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Features | 18 Mar 2020

Working from home: How to make the most of your mobile

From setting up your own personal portable hotspot to topping up your Pay As You Go balance without leaving your home, here's what you need to know.

As concern about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) grows and the Government encourages more of us to work from home, we give you tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your phone.

Using your smartphone’s mobile data with your laptop

If you don’t have a Wi-Fi connection at home, you can share your smartphone’s mobile data connection with your work computer so it can connect to the internet.

This is known variously as tethering, or setting up a portable or personal hotspot. It’s pretty easy to do. You’re effectively turning your phone into a mini Wi-Fi router, which your laptop and other devices can connect to like any other Wi-Fi router. Alternatively you can connect your phone directly to your computer using either a USB cable or a Bluetooth connection, turning your phone into a modem for a single computer.

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can follow instructions here. If you’re an Android user you’ll need to follow the instructions for your specific device. But they will be broadly similar to Google’s own instructions for its Pixel range of smartphones.

If you need to connect more than a handful of devices, consider Vodafone’s Gigacube router. This Wi-Fi router uses our 4G and 5G networks for its internet connection rather than a line to your local telephone exchange.

Data limits and controlling your spending

If you don’t have one of Vodafone’s latest Pay Monthly plans with Unlimited data, you’ll have to be mindful of your data limit when you’re using your smartphone as a personal hotspot. The same goes if you find yourself using your phone more than usual while at home.

You can track how much mobile data you’re using with the My Vodafone app, available for both iOS and Android. If you’re close to reaching your data limit, you will receive a text message alert.

You can use the Vodafone Spend Manager to set how much you’re willing to spend once you’ve exceeded your monthly data limit. Turn on and configure the Vodafone Spend Manager through the My Vodafone app or website.

If you’re tethering a Windows computer to your smartphone, you can use the Data Usage Overview feature in the latest versions of Windows 10 to monitor and limit how much mobile data you’re using. To set it up, follow Microsoft’s official instructions.

Top up without popping out

If you’re a Vodafone Pay As You Go (PAYG) customer, you can top up your balance without buying vouchers from a shop. You can top up online, over the phone or by text message. You can also set up a My Vodafone account online and arrange for your account to be topped up automatically.

If you’re concerned about running out of mobile data while using PAYG, you can opt for a Big Value Bundle which gives you a set package of data, as well as texts and voice minutes, valid for one month.

With Total Rollover, any leftover data, texts and minutes will roll over into the next 30-day period. Plus, until the end of March 2020, all Big Value Bundles come with three times more mobile data than usual.

You can keep track of your PAYG balance by using the My Vodafone app or website. To hear your balance, dial 2345 for free from your Vodafone phone. To see your balance onscreen without going online, dial *#1345# for free.

  • To find out more about all the ways Vodafone is helping keep the UK connected during the Coronavirus crisis, click here.