Wi-Fi tethering allows you to share the cellular signal of your connected device with other nearby devices. It’s a useful feature for those who travel a lot. You can connect to a Wi-Fi network, using your device as a hotspot, and still use the Internet on the go. It’s usually enabled by default on all major social media platforms (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube), so you don’t need to do anything special to make it work.
But in some countries, using your mobile device as a hotspot is not allowed. For example, in the United Arab Emirates, connecting your mobile phone to a Wi-Fi network is strictly prohibited. To make sure your iPad doesn’t get confiscated by the authorities when you travel there, you will need to turn off WiFi tethering or connect to a VPN at all times. It’s not ideal, but it’s the best you can do until legislation is changed to permit such devices in the region.
The Downsides of WiFi Tethering
While there are several upsides to WiFi tethering, there are also a few drawbacks. One of the major downsides is that you’re tethered to the network. You can’t move around freely and access different Wi-Fi networks to bring your Internet service with you. This can also be a security risk if you’re not using a VPN. Hackers and other network eavesdroppers can access your unprotected network traffic, bringing with it the potential for your personal data to be compromised.
But let’s say you’re on vacation in a country where you’re allowed to use your device as a hotspot and don’t want to worry about accessing services or keeping your personal data secure. In that case, you could resort to using a VPN to secure your connection. There are several well-known VPNs that offer apps for both Android and iOS that you can use to secure your connection while traveling abroad.
Another downside of WiFi tethering is the data consumption. Since your phone is acting as a wireless hotspot, it will inevitably use more battery power. And when your device is running low on charge, you will need to find a way to get more juice. Fortunately, there are tips and tricks that you can use to minimize the data consumption of your smartphone while still enjoying the freedom of WiFi tethering. Make sure to check out our top tips for reducing data consumption on WiFi-equipped devices below.
Use WiFi Frugally
Just because your device is capable of supporting WiFi tethering doesn’t mean you have to use it. There are several ways to make sure you’re not harming your cell phone’s performance by using WiFi tethering. One of the best tips is to use it sparingly. Only connect to wireless networks when you actually need to and avoid doing so when you can get away with it. This will not only help reduce data consumption but also improve your cell phone’s performance.
Keeping your device’s performance up is important, especially if you’re using it for tasks such as playing games or using productivity apps such as Google Docs. The last thing you want is to be bogged down by frustrating lag spikes because your device is struggling to keep up with all the data being transferred. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so try and limit the amount of data you use while abroad, especially if you’re in a country where your network provider might get reprimanded for providing such faulty services.
Reduce Hotpotting When Possible
You can use the same principles of frugality to help reduce the amount of data your device consumes when you hotspot. The best thing you can do for your device is to reduce the amount of times you hotspot. You don’t need to hotspot all the time to get the Internet access you need. Make sure to turn off Wi-Fi tethering when you’re not using your mobile device as a hotspot or connect to a VPN to ensure your personal data and services are always secure.
There are several VPNs out there that offer reliable services and thousands of servers to ensure you can always find a server that’s close to you. While there’s nothing wrong with having a VPN account, there’s no reason to have one on all your devices. Keeping track of all the VPNs you use is a hassle, and some VPNs are more limited than others when it comes to the platforms they support. If you’re really determined to use a VPN on your mobile device, then consider using a VPN app that supports all the major platforms (e.g., Android, iOS, and Windows).
Avoid Downloading Apps From Untrusted Sources
Applications and other digital content that you download from the Internet are not all created equal, and some of them may do more harm than good. One of the best things you can do for your mobile device is to avoid downloading apps from unknown or untrusted sources. These sources could potentially expose your device to malware and other types of harmful software. Always remember: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
There are several well-known VPNs out there that you can use to ensure all your data, including applications and other digital content, is always safe when accessed through a trusted connection. Make sure to download the app on your mobile device before you travel abroad to ensure you can use the service whenever you want. You don’t want to be scrambling to connect to a VPN to access your data when you’re abroad. This is why most major VPNs offer dedicated apps for both Android and iOS, so you don’t have to worry about accessing your account when abroad. Even better, many reputable VPNs offer great apps for both Apple and Android devices. This is the ideal situation, as you’ll never again have to turn on WiFi tethering or connect to a VPN just to use an app you need or want on your phone.
Use a Password-Protected Router
Even if you try your best to be smart about which wireless networks you connect to, it’s still inevitable that you’ll connect to some dodgy networks that don’t deserve your trust. That’s why it’s a good idea to use a password-protected router whenever you can. These types of routers use WPA2 wireless encryption, which is considered to be among the most secure forms of wireless encryption. When you set up your password-protected router, make sure to select a strong password that would be difficult for an average hacker to guess. Your router will ask you for the password every time you connect to it, so make sure you write it down somewhere safe. It would also be wise to change the default password of your router to something more secure, just in case someone else connects to it and tries to look for sensitive information (e.g., passwords and account details).
If you’re still using a public WiFi hotspot in an area where you’re not allowed to connect to a cellular network, then it would be wise to use a password-protected router. Doing so will help protect your personal data and content when used abroad. It’s always a good idea to use a VPN when accessing public WiFi hotspots to ensure your device’s traffic is always secured when using these types of connections. Using a password-protected router is one of the best things you can do to improve your security when using public WiFi hotspots.
Only Connect To Secure Networks
Make sure to only connect to secure networks when you need to. There are several ways for an attacker to nab your data if they managed to get close enough to your device to do so. One way is via a man-in-the-middle attack. When you connect to a WiFi network, your device will automatically connect to one of the available servers, which can be anything from a public access point to a VPN.
A more secure option is to only connect to networks that you know and trust. This can be a challenge if you’re traveling or in an area where you don’t know much about the security of the networks you encounter. However, by taking the time to do some research, you can find out which networks are a good fit for your purpose. When you know the security of a network is reliable, you can feel more comfortable connecting to it even if you don’t know much about it.
Even if you don’t trust the security of a given network, you can use a VPN to connect to a server that you do trust, ensuring that your data is always secure. Many major VPNs offer great customer service, so if you run into problems while using their service, you can contact their support team, and they will help you out. Even if you use a VPN to ensure the security of your Internet connection, make sure to only connect to HTTPS websites while abroad, as these websites will always encrypt your connection, ensuring no one can eavesdrop on your activities.