Using Phone Hotspot as Home Internet?

Is anyone doing this? what is the best way to do it without shortening the phones battery life? Do you need 2 sim cards and a wifi modem?


  • If your phone can power up without a battery and just off the usb charger, then you've got a winner. Otherwise avoid keeping the phone on charge 24/7.

    Unsure your point about second sim and wifi modem. Why?

    • I also want to keep using my phone though, so taking out the battery isn't really an option.

      Unsure your point about second sim and wifi modem. Why?

      to avoid the battery life issue on my phone

      • Take out battery when you're at home hotspotting.

        Note that if your phone and provider dont support volte, whenever you get a phone call, your internet may drop.

        There is no magic solution to your problem

      • The advice to avoid keeping your phone on charge may have been true at one time in the past. But there is a lot of argument about whether it is still true for modern phones. And even if it is true, the consensus is that the effect is so small as to not be noticeable.

        These days good phones are plugged into smart chargers and have smart charging. Up to 80% battery capacity they charge as fast as the charger can charge them. Then at about 80% they switch to slower charging, because pushing the battery charge that last 20% as fast as possible shortens battery life. At 100% they don't keep pushing charge into the battery, they simply stop trying to charge it.

        I have my router plugged into a charger. And the phone USB tethered to the router, with the USB cable also charging the phone through the router from the router's charger. I can see from the symbol on the phone that if I've unplugged the phone and the charge has dropped below 100% it gets charged back up to 100%, then it stops charging, and the phone runs on the power its getting from the router. It can't be damaging the phone's battery, because the battery is neither being run down or charged up.

        I can't guarantee your phone works like that, but my phone which has a couple of years old Qualcom Snapdragon 480 5G chipset does.

        I use the phone as my internet connection because one 5G connection is cheaper and faster than 2x 4G plans. So far the problem has been getting 5G where I live. I have noted though that my Vodafone plans limits hotspotting to 30GB/month, after which it slows down. I don't know whether they actually do that, or its just a threat.

        Also, I have no idea whether my phone and provider support VoLTE, but I've never had the internet drop out when I've received or made a phone call.

        • It can't be damaging the phone's battery, because the battery is neither being run down or charged up.

          My lived experience is that the combined heat from hotspotting and even with trickle charging is enough to cause the li-ion to break down over time, causing battery to bulge out.

          It’s not all about wearing down the battery capacity in my view.

          It is unclear why OP is against having second sim or modem. There are plans which offer data sharing if cost is a concern. What is more important to OP - not damaging daily phone or not having paying more for second sim

          • @avoidfullprice: Yeah I'd rather not pay for second Sim plan, but if that's more economical I may have to do that

            • @alex123711: Hey out of interest what phone you are using and what plan are you on? I agree with GordonD that newer phone do have smarter charging tech… but my concern with the heat with hotspotting remains.

  • It's certainly possible, just a bit annoying having to remember to turn the hot spot on. Probably not a deal breaker but things like smart speakers, lights etc. won't work well.

    A decent smart phone should power itself from the wall when plugged in, so your battery shouldn't be too effected. Of course if you can't plug it in the battery will drain pretty fast.

  • Get one of these. eBay has unlocked ones. That's what I use.

    • The problem with that is I would need a second sim card though? (1 for phone and 1 for dongle)

      • True, but you can get cheap Kogan SIMs, to use as the second one.

  • You just hotspot and off you go.

    What do you mean by reduce the phone's battery life?

    Obviously the more you use a battery, the lesser it's life will be … in the very broadest of terms they only have so many charge cycles available to them. Otherwise if you are talking about the charge over the course of a day, just keep it on a charger while in use/as required.

    There is certainly no need for two SIMs and/or a wifi modem.

  • what is the best way to do it without shortening the phones battery life?

    Why not just get a pocket modem with a separate sim and leave it plugged in? Those pocket modems are so small and cheap. You can still unplug it and take it around if you need to.

    • That would mean having to have 2 mobile plans, which will end up costing almost as much as just getting a broadband plan

  • +2

    If you go with Optus for example, you could get their $65 500GB 12 Month Promo plan, then their $15 5GB Choice Plus Data Plan on a separate SIM (in a modem of your choice), and pool/share the data (505GB) between the two.

  • I've had my Note 4, 8, 9, 10 and now 20 always charged close to 100% charged were possible, using a 2 metre usb-c cable/charger beside my bed, other wireless charging Notes with wireless charger bedside side desk, 2x cigarette usb-C/A chargers in car, carry high capacity battery chargers when needed, if you reduce the cycles on battery (charging from 20% to 100% and vice versa) you reduce the wear and tear on your phones battery, mainly my earlier Notes like my Note 4, 8 and 9 are used for hotspotting they are on 100% charge all the time (retired as a phone) all still have close to good battery life, again cycling charging/discharging wears a phones battery out,..

    So certainly if you have an old phone sitting around gathering dust then put it to use as a 4g WiFi modem (I.e. Wifi hotspotting) or go buy a 4g wifi modem maybe on eBay, I wouldn't pay more then 50 bucks for one too, plenty of (use to be expensive)/higherend used 4g wifi modems on eBay and below $50

    If you want a cheap unlimited data sim plan, when the deal is available again, Optus had there $15 sim plan at half price for 12 months with no contracts, the plan is only 5gb of data at high speed and then slows down to 1.5Mbps but I have this plan (as wifi home hotspotting) so when I'm home I don't use my phones main call/data plan data, 1.5 Mbps I found is actually good enough for 1x video stream for both my Fetch TV box and phone, web browsing on my PC, Laptop and phone, all forms of audio calls like messenger etc, last but not least also great as my download sim for torrents downloading,. which I do on my Note 9 512gb phone, well cheaper then leaving my PC running 24/7 to download torrents and most home PC's don't even have a 512gb of drive space, certainly not my laptop lolz 👍😁

    Well at $7.50 a month it certainly saves me money needing a NBN plan at home and if I'm desperate for speed I can get it from my main mobile plan which is Telstra 5G and speeds over 300Mbps, but everyones has different needs, I'm only person that needs internet at home, certainly my scenario wouldn't work for a family at home

  • Most phones hotspot. My S21u can now have the switch moved to the top left when you pull down the menu.
    No 2nd sim needed, just the right plan.
    Had it in parallel with Aussie Broadband on FFTH for 2 months. 5G won by a huge margin.
    Disregard speed tests just use what loads your most used pages fastest.
    For redundancy, my missus uses another carrier, same hotspot settings.
    For best longevity of phone, keep battery between 20 and 80%.

  • +1

    You could check out the option of getting a data share sim with your same provider. Telstra has them for $5 per month and you share data with your mobile plan. Put the 2nd sim in a pocket modem and you are sorted.

  • If you are wanting a modem, you could root the Telstra DJA0231 and put a Sim card in there and run data off that. Can run Telstra/Optus/Vodafone.

  • I used to share the internet for the whole family with my Galaxy S3. 3g speeds where really good, didn't feel much difference compared to NBN now.

    The phone was plugged in the whole time and died after 2.5 years :)

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