Both iPad and iPhone's Personal Hotspot mode allows 3 ways to connect:

  • WiFi
  • USB cable
  • Bluetooth

I want to use Personal Hotspot on my MacBook Pro, this means that I can use either of the three. Therefore I was wondering:

Which connection type uses the least battery of the device providing the Personal Hotspot service?


2 Answers 2


USB tethering will use the least battery because the phone will charge while it acts as a hotspot. Bluetooth should be next (especially if both devices go into Bluetooth 4.0's low power mode), with WiFi last.

  • 1
    isn't there a point that your laptop battery will drain faster due to charging the phone? So if you wanted to balance power usage "perhaps" wifi would be better, purely due to not being involved in charging the phone? Jun 3, 2023 at 9:59

USB uses the least power by far, only one radio working, plus the phone may run cooler, some people have had heat issues with extensive WiFi/Bluetooth use.

I did an more complete comparison of all three types here: WiFi or Bluetooth (or USB) for iPad Tethering

"Bottom Line: USB is the best if range isn't an issue, If distance is needed use Wifi with WPA2"

Sources for heat issues:



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