Many smartphonematters.com readers ask me how to get Personal Hotspot or Tethering & Portable Hotspot to work with Straight Talk Wireless. Unfortunately, you can’t. Using Personal Hotspot is not permitted according to Straight Talk’s Terms of Service Agreement.
For those of you who do not know, Personal or Portable Hotspot is a feature that lets you share the cellular data from your phone with your laptop, tablet, or other devices so they can connect to the internet. With Personal Hotspot, you connect your other devices to smartphone using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or a USB cable and use the cellular data connection on your phone to get on the Internet.
As I said though using Straight Talk’s Terms of Service specifically states you can “tether” other devices to your phone and share the data. From TERMS AND CONDITIONS: STRAIGHTTALK WIRELESS see section 6.
Just to be clear if you use hotspot with Straight Talk you violating your service agreement and Straight Talk can suspend your service, so you have been warned. I don’t know how strictly Straight Talk enforces this. In the past, some have told me they are very strict about detecting hotspot use and other say they just use it.
Turning on Personal Hotspot
In the video I tried using Hotspot with 4 different combinations. I tried to use it with iPhone and my Google Nexus 5x (Android) using both Straight Talk’s AT&T and Verizon Networks. Out of the four combinations, I was only able to get hotspot working on my Nexus 5x using Straight Talk’s Verizon network. When I tried to use hotspot with the Nexus 5X and Straight Talk’s AT&T network, I could see the Tethering & Portable Hotspot options in Settings, but when I tried to turn it on a message saying “Account not set up for tethering: to enable go to att.com/mywireless or dial 611. Since my wireless company is Straight Talk and not AT&T, I not able to use AT&T’s mywireless to enable tethering.
I also tried to turn on Personal Hotspot on my iPhone SE using Straight Talk’s Verizon network. I was able to go into Settings > Cellular and choose Setup Personal Hotspot. Unfortunately, as soon as I tried to turn it on a message saying “Set Up Personal Hotspot: To enable Personal Hotspot on this account, visit http://mobile.vzw.com/hybridClient/mvn/hotspot appeared. Since my wireless company is Straight Talk and not Verizon, I not able to use Verizon’s My Verizon Mobile to enable tethering. Finally I tried to turn on Personal Hotspot on my iPhone 6s using Straight Talk’s AT&T network. I didn’t get very far. The Setup Personal Hotspot option in Settings is missing.
So I was only able to get Portable Hotspot to work with my Nexus 5x using Straight Talk’s Verizon network, and even then I’m still breaking my service agreement if I use it.
So what should you do if you really want to use hotspot? Well if hotspot is an important feature for you, consider switching to a prepaid wireless serivce that supports the feature. For people that want to use the Verizon network, Verizon Wireless prepaid supports hotspot. For those who want to use the AT&T network, I’m currently looking to see if I can find a alternative. It looks like AT&T GoPhone may let you add data as well.
See my video below.