Tethering? Here’s how you can drastically speed up your Android phone’s hotspot

Changing a easy setting might let you higher share your phone’s 4G or 5G reference to others. 

Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Using your cellphone as a hotspot offers you an web connection wherever, and one which’s far safer than utilizing free public Wi-Fi. But if you have an Android cellphone, you may not be getting the quickest speeds you can, which implies that web sites on your laptop computer or pill, for instance, load a lot slower than they may. 

Testing out Sprint and Verizon’s 5G networks in Chicago in 2019, I used to be curious to see what would occur when sharing the speedy connections with a 4G-limited iPhone over Wi-Fi. While the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G on Sprint pulled in pretty constant obtain speeds between 100 and 200Mbps all through the day (and an S10 5G on Verizon getting between 400Mbps and 800Mbps) the iPhone was having a tough time getting previous 30Mbps. 

So what offers? After confirming with Samsung and the carriers that no one was capping speeds, and testing different units together with the OnePlus 7 Pro ($987 at Amazon) and LG V50 ThinQ ($410 at Amazon) 5G, it appeared that the problem lies in an Android setting that has Wi-Fi hotspots broadcast Wi-Fi over a slower 2.4GHz frequency, as a substitute of the a lot quicker 5GHz. 

Switching to 5GHz on the cell hotspot, I noticed obtain speeds bounce. After struggling earlier to interrupt the 30Mbps barrier over Wi-Fi, switching each Sprint and Verizon’s S10 5G hotspot settings allowed the iPhone XS Max ($850 at Best Buy) to get speeds above 300Mbps on every service’s respective 5G community.  

While this was in 2019, you might nonetheless be encountering the identical challenge in 2021 with 2.4GHz because the default hotspot setting.

Connecting an iPhone 12 Pro Max to a Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G on T-Mobile’s 5G community in New York City noticed obtain speeds of 33.6Mbps over 2.4GHz. A fast change to 5GHz practically tripled the throughput, boosting the connection to 116Mbps in the identical location. 

Here’s how to make the change on your units. 

Why is there a distinction? 

As with mobile 5G, there are lots of completely different flavors of Wi-Fi and some frequencies that can be used. The 2.4GHz band is nice for pushing the Wi-Fi sign to distances removed from the router, although it does so at slower speeds and is extra vulnerable to interference from different units like cordless telephones, child displays and even microwaves. 

The 5GHz band (often known as 5G) is far quicker and operates with much less interference, although its vary is way shorter. 

Because nothing is ever easy, this is the reason your router at residence might present 2G and 5G variations of your community, although these Wi-Fi networks are completely different from the 5G being deployed by wi-fi carriers. In quick, when at residence use your router’s 5GHz connection when accessible for the quickest speeds, notably on units like 4K TVs or recreation consoles. 


When streaming to a 4K TV attempt to use 5Ghz Wi-Fi when accessible. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Given that, in lots of circumstances, your cellphone will probably be pretty near the system you’re connecting to, the vary limitations of 5GHz should not be a lot of a problem. 

Most fashionable units are able to connecting to Wi-Fi on both band, although some older units solely acknowledge 2.4GHz which is why it will make sense for it to be the default possibility. 

Here’s how you can be certain that your phone’s hotspot broadcasts in 5GHz. We give examples for 3 completely different producers, but when you have a special Android cellphone that helps 5GHz the steps needs to be fairly comparable. 

Samsung telephones

Step 1. Go to Settings.

Step 2. Tap “Connections” after which “Mobile Hotspot and Tethering.”

Step 3. Click on “Mobile Hotspot” after which faucet on the three dots within the higher righthand nook. 

Step 4. Tap on “Configure Mobile Hotspot.” This lets you change the community title and Wi-Fi password for your hotspot, however scroll down and choose “Show advanced options.” 

Step 5. Select “Use 5Ghz band when available” or “5GHz preferred.” 


Selecting the 5Ghz band will enable for a lot quicker hotspot sharing. 

Eli Blumenthal, CNET

LG telephones

Step 1. Go to Settings.

Step 2. Choose “Tethering.” 

Step 3. Tap “Wi-Fi hotspot” then click on on “Set up Wi-Fi hotspot.” 

Step 4. In the pop-up that seems, scroll down and click on on “Show advanced options.” 

Step 5. Switch from the pre-selected “2.4GHz Band” to “5GHz Band.”

OnePlus telephones

Step 1. Go to Settings.

Step 2. Choose “Wi-Fi & internet” or “Wi-Fi & network.” 

Step 3. Select “Hotspot & tethering” adopted by “Wi-Fi hotspot.”

Step 4. Under AP Band, change “2.4Ghz Band” to “5Ghz Band.”

What about iOS? If you have an iPhone 12 it would default to the 5GHz band until you activate “Maximize Compatibility” within the Personal Hotspot part of Settings (as noticed by YouTuber Aaron Zollo). Apple in any other case would not enable iPhone customers to vary which band Wi-Fi is broadcast on by iOS’ Personal Hotspot characteristic. 

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