connect. Sheesh, what a hassle … and then, what to do?

You have a few options. You can buy a pre-paid gizmo to connect to your computer or laptop, that you take with you. Or, you can connect to a mobile hotspot via a smartphone app.

If you are a fan of, take this advice: The mobile hotspot app is great and gets my highest recommendation.

Don’t know how to connect? Here is your handy reference guide, for those who need a gentle “push.”

How to connect to a mobile hotspot on your Android device

  1. Call Verizon or whoever is your wireless carrier, and ask them to turn it on. There is a small monthly fee (my carrier charges $20 per month). If you don’t want it forever, you can set it to expire before your next billing cycle, in the same phone call.
  2. Tap the Applications icon, find the app that says “3G Mobile Hotspot.” Tap it. Your screen now looks like this:

    first screen inside the smartphone app for connecting to a mobile hotspot

    Screen of the mobile hotspot app, inside your android phone.

  3. Check the box next to Mobile Hotspot by tapping it.
  4. A new screen appears; you don’t need the reminder so ignore it and press continue.
  5. A new screen appears with the message, “Mobile Hotspot may use more battery. You may want to plug the phone into a power outlet.” Check the box next to the text that says, ”Turn on mobile hotspot.”
  6. [This applies to a Mac] On your laptop, desktop, or table, under this icon
    connection icon on the mac


    you will see that the pull down screen will automatically find the Wi-Fi hotspot.

How do you know you are connected to a mobile hotspot?

On the phone’s app, it will say the name of the connected devices in the menu.

What if I have trouble connecting?

Maybe you are overextending the network. For example, if you only purchased 2G of Wi-Fi, you will not be able to connect three devices.

When I was in the middle of the boondocks recently with family and friends, 2G of Wi-Fi only powered two cell phones and one laptop at a time. So, judiciously consider how much power you will need for the number of devices you wish to utilize. For a multiplicity of devices, you might need to increase gigabytes.

How to connect to a mobile hotspot on your iPhone

Once you have ordered the service from your wireless carrier, it shows up under the settings menu. Settings -> personal hotspot. This will take your data connection and broadcast it as a Wi-Fi signal, allowing you to get work done while you have a pedicure (or ride the train home!)

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Did you enjoy this post?
  • Debi

    Thanks for the instructions. Definitely will come in handy.

  • Diane Dolinsky-Pickar


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