Can Hotspot be bolstered by nearby WiFi?
March 27, 2021 3:14 PM   Subscribe

My hotspot (android) -- The people on the other side of the wall got wifi and I'm wondering if my hotspot is now faster. And if my usual throttling after 30g will be less. Just feels like a possibility. They have 2.4 and 5G over there.
posted by noelpratt2nd to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Best answer: Wifi does not interact with other wifi or cellular service in the way you're thinking, unfortunately. If the folks running the new wifi access point allowed you to (by sharing their password), you could connect to their wifi network instead of your hotspot (which I'm guessing is cellular/LTE-to-wifi), you could use it instead, but just the presence of other wifi doesn't do anything for you.
posted by Alterscape at 3:51 PM on March 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

Were they using your wifi before this?
posted by rhizome at 3:52 PM on March 27, 2021

Response by poster: Were they using your wifi before this?

No, they weren't.
posted by noelpratt2nd at 3:58 PM on March 27, 2021

No, if anything wifi on the same channel interferes and your connection to your wifi base station is slower.

Your throttling after 30g is purely metered by your provider, unless your neighbors wifi is open and you are using theirs, or they have given you their password, you will be using your wifi same as usual.
posted by TheAdamist at 4:25 PM on March 27, 2021 [2 favorites]

Best answer: So this is a hope you have rather than something you've observed, correct? The above answers are correct; if anything your hotspot connection will be unchanged at best or slightly worse depending on whether the WiFi signal from your hotspot is on the same channel as their WiFi. Data caps and throttling will absolutely not be affected as those are something your cellular data provider enforces, not anything inherent to the wireless standards involved.

Also, in case this was a source of confusion: 5G Wi-Fi refers to the frequency range it uses (i.e. 5 GHz) while the 5G cellular standard refers to 5th Generation; they're entirely unrelated.
posted by Aleyn at 4:51 PM on March 27, 2021 [4 favorites]

Best answer: If they were also previously using a Hotspot with the same carrier, there may be a slight improvement in speed if there was a lot of traffic connected to the tower. Anecdotally, when my son is using his Hotspot in my home and I am too, I have noticed brief instances of slowing. When either of us uses the wifi, there is no measurable by me difference in the speed of the our Hotspot. As pointed out above, your neighbors wifi and your cell data are not related unless the Hotspot and the wifi are using the same channel. Even then, probably little effect.
posted by AugustWest at 11:52 PM on March 27, 2021

The two are completely unrelated.
posted by kschang at 7:32 AM on March 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

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