Wi-Fi has become one of the conditions for a comfortable existence, along with running water, electricity and sewerage. However, you should not be upset if there is no cherished Wi-Fi in the hotel you like or a nice new cafe – very often you can quite organize it yourself using your smartphone. All modern smartphones are able to organize a Wi-Fi network and distribute the Internet received via mobile networks.
How to turn a smartphone into a router, and whether it makes sense – in this article.
Most Android smartphones can act as a router. But before you start distributing Wi-Fi, you should make sure that your smartphone has something to distribute. Check if mobile data is turned on. Only in this case the smartphone gets access to the Internet.
If you have two SIM cards on your phone, make sure that the mobile data card is selected correctly. Mobile data can be turned on from the Quick Access Toolbar by swiping down twice from the top of the screen.
On different models, the data transfer icon may look different (most often these are two arrows pointing in different directions).
You can also connect mobile Internet to a specific SIM card in the “Data transfer” or “Mobile data” menu item of the smartphone settings.
Now you can try to turn your smartphone into a router. Enabling this mode is unlikely to cause any difficulties; rather, difficulties may arise with finding the desired settings.
Depending on the OS version and the specific firmware, you may need a menu item called “Modem Mode”, “Access Point”, “Modem and Access Point” or something else, but mentioning a modem or access point. The menu item itself can be either in the root section of the settings menu, or in the “More”, “SIM cards and networks”, “Wireless networks->More” sections, etc.
Wi-Fi distribution is enabled by moving the slider opposite the words “Access Point” or “Mobile Network Sharing”. Immediately after that, you can already search the list of wireless networks for a new one (as a rule, it is called the same as your smartphone). However, we recommend paying attention to a couple more settings: the password and the frequency range.
With a password, there are two options: by default, it can be empty and you can already connect to your network. The downside here is that anyone else can do it too. Well, if the device set the password randomly (this also happens), you will definitely have to, if not change, then at least look at the password, otherwise you will not be able to use Wi-Fi.
Make sure the Wi-Fi frequency is set correctly. Most Wi-Fi devices operate at a frequency of 2.4 GHz – set it in the settings if you want the network to be available to any device. But keep in mind that the 2.4 GHz band can be very busy – especially in high-rise buildings and offices. If both your smartphone and the device you want to connect to the Internet can operate on 5 GHz, it is better to choose this frequency.
In addition, in the settings you can change the SSID (the name under which the network will be visible in the list of wireless networks), encryption type (it is recommended to leave WPA2 PSK), protocol, etc. And you can not change it – here the default parameters are enough for work.
On iPhones, everything is about the same.
First of all, you need to make sure that the transfer of mobile data is turned on:
in the settings, go to the “Cellular” section and look at the “Cellular data” slider.
Then – in the “Modem mode” section, turn on this very mode.
That’s it – the iPhone starts distributing a wireless network with the same name as your smartphone. The automatically generated password for connecting to the network is displayed on the same page.
Windows Phone is noticeably inferior in popularity to previous operating systems, but this does not mean that it has fewer features. Devices running this system can also be used as a Wi-Fi router. The algorithm of actions is the same as on Android or iOS. The first step is to turn on the mobile Internet – the “data transfer” settings menu item.
Then, in the settings menu item “shared Internet”, Wi-Fi access to the mobile Internet received by the smartphone is turned on. The default name and automatically generated password are given on the same page. You can use them or set new ones by clicking the “install” button at the bottom of the page.
A spoon of tar
It would seem that everything is fine and it is generally not clear why such devices as routers (and especially mobile routers) are needed if Wi-Fi is easy to distribute from a smartphone. Alas, this solution has some disadvantages:
When you actively use your smartphone in modem mode, its battery is quickly discharged. However, if there is somewhere to plug the charger, then the problem is small.
The speed of the Wi-Fi network created by the smartphone can be rather disappointing.Firstly, the distribution of a wireless network is still not the main task of a smartphone, and its resources in this mode are not spent in the most optimal way. A low-powered smartphone may simply not be able to handle the task of routing data traffic on the network. Secondly, the speed of the Internet on such a “Wi-Fi” directly depends on whether the phone is in the coverage area of high-speed mobile networks of the third or fourth generations. The icon on the status bar will tell you this:Based on this, you can estimate the possible maximum Internet speed:As you can see, the speed of all the standards of the second and most of the standards of the third generation for modern Internet activity, to put it mildly, is insufficient. Alas, not all settlements have reliable 4G reception, not to mention the “wild nature”. Thirdly, the speed of Wi-Fi distribution from a smartphone is initially inferior to that of routers. The reason is the number of transmission channels. Inexpensive smartphones have only one transmission channel and provide a maximum of 150 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz band on a single connected client, regardless of the speed of the mobile network connection. More expensive smartphones can have 2-3 transmission channels (MIMO 2×2 or 3×3), which increases the speed of Wi-Fi by a factor of 1. Top smartphones have up to 8 transmission channels and support for MU-MIMO technology, which provides simultaneous transmission over multiple channels at speeds up to 1 Gb / s.
The number of devices that can be connected to a smartphone is limited. This is up to 10 devices on iOS or Android and up to 8 devices on Windows Phone.
Well, another unpleasant nuance is that mobile network operators do not like it when mobile Internet is used in this way. Some “unlimited” tariffs allow you to distribute only a certain amount for free (for example, 50 MB, and everything “on top” will go for a fee), and some do not allow you to use a SIM card to distribute the Internet, and not to use it directly . And although this ban can be bypassed using a VPN or other “tricks”, it complicates the task of connecting to the Internet.
A smartphone, if necessary, can be used as a router – but only if there are few devices, high speeds are not required, and your tariff allows such use of mobile Internet. For high-speed connections and many connected devices, it is still better to use specialized devices – routers.