How Much Is Hotspot on AT&T [AT&T Mobile Hotspot Explained]

Mobile Network

Having data on your phone or tablet is handy when you’re on the go. However, having data on one device might not be enough. Sometimes, it’s necessary to go online using multiple devices. If that’s the case, we recommend adding a mobile hotspot such as that of AT&T to your plan or getting a hotspot device. How much is the hotspot on AT&T plans, then? Stick with us to find out!


Inside This Article

  1. AT&T Hotspot in a Nutshell
  2. How Much Is Hotspot on AT&T Plans?
    1. Postpaid Plans with Hotspot
    2. Prepaid Mobile Hotspot Plans
    3. Plans for Tablets and Hotspots
  3. How to Get Discounts on AT&T Hotspot
  4. How Much Does It Cost to Add More Hotspot Data on AT&T?
  5. How Fast Is AT&T’s Hotspot?
  6. Can I Use My Phone as a Hotspot?
  7. Can I Use a Separate Hotspot Device?
  8. How to Enable Hotspot


AT&T Hotspot in a Nutshell

See how much is a hotspot on AT&T and pick the best plan
Photo by Rubaitul Azad on Unsplash

How much is the hotspot on AT&T plans? Before we tackle this topic, let’s first understand what a hotspot is. When your gadget works as a mobile hotspot, it is the device that gives off a WiFi signal for other devices to connect to. Think of a hotspot as something similar to a WiFi router but smaller and more portable. However, what makes it different from regular routers, apart from its mobility, is its network signals.

That’s because it relies on the same towers and, therefore, provides the same speeds as your mobile data. Hence, you can get anything from 4G LTE to a 5G connection, depending on your plan. Depending on your plan and carrier, the speed can be faster or slower than regular WiFi.

For most wireless carriers, the mobile hotspot is an add-on or extra feature you can only get on certain plans. The same is true for AT&T. Only a few of their data plans allow your phone to become a hotspot device.

In addition, they offer standalone hotspot plans for dedicated hotspot devices. With these, you can turn almost anything — even security cameras or smart glasses — into hotspots and substitute WiFi routers.


How Much Is Hotspot on AT&T Plans?

AT&T hotspot prices depend on the plans
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

If you’re interested in AT&T’s hotspots, you’re probably asking: how much is a hotspot on AT&T plans? It can be confusing if you’re specifically shopping for plans based on hotspot allocation. After all, AT&T’s website isn’t exactly the clearest or easiest to navigate.

That’s why we’re here to explain AT&T’s hotspot-inclusive plans and how much they cost. We’ve segregated the plans into three categories: postpaid, prepaid, and prepaid plans for tablets and dedicated hotspots.

AT&T Postpaid Plans with Hotspot

Wireless Plan Hotspot Allocation Price (Single Line)
Unlimited Starter 3GB 65 USD monthly
Unlimited Extra 15GB 75 USD monthly
Unlimited Premium 50GB 85 USD monthly

How much is the hotspot on AT&T for unlimited postpaid plans? If you’re looking for AT&T hotspot plans with unlimited data, there are three options available. These are the Unlimited Starter, Unlimited Extra, and Unlimited Premium Plans. The lowest plan costs 65 USD per month and each tier adds 10 USD to the monthly cost.

In terms of hotspot allocation, each tier increases its data allocation by well over 100% the higher you go. The lowest plan only offers 3GB of wireless hotspot while the latter two offer 15GB and 50GB, respectively.

Now, you may think 3GB is a bit too small if you use tethering all the time. However, keep in mind that these data allocations are only for high-speed hotspot and tethering. You can continue using your hotspot even after using up the 3GB to 50GB data allocations.

The only thing that will happen is that your speeds will decrease significantly from 5G to 128Kbps. That’s a big drop, but it’s certainly much better than losing tethering capabilities completely. This limitless nature to your tethering is, therefore, the biggest perk of getting AT&T’s unlimited postpaid plans.


AT&T Prepaid Mobile Hotspot Plans

Wireless Plan Hotspot Allocation Price (Single Line)
AT&T Prepaid 8GB 3-month 8GB (uses data allotment) 99 USD for 3 months of prepaid
AT&T Prepaid 16GB 12-month 16GB (uses data allotment) 300 USD for 12 months of prepaid
AT&T Prepaid 5GB 5GB (uses data allotment) 30 USD monthly
AT&T Prepaid 15GB 15GB (uses data allotment) 40 USD monthly
AT&T Prepaid Unlimited 5GB hotspot only available as an add-on 65 USD monthly + 10 USD monthly for hotspot

Unfortunately, AT&T’s mobile hotspot plans for postpaid users are quite pricey for the average person. Therefore, we suggest getting their prepaid plans instead if you’re on a budget. How much is the hotspot on AT&T for prepaid plans, then? The hotspot cost for AT&T plans in this bracket is significantly lower. However, there are a few caveats you’ll have to be aware of.

Firstly, while these prepaid plans are much cheaper than postpaid plans, they don’t have dedicated allocations for hotspots. Hence, you’ll have to use up the allocation for your regular mobile data to provide hotspots for other devices. Moreover, they have fewer extra benefits such as 4K UHD streaming.

Nonetheless, these prepaid plans are much cheaper than postpaid plans. Some of them can cost less than half of what the unlimited postpaid tiers offer.

If you want the least expensive monthly offering, we recommend going with AT&T’s 16GB 12-month prepaid plan. It costs 25 USD monthly — but you will have to pay for the full 12 months upfront to get the discount. If you can’t pay a big amount upfront, we recommend getting either the Prepaid 5GB or 15GB plans.


AT&T Plans for Tablets and Hotspots

Wireless Plan/Hotspot Allocation Price
20GB 300 USD for 12 months of prepaid
15GB 35 USD monthly
50GB 55 USD monthly
100GB 90 USD monthly

How much is a hotspot on AT&T plans if you don’t want to bundle it with your phone data plan? It depends. The price can range from as low as 25 USD to as high as 90 USD monthly. With that said, it essentially ranges the full spectrum of prices on both prepaid and postpaid plans.

However, the difference with these AT&T hotspot plans is that they’re dedicated to other devices. Hence, you can use these plans for your tablet or other hotspot devices without using your AT&T number.

If you won’t need a hotspot very often, we recommend getting the 20GB plan priced at 25 USD monthly. Like some of AT&T’s hotspot data plans, you’ll need to pay 300 USD up front for the discount. However, you’ll certainly save much more on monthly costs as its lowest 15GB tier costs 35 USD monthly.

Alternatively, if 20GB isn’t enough for you, you can also increase the data allotment to 50GB and 100GB. These will cost 55 USD and 90 USD per month, respectively. They’re fairly expensive, considering the unlimited plans within similar price ranges offer unlimited mobile data and decent hotspot allocation. Nonetheless, if a portable hotspot untethered to your phone is what you need, they’re certainly good to consider.


How to Get Discounts on AT&T Hotspot

There are ways to get discounts on an AT&T hotspot plan
Photo by Tamanna Rumee on Unsplash

We’ve already answered the question, “How much is the hotspot on AT&T plans?” However, is there any way (such as a discount) to save more money on getting hotspot data? Is the best mobile hotspot plans AT&T has to offer all there is to choose from?

Unfortunately, there aren’t any consistent ways to avail of discounts on hotspot and tethering plans. The most straightforward method is to simply avail of AT&T saver prepaid plans and use the data allocation for tethering. After all, most of AT&T’s prepaid plans offer hotspot and tethering by default.

You can save money even more if you avail of AT&T’s longer-term prepaid plans. These plans require you to pay a larger sum upfront to cover three to 12 months’ worth of service. Nonetheless, they’re much cheaper than the lowest-end plan paid monthly and they offer much larger data allocations.

Now, how much is the hotspot on AT&T plans if you avail of family discounts? The prices we listed above are those for single lines. Hence, they’re the highest prices you can pay for these plans if you don’t invite other users. Adding more lines to your plan can certainly cut costs by a large margin.

For example, the Unlimited Premium plan only costs 75 USD monthly if you get two lines. That number drops even lower and can even cost only 45 USD monthly if you have five lines. This is a big discount, considering some prepaid plans cost just as much with fewer benefits.

If you have a friend or family member that might want a new data plan, inviting them is your best chance at getting a discount. The price will decrease significantly the more people you can invite to your plan.


How Much Does It Cost to Add More Hotspot Data on AT&T?

Like most mobile carriers, AT&T allows users to avail of hotspot allocations as an add-on feature to their plan. With this, you can increase how much data your hotspot devices can consume using your device as a Wi-Fi source.

How much is the hotspot on AT&T if you want additional data on your prepaid plan? AT&T’s prepaid plans use your data allocation for both mobile data and tethering. Hence, your only option is to purchase additional data to add to your tethering allowance. This will cost 10 USD for 1GB or 20 USD for 3GB for almost all the non-unlimited prepaid plans you avail of.

On the other hand, the cost of hotspot add-ons for the unlimited prepaid plan is different. In this case, you can get 5GB of data dedicated for hotspot usage for just 10 USD. You can also purchase this same add-on for devices that use the third category of plans for tablets and hotspots.

How much is the hotspot on AT&T for its postpaid plans if you want additional allocations? Unfortunately, AT&T’s postpaid plans don’t offer such data add-ons for hotspots. That’s because the hotspot data allocations for these plans are technically unlimited, too. The only catch is that their speeds slow down to 128Kbps after you use up the hotspot data allocation.

If you don’t want your hotspot speeds to slow down after the allocation, your only option is to upgrade. For example, if you’re using the Unlimited Starter plan, consider upgrading to the Unlimited Extra plan for 12GB more data. You can also opt for the Unlimited Premium plan if you tether to your phone all the time.


How Fast Is AT&T’s Hotspot?

Phone showing 5G data speed
Photo by Frederik Lipfert on Unsplash

AT&T’s hotspot data speeds will depend on the kind of data plan you have. If you’re using the company’s unlimited postpaid plans, know that 5G access is guaranteed no matter which tier you choose.

In addition, all of the plans dedicated to tablets and hotspots have 5G access. Therefore, the only limitation to your hotspot’s speed in these cases is your device. You need a 5G-compatible phone or other hotspot devices to take advantage of the speed.

On the other hand, if you’re using a prepaid AT&T plan, your speeds will likely be limited. For the most part, you’ll only experience 4G or LTE speeds while using your hotspot. That’s because only AT&T’s unlimited prepaid plan promises 5G access.

However, the unlimited tier doesn’t offer hotspot capabilities by default. You’ll need to purchase an add-on for this to work and to take advantage of 5G speeds for tethering.


Can I Use My Phone as a Hotspot?

Yes, you can make your phone double as a hotspot. You’ll only need to avail yourself of the best AT&T phone plans with hotspot data allocation to do so. In addition, you must have a hotspot-capable phone to use as a hotspot device.

If you’re using a modern phone, you most likely already own a device with hotspot capabilities. Even those that are a couple of generations older should have no problem serving as hotspots. Therefore, you’ll only need to upgrade your device if your phone is truly “ancient”.

Apart from this, keep in mind that the kind of phone you have will determine your hotspot’s speeds. For example, if you have a 4G LTE-only phone, your hotspot’s speeds will only be limited to 4G LTE.

This is true even if you avail of a plan that promises 5G speeds. That’s because the hardware limits what your plan can do. Thus, if you want to take advantage of the 5G speeds you’re promised, you need to purchase a 5G-capable phone. Otherwise, your hotspot won’t work the way you want it to.


Can I Use a Separate Hotspot Device?

Yes, you can use dedicated hotspot devices compatible with AT&T’s network. You can purchase them from the carrier itself through the AT&T website. That said, you aren’t limited to the options on the page.

That’s because almost any compatible device can become a hotspot. Some security cameras, smart glasses, desktop plug-ins, and even dog collars have the infrastructure to support tethering. You’ll just need to shop for the right product. However, note that most of these products will be on the pricier side. Many of them cost 100 USD or more, depending on the device.

You can also set up your car as a Wi-Fi hotspot device using AT&T’s in-car Wi-Fi feature. The company has provisions specifically for this use case, allowing the car to tether up to 10 other devices. As a result, your entire family can enjoy reliable Wi-Fi connectivity even on road trips and vacations.

However, you’ll need to purchase a car with built-in hotspot infrastructure for this to work. Some vehicles also allow for plug-in accessories that can substitute for the lack of hotspot technology. You can visit AT&T’s website for more details and find out if your car is compatible.


How to Enable Hotspot

It's easy to enable a mobile hotspot
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Once you subscribe to a plan, it’s easy to enable the AT&T hotspot. Below are the steps to do so on mobile:

On Android

Setting up AT&T’s hotspot on an Android device is fairly straightforward. The process is almost similar across different phone brands. For a guide on how to set up your hotspot, see the instructions below:

1. Launch your gadget’s Settings app.
2. Choose the Connections or Network option.
*This option will differ depending on the phone brand and Android version.
3. Select Hotspot and tap the tethering option
4. Toggle the Wi-Fi hotspot on.

If you want to, you can change the password to access your hotspot on the page you’re on. All you must do is edit the default password your phone gives you. Whether you change it or not, the password you see there should be what you type into other devices. Just choose your phone’s name on the other gadget and provide the password.


On iOS

You can set up AT&T’s hotspot service on your iPhone relatively quickly. Simply take your phone and do these:

1. Access your gadget’s Settings interface.
2. Choose Cellular Data from the settings interface.
3. Tap on Personal Hotspot.
4. Toggle the Allow Others to Join option on (should turn green).

Once done, your phone should assign an automatic Wi-Fi password for your mobile hotspot. Other devices can connect to your hotspot by choosing the Wi-Fi network with your phone’s name on it. Afterward, you must enter the password you see on your phone on the other devices.

When finished, your iPhone should show a blue bar on top indicating that other devices are using its hotspot. It should also tell you how many devices are linked.


Final Thoughts on AT&T Mobile Hotspot Plans

Overall, AT&T provides good options for folks who want to use a hotspot and are curious about how much a hotspot on AT&T is.

It offers plans with varying prices, speeds, and limitations, so you have many choices. Plan prices can go as low as 25 USD and as high as 90 USD per month. The one you avail of will depend on your needs and the kind of device you have.

If you don’t tether to other devices often and don’t mind the commitment, we recommend the 16GB or 20GB plans. They both cost only 25 USD monthly (300 USD upfront) and provide ample hotspot allocation. It’s the sweet spot in the middle for both casual and semi-heavy hotspot users.

However, if you use hotspots a lot, we recommend getting the Unlimited Premium plan instead. That’s because you’ll get better speeds for longer times this way. It’s best for heavy users who often travel for work.