Apparently there was some kind of big football match at the weekend – I don’t know if you’d heard…
Anyway, some of my friends were going camping at the weekend and wanted to watch it. They had a mobile phone which could watch TV online by streaming it.
You can do something similar to watch TV from all sorts of channels – you just download the app for BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub or whatever channel it is you want to watch, then you can choose to watch through that.
You need to make sure you aren’t using too much data or you might use your whole month’s allowance up so you can’t use it for the rest of the month. Or even you might go over and have to pay extra.
But if the data allowance in your package is reasonable and you just keep an eye on it, that’s fine.
The problem my friends had was the phone screen is pretty small. Not ideal for watching anything, really, especially a football match.
They have a tablet with a much bigger screen but it doesn’t have 3g or 4g, so it can only connect to the internet where there’s wifi – which there isn’t at the campsite they’re at.
So are they stuck using the tiny screen?
No. There’s a clever way you can use the internet connection on your phone to connect your tablet (or even a laptop) to the internet.
What you do is use the phone that’s connected to the internet through 3g or 4g to set up what’s called a “wifi hotspot”. It sets up wifi in a small area around the phone.
Then you connect the tablet or laptop to that wifi in the same way you would in a cafe or hotel or friend’s house and bingo – the tablet or laptop is now on the internet.
As you’d expect, exactly how you do it varies a bit from phone to phone, but on mine (which is a Samsung running Android) you swipe down from the top of the screen then scroll sideways through the options there until you get to “mobile hotspot” (using other phones you might have too hunt around in settings for it).
Tap that and then tap on OK and it turns it on.
Then any device in the area can connect through wifi to this hotspot as long as they have the password. To check what the password is you can check in settings or on my phone just swipe down from the top of the screen again and tap on “Tethering or hotspot active” and it’ll list it there (or let you change it if you want something easier).
Then on your tablet or laptop connect to this new wifi in the normal way, like you would in a cafe or hotel.
As I mentioned earlier, don’t forget to keep an eye on how much data you’re using if you have a small data allowance, especially if you are using it for watching TV.
To be honest, most of the time it’s more useful for other things. Suppose you have emails set up on your tablet or laptop but you’re somewhere where you don’t have wifi… but your phone is connected… then you can use the hotspot to check emails on your tablet or laptop.
Or what if you want to download a new book onto a tablet or ebook reader – again, that’s a great reason to use this if you’re not near wifi.
Well worth knowing about, even though you probably won’t use it very often.