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How To Share a VPN Safely Via a Mobile Hotspot

Trying to extend your VPN protection to multiple devices? Hotspotting from your mobile device is one option. 

However, sharing a VPN via hotspot requires careful steps to maintain security and avoid potential risks. You might be better off installing a VPN with unlimited device connections, like Surfshark. While the initial setup will take a little longer, you’ll enjoy faster, more secure internet without draining your mobile internet connection. 

But for now, we’ll walk you through safely sharing your VPN via mobile hotspot and protecting all your devices on any network.

First, you need to pick the right VPN. Here are the best VPNs for mobile hotspot sharing:

  1. ExpressVPN - The best VPN for mobile hotspot sharing. Offers easy-to-use apps, blazing-fast speeds, and industry-leading security.
  2. TIP

    In our testing we checked that all ExpressVPN plans work for Netflix. The one year plan is the best value: three months free and a 30 day risk-free trial.

  3. Surfshark - A budget-friendly VPN. Provides unlimited simultaneous connections and a user-friendly interface across all platforms.
  4. NordVPN - Known for its extensive server network, strong security features, and compatibility with various devices.
  5. CyberGhost VPN - Boasts a vast server network, user-friendly apps, and budget-friendly plans.
  6. IPVanish - Offers unlimited simultaneous connections, iron-clad security, and a wide range of server locations.

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Straightforward policies—get in touch within 30 days if you choose to opt-out and claim a full refund. Start your ExpressVPN trial now .

These five VPNs deliver on:

  • Apps for Android, iOS, and many other devices
  • Fast connections
  • Airtight security
  • Strict privacy policies
  • Global server networks

TEST WINNER ExpressVPN Surfshark NordVPN CyberGhost VPN IPVanish
Website ExpressVPN Surfshark NordVPN CyberGhost VPN IPVanish
Ranking for mobile hotspot 1 2 3 4 5
Performance 10
9
9
7
7
Reliability 9
8
8
7
7
Free trial
Total servers 3000
3200
6200
11625
2000
Payment PayPal
Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency
PayPal
Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency
PayPal
Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency
PayPal
Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency
PayPal
Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency
Unblocks: Netflix
iPlayer
Disney+
Amazon Prime
Hulu
Netflix
iPlayer
Disney+
Amazon Prime
Hulu
Netflix
iPlayer
Disney+
Amazon Prime
Hulu
Netflix
iPlayer
Disney+
Amazon Prime
Hulu
Netflix
iPlayer
Disney+
Amazon Prime
Hulu
Supported platforms Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
Windows
macOS
iOS
Android

Step-by-step guide to sharing a VPN via mobile hotspot

Sharing your VPN on Android is as easy as installing the app, connecting to a server, and enabling your phone's hotspot feature. On iOS, the process is very similar, but you'll find the hotspot settings within your cellular options.

Android

  1. Download and install: Choose a reputable Android VPN app – we recommend ExpressVPN.
  2. Connect to a server: Open the app and connect to your desired server location.
  3. Enable hotspot: Go to your phone's settings and turn on the hotspot feature.
  4. Configure hotspot: Set a strong password and customize the network name (SSID) if desired.
  5. Connect devices: Use the hotspot's credentials to connect other devices to your shared VPN connection.

Read more: The 5 Best Android VPNs

iOS

  1. Download and install: Choose an iOS VPN app from the App Store. Again, ExpressVPN is #1. 
  2. Connect to a server: Open the app and connect to a server.
  3. Enable hotspot: Navigate to Settings > Cellular > Personal Hotspot and turn it on.
  4. Configure hotspot: Set a secure password for your hotspot.
  5. Connect devices: Connect other devices using the hotspot's Wi-Fi credentials.

If you run into trouble, ensure your VPN connection is active. Restart your phone with the VPN turned on, then reconnect with the hotspotted devices. 

If the issue persists, double-check your hotspot settings, make any necessary adjustments, or contact your VPN's customer support.

Read more: The 5 Best iOS VPNs

Choosing the right VPN for mobile hotspot sharing

Let's explore the features of our five best VPNs and see what makes each one stand out.

These are just quick overviews. Check out our comprehensive reviews for a more in-depth analysis of each VPN.

1. ExpressVPN
Editor's Choice | July 2024

ExpressVPN is our #1 best VPN for secure and speedy mobile hotspot sharing. Its vast network of secure servers and industry-leading security guarantee protection.

  • Pricing

    • 12 months + 3 months FREE + Backblaze backup: $6.67/mth
      49% OFF
    • 6 months: $9.99/mth
    • 1 month: $12.95/mth
  • Pros

    • Apps for mobile devices
    • 3,000+ servers in over 105 countries
    • Lightning-fast connections
    • Advanced security
    • Works with the most popular streamers
  • Cons

    • Premium price tag
    • Streaming servers aren’t labeled
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

ExpressVPN's extensive global network, spanning over 105 countries, ensures seamless connections for all devices tethered to your mobile hotspot. Its intelligent network prioritizes efficient data routing, delivering exceptional speeds that enhance your shared browsing experience without compromising security.


The innovative Lightway VPN protocol further enhances ExpressVPN's performance. This technology optimizes data transfer, ensuring fast and reliable connections across all devices connected to your hotspot, whether streaming Netflix, browsing the web, or downloading files.


ExpressVPN prioritizes your privacy and security. It employs RAM-only servers that wipe all data after each session, leaving no trace of your online activity. Military-grade encryption and an automatic kill-switch safeguard your data at all times, even if your VPN connection drops. 


The provider's user-friendly apps for Android and iOS make it easy to set up and manage your mobile hotspot connection. 


ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to try it risk-free.

Surfshark is a budget-friendly VPN for mobile hotspot sharing. It offers unlimited device connections, top-notch security, and robust privacy features.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months + 3 months FREE: $2.19/mth
      86% OFF
    • 12 months + 3 months FREE: $2.79/mth
      82% OFF
    • 1 month: $15.45/mth
  • Pros

    • Fast connections
    • Unlimited simultaneous devices
    • Strong security
    • Extra privacy tools
    • Affordable pricing
  • Cons

    • Unreliable for P2P
    • Occasional slow servers
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

Surfshark's impressive features make it an excellent choice for secure mobile hotspot sharing.


With over 3,000 servers in 100+ countries, Surfshark provides reliable connections and fast speeds, ideal for sharing your hotspot with multiple devices. Our team tested Surfshark's hotspot-sharing capabilities and consistently experienced smooth streaming and browsing on all connected devices.


Surfshark goes beyond basic VPN protection to safeguard your shared connection. Its built-in ad blocker and malware detection protect all connected devices from unwanted ads and malicious websites. The IP address rotator and Camouflage Mode enhance your privacy by masking your VPN usage and making it harder for anyone to track your online activity.


The provider's unlimited device policy means you can skip the hot-spotting and install the VPN on as many devices as you want. This provides a much smoother experience.


Surfshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all new plans.

NordVPN is a fast and reliable VPN for mobile hotspot sharing, delivering speed, security, and unrestricted internet.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months + 3 months FREE: $3.69/mth
      70% OFF
    • 12 months: $4.99/mth
      59% OFF
    • 1 month: $11.99/mth
  • Pros

    • 6,000+ servers in 111+ countries
    • Exclusive NordLynx VPN protocol
    • Works with Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, Disney+, and HBO
    • Strict zero logs policy
  • Cons

    • The initial setup could be improved
    • Switching between servers can be slow
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

NordVPN is an excellent choice for mobile hotspot sharing, offering incredible speeds, industry-leading security, and comprehensive privacy features to protect your shared connection.


In our recent tests, NordVPN's proprietary NordLynx protocol delivers exceptional speeds, averaging 55 Mbps. This translates to seamless streaming and browsing for all devices connected to your hotspot, even when multiple users are active. 


Additionally, NordVPN's SmartDNS feature lets you bypass geo-restrictions and stream content on devices that don't typically support VPNs.


Your shared connection is safeguarded by military-grade 256-bit AES encryption, DNS/IPv6 leak protection, and an automatic kill-switch that prevents data exposure if your VPN connection drops. Each security tool works in unison to keep your data and location private without compromising connection speed.


Every new NordVPN user gets a 30-day money-back guarantee to test it out.

CyberGhost is the most user-friendly VPN on our list, providing fast and reliable connections for various online activities.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months + 3 months FREE: $2.11/mth
      83% OFF
    • 6 months: $6.99/mth
      42% OFF
    • 1 month: $11.99/mth
  • Pros

    • Fast, streaming-optimized servers
    • Easy to use
    • Affordable pricing
    • WireGuard protocol
  • Cons

    • No apps for routers
    • Doesn’t reliably work in China or UAE
    • No stealth mode of obfuscated servers
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

CyberGhost's expansive server network of over 11,500 servers in 100+ countries ensures global access and dependable connections for sharing your mobile hotspot securely and seamlessly.


With cutting-edge VPN protocols like WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2, CyberGhost allows you to tailor your connection for optimal speed and performance when sharing your hotspot with multiple devices.


The user-friendly interface makes CyberGhost a breeze for mobile hotspot sharing, even if you’re new to VPNs. Preconfigured settings during the initial setup streamline the process, and the ability to connect up to seven devices simultaneously is perfect for sharing your secure connection with friends or family.


CyberGhost offers a generous 45-day money-back guarantee on all plans.

IPVanish's vast server network ensures reliable connections anywhere in the world. You can install it on unlimited devices, skipping the need to hotspot.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months: $3.33/mth
      75% OFF
    • 12 months: $3.99/mth
      70% OFF
    • 1 month: $12.99/mth
  • Pros

    • Fast connections
    • Secure with a strict no-logs policy
    • Unlimited simultaneous connections
    • Large server network
  • Cons

    • Slow speeds in certain countries
    • Customer service can be slow to respond
    • No browser extensions
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

Our rigorous testing across various devices and browsers confirmed the effectiveness of IPVanish's security features for mobile hotspot sharing. Its military-grade encryption, kill-switch, and leak protection consistently ensured the security and privacy of our shared connection.


While IPVanish excels in security, it falls short when it comes to streaming. In our tests, we encountered difficulties accessing streaming platforms. While some platforms, like Netflix US, were accessible, others proved unreliable. If streaming is a priority for your mobile hotspot sharing, consider alternatives like ExpressVPN or Surfshark.


Furthermore, IPVanish's US jurisdiction raises privacy concerns for some users. While the company claims to have a strict no-logs policy, other VPNs on this list are based in more privacy-friendly locations.


IPVanish offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to test its mobile hotspot-sharing capabilities.

How we tested the best VPNs for mobile hotspot sharing

Selecting the right VPN is crucial for securing your mobile hotspot sharing. Here's what we prioritized when choosing the best VPNs for this purpose:

  • Mobile-friendly apps: We recommend VPNs with user-friendly apps designed for iOS and Android, making it easy to manage your connection on your smartphone.
  • Strong encryption: The best VPNs use AES-256 encryption to protect your data from prying eyes.
  • Kill-switch: This essential feature automatically disconnects your internet if the VPN connection drops, preventing data leaks and maintaining privacy.
  • Global server network: Extensive global server network ensures fast and reliable connections, no matter where you are.
  • No-logs policy: We only recommend VPNs with strict, independently verified no-logs policies, guaranteeing your online activities remain private.
  • Speed: Our picks are the fastest VPNs, ensuring smooth browsing, streaming, and downloads.
  • Unlimited bandwidth: Enjoy unrestricted online activities without worrying about data caps.
  • Transparent privacy policies: Our recommended VPNs undergo regular independent audits to confirm their commitment to your security and privacy.
  • Easy-to-use apps: These VPNs are designed to be user-friendly, even for beginners.
  • Good value: Look for VPNs with affordable pricing and at least a 30-day money-back guarantee.

We have a comprehensive VPN review process that considers many factors. Feel free to explore it for a detailed guide on choosing the best VPN.

Understanding the risks of sharing a VPN

While sharing a VPN via mobile hotspot offers numerous benefits, it's important to be aware of the potential risks involved:

Share a VPN via a mobile hotspot FAQs

Hotspotting your VPN: A final word

Trustworthy VPNs like ExpressVPNSurfshark, and NordVPN are excellent choices for mobile hotspot sharing. 

These VPNs protect your data and privacy and unlock a world of benefits. They can help you bypass geo-restrictions, access content worldwide, and save money on online purchases. They also shield your online activities from prying eyes, including your internet service provider and government agencies.

With a 30-day money-back guarantee offered by these VPNs, you can try them out risk-free and experience the enhanced security and freedom they provide for your mobile hotspot.

Written by: Conor Walsh

Conor is a tech writer with professional paranoia. He's passionate about privacy, and when not writing about it, can be found trying to get far away from his phone and any other technology, enjoying some live music, outdoorsy stuff, or a good (physical) book.

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