Amazon’s Alexa is one of the best and most renowned virtual assistants out there.
Unfortunately, without a WiFi connection, Alexa’s capabilities become somewhat limited.
Can you use your mobile hotspot to keep Alexa connected to the internet?
You can use your mobile hotspot for Alexa. Connecting an Alexa device to a mobile hotspot is relatively simple, as you only need to follow the instructions on the Alexa app. Besides, connecting to a hotspot is a safer option than a public WiFi network.
Read on to learn more about using Alexa with a mobile hotspot.
First, we will break down what Alexa does for those on the fence about utilizing a virtual assistant.
Then, we will teach you about what mobile hotspots do and how you can connect your Alexa device to one.
How Does Alexa Work?
Amazon Alexa is an AI-based personal assistant that uses voice recognition to activate commands that run an entire line of products.
So, what can Alexa do? A ton of things, including:
- Playing music
- Reading the news
- Searching online
- Playing games with you and your family
- Operating connected smart appliances
- Finding and ordering takeout and delivery
And so much more!
This productivity seems too good to be true. Is there a massive price tag attached?
Luckily, basic-level Amazon account holders can use Alexa for free, with additional perks for Prime members.
Furthermore, Alexa-enabled devices come in all shapes and sizes. You are likely most familiar with Amazon’s Echo speakers.
However, there are even more options than ever, such as:
- Echo Frames: Alexa-enabled eyeglasses.
- Amazon Fire TV: A television streaming device with Alexa-run voice control.
- Echo Buds: Amazon’s new Alexa-enabled earbuds.
However, Alexa is not limited to Amazon-brand devices. Many companies prioritize compatibility with this new, hot technology.
The realms of possibility seem to be limitless, with products for home security, decor, heating systems, lawn maintenance, and much more!
As Alexa continues to expand, Amazon keeps looking for ways for users to access Alexa wherever they go.
How cool is that!?
Unfortunately, Alexa is dependent on WiFi internet to work.
What Is a Mobile Hotspot?
Connecting to a WiFi network can become somewhat tricky on the go.
Most public WiFi options cannot keep up with the requirements of an AI assistant, like Alexa.
Fortunately, with the advent of mobile hotspots, it is possible to access a strong WiFi internet connection wherever you go.
A mobile hotspot uses hardware, software, and back-end network data services to convert a cellular data network into WiFi internet.
From there, any devices that use WiFi can connect to the hotspot and gain internet access.
Mobile hotspots are a popular utility for professionals on the go and as a backup network when home-office internet goes down.
How Does It Work?
Mobile hotspots work by receiving cellular data as it would a standard broadband data source.
Now, this new signal appears as a WiFi source rather than a cellular one.
In sum, a hotspot makes cellular data recognizable to WiFi devices so they can use it.
Are They Secure?
Another significant benefit of a mobile hotspot over public WiFi, besides the faster connection, is the enhanced security.
4G and 5G data stay protected with 128-bit and 256-bit encryption, respectively. This encryption keeps your data and identity safe.
Additionally, you can use a VPN on your hotspot’s network. However, enabling it can cause significant stalling in performance.
Types of Mobile Hotspots
There are two types of mobile hotspots that you should know.
You are likely familiar with connecting to mobile hotspots via a cellphone, also known as tethering. The other kind of mobile hotspot is a dedicated mobile hotspot device.
Tethering to a cellphone’s mobile hotspot is very easy and convenient.
You can activate the mobile hotspot in your smartphone’s settings menu. Then, you can start connecting devices wirelessly, via Bluetooth, or through USB.
Unfortunately, while convenient, using your hotspot can quickly deplete your cellphone battery. Plus, most cellphone plans limit hotspot data.
For these reasons, tethering suits consumer-grade use.
Dedicated mobile hotspot devices are much more powerful. These devices sport an antenna for optimal range and enhanced battery life. Therefore, these hotspots are vital for businesses.
How To Connect Alexa to a Mobile Hotspot
Connecting Alexa to a mobile hotspot is possible, and it is also highly beneficial to connect the device to a private hotspot rather than a public WiFi network.
Keep reading, and we will guide you through how to make the connection.
The following directions pertain to the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot.
Keep in mind, while the Dot can utilize a USB power bank, you will need the main power supply for full-sized Echo models.
Note: This method works to connect an Echo to any open or password-protected WiFi network. However, you need to have an Echo device with a screen to connect to any networks that require an email address or redirect you to a connection page.
- Turn on the Echo device.
- Press and hold the action button (the button with a dot) to turn on setup mode. You will know that setup mode is activated when an orange light appears, and Alexa provides a verbal confirmation.
- Open the Alexa app on your smartphone. If the app automatically detects your Echo, tap ‘Continue’ and proceed to step 7.
- If this does not happen, manually connect your Echo through the menu indicated by the three horizontal lines in the top left of the screen. From the menu, tap ‘Add Device.’
- Tap on Amazon Echo in the list of devices. Then proceed to pick the appropriate device model.
- The app should ask if you see an orange light. If you see the light, confirm with the app, and it will try to connect to the Echo. If this method does not work, open your phone’s WiFi settings and connect to the ‘Amazon-XXX’ network. (Your phone may alert you that ‘there is no internet connection’ and ask if you still wish to continue. You can disregard this message and proceed.)
- Once the app connects to your Echo device, it will present you with a list of available WiFi networks. Bypass this list to the bottom of the page and select the option, “Use this device as a WiFi hotspot.”
- Next, the app will ask you for the hotspot network name and password. Honor the capital letters in the name and password, as both are case-sensitive.
- The Alexa app will then instruct you to turn on the mobile hotspot. Turn on the network, and the Echo will attempt to connect. If you hear a tone and the orange light goes out, you have successfully connected your Alexa device to the mobile hotspot.
You might also like: Does Alexa have to be plugged in to work?
Do I Have Other Options?
Some people do not like the idea of a virtual assistant having internet access at all.
Those concerned with privacy or who do not want to depend on a cloud-based service are skeptical of Alexa.
There are certainly possibilities on the horizon.
For instance, the International Journal of Advance Research, Ideas, and Innovations in Technology recently published a study developing a speech-based Android smartphone assistant that can work offline.
It is possible and straightforward to connect your Alexa device to a mobile hotspot.
This option is preferable to public WiFi since it will give you a more secure and efficient connection.
Once connected, you will be able to access all of Alexa’s incredible features anywhere you go!