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How to connect to a hotspot on Windows 10

A hotspot is an internet connection sharing method. A device that is connected to the internet is able to share its connection with another device. A Windows 10 machine can easily create a hotspot and share its internet connection, wired or wireless, with another device. It can also connect to other hotspots.

Connect to hotspot on Windows 10

Windows 10 doesn’t have to do much when it comes to connecting to a hotspot. It must know how the hotspot, or more precisely the device that has created it, is going to allow other devices to connect.

Connection modes

A Windows 10 machine can allow other Windows 10 machines to connect to its hotspot in one of two modes; WiFi or Bluetooth.

An iPhone allows a Windows 10 PC to connect to its hotspot in three different ways; over WiFi, over Bluetooth, and over a USB connection.

An Android phone allows a device to connect via WiFi, Bluetooth, and a USB cable.

A Mac will only allow a hotspot if it has an Ethernet connection. It can share the connection over WiFi and Bluetooth

Selecting connection mode

The mode that your Windows 10 machine will connect to the hotspot through is determined by the device.

For a WiFi connection: you will need the password for the hotspot. The password is set on the device.

For a Bluetooth connection: the other device must be paired with your Windows 10 machine before the connection can be established.

For a USB connection: you will have to connect the device to your Windows 10 machine via a data cable. This is the same cable that you can use to charge the device from your machine.

Connect to Hotspot

Once everything is all set up i.e., the other device has been paired, or it has been connected to the machine via USB, follow the steps below.

Bluetooth Hotspot

On your Windows 10 machine,

  1. Open File Explorer and paste the following in the location bar, and tap enter.
Control Panel\Network and Internet\Network Connections
  1. Double-click the Bluetooth Network Connection device.
  2. In the window that opens, select the phone or PC or Mac.
  3. Open the ‘Connect using‘ dropdown and select your phone.

Note: Bluetooth isn’t very stable on Windows 10 and it might give you a BSOD so try and avoid it if you can.

USB Hotspot

To connect to a wired hotspot;

  1. Turn on the hotspot on your phone.
  2. Connect the phone to your Windows 10 machine via its data cable.
  3. Click the WiFI icon in the system tray.
  4. At the top of available WiFi networks, the hotspot will appear as a LAN connection.

WiFi Hotspot

On your Windows 10 machine;

  1. Click the WiFi icon in the system tray.
  2. The hotspot will show up as a wireless connection.
  3. Select it, and enter the password.
  4. Click Connect.

Conclusion

A WiFi connection is the easiest to establish when it comes to a hotspot. A USB cable ties your device down and you may not be able to use it for much else. Bluetooth on Windows 10 can crash the desktop while the connection is being set up or while it’s active. The choice is yours but we recommend using WiFi if you have the choice.

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