How to Use Your iPhone's Internet Connection on Your iPad

You can tether your iPad to your iPhone by setting it up as a hotspot.

The only thing better than carrying the Internet around with you in your pocket is using that Internet connection on a bigger screen device. While Apple sells iPads capable of signing on to 4G LTE networks, you can also use your iPhone's data connection with an iPad that can only use Wi-Fi.

Using your iPhone's data connection is more secure than using a Guest Wi-Fi service, which puts you on the same Wi-Fi network as other 'guests' using the service.

These instructions apply to devices running iOS 7 or later.

How Much Does It Cost?

That will depend on your service provider. AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon all have packages that include using your smartphone as a hotspot. Most give you an allowance of hotspot bandwidth before either slowing the speed or stopping it altogether. The amount is usually enough unless you are doing a lot of video streaming, which will eat into it fairly quickly. Check with your service provider to get more details on hotspot fees and services.

How to Turn On Your iPhone's Hotspot

  1. Launch your iPhone's Settings app, and tap Personal Hotspot.

    Settings and Personal Hotspot on an iPhone
  2. On the hotspot page, flip the top switch from Off to On.

    You may need to call a number or visit a website to set your hotspot up on your cellular account.

    Turn on Personal Hotspot on iPhone
  3. Your hotspot has a default password, but to customize it, tap Wi-Fi Password and enter an alphanumeric password that has at least eight characters.

    The Personal Hotspot and password change screens on an iPhone
  4. Your password will remain even if you turn the hotspot feature off. You don't need to create a new one every time you use the feature.

How to Connect to a Hotspot on Your iPad

Connecting your iPad to the hotspot is almost identical to connecting it to any other Wi-Fi network.

  1. Go into your iPad's settings.

    The iPad Settings app
  2. Tap Wi-Fi, and find the name of your iPhone under Personal Hotspots.

    Settings and Wi-Fi menus on an iPad
  3. Enter the password to join your network.

If your hotspot doesn't show up, turn Wi-Fi off and then on again on your iPad. Sometimes it needs to refresh the list of available connections.

Using a hotspot is still using your cellular data. If you have a maximum data cap, streaming movies over the hotspot may not be a good idea. The average HD movie can take over 1 GB to stream, which can quickly burn through your data limit.

Even unlimited plans usually cap the hotspot data, but this cap is usually higher. Check your wireless plan for all the details.