iPhone Hot Spot Range: The Complete Guide


So, you use your iPhone hotspot but are not quite sure how far its range is? How can you increase its capacity? Then you are in the right place.

I have done thorough research about the iPhone hotspot range, and now I’m going to share everything I learned. So without further ado, let’s start!

If you are interested in checking out the best iPhone accessories to transform your iPhone experience you can find them by clicking here, you can also click the button below.

How Far is the iPhone Hotspot Range?

The range of a mobile phone Wi-Fi Hotspot ranges from 20 meters to 100 meters in ideal conditions. However, in reality, it can get affected by many factors such as signal strength, environment, Wi-Fi protocol. So the actual iPhone hotspot range can be much lower than that theoretical range.

The performance of a personal hotspot depends on some of the following factors:

  • Strength of the signal
  • Distance between devices
  • Type of WiFi band used
  • Obstacles

How Can I Increase the Range of my Hotspot?

  • Place the device in the right spot.
  • Check the internet connection in the area.
  • Change the Wi-Fi band in the iPhone.
  • Get a Wi-Fi extender.

1. Place the Device in the Right Spot

Place the device in the right spot. To allow your iPhone hotspot to broadcast the signals in the best possible way, you must keep it in the correct location.

As per Techadvisory.orgOpens in a new tab., wireless signals can reach only up to 100 feet indoors and 300 feet outdoors.

The signals can pass through the floors, ceilings, and walls. However, it is always best to have a lesser obstruction and better transmission and hotspot performance, just like a regular Wi-Fi signal.

2. Check For the Internet Connection in the Area

It is also good to check for network availability in your area. In some areas where the network is poor then your iPhone will try to shift back to the lower speed connections.

I also highly recommend you to check out my article about why your iPhone gets stuck on 3G and all the possible ways in which you can change it from 3G to LTEOpens in a new tab..

So it is best to find out if high-speed internet connectivity such as LTE is available in your area or not. Having a robust and high-speed internet connection will naturally allow you to improve your hotspot performance.

3. Change the Wi-Fi Band in the iPhone

Before the iPhone 12 lineup, the Apple iPhones were limited to just the slower 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi band.

Even if you had a dual-band Wi-Fi router supporting both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, the iPhone always uses the slower 2.4 GHz band for hotspot tethering.

But as the iPhone 12 models started to support the speedy 5G cellular networking, speeds can now quickly go beyond the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi specification.

WiFi Band Type:Description:
2.4 GHz BandSlower data transfer, longer range, increased compatibility
5GHz bandFaster data transfer, shorter range, decreased compatibility
Source: idownloadblog.comOpens in a new tab.

So if you force your iPhone to take the advantage of the faster 5 GHz band then it can boost the hotspot tethering performance. However, it may also cause compatibility issues with some devices and routers.

And it is also important to note that the iPhone 12 and later devices default to using the 5 GHz band. So if you face any connectivity issues with your devices, switching your hotspot back to the 2.4 GHz band can be a wise decision.

How to Switch Between the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Bands in Your iPhone’s Personal Hotspot Settings?

  1. Open the “Settings” app in your iPhone 12 or the later models.
  2. Now tap on the “Personal Hotspot.”
  3. Then tap on the “Maximize Compatibility” toggle to the ON position.

Note that personal hotspots can also work over the lightning ports. So it would be pretty handy for you if you would like to connect your Mac to it through a faster-wired connection.

By the way, do you face any issues connecting your iPhone with Mac via Bluetooth? Then please check out this article where I explain how to fix iPhone not connecting to Mac via BluetoothOpens in a new tab..

To enable the personal hotspot, you can go to the “Settings” app on your device. It is also noteworthy that some carriers may even require separate plans for hotspot tethering.

4. Get a Wi-Fi Extender

As the name suggests, a Wi-Fi Extender is a device that helps extend the reach of a mobile phone Wi-Fi hotspot. In addition, it helps to boost the range of your phone’s wireless signal.

The Wi-Fi extender does the job like a bridge between your smartphone’s Wi-Fi hotspot and the devices out of the hotspot’s range.

The work of the Wi-Fi extender can be summarized as:

  1. It takes the mobile phone’s Wi-Fi signal.
  2. It creates its signal.
  3. It then broadcasts it to the areas where your phone couldn’t reach.

The Wi-Fi extenders come in wireless and wired varieties so that you can use them in your home, office, and others as per your needs.

I travel a lot, and successfully my friend has a Wi-Fi extender. Using it turns slow Wi-Fi into a decent connection. I’m sure it will improve the reach of your iPhone mobile hotspot. You can get a TP-Link extender at an unbeatable price from Amazon here.Opens in a new tab.

[amalinkspro type=”showcase” asin=”B07N1WW638″ apilink=”https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07N1WW638?tag=tech0f11-20&linkCode=osi&th=1&psc=1″ new-window=”true” addtocart=”false” nofollow=”true” sc-id=”4″ img-sizes=”211:500″ imgs=”https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/31skWT7xAPL._SL500_.jpg” link-imgs=”false” specs=”Extend Wi-Fi Coverage – Boost Internet Wi-Fi coverage up to 1200 square feet and connects up to 20 devices – Compatible with Wi-Fi Router, Gateway, Access Point (2.4GHz – 300Mbps ; 5GHz – 433Mbps)~~~Eliminate Wi-Fi Dead Zones – Enjoy Lag-Free Connection to any type of devices, including wired devices via Fast Ethernet port. System Requirements – Microsoft Windows 98SE, NT, 2000, XP, Vista or Windows 7, 8, 10, Mac OS, NetWare, UNIX or Linux~~~Stay Connected – Expand Wi-Fi Coverage for your Smart Phones, Smart TV, Fire Stick, Google Chromecast, Web Browsing, Alexa Echo, Ring and more~~~Easy Set Up – 2 Simple taps and you are ready to connect, smart indicator light helps to install in best optimal location~~~OneMesh Technology – Enables the creation of a OneMesh network for seamless roaming when paired with the Archer A7 Router (more devices to be updated in the future)” btn-color=”#ff9900″ btn-text=”Buy on now Amazon” alignment=”alignnone” hide-prime=”0″ hide-image=”0″ hide-price=”0″ hide-button=”0″ width=”750″]TP-Link AC750 WiFi Extender (RE220), Covers Up to 1200 Sq.ft and 20 Devices, Up to 750Mbps Dual Band WiFi Range Extender, WiFi Booster to Extend Range of WiFi Internet Connection[/amalinkspro]

Is the iPhone Hotspot Unlimited?

iPhone hotspot is unlimited as long as the data plan you use in your iPhone is endless as it uses the same cellular network as the iPhone uses. Although once you use more than 20GB of data a month, your speed will be reduced to often slower than 3G speeds. Unlimited data plans are not meant to give complete data at the highest possible speed.

What you know as the “unlimited data plan” generally has usage caps. So once you exceed a specific limit or that cap assigned for your data plan, then you would start seeing reduced data as well as hotspot speed for the current billing period.

To understand this, let’s suppose that you have unlimited and its monthly cap is 20 GB of data. Then that means, as long as you are under that cap, you’ll most likely get the fastest possible speed.

But once you use more data than that cap (which means 20 GB of data that month), you will start getting the reduced speed.

According to Lifewire.comOpens in a new tab., when the iPhone debuted, AT&T provided unlimited data plans to iPhone users.

Although those plans might have been unlimited, they didn’t include the personal hotspot.

However, when hotspot debuted on iPhone, AT&T allowed their current users to keep their unlimited data plans as long as they didn’t make any changes. But new users weren’t allowed to buy unlimited data plans.

As time passed, AT&T and other companies made it harder to have both unlimited data plans along hotspots. Remember that in those days, the users had to pay for their data usage by gigabytes. Therefore an unlimited plan didn’t generate much revenue for the phone companies.

Since then, the phone companies have shifted to the system unlimited data plans with caps. And as they don’t make much money based on how much data a user consumes, the hotspot has come back to the picture of unlimited data plans.

iPhones are one of the best phones in the market, but at last, they are electronic devices, so they have to be replaced at some point. I know when the perfect time. I highly encourage you to go through this article to discuss the seven signs your iPhone needs to be replaced in detailOpens in a new tab..

Does the iPhone Hotspot Run Out?

iPhone hotspots run out because they use the same cellular data that the iPhone uses and count towards your data monthly limits. Therefore, it is better to observe the data usage and ask the people connected to your iPhone hotspot not to do data-intensive tasks like streaming HD video if you want the data not to run out.

As a general rule, you can connect 3-5 devices to your iPhone personal hotspotOpens in a new tab. at once. However, connecting multiple devices can also slow down the internet speed and increase the usage of cellular data. 

How Do You Know When the iPhone Hotspot Runs Out?

To know when the iPhone hotspot runs out, you need to check the data usage by your iPhone hotspot. Here are the steps you need to track your iPhone hotspot usage:

1. Open the “Settings” App in your iPhone

Before anything just make sure that you have updated your iPhone to IOS 13, as that’s when the hotspot logger for iPhone first appeared.

If that is already done, you need to open the “Settings” app on your iPhone.

2. Tap on Cellular

After you open the “Settings” app, select the cellular to check the data usage.

3. Tap on Personal Hotspot

Once you head over to the cellular option, look down, and you’ll be able to find the “Personal Hotspot.” There you’ll be able to see the total data used by your iPhone hotspot in its bar.

But to see the list of connected devices and the amount of data they have used, you need to tap on the “Personal Hotspot” option. The unknown devices will be logged as the other devices.

If you want to reset all of the data then you have to just scroll down to the Cellular settings page, find the option of Reset Statistics, tap on it and confirm the request on the action sheet.

It is important to note that the hotspot usage is logged until you reset it. So it is not based on any daily or monthly time frame.

If you have any questions related to Apple Airpods, I highly encourage you to check out my complete guide on Apple AirpodsOpens in a new tab..

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