Motorola’s Droid X mobile phone comes with a feature that allows you to turn it into a 3G mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. What this means is that you can use it to connect up to five devices to the Internet wirelessly. Unfortunately, it is not a free option. In order to use the Droid X as a hotspot, you must be willing to pay a few extra dollars each month. If you are, then turning your Droid X into a hotspot is a very simple process.
Sign up for Verizon Wireless Hotspot Service
Before you can begin turning your Droid X into a Wi-Fi hotspot, you need to sign on with Verizon Wireless’ hotspot service. Contact Verizon, either through phone or email, and request to be signed on to the service. Have your account information with you so you can provide whatever information is required. Keep in mind that this service is not free. It will cost you $20 per month extra on top of your regular bill for 2 GB of data.
Setting Up the Hotspot
After you are signed on with Verizon’s hotspot service, you can turn your Droid X into a hotspot. If you already have a Wi-Fi connection active, you need to turn it off before you can use the phone as a hotspot.
To begin, open the phone’s Applications Tray and touch the “3G Mobile Hotspot” icon. Select the “Menu” option and tap “Advanced.” From the “Advanced” options, select “WiFi AP Mode Settings.”
Look through the list of settings that appears and tap the “SSID” option. You are prompted to create a name for the hotspot you are setting up. Once you have entered a name, tap “Next.”
Tap the “Security” option. This is the most important option as it will help you prevent unauthorized access to the hotspot you are creating. You can choose from WEP, WPA or WPA2. According to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the WPA2 option is the most secure option, while the WEP option is most vulnerable to hackers. After making your choice, create a password when prompted. Write this password down and keep it somewhere safe, as you need to enter this password for each device that you wish to connect to the hotspot. Once you have created your password, tap “Save.”
Select the “Channel” option and choose a channel that prevents interference to your hotspot (or at least minimizes it). You may have to experiment with the different channel options by seeing how your hotspot runs on one channel compared to another before you find the one that works the best. When you have selected a channel, tap “Save.”
Activating the Hotspot
Open your Droid X’s Applications Tray and tap “3G Mobile Hotspot.” Choose the “Tap to start Mobile Hotspot” service option to activate the hotspot. You then have ten minutes to connect a device to your hotspot. If ten minutes pass without a device connected to the hotspot it deactivates and you must activate it again.
Connecting to the Hotspot
When the hotspot is activated, you can connect up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices to it. To connect a device, have it search for available wireless networks. When the device detects the hotspot, enter the name you created for the hotspot (the device will likely ask for the SSID) as well as the password you created. You will also need to select the security type that you set up for the hotspot (again, WPA2 is considered the most secure). You must repeat these steps for every device that you wish to connect to the hotspot.
Once you have a device (or devices) connected to the hotspot, you can look on the Droid X’s screen and see a listing of the devices connected to the hotspot.
As the Droid X is set up for 3G coverage, you must have 3G coverage in order to use it as a hotspot. If devices connected to the hotspot are unable to browse the Internet (you are receiving “Page cannot be displayed” error messages), you may not have 3G coverage or you are not in an area of strong enough 3G coverage.
If your Droid X receives a call (or you make one with the phone) while it is being used as a hotspot, any devices connected will remain connected. They will not, however, be able to send data until the call is ended.
Plug your phone into an electrical socket or, at the very least, make sure the battery is fully charged before making it a hotspot so you do not suddenly lose your connection because the phone’s battery failed.
- Motorola.com - Droid X User Guide - http://www.motorola.com/staticfiles/Support/US-EN/Mobile%20Phones/DROID-X/US-EN/_Documents/Static_Files/Droid-X-FROYO_UG_68000202880c.pdf
- 3G Mobile Hotspot image courtesy of motorola.com.
- Wireless device list image courtesy of motorola.com.
- cnet.com - Droid X’s Wi-Fi hot spot: Boon and bane - http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-20010805-64.html
- Motorola.com - Droid X: 3G WiFi Hotspot FAQ - https://motorola-global-portal.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/50802/~/droid-x—3g-wi-fi-hot-spot