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I have a hardware accessory that (annoyingly) instead of supporting Bluetooth, requires a WiFi hotspot in order to communicate with an iPhone.

Unfortunately I do not have tethering on my mobile data plan, and it seems foolish to pay for that feature when I don't need the internet aspect of it. When I tap "Set Up Personal Hotspot" the iPhone tries to send me to the webpage of my mobile provider. It does not allow creation of just a WiFi network without a data plan.

Is there a setting or app for iOS that will allow me to create an offline hotspot that nearby devices can connect to? Again, this is only for transferring data between devices - I do not need an internet connection.

One more detail: I need to be able to specify the network name and password in order for the accessory to connect to it. These settings are pre-defined in the hardware.

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  • Can you detail more about exactly what accessory that is? - It is most common that accessories like this create their own "hotspot" that the phone connects to. I.e. to the phone it is a normal WiFi network like any other - and the phone itself does not need to setup a personal hotspot. You should check out if this is actually the case with your accessory too.
    – jksoegaard
    Jun 3 at 9:00
  • @jksoegaard Thanks for the suggestion, but in this case it's the other way around (backwards?) Here is the manual - please see p.8. They are assuming everyone has a tethering plan... so I need an app that will create a WiFi network with that name and password.
    – Mentalist
    Jun 3 at 13:36
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Unfortunately it is not possible to create such an "offline hot spot" with the iPhone. If your provider does not allow you to setup a personal hot spot, you cannot really get this particular product working like intended.

I would say though that the way this particular product has been made to work is very unconventional. The user interaction with it hasn't really been thought through it seems. You are not the only one struggling getting that product working.

One work-around that some people seem to have found working is to install the Windows software for the product (for example in a virtual machine on a Mac, or an a PC). From there you should be able to change the WiFi network name (SSID) and password that it tries to connect to. Change them to your own WiFi network and from there on you should be able to connect with your iPhone as long as it is on the same WiFi network.

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