Internet Connections: Mobile Hotspots and Free Wireless

This article provided information on setting up a hotspot and accessing free wireless.

Mobile Hotspots

If you have a mobile hotspot included in your wireless plan with your carrier you can enable it in the following ways:


  • TAP Settings
  • Select Cellular
  • Select Personal Hotspot
  • Tap the toggle on the option to Allow Others To Join 
  • If you want to also allow connection to Hotspot over Bluetooth, choose that option when you turn on Hotspot.
  • You have the option to leave the Mobile Hotspot password as the default or you may change it to whatever you like


  • Tap Settings
  • Under the Wireless & Network Settings tap More
  • Tap Tethering & Portable Hotspot
  • Tap the toggle next to Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot
  • If would like to change the password to the mobile Hotspot, tap Setup Wi-Fi Hotspot and change the password.


  • When you are on your Home Screen, swipe up to show the All Apps screen
  • Select Settings > Network & Internet > Hotspot & Tethering
  • Tap Wi-Fi Hotspot to turn on.
  • Tap the Password field if you would like to change the default password of the Hotspot
  • Select OK on Notification Screen

Connect a Stout laptop to Wi-Fi mobile Hotspot:

  • Double click on the wireless icon in the lower right corner of the screen
  • Look for the mobile Hotspot name that was assigned to the Hotspot from your phone. This will likely be the name of your phone.
  • Double click on that name and enter the password that either your phone or you assigned to the mobile Hotspot.
  • Your phone as a mobile Hotspot will use a large amount of data. If you do not have an Unlimited Data plan, monitor this data usage closely.
  • Use of your phone as a mobile Hotspot will use a tremendous amount of battery power. Make sure your phone is always plugged into a power source.
  • You will not attain network speeds close to what you have on campus at UW-Stout. Even with 5G you will be slower. As the speeds depend on tower usage and signal strength.
  • Allowing others to use a mobile Hotspot from your cellular phone has risks for information theft. It is best if you don’t allow others to use your Hotspot.

Verizon Jetpack Hotspot 

Connecting via Wi-Fi

  • Press the Power button on the Jetpack.
  • Once the Jetpack has been activated, it automatically connects to the Internet over the Verizon Wireless network.
  • On your device, go to your Settings/Wi-Fi menu to establish a Wi-Fi connection to the Jetpack.

Connecting via USB Cable

  • Insert the USB cable in the appropriate jack of the Jetpack. The power LED light turns on.
  • When the Jetpack is connected to a computer using the microUSB cable, Wi-Fi is disabled, only allowing use with one device. 
  • Using the Jetpack as a modem provides more security than sending data over a Wi-Fi connection. Make sure you fully extend the cable so that it’s a minimum of 8 inches from the computer.

AT&T Nighthawk Hotspot 

Connecting via Wi-Fi:

  • Press the Power button on the Nighthawk.
  • Once the Nighthawk has been activated, it automatically connects to the Internet over the AT&T Wireless network.
  • Press the Power button to cycle to the second home screen. That home screen will have the name of the device. Look for that name on your device when you attempt to connect to the Hotspot.
  • On your device, go to your Settings/Wi-Fi menu to establish a Wi-Fi connection to the Nighthawk.
Connecting via USB device
  • Insert the USB-C end of the USB-C cable into the USB-C port at the base of the device. 
  • Insert the USB end of the USB-C cable in the USB port on the computer
Note that Wi-Fi will disable when connected with USB connection.


The majority of public libraries have free public Wi-Fi. Most of the time they are a preferred usage option over coffee shops and internet cafes. They are faster, more secure and the environment is one that promotes relaxed learning. You will need to contact library personal for the rules and procedures of Wi-Fi use as well as the name of the network and password that you will use. Use the same safe network procedures here that you would you in public establishments. Most libraries will require some form of listening device be connected to your laptop so as to not disturb other patrons using the library’s services.

Public Free Wi-Fi

Another option for internet usage are coffee shops/internet cafés and restaurants. Make sure you check in with the employees before you attempt to connect to their free Wi-Fi. Many will have a list of rules and or requirements you must agree to before usage is granted. You will possibly be viewing video/audio files while online, so you will want to have headphones or earbuds to be considerate to other customers. These places may have a time limit for usage. Take that into consideration before starting your online course or test.  This is an unsecure option for public Wi-Fi so you need to take certain precautions when using public Wi-Fi of this nature.
  • Don’t send sensitive data while at these locations. Don’t access your bank accounts, pay bills or shop online.
  • Sit in a location that is secluded where others cannot watch what you are typing and doing.
  • Don’t use Internet Explorer. Use Edge or Chrome.
  • Connect only to the network/s that the employees give you instructions for. Confirm the name of the network before connecting.

Other Options:

A mall or shopping center may be a viable option for public Wi-Fi usage. Many have one or more free Wi-Fi networks available. You will need to agree to a usage agreement before you connect, and they may not have any passwords or time limits. These public Wi-Fis are open and unsecure networks, so it’s important to never use any apps or websites that have the potential to transfer personal data. The connection may also be very slow as many people are accessing this free network.

Many hotels have free Wi-Fi but are very strict with usage rules. Some have public computers setup for use by guests. Some hotels will have an open and unsecure network and others will require a password. Even if you are using a password, you need to be cautious because many users are using this network. If you find yourself using one of these networks long term, feel free to use them but use the same precautions as you would use for all other public Wi-Fi.

Keywordshotspots mobile ios android google   Doc ID98875
OwnerSeth C.GroupUW Stout
Created2020-03-16 09:10:03Updated2021-04-01 13:44:59
SitesUW Stout
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