Turn your Samsung Galaxy S3 into a wifi hotspot to share internet with your laptop wirelessly

Edited by Mark Joel Cristobal, Lynn, Melsan, Ephraim and 22 others

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Tethering refers to connecting one device to a different device. Within the context of mobile phones or web tablets and phablets, tethering permits sharing the Internet connection of the phone or Tablet with alternative devices like laptops. Internet connection of the phone or Tablet with alternative devices is done over wireless local area network (WiFi), over Bluetooth, or by physical connection via cable, for instance through USB. If tethering is completed over WiFi, the feature is also branded as a mobile hotspot. The Internet-connected mobile device will then act as a transportable wireless access purpose and router for devices connected to that. In this article, you can learn how to share your internet connection from your Samsung Galaxy S3 to your Laptop device and use it as a portable WiFi hotspot.


Use Your Samsung Galaxy S3 as Portable WiFi

  1. 1
    From the home screen tap "Menu"
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  2. 2
    From the menu, tap "Settings"
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  3. 3
    From the settings, tap "More"
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  4. 4
    From the more option, tap "Tethering and portable hotspot"
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  5. 5
    From tethering and portable hotspot, tap and slide "Portable WiFi hotspot"
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  6. 6
    An attention notification will prompt you that enabling the portable WiFi hotspot will turn off the WiFi then select "Portable WiFi hotspot"
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  7. 7
    Just wait for a couple of seconds to turn on the portable WiFi hotspot
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  8. 8
    You will be taken to an AndroidAP description under portable WiFi hotspot in the default SSID of your portable hotspot
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  9. 9
    To change the SSID, tap the "Configure"
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    1. Replace AndroidAP with your desired name for your SSID.
    2. Also you can change your desired password. Just tap the password and replace it with your desired password, then tap save and you are done.
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  10. 10
    Connect to the hotspot from your Laptop device
    Click the wireless network connection icon beside the time and date, then select the name of your SSID that you set from your Galaxy S3, and you are done connecting from your phone to your Laptop.
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Additional information: Understanding WiFi or WiFi

WiFi can also be spelled as WiFi, meaning a popular radio technology designed to allow electronics to exchange data or connect to the wireless internet. The WiFi Alliance defines Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) devices that are instituted with IEEE 80.11 standards. Most WLAN are based on these standards(802.11). The term "WiFi" is only used in general as a synonym to WLAN. Devices that successfully complete the testing are the only ones that can acquire the WiFi Certified(Trademark).

Many devices nowadays have WiFi, such as computers, phones, gaming consoles, and any other devices that can connect to a local network source (access point). In such, access points have a range up to 20 Meters(65 Feet) indoors, but can be maximized outdoors. A WiFi connection is less secure than a wired connection (Ethernet connection). Unknown intruders can connect to the network and do not need a wired connection to the access point. Due to less security of the network, encryption was added, such as WEP, but it was easy to break, so then higher security was added such as WPA and WPA2. In the year 2007, WPS was added but had flaws that allowed unknown users to recover passwords to connect to the network.


In the year 1985, a ruling by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, 802.11, was released. In 1991, NCRM Corporation and AT&T Corporation invested to invent 802.11's precursor for cashier systems, which was named as WaveLAN. Vic Hayes is considered by some to be the father of WiFi, as he was involved in negotiating the standards of IEEE.

In the years 1992 and 1996, patents were obtained by CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization) for the method used to smear WiFi signals.


WiFi was commercially announced in August of the year 2000. The WiFi Alliance had hired Interbrand to rename the said technology, so the name would be catchier than IEEE 802.11B. Phil Belanger was a founding member of the group who came up with the name "WiFi", and soon that WiFi alliance was using a slogan of Wireless Fidelity. Non-WiFi technologies were intended for fixed point, such as Motorola Canopy. The Yin and Yang logo indicate certification of interoperability.


Connecting to WiFi LAN, must have a wireless network interface controller a combination of computer and utility/interface and called station.

Internet access

A WiFi enabled device can connect to the Internet if the device is within the range of the wireless network access point. For a larger area to gain access or coverage, it requires multiple access point to be installed within that area. A good example was the wireless mesh networks in the UK(London).

WiFi provides internet access at home, in public, on the streets, and in private sectors. Nowadays, many routers are powered by batteries, including cellular phones, to gain access to the internet via 2G, 3G, and 4G Networks. Most phone manufacturers added this kind of technology as a marketing strategy, including Android Blackberry, iOS, Windows Bada and Symbian phones.

In 2000, many cities around the globe announced they would construct a citywide WiFi connection. In 2004, Mysore had the second-to-the-largest WiFi Network in India, while the first was in Jerusalem and its surrounding villages, and was called WiFiyNet. These cities were followed by Sunny Vale, California, in 2005, then London, England, in May 2010.

Campus Wide WiFi

This is present at pretty much all colleges in any country. Universities and colleges offer such connections for academic and research purposes. In 2000, Drexel University was the first in the United States to offer WiFi connectivity.

Advantage, Disadvantage, and Safety of WiFi


The biggest advantage of WiFi is that it allows users to gain cheap communications through the Local Area Networks or LAN. Also, there is no need to connect cables and you can roam and get internet access anytime, and do so with the latest technology to protect users from unknown intruders to connect to his or her network.


WiFi has its limitations as well, such as the fact that the wireless range can fluctuate due to signal interference, compatibility of security with your operating system, and its distance. If you have other devices that run on the same frequency at home with your WiFi network, then it can cause wireless interference, as can thick walls that the signal cannot penetrate.



By turning your Samsung Galaxy S3 into a WiFi hotspot, you will also be putting your mobile phone at risk of being hacked and having your identity stolen by whoever will be sharing the same connection. Since most of us use our Smartphones to do online transactions while on the go, such as filing our taxes and accessing our bank account, turning it into a WiFi hotspot makes us vulnerable to identity theft. Most of us are cautious when it comes to storing passwords and antivirus software on our PCs, but we don't often apply the same diligence to our mobile phones. So when you turn your Smartphone into a WiFi hotspot, make sure its password is strong and secure and cannot be accessed by anyone you do not know. This is especially true if you have stored your financial account data on your phone.

Tips Tricks & Warnings

  • Turning your Galaxy S3 into a portable WiFi hotspot will drain your battery faster.
  • Turning your Galaxy S3 into a portable WiFi hotspot may accumulate many charges on your wireless data plan, depending on your terms with your provider.

Questions and Answers

My Samsung GalaxyS3 is different when installing the hotspot. When at step 3. My phone only states tethering for Bluetooth and USB?

I find nothing on WiFi hotspot in step 3. My phone only states Tethering and when enter there is nothing about hot spots.

Which hotspot app are you installing? You can use the phone's native hotspot app and it offers wireless tether. Go into settings>wireless and networks>tethering and portable hotspots and you should be able to slide the Portable WiFi hotspot to ON as seen here:


Laptop connects to the hotspot but does not give me an internet connection?

Everything seems okay, and the laptop did connect to the internet through the hotspot before. I am now on vacation, trying to use my phone as a hotspot, laptop recognizes the signal and connects. Laptop says to investigate router or access point issues. I may add that I am typing this on my friend's laptop which is using the same hotspot for internet access as I am trying to get on my laptop. It must be my laptop, but I do not know how to fix. My laptop connects to other available WiFi signals where I am.

Delete previous connections to the hotspot from your phone and laptop. Then run the WiFi troubleshooter on your laptop. One simple thing to check first is to make sure that your WiFi is enabled. This can sometimes be disconnected when the laptop is moved.

I have my Android phone set up as tethered WiFi signal. It seems to broadcast and I can sign in from two different tablets. Sadly, though I am signed in, I can not surf the web....Any ideas?

I have my Andriana phone set up as tethered WiFi signal. It seems to broadcast and I can sign in from two different tablets. Sadly, though I am signed in, I can not surf the web....Any ideas?

Turn off the NFC of both tablets and try again. Sometimes this interferes with the hotspot connection when tethering. You also may have a hotspot package that allows for certain things like playing a game on an app but nothing else such as surfing online.

3/4G SIM in a tablet. Laptop. Wireless printer?

How to sync the devices & then how to assign a static IP to the printer? I imagine the tethering/hotspot for the laptop is a non-issue. What about the printer? This is for friends I know, less tech-savvy than I & are asking my assistance. Cheers

If this is an HP Printer, then they can install the HP app on their devices which will communicate with the printer. The Static IP can only be setup if the HotSpot is part of a home network.

How do I get my Straight Talk Galaxy S3 to serve as a mobile hotspot?

I have a Straight Talk mobile unlimited plan. On every other Galaxy S3 phone I have had it has the option in the settings as shown in the instructions shown but with this Straight Talk Galaxy, it doesn't even offer the option in the settings menu. My phone is rooted and unlocked. So my question is, where do I go to, and how can I unlock the option to use my phone for a mobile hotspot

You have to purchase a HotSpot Plan from Straightalk before they will enable the HotSpot feature. Even on an unlocked device, the SIM will not allow it.

Samsung S3 Verizon carrier, no internet access California?

For at least a year I have been using my phone as a hotspot to connect my laptop at home. In the last couple of weeks, I can connect but have no internet access.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Go to your Mobile Network Settings and enable Mobile Data Always On.
  • Enable USB Debugging within the Developer Options of your S3.
  • In Settings, click Configure WiFi Hotspot Settings after you connect to the laptop.
  • Update your Network Adapter drivers on the PC.

Hi, I am unable to share WiFi from my Samsung Galaxy rugby pro?

It is telling me that my mobile data is not available or invalid SIM

Your cellular carrier is blocking your hotspot feature. There is a workaround you could try which I did for my Wind device. XDA Unrestricted HotSpot is a tutorial that will walk you through using their TetheringProvision APK.

My Samsung Galaxy S3 phone is unlocked for international use by AT&T with Android ver. 4.3. Most of the features do work with international SIM card (local to the traveling country) but the WiFi HOTSPOT feature. Same SIM works perfectly in other phones for HOTSPOT. I get the following message when I try to enable hotspot "mobile data is not available or invalid SIM" FoxFi is not supporting Android Ver. 4.3 for WiFi hotspot can anyone help?

the Same SIM works perfectly on other phones for HOTSPOT. I get the following message when I try to enable hotspot, mobile data is not available or invalid SIM, FoxFi is not supporting Android Ver. 4.3 for WiFi hotspot, can anyone help?

Use the XDA workaround APK posted in an above answer. AT&T is notorious for this issue on their devices. Since you are swapping out SIM regularly, this is triggering the restriction.

See more questions like this: My Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini WiFi hotspot is okay, but my computer connected to it with a "limited" connection. What does this mean

One of the additional steps is "allow WiFi access" and then a question with two possible answers a) allow all devices or b) allowed devices only. My question is if I select a) allow all devices, can anyone access my computer and use my data and if so, how do I allowed devices only? configure (b)?

Please see above for explanation to question detail

VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

My phone doesn't have the 'configure' box shown in step 9 to change the name and SSID?

My phone doesn't show a configure option, how do I get to this another way?

VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

So it says to go to settings then go to more setting but I don't not have that?

I'm turning my phone into a hotspot. it says to go to setting then go to more setting and I don't see that. can't you tell me where it would be. Where is the more setting button .................. I have tried: Went to settings lol.............................. I think it was caused by: Just going away and need a hotspot.......................................

VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


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Categories : Software

Recent edits by: DeleteQnA, VisiHow, anoos86

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