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What is a WIFI Hotspot?

Updated on October 8, 2012

Easy Access to the Internet

Wi-Fi Hotspot at the airport
Wi-Fi Hotspot at the airport | Source

Wi-Fi hotspots in Many Locations Around the world

A Wi-Fi hotspot is found in any location that offers access to the internet. These locations have to be situated within the range of a wireless local area network that uses a router to gain access to an internet service provider. Hotspots are usually found in places, such as public parks, libraries, airports, hotels, internet cafes, universities and schools around the world. Some hotspots may offers access to the internet for free, while others may charge a fee.

Wi-Fi Hotspot for Mobile Devices

IPhone | Source

Connect your Devices to the Internet through a Wi-Fi Hotspot

  • IPhone
  • IPod
  • Laptop
  • Digital Personal Assistant (PDA)
  • Video game console

Share your Mobile Devices

Nowadays, almost anyone that uses a laptop, IPod touch, IPhone, or any other portable device can access a wireless connection, usually through Wi-Fi, such as those offered at Wi-Fi hotspots. Wi-Fi is the trademark under which most computer products in the market are sold and that are in conformity with the Institute of Electrical and electronics Engineers (IEEE 802.11). During the last years, most laptops, handheld devices, playing consoles and other devices include the Wi-Fi feature.

Wi-Fi enabled devices can access the internet through a Wi-Fi hotspot, so the chances of you accessing the internet through a Wi-Fi hotspot are guaranteed.

You may even turn your laptop into a Wi-Fi hotspot, so that you can share your wireless connection with anyone within your range or connect other portable devices, such as your IPhone, playing console and other handheld devices. Once you´ve turned your laptop into a Wi-Fi hotspot, you can share your connection with your friends.

You can turn your mobile phone data connection into a portable Wi-Fi hotspot. The settings for doing that are described here. You can share the connection with up to ten devices at once. This may result convenient when other Wi-Fi hotspots are too busy, so creating your own Wi-Fi hotspot may be the solution.

Locations Where you can Find Wi-Fi Hotspots

  • Public parks
  • Libraries
  • Airports
  • Hotels
  • Internet cafes
  • Universities
  • Schools
  • Restaurants
  • Pay phones

WI-Fi Hotspot at a Playground

WI-Fi hotspot at a Playground
WI-Fi hotspot at a Playground | Source

How can I Connect to the Internet Through a Wi-Fi hotspot?

There are two ways in which you can gain access to the internet through a Wi-Fi hotspot. One is through a protected wireless network and another through an unprotected wireless network. In a protected Wi-Fi- hotspot, you´re required to know the access key, which you will usually obtain through a management system. You may be offered a payment option using a credit card or PayPal. Once you get the access key, you introduce it into their wireless connection and you´re ready to surf.

In an unprotected Wi-Fi hotspot, you´re not required to know the access key. All you need is to double click on the wireless icon in task bar, usually in the bottom at the right hand side of your computer; a new window appears with a list of available wireless connections within your range. Click on the more intense connectivity, which is shown with a more green color, as it is usually the one with the higher speed.

Connectify is an application that allows you to turn your windows 7 in your computer into a secure Wi-Fi hotspot. Connectify functions with windows 7 and above. The program will guide you through the whole process, and once you´re set, then you can plug other devices, or share your connectivity with your friends.

Wireless Card

Wireless Card
Wireless Card | Source

How do I use Wi-Fi?

Before you gain access to a Wi-Fi hotspot, you need to make sure that your device is Wi-Fi complaint, which it will probably be, as most modern devices include a wireless card into their system. After this, you should look for a public Wi-Fi hotspot or an unprotected wireless network, which you usually will find in public libraries, parks or in a school.

Once you´re in the range of the Wi-Fi hotspot, you´ll be automatically able to connect, as most modern devices will usually alert you of the available wireless connections within your range. If your device does not include the Wi-Fi feature, you may purchase a wireless card or a USB exterior antenna, which may be plugged into your computer.

How to convert your Laptop Into a Wireless Hotspot

Network and Sharing Center
Network and Sharing Center | Source

How do I turn my laptop into a Wi-Fi hotspot?

Creating a personal hotspot may result convenient, especially when travelling with the family. Although, you may find a Wi-Fi hotspot in most hotels and airports for free, you may certainly be already paying for it, as the price is already added to the whole service.

You can turn your laptop into a Wi-Fi hotspot easily. All you have to do is to open the network and sharing center, which you will find by clicking on the wireless icon on the right hand side of your laptop. Once there, click on set up a new connection, and on the next window click on set up an ad hoc wireless network. In this step, you´ll need to give a name for your network, then choose a security encryption type either WEP, WPA2 or, and finally a security key password. After you´re finished with all these steps, click on save, and you´re ready to connect your IPhone, IPod touch or any other device into your connection.

Useful Links offers a list of Wi-Fi hotspots in the United States and around the world. is another site that has a list of 788,723 Wi-Fi free and not free locations in more than 140 countries.

How Do People Prefer to Connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot?

Do you usually connect to the internet through a protected or an unprotected Wi-Fi hotspot?

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