How to Save Your Battery When Using Phone As a Wi-Fi Hotspot

woman plugging in battery charger to smartphone
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Being able to turn your Android phone into Wi-Fi hotspot or use the iPhone's Personal Hotspot feature to do the same thing — share its data connection wirelessly with other devices, like your laptop and iPad — is really cool. But it sure can result in a big drain on your cell phone battery life. Here are a few tips for keeping your phone alive while staying connected on all your devices.

First, make sure you've covered the basics for improving your cell phone battery life — including turning off the biggest battery drains (Bluetooth, Wi-Fi if you're not connected to a Wi-Fi network, and GPS) and adjusting the screen brightness.

Then, when your battery is really getting low, connect your cell phone to a laptop USB charging port, if you have one available. (Yes, one of the benefits of the Wi-Fi hotspot feature is that it's wireless, but the biggest benefit is to be able to turn your phone into a wireless access point for many devices.)

Another option is getting additional juice to your phone using a case with built-in battery backup or mobile power supply.

If you make heavy use of the Personal Hotspot feature or Wi-Fi hotspot feature on your smartphone and battery life is an ongoing issue, though, it might just make sense to get a separate mobile hotspot device like the MiFi or you might look into investing in a travel wireless router. Some of these devices let you use your 3G or 4G modem and turn it into a MiFi of your own.