What is a Wi-Fi Hotspot?

 

With the advancement of technology, the Internet has become an integral part of everyday life. From fulfilling work commitments to socializing with people around the globe, connectivity plays an important role in day-to-day activities. Wi-Fi is the wireless form of this connectivity and is used by various devices ranging from palm-sized smartphones to 17-inch laptop computers.

A Wi-Fi hotspot is a wireless access point that gives Virtual Private Network (VPN) and Internet access. Such wireless networks are generally available in public places like malls, airports, hotels, and cafes; these are generally available for free; however, some places may require you to pay for using the Wi-Fi. Free networks are not advisable as these can pose security threats. Paid ones are protected with a password that is given to you for a fee. You could create your own mobile hotspot through a smartphone that connects to a cellular network. You may also opt for portable Wi-Fi devices and connect to the Internet even when you’re on the go.

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The Workings of a Wi-Fi hotspot

Wi-Fi hotspot is a wireless access point that uses radio transmissions to communicate with Wi-Fi enabled devices.  The Wi-Fi access point is connected to a router or a server that decides who can access the wireless network. Data in the form of signals are sent and received. These signals are standardized with 80211 standards.

Wi-Fi antennas are either embedded inside the device or affixed externally. Their function is to pick up the incoming signals or extend the range of outgoing ones. Huge spaces require the use of a large number of access points for smooth functioning.

Steps to use a Wi-Fi hotspot

Using a wireless network is simple. You will get a notification on your smartphone or laptop when it is in the range of a wireless network or networks. However, if you do not get any such notification, you could get your device to locate available wireless networks via the network settings. Thereafter, you need to accept or initiate the connection to the wireless network that can be identified by the network name, which is referred to as Service Set Identifier (SSID).

Once the wireless network is in range, you may also notice that some network cards automatically connect to it. This is not recommended due to security concerns. If the wireless network is hidden or encrypted, you will need to obtain the password or SSID information from the service provider. You will be able to establish a connection only after entering the security key. Remember, most wireless network service providers will require you to accept their terms and conditions before permitting you to use their Wi-Fi connection. It is advisable that you read and understand these terms.

These days, portable Wi-Fi devices are a preferred choice among several users. These devices operate like a Wi-Fi router; however, they offer a secure Wi-Fi connection even while traveling. These compact devices tap into a carrier’s 3G or 4G network and share the connection with linked devices. These devices are encrypted with a password and can connect up to 10 devices, thereby providing optimum safety and convenience to the users.

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Author: Sunder Singh

Sunder is a techie guy who loves to write about anything that is directly or remotely connected with technology. From hardcore tech stories to the overall influence of technology in life, Sunder is passionate about all things internet. When he is not surfing the internet, he is busy grooving on his favorite beats.

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