Today I wanted to talk about Portable or Personal Hotspot and Straight Talk Wireless.
Portable or Personal Hotspot lets your phone share it’s cellular data internet connection with your computer, tablet, or other devices. With Hotspot, you’ll connect your laptop or tablet to your phone using Wi-Fi and be able connect to the internet just like using your Wi-Fi at home or the office. Not everyone needs Hotspot as a feature, but for those who do its a great way to connect your other devices to the internet when Wi-Fi isn’t available.
Straight Talk doesn’t offer Hotspot as a feature but depending on your phone and which Straight Talk towers you use you might find that it works for you.
Before going any further, this article is not about how to get Hotspot to work with Straight Talk. I don’t know any apps, tips, tricks, or hacks to enable Hotspot on your phone if it isn’t already working. So if that is what you are looking for this isn’t the article for you.
That said I have some more to say about Straight Talk and Hotspot. If you look at straighttalk.com, Hotspot isn’t listed as a plan feature. According to the Straight Talk’s Terms and Conditions and Service, using Hotspot violates the agreement. Check out 7. UNAUTHORIZED USE OF SERVICE under I. STRAIGHT TALK WIRELESS SERVICE. Obviously this was written by their legal team but it pretty much says you cannot use Hotspot.
I made a previous video about Straight Talk and Hotspot back in 2016. I tried using Hotspot with four different combinations of phones and Straight Talk towers. I tried both iPhone and Android on Straight Talk’s AT&T and Verizon towers. I found that I was only able to get Hotspot to work with my Android phone using Straight Talk’s Verizon towers. Before writing this article I tried to use Hotspot with iPhone and Android with Straight Talk’s ATT towers and still did not work. I currently do not have a Straight Talk number active that uses the Verizon towers. When I do, I’ll try it with my iPhone and Android phones and update this article.
Now what will happen if Hotspot works on your phone with Straight Talk and you decide to use it. In this case you are violating their terms and conditions of service and they can suspend or cancel your service. In the past six months I have heard from a number of you that are using Straight Talk and Hotspot without any issues. You experience may be different. If Straight Talk suspends your data service you can probabally get your service restarted if you talk to customer service and refrain from using Hotspot in the future.
If your Hotspot works whether or not you use it is up to you. If you rely on Hotspot for work or some other reason, I think you’d be better off choosing a wireless providers that offers Hotspot as a feature. That way, you’ll know it should work when you need it, you don’t find your data suddenly disabled, and contact customer service if you have problems with getting your Hotspot to work.
Some of you may be wondering if Straight Talk really cares if you use Hotspot. I haven’t heard many reports of people that had their data disabled for using Hotspot recently. In past years, there were far more reports about them aggressively shutting down people trying to use apps to enable Hotspot.
In the last month, one viewer reported he was using Hotspot on the $55 unlimited plan and suddenly his Hotspot stopped working. A few others reported all their data was disabled on the $55 plan for using significant amounts of data, over 50 GB per month. They claim Straight Talk implied they must be using Hotspot to use so much data.
So what about you? Are you using Straight Talk and Hotspot? Leave a reply below and share. Be sure to say what phone you have and if your using Straight Talk’s AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, or Sprint towers.
Many readers ask me how to use their iPhone’s Personal Hotspot or Android’s Tethering & Portable Hotspot feature with Straight Talk WirelessUnfortunately in most cases you can’t even turn it on and even if you can your not supposed to use it. Straight Talk’s Terms of Service agreement explicitly prohibits the use of this feature.
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.
If you find that the feature does work for you, use it at your own risk. I don’t use it myself, others report using it with no issue, others have said that if Straight Talk detects you are using it they may disable your account.
If you really want or need hotspot, consider switching to another prepaid wireless carrier. AT&T’s, Verizon’s, Cricket Wireless’, and Total Wireless’s support Personal Hotspot and Tethering & Portable Hotspot. And in 2017, many of these other prepaid wireless plans over as much or more high speed data as Straight Talk and our competitively priced.
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.
Turning on Personal Hotspot
As you can see in my video below, I tried using Hotspot with four 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.