Using Verizon Personal Hotspot on your new iPad: the basic setup

One of the nice features about getting the Verizon edition of the new iPad is that you get the Personal Hotspot feature free with any data plan. Not familiar with the concept of a Personal Hotspot? It's the way to use your iPad as a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, sharing your 3G or 4G connection with up to 5 other people. After I had my Verizon data plan set up, I found it perplexing that the Personal Hotspot button in Settings wasn't visible. There's a simple trick to try that will make the button appear if it doesn't show up automatically in Settings.

Normally, once you sign up for a Verizon data plan the Personal Hotspot button appears in the Settings sidebar as you see in the image at the top of this post. For me, it still hadn't shown up after 36 hours of waiting. The trick to making it magically appear was to go into Settings, tap General, and then tap Network. At the top of this panel is the Personal Hotspot button, which can be toggled on with a tap. Strangely enough, just opening the Network panel also made the Personal Hotspot button in the Settings sidebar visible.

Now, to turn on the Personal Hotspot, tap the button and a Personal Hotspot settings panel appears. Before you do anything else, you may wish to change the Wi-Fi password that is provided by default to something that's more memorable. To do so, tap on Wi-Fi Password (see screenshot below) and enter your new password, then tap Done.

When you're ready to share your Wi-Fi connection, tap the On button to toggle the Personal Hotspot on. You can also connect to the Personal Hotspot through Bluetooth or a USB cable.

For me, having Personal Hotspot as part of my Verizon data plan is going to save me money. Right now, it's an add-on on my AT&T iPhone data plan -- I'll be able to cancel that add-on and save a few bucks.