Using Personal Hotspot with Straight Talk

Straight Talk Does Not Support Hotspot

Straight Talk does not support using Portable Hotspot or Personal Hotspot. Even though some Straight Talk customers are able to turn on and use Hotspot, using the feature violates the Straight Talk’s terms and conditions of service.

Before going any further, this article is not about how to enable or use hotspot 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. If that is what you are looking for this isn’t the article for you. That said, in the rest of this article I’ll explain more about Straight Talk and Hotspot.

Personal Hotspot or Portable Explained

For those who don’t know 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. If you use iPhone this feature is called Personal Hotspot. If you use a Samsung or other Android phone its called Portable Hotspot.

Using Personal Hotspot Violates Straight Talk’s Terms and Conditions of Service

Straight Talk doesn’t offer Hotspot as a feature. However, many of my readers have reported they are able to enable and use hotspot with Straight Talk. I’ve tried it out in the past and I was able to use hotspot with my Android phone with Straight Talk’s verizon towers. I was not able to use it with iPhone nor with Straight Talk’s AT&T towers. I have not tried it with their T-Mobile towers.

Most recently some readers have told me that their data services have been suspended or even had their accounts terminated for using hotspot. Most, if not all, that I have heard from are currently using the Straight Talk’s unlimited $55 plan and have used 100s of GB of data with Portable Hotspot. Many report using it for one or more months before getting shut down by Straight Talk.

Straight Talk has recently updated plan description for the $55 Unlimited Plan. It says At 60 GB, we reserve the right to review your account for usage in violation of Straight Talk’s terms and conditions..

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.

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My Experience Trying Hotspot with Straight Talk

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.

Choose a Prepaid Wireless Service That Supports Hotspot

I think it would be great if Straight Talk supported hotspot. Perhaps they will add it at some time. However, until then, I recommend that if you need hotspot then use a prepaid wireless service that supports hotspot. See Prepaid Wireless and Personal or Portable Hotspot

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.

250 Comments

  1. DOUGLAS H HAMNER | | Reply

    Technically by doing this Tracfone is violating FCC guidelines regarding net neutrality and the freedom to use personal phone features and purchased data. Verizon already has been fined for doing this.

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Thanks for the comment
      Several people have stated this before but never includes a link to information supporting that claim. I did some research on it once, and all I could find was that in 2012 the FCC ruled that Verizon had could not charge extra for hotspot because it violated the rules for the C Block spectrum they licensed. not sure if, how, or why that would apply to other carriers.

  2. Swim | | Reply

    J3 orbit works

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Yes some work, use excessively and you may hear from ST.

  3. TomO | | Reply

    The mobile providers have specific devices and plans for hotspot or tethering. Verizon will cap at 15 GB then throttle you to 600K speed when data > 15GB. Even if you have unlimited.

    Bottom line is there is limited band width for cellular network. The capacity < demand. It has to be governed. Partly because of the laws of physics, Packets must ultimately pass through cables and chips on their journey between source and consumer. And partly because of cost to cover peaks and valleys of demand.
    5G should help remote last mile users, but until then it will be expensive to get hotspot for 24/7 use-cases for entire month cycle.

    Hotspots are routed differently, When tethering your phone, the route is different than if you are viewing the web site on you phone. This helps cell phone provider manage cellular traffic more efficiently. This is how caps can be enforced too.

    I think half the problem is the content providers and advertisers assume unlimited and infinite capacity. To many pages are flooded with video ads which go 90% unviewed yet fill the limited bandwidth. This creates needlessly low data caps or worse cause user to quick use-up their limits.

    I live in rural area where my only option are Hughsnet or Verizon hotspot. Both are expensive above 15GB. If I move my 'browsing' to my phone instead of tethering, I am OK but do not like small screen. At some point 5G will rescue us 'last-mile' remote users but until then we have to live with caps and by movies on CD.

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Some good points. A number of the people commenting here expect to get unlimited hotspot data on the Straight Talk plan. Even Verizon prepaid removed hotspot from their newest unlimited plans where they previously had unlimited 600kbps. I’d be pretty bummed out if my neighbors were using hotspot for home use on the same cellular network as me.

      I hope 5G solves this long term. I have my doubts. Residents of rural areas have it tough. I’ve watched a few stories about people with line of sight setting up long distance Wi-Fi links and even one story about a guy who built his own wireless ISP. Not an option for those in the wilderness unless you have line of sight to hills.

  4. Bane | | Reply

    Seems to me ST is more aggressive this year on the unlimited plan users. But I’ve noticed something. Seems to me that those who get shut off or get a warning text happens between 8am-11:45pm Est, and if they’re currently using hot-spot when that happens. I’ve received a warning between those hours. Since then I’ve been only using hot-spot outside of those hours. Decided to test this out after reading YouTube comments. So far so good. For now.

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      I’ve seen a bunch of theories, you could be right but I suspect that it’s more complicated then that. I would not be surprised to find out that the methods for detecting hotspot are provided by AT&T, Verizon, and T-mobile and change over time.
      And after usage is detected Straight Talk probably have their own systems for taking action with the consumer.

      • Bane | | Reply

        Yeah, most likely, but right now I’m in a testing phase. Don’t know if this’ll actually work. I know I’m on their radar, or at least I think I am. Worth a shot.

        • Bob Thompson | | Reply

          I think if you look through the comments here and on my two youtube videos other people share some of their thoughts on this.

  5. Lacy | | Reply

    Not only that, but they suspended my service today under the premise that I had been using mobile Hotspot. I’ve NEVER used any device that I’ve owned, off or on their network as a Hotspot. The only thing that I can think of is that they are viewing my Bluetooth connected watch as using the phone as a hotspot… And I’m not even sure how they would do that. I’ve used a whopping 4 gig of data since my service plan started 3 weeks ago.

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Sorry toi hear that. Thanks for sharing this . I have wondered about this. When I read the terms of service, it could be interpreted in such a way that you couldn’t connect a watch to your phone. It is surprising however that you are being suspended when you have used so little data. My I ask, what functions you are using from your watch? So they completely cut you off? Or you have no dat until the next month?

  6. Tony Garcia | | Reply

    Can ST actually tell if you’ve used hot-spot when they review your account after using 60 GB? Or will they just assume you’ve been using it?

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      There are ways to tell. Some here have claimed they were falsely accused after consistently using more than 60GB.

      • Tony Garcia | | Reply

        So in some ways they can’t actually tell. They just go by if you’ve consistently been using more than 60 GB. Because a few days ago they sent me a warning during hot-spot use when I haven’t even reached 60 GB yet. I think they can see if you’re currently using it, but can’t 100% tell if you’ve used it at all. I have this theory that I’m working on. I’ve been using hot-spot during non operating hours a few days now and I’m still here.

        • Bob Thompson | | Reply

          If you are not using a VPN, it’s a pretty easy to detect. If you are it’s harder. Some one in the comments here or on YouTube had all sorts of theories about this. Personally, I’d say if you need hotspot choose a carrier that offers it.

  7. Regina | | Reply

    When I was at Walmart I specifically asked if I could use Straight Talk as a mobile hotspot and they said yes. That was a waste of money. I was told by the fake tech support that they did not allow that because they did not know what people was doing on their laptops.

    EXCUSE ME? What I do on my laptop for school is none of their business. When I told the fake tech support that it was fraudulent by not putting the information on the box of the phone, she said goodbye. Before she hung up I called her a Bitch and she said that I was not allowed to use profanity and I told her that she was not allowed to practice fraud and I hung up.

    I will not be renewing my service with Straight Talk again. According to this fraudulent company, that is ok with them.

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      You did the right thing by asking the Walmart employee if the plan you were buying included hotspot. Unfortunately, it seems that all not all walmart employees are educated on these plans. I’d report it to the the head of the electronics department in that store. However, I don’t agree with most of what else you have to say. Not listing unsupported features on the box isn’t fraud. While you are free to treat people however you want, I am often shocked by the comments I read from people describing how they treat customer support people.

      The fact is that Straight Talk doesn’t offer hotspot. I encourage anyone needing that feature to give their business to prepaid wireless company that does.

      That said, I see you have a “mean girls” vibe going on there. Maybe you can add Straight Talk to your burn book.

  8. BlakHawk | | Reply

    I also just today after years of hotspot usage out of the blue received a text from straight talk that my data was going to be disabled. I took this plan as I live in rural mountainous region of the country and have no access to affordable high speed. Recently we purchase another smart device for my 12 yo step daughter and she connected to my hotspot on my plan running my data from 20 gig a month up to 60 gig and getting me on the radar.

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      That’s unfortunate. If AT&T has coverage in yoyur area, look at me video about netbuddy.

  9. Alex W | | Reply

    I also just got a warning text today from straight talk about my hotspot, it’s strange that this is the first time I’ve seen them do this in general. Before they’d cut people off, I’m literally on my last day of this plan and hesitant on getting next months for the fact of them outright disabling my data at the start and I lose $60 for nothing.

    • Bob Thompson | | Reply

      Consider switching to a prepaid wireless service that supports hotspot if you need that feature. Did they cut you off?

    • Antonio Jesus Garcia | | Reply

      What time of day did you get that warning? Approximately.

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