The geographic boundary covered by a Wi-Fi (802.11) wireless access point. Typically set up for Internet access, anyone entering the hotspot with a Wi-Fi-based laptop, smartphone or tablet can connect to the Internet, providing the access point is configured to advertise its presence (beaconing) and authorization is not necessary. If authorization is required, the user must know the password. In addition to Internet access, all shared folders on everyone's computer currently in the hotspot are also accessible.
Create Your Own Hotspot
Wi-Fi hotspots can also be created by users from their smartphones, tablets or third-party device that plugs into the vehicle's maintenance port. See cellular hotspot
The Wi-Fi Network May Be Hidden
An access point is invisible if it is not advertising its presence (not beaconing
). To gain access, a user must know the network name (see SSID
) and most likely the password as well.
According to JiWire, Inc., at the beginning of 2010, there were more than a quarter million public hotspots around the world. However, every home or business Wi-Fi network is a hotspot, and if the wireless router is left in its default state, which advertises its presence and does not require a password, it too is inadvertently a public hotspot.
Following are some of the websites that report the whereabouts of public hotspots. Contrast with notspot
. See Wi-Fi
, Wi-Fi Passpoint
, cellular hotspot
, hotspot finder
, access point
, war driving
and Muni Wi-Fi
Hotspots Are Everywhere
Even local supermarkets offer Wi-Fi to encourage customers to linger in their cafes.