Can I Watch Netflix Using a Hotspot?


Q.  I don’t have an Internet service at my home, but I do have the ability to create a Hotspot from my iPhone or iPad. Could I stream Netflix on my Smart TV using the Hotspot? — Carl, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Carl, that’s a great question. As you know, you need an Internet connection in your home to stream Netflix on a Smart TV or some other device that offer streaming services, such as a Blu-ray player or Smart TV device.

See Update: Can I Stream Netflix With a Hotspot and Unlimited Data Plan?

Many mobile phones and tablets can run on 3G, 4G, LTE or other Internet plans — and, yes, you can create a Hotspot from your mobile device to create a wireless Internet network in your home. For instance, your wife and kids could access your Hotspot to surf the Net on their computer or other devices. (Consult the settings of your mobile to learn how to create a Hotspot.)

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The Hotspot usually requires more data and, consequently, a more expensive data plan. And therein lies the rub for your Netflix idea.

For starters, many Hotspots on mobile devices are not compatible with Smart TVs or even Smart TV devices. The set or set-top may detect the Hotspot connection, but you may not be able to actually connect to it to stream.

Second, if you can access the Hotspot on your Smart TV, you probably don’t want to. The Hotspot usually comes with a maximum data limit — say, 5.0 GB a month — and streaming requires a lot of data. If you used your Hotspot to watch Netflix, or any other streaming service, for any significant amount of time, you could exceed your data limit pretty quickly and be liable for the overage charges.

There are ways to limit data use while watching Netflix on a Hotspot, or any Internet service, for that matter. Netflix has a feature that enables you to watch video at a lesser quality, which reduces data consumption. This can be an option for your Hotspot, particularly on a relatively small mobile phone screen where so-so video quality becomes less noticeable than on a large-screen TV.

But even using the reduced video quality option, you may find that you will reach your data limit faster than you realize.

So, Carl, you can use a Hotspot to watch Netflix at home, but  I would advise that you only do so for a short period of time. If you really want to stream video in your home, I would suggest signing up with an Internet Service Provider.

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22 comments on “Can I Watch Netflix Using a Hotspot?”

  1. You missed the point here. They DO NOT have internet access available, period. Satellite TV is robbing us, especially when half of their channels are infomercial trying to sell us crap.

    1. Same here! Only internet available in my area is using my iphone/Verizon hot spot! How do you set up vizio smart tv to connect to hotspot With NO INTERNET OTHER THAN IPHONE?????.

  2. Here’s a twist on the idea. I watch Netflix on a Cloudbook laptop computer. Can a hotspot work with that?

  3. Forgot to mention that I see Netflix with unlimited T-Mobile Internet and Hotspot using my smart TV. As I said before I paid an extra $ 10.00 montly in order to have unlimited hotspot. I watch Netflix perfectly.

  4. I use my phone for a hotspot to watch Netflix. It works yes but buffers a lot. How can I remedy this? I also have unlimited data.

  5. This post seems to miss the question, yes you can use your 4G data plan to watch Netflix on your TV. You can either use the Digital AV Adapter, which must be genuine from Apple to play Netflix via HDMI cable to your phone. If you have a large personal hotspot data allowance, you can use Chromecast and set up the Chromecast by having the second device on the first device’s personal hotspot and turn Guest mode on in Chromecast.

  6. So if I have unlimited data with Tmobile, and Hotspot on my cellphone, can I stream from my galaxy S9 to chromecast on my TV?

  7. Thanks for everyone’s comments. I have unlimited data as well and an iPhone 7. To confirm instructions. I need the apple Digital AV Adapter which I use to connect my TV to my iPhone. I open/run Netflix on my phone.

  8. Need a easy way to watch movies on tv from phone there is away can’t figure it out thank you Ruby

  9. I use my hotspot on my cell for Hulu , Netflix, cbs, and prime tv and it works just fine. Buffers sometimes but not hardly a lot and no issues

  10. I don’t have internet access in my area period. I have an iphone 7 with the cheapest Verizon plan ($65.00 per month). My hotspot runs 24/7 and the insignia smart tvs runs Netflix, prime and Hulu for hours at a time without any problems at all. I don’t have any kind of adaptors. Just the phone hotspot and the tv.

  11. Does anyone know what plan I should get for a Vizio smart TV? I have unlimited with Sprint with hotspot but it’s not connecting.

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