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Does Personal Hotspot Cost Money?

Have you asked yourself, does hotspot cost money? We have the answer here, with all the information you need to avoid any surprises or fees!

Manuel M.

January 2, 2024

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Nowadays, with an ever more connected world, many phone models come with the capability of generating and creating their own personal hotspot. But the real question is, does this personal hotspot cost money? You may have used it plenty of times, but have you checked your bill?

Today we’ll answer all these questions for you and help you have a clear idea of what is and how to use your hotspot wisely. Let’s explore.

What is a Hotspot?

No WiFi, use hotspot.
Use your hotspot in places where theres no WiFi. Source: Unsplash

Let’s begin with the basics, what is a hotspot? This is an internet connection created and made available by compatible phones and mobile devices. Most phones are capable of generating their own network, and most other devices like laptops and tablets can even connect to it as well.

Do You Get Charged for Using Hotspot?

The burning question: Does using a hotspot cost money? The answer isn’t a straightforward yes or no. It depends on various factors, mainly your mobile carrier and your data plan. If your mobile data has a monthly cap, then you have to use your hotspot wisely and monitor your consumption.

Generally, if you go over your monthly data amount, you’ll be charged for the extra data that you consumed.

Is Hotspot Free if You Have Unlimited Data?

If you have an unlimited data plan, you might assume that your hotspot usage is also limitless. However, that’s not always the case. Always check with your carrier to avoid unexpected charges.

Some carriers may still impose restrictions or charge additional fees for hotspot usage, even with unlimited data plans. In numerous instances, there’s a fair use policy, where once you reach a certain internet consumption, the data speed is reduced until your next billing cycle.

Will I Get Charged for Using My Hotspot with My Local Operator?

Now, let’s delve into specific carriers and see how they handle hotspot usage.


When it comes to AT&T’s users, your hotspot with might come with additional charges, especially if you exceed your data limit. Be cautious, as these charges can add up. Always keep an eye on your usage to avoid unwelcome surprises.

For AT&T’s unlimited plan, there’s a 50 GB hotspot included, but keep in mind that texting and talk time is not included with the tethering.


Verizon’s users, you’re not off the hook, either. Depending on your plan, using your hotspot with Verizon might incur extra fees. Their unlimited postpaid plans include 30 and 60 GB of premium hotspot data. This means that you’ll be able to enjoy 5G speeds until you reach the limit. Afterward, the speed will be reduced significantly to 3Mbps.


Just like the previous providers, T-Mobile’s users fall in the same category. Some T-Mobile plans include hotspot usage at no extra cost. However, keep in mind that, depending on the plan that you have, you can get from 3GB to 50GB in premium hotspot and then the speed will decrease once you’ve consumed that amount. Network speeds for hotspot will be reduced to 3G.

How Much Data Do Hotspots Consume?

Watching movies on phone
Streaming services can consume a lot of data. Source: Unsplash

To help you gauge your usage, here’s a handy table outlining common data consumption scenarios when using a mobile hotspot:

ActivityData Usage per Hour
Sending Emails< 1MB
Browsing Websites60 MB
Streaming Music0.15 GB
Video Calls0.9 GB
Streaming HD Video2 GB

Remember that these are approximate values and can vary based on factors like video quality and website content. The less image and video quality that the website has, the less data it will consume. For this reason, alternatives with unlimited data are always an excellent solution, such as the eSIM for Turkey offered by Holafly.

Manage my Hotspot

You can check and monitor your data consumption on your phone settings, including your hotspot. For most phones, follow these instructions:

  • Open your phone settings
  • Search for Network or Cellular option.
  • Select an option labeled as “Tethering” or “Hotspot”.
  • Toggle the on/off option to share your data
  • It’s strongly advised to create a password.

Does Hotspot work while I travel?

This depends greatly on the specificities of your plan and your provider. Check the terms and conditions to find out if you can use your hotspot while abroad. In the majority of cases, however, using your internet data plan in another country is called roaming.

This is a service that many providers offer, but it is one of the most expensive. Roaming charges and fees differ depending on the provider, but overall, rates cost an average of $1.50 per minute, 50 cents per SMS, and $5 to $10 per MB of data.

If you stream a video on hotspot, this will definitely cost you more money, if you let friends and family connect for a long period of time, well, you’ll probably think twice about pulling that one off again.

In the end, how much your hotspot will cost depends on your consumption rates and the data plan offered by your provider. Before activating your tethering option, check if other options are available.

Staying Connected abroad

When you’re out and about, exploring another country, roaming can be tempting, but you won’t want to see that bill once you’re back home. There are other options, like eSIMs. Companies like Holafly, offer these convenient eSIMs to connect easily and even with hotspot options. Check out the benefits!

  • Unlimited data*
  • Talk time*
  • 24/7 customer service
  • User-friendly app
  • Connect as soon as you land
travel sim card unlimited data
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FAQ About Using Hotspot

Why Does Hotspot Cost Money?

Hotspot costs may vary due to carrier policies and data plan limitations. Always check with your carrier for accurate information. Generally, providers include a certain amount of data in the customers’ regular plan, once that amount is used up, then the seed is reduced or hotspot is no longer available.

Is Using Hotspot Free?

While some carriers offer hotspot usage for free, others may charge additional fees. It depends on your specific data plan and carrier. If you’re out of the country, hotspot will be charged as regular roaming consumption.

Is Paying for Hotspot Worth It?

If you’re going to travel and want to use hotspot for your friends and family, be ready to pay a large bill. There are much better options like digital SIM from international providers.

Can You Hotspot eSIM Data?

Not all eSIMs support hotspot functionality. It’s essential to check the capabilities of your eSIM. Holafly offers eSIMs and for some destinations’ hotspot as well. Learn how to check if yours is on the list!

Can I Use an eSIM for Data Only?

Absolutely! eSIMs are flexible and can be used for data-only purposes. Consider Holafly’s international eSIMs for seamless data connectivity worldwide.