Hotspot: what is it and what types are there

hotspot

The term Hotspot is something that has been around for many years with us, it is something that we see in many public places where it is possible to connect to the Internet. Although for many people it is not entirely clear what this term is or what it is for. Therefore, below we are going to tell you everything about the Hotspot, what it is and the types that are available.

In this way you will be able to understand what a Hotspot is, in addition to seeing that there are different types available today. This is another element of importance to take into account, because there are differences between these various types. In this way you will have all the information you need about this term, its operation and usefulness.

What is a hotspot

WiFi authentication error (2)

The hotspot is a point of access to the Internet through a wireless network. We are going to be able to connect to this point from any of our devices, such as the phone, the tablet or the computer. This is a technology that we find in many public places, as we have mentioned, such as universities, cafeterias, stations and hotels, among others. In this way, in all these places we will have access to the Internet if necessary.

To these types of access points many devices can be connected at the same time, at least this is the idea. Although the range and power of one of these hotspots may vary depending on where they are located. Although at all times these access points function as a home network, so that users who connect can use it as if it were their home or work connection. This way they will have access to the Internet on their devices.

The operation of these access points it is the same as the router in our homes. A common question when talking about what a hotspot is is knowing more about how it works, but there is nothing strange or new in this case. A wireless connection is offered, like the one we have at home. In this case, a large number of devices can be supported, although this will depend on the place, since a university or library will not have the same capacity as a store.

Hotspot Types

Android WiFi

Now that we know what is the hotspot you have to know what types there are of it. Since there are several different types. Although the operation is identical in all cases, creating and having that Internet access point, the origin of the access point is somewhat variable. That is why we have several types available today. Surely all these types are familiar to you.

Public Wi-Fi hotspots

A public WiFi hotspot already makes its operation clear to us with its name. Normally, these are free, although there may be cases in which money must be paid to use it. This is the type of Internet connection that is offered to customers in bars, restaurants and cafes, as well as in public libraries and other public places, such as stations or airports.

In cities, it is common for municipalities or Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to offer a free connection in some areas. Normally, we do not have to pay money to use this connection, but it may be the case that in some places you have to pay, especially for using it for a longer time. For example, in many airports you can use WiFi for one hour for free, but if you want to spend more time you have to pay money.

Mobile WiFi Hotspots

The second type of hotspot is something that we can do with any mobile phone, both those with Android as an operating system such as an iPhone. We can turn our phone into un Hotspot portable that you can carry in your pocket anywhere. When you activate this feature, you can connect any device that supports wireless networks to your phone and offer them Internet access service. In other words, your mobile data becomes that WiFi that others use to be able to navigate.

This is something that can be used in cases where WiFi is not working at home, for example, but we have to work. We can use the phone as that hotspot, so that the computer connects to this network and thus has access to the Internet. Of course, you have to be careful with this option, because a lot of mobile data can be consumed, so it is better to use it if you have an unlimited rate or use it at specific times when it is really necessary.

Prepaid Wi-Fi Hotspots

This third type of hotspot are actually similar to those hotspots mobile, but limit the amount of data that you can consume with that connection. To be able to use this type of connection, you have to pay a certain amount of data in advance and, when you consume it, the payment for more data is automatically renewed. So it's something that's going to cost us money. It is something that we can find in many countries, common in places such as ships, airports or stations, even in some hotels, for example.

Is it safe to use a hotspot?

Share WiFi with other mobiles

One of the main doubts of many users is whether it is safe to use a WiFi Hotspot. Especially in the case of the public type, doubts may arise about the security or privacy provided by a network of this type. Especially since most of the access points that we find are of the public type, so that anyone is going to connect to this network when they are in the same area. Something that worries many.

A public WiFi hotspot is something that should not be dangerous as such, but may be vulnerable to attack or data exfiltration. For this reason, a common recommendation is that we do not do anything that has to do with sensitive data. That is, do not make purchases online or access the online bank or a site where personal data is held through this connection. We must prevent others from having access to our personal information. Also, there are some recommendations when using a public hotspot:

  • Use a VPN service. This will allow you to hide or mask the IP address of your device.
  • If you are using a Windows laptop, mark the connection as public the first time you establish a link with the hotspot. Windows offers us a few security safeguards in the network configuration when the network is public.
  • Access web services that encrypt your data. They all start with the letters “HTTPS” in the header of the web page address. This means that when we enter those addresses, our data will be encrypted.

Ideally, we connect to this network if we do something that does not involve the use of personal or sensitive data. That is, we simply want to read the news, play online or browse without searching or doing anything important. Although tips like the above, especially the use of a VPN, are something that will help us make it much safer at all times. So we can navigate or use that connection without too many worries.

How to use the mobile as a hotspot

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One of the types of hotspot that we have mentioned is the mobile hotspot. This assumes that our own phone is going to be this Internet access point, to which other devices are then going to connect. This is something we can do whenever we want, if we want to give another person or another of our devices access to the network. This is something that we can do with our Android phones in a simple way. The steps that must be followed to make this possible are:

  1. Open your Android phone settings.
  2. Go to the connections section.
  3. Look for the option called Internet Sharing or Hotspot (the name depends on the brand of your phone).
  4. Activate the Internet Sharing option.
  5. Enter this section to see the name of the network and its password.
  6. On your other device, connect to this network.
  7. Enter the network access key.
  8. The connection has been established.

Your mobile thus becomes a hotspot, that will provide that other device with an Internet connection. Of course, you have to have your mobile data active at all times, because this is what is going to be used to carry out this connection or access to the Internet. If you have an unlimited data rate, the other device will be able to browse or use the Internet without any concern. But those who do not have an unlimited connection should be careful, because it is something that can consume a lot of data without us realizing it. We will be able to connect more than one device at the same time, all of them will have to have the access key to this network, which appears on our mobile.


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