If I set up the mobile hotspot on my phone, and connect to it with a tablet and wireless camera, but they do not access the internet (all data is flowing back and forth between the camera and tablet via the phone, but no internet access or data), does that usage count against my data plan?
We definitely want to make sure that you are properly informed about your data usage while enabling your smartphone's mobile hotspot. It's extremely important to mention that as long as any device is connected to your mobile hotspot data can be used. This is because there are apps and updates running on the background of any device that connects to the internet.
We would strongly recommend disabling this feature when not in use.
You can find out more about the mobile hotspot feature through the following link: http://spr.ly/6607H3j5R
I would think if you are transferring data between devices using Hotspot, that would count towards your "data usage"... to be sure, if you are already hooked up to this; Go to your phone settings/ Connections/Data Usage / Mobile Data Usage and then you will see data used for Mobile Hotspot & Tethering... that will tell you how much data you are using... although the amount could be slightly different than Verizon's usage count, it should be close enough.
Wifi Hotspot is not a network router. If you connect two laptops to the hotspot they can not talk to each other. You can not access a wifi camera connected to the hotspot, from one of the laptops. You cannot access the phones camera from a laptop. The only thing that can be done via hotspot is share the mobile data (internet).
Unless you have a third party app that works like a wireless router. But i'm not aware of an app that would do that. Maybe the tablet can be a DHCP server.
The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is a network management protocol used on Internet Protocol (IP) networks, whereby a DHCP server dynamically assigns an IP address and other network configuration parameters to each device on the network, so they can communicate with other IP networks.