Originally Posted by Tuyrante
I might be blind, or I didn't word my searches right, but I couldn't really find any information on what a ROM is, or what I should use for hotspot to work on an AT&T unlocked phone. If they're all the same when it comes to that specific question (i know they're all different), then that would solve the mind boggling question I have.
edit: sorry, i didn't think this would lead me to a simple question to waste space
A ROM is simply the operating system (OS) for the phone. When talking about "flashing a ROM" here on XDA to enable certain features, we are typically talking about a "custom" ROM, or one that is modified by the XDA user community. So when you "flash" (install) a custom ROM, you are replacing the stock OS with a custom OS. Also, in your case flashing a stock rooted ROM on any base except
AT&T will also enable the WiFi hotspot.
There is also a hack (root required) for enabling WiFi hotspot, but not sure if this works on latest OS version. Personally, I despise the stock AT&T OS, from the gimped functions (not just hotspot, but flashlight, FM radio, and more), network icons, and the ridiculous amount of bloatware. So IMO the solution of installing a custom ROM (or non-AT&T stock rooted) is by far preferred.
Either way, you need to install custom recovery to either root or install custom ROMs. It sounds like you have some basic, fundamental learning to do before doing any of these things to your device. Neglect to do so, can result in permanent damage to your phone. I would second timmaaa's advice and read up the resource threads:
timmaaa's "Noob Friendly Q&A" (sticky to the top of the Q&A forum section for this device)
FAQ (also sticky in Q&A)
My Index thread (sticky to top of General section)