You have likely heard of “hotspots” before, but do you know what they are or how they work? If not, you aren’t alone.
A hotspot, which is commonly called a Wi-Fi hotspot, public hotspot, or mobile hotspot, is a location that offers a Wi-Fi network beyond your office or home. When the location opts to turn on the hotspot, you can connect to the internet.
Where Will You Encounter Hotspots?
You can usually find hotspots offered by businesses like malls, airports, hotels, and restaurants. You may also find them in government buildings and libraries.
It’s important to note that you can create your own personal hotspot with a hotspot device sold by most cellphone service providers.
Most hotspots are free to use. However, some businesses or locations may charge you to use them. For example, restaurants usually only provide access to paying customers.
How to Use a Hotspot
You will likely have the option to connect your phone or device to the internet via a hotspot during the day. This is true whether you are at home, at the office, or running errands.
Using available hotspots allows you to always remain connected.
Connecting to a hotspot is simple. For example, on your phone, you can search for wireless networks through the Settings options. While the process may vary slightly based on your device, basic steps to connect include:
- Click your wireless icon
- Find and choose a wireless network
- Click “connect”
- Enter the password or security key (if prompted)
At this point, you should be connected and able to go online.
Depending on your location and the hotspot types available, you may be on an open and unsecured network or a commercial/paid network.
Setting Up a Personal Hotspot with Your iPhone
You have another option. If you don’t have access to any public Wi-Fi hotspots but need to connect your device, you can create an iPhone hotspot.
Just remember, a strong cell signal is required to do this. You can also learn more about the process at https://setapp.com/how-to/share-wifi-from-mac.
The steps to create and use a personal hotspot from your device include:
- Open settings
- Click “Cellular”
- Choose “Personal Hotspot”
- Turn on the hotspot by choosing “Allow Others to Join”
- Set up a password by choosing “Wi-Fi password”
- Open Wi-Fi settings and choose hotspot
When you are done using the hotspot, you should disconnect from the network. You can also turn off the “Allow Others to Join” setting.
Setting Up a Personal Hotspot with Your Android
It’s possible to share internet access using your Android device, too. Remember, not all cell carriers offer this, so find out if you have this feature first.
To share internet connectivity using your Android, use the following steps:
- Open Settings
- Choose “Connections”
- Click “Mobile Hotspots and Tethering”
- Tap “Mobile Hotspot”
Once you reach the mobile hotspot page, you can set the name and password for the network by swiping the button to the right.
To end the hotspot, you can turn it off in the settings menu.
What Impacts the Strength of Your Mobile Hotspot?
Mobile hotspots typically work well. However, they probably won’t give you as much speed or data as the internet plan you have at home.
While this is true, hotspots give you a reliable connection in situations and places where it may be difficult to get internet access.
They can be especially helpful if you often travel, work remotely, or are staying in a vacation home.
Hotspot Security Considerations
There is a risk of connecting to the internet via Wi-Fi hotspots.
When searching for a public hotspot, make sure you only connect to reputable and secure providers. For example, connecting to the network provided by a government office, hotel, or coffee shop is typically safe.
Be careful when connecting to hotspots with misspellings. Hackers may use these names to lure in busy people who aren’t paying attention.
Hackers can also distribute malware through these “fake” connections. It can also be transferred through an unsecured Wi-Fi connection. This is especially the case if you plan to use a file-sharing program via the same network.
The 5G Hotspot
A 5G hotspot provides you with a 5G wireless network. You will only find a few companies offering this higher level of connectivity right now.
However, compared to a 4G hotspot, they offer much more connectivity power.
These are faster and can hit speeds of more than 1,000 Mbps in some areas. They can also support connectivity for more devices.
5G connectivity offers Wi-Fi 6 capabilities, which is the most recent Wi-Fi standard. It allows consistent speeds for several users on the same connection.
While you can still connect using a 4G hotspot, if you have access to 5G, it will provide you with more connectivity power and the ability to use more devices.
Understanding the Modern Hotspot
As you can see from the information here, the modern hotspot is beneficial in many ways. If you are on the go and need to connect to the internet, a hotspot will make this possible.
Make sure you only use reputable and reliable public hotspots to avoid being hacked or experiencing malware on your device. Besides this risk, most hotspots are relatively safe.
Are you looking for more helpful information about hotspots and internet connectivity? If so, make sure you check out some of the other blogs on our page. We offer information on an array of trending topics.