Instant Connection: How Does a Hotspot Device Work?
Do you love your mobile devices? If so, you’re certainly not alone!
In fact, mobile devices are more popular than ever and they are changing the way millions of people around the world stay connected. But staying connected also means needing WiFi. So what do you do when you don’t have access to WiFI in your area? Great question. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place for the answers you need.
This article takes a look at how hotspot devices work so that you’re never left in the dark. Keep reading to get the inside scoop into how to use a portable WiFi hotspot device as your link to the world.
Understand the Technology
Let’s start by taking a look at the technology required to make a hotspot possible.
The tech used to create a hotspot is both advanced yet relatively simple. In basic terms, a hotspot uses radio waves to grant users access to their mobile devices. This is accomplished without the use of cables. The hotspot is nothing more than an access point that provides internet access rather than requiring WiFi technology.
Keep in mind that WiFi is a networking protocol that enables access to a local network. Thus your hotspot is able to accomplish the same goal while giving you the freedom to be outside of a WiFi network.
Here’s a great resource for how to setup a hotspot on iPhone.
Receiving Network Access
Now you’ll need to know how to get network access for your hotspot when you’re out of range of the nearest WiFi network. This can be frustrating and challenging. After all, most network owners restrict access to their system.
This means you’ll have to find another way to connect to the web, thus you’ll need a hotspot.
The Difference Between WiFi and a Hotspot
All this tech talk can become a bit confusing, so let’s take a moment to discuss the difference between using a WiFi network to connect vs a hotspot.
So let’s start with the basics. “Hotspot” is a term used to describe an area that’s serviced by an internet access point. This access point is a piece of hardware that enables the use of WiFi technology to provide access to the internet within a very limited area.
In other words, WiFi is a specific type of tech that uses radio waves to provide a connection to a network, and a hotspot is a piece of hardware that takes advantage of the WiFi.
Keep in mind that most service providers now offer mobile hotspot devices as part of their wireless data plans. This includes smartphones and other devices such as iPads. Creating the connection between the device and the network is commonly known as “tethering”.
Believe it or not, many people actually purchase their smartphone or mobile device specifically for the ability to utilize it as a mobile hotspot. This is especially important when conducting business outside of a traditional WiFi network.
How Does a Hotspot Work?
So, how exactly does a mobile hotspot work? Great question. Here’s a closer look at how the fudge is made.
When you use a mobile device as a hotspot, the cellular signal is converted to WiFi. Your device then creates its own WiFi network that’s actually capable of servicing other devices with the antennas signal radius.
This technology thus enables the same type of functionality as any standard WiFi modem. In other words, the hotspot serves as a wireless access point without requiring the same type of hardware needed for a traditional WiFi network.
The ability to tether to multiple devices from any location where you have a connection to your 3G, 4G, or 5G signal is obviously a very empowering option for many people.
The key is to make sure that your cellular service provider offers plans that will allow you to create a mobile hotspot using your mobile devices.
What Range Does a Hotspot Offer?
Next, let’s look at the type of range you can expect when using your portable WiFi hotspot device.
It’s important to keep in mind that most WiFi routers operate within the 2.4 gigahertz radio frequency. This means that they have an extremely limited range. It should also be noted that the range of a WiFi router is limited by the transmission antenna on the device as well as the physical location where it’s placed.
The average router can reach a little over 100 feet, while a system using relay stations can extend the reach of the router by a few extra feet when your setup isn’t located near your router. This can obviously help but isn’t ideal for receiving a strong WiFi signal.
You could also consider investing in a signal booster, but the amount of extra signal range this provides is still rather limited.
This is where a hotspot can be extremely beneficial. After all, you might have a limited range from the hotspot device, but the hotspot device can actually move with you. Thus range becomes less of a critical issue.
Is a Hotspot Secure?
You’re probably wondering about security. After all, securing is a huge concern for anyone using mobile devices.
The simple truth is that security is a significant risk for anyone using a public WiFi network. The same is true for mobile hotspots.
Why? Well, it’s because connecting to any type of network in a public space places you somewhat at the mercy of unwanted individuals who are gaining access to the same network. In fact, the risk of getting hacked is always very real.
Because of this risk, most tech experts will recommend using a VPN with strong encryption to make your hotspot network as difficult to hack as possible.
How Much Data Does it Use?
You should be aware that a wireless hotspot chews up a lot of cellular data. For example, browsing the web will typically use between 30MB to 60MB of cellular data, streaming music will use 75MB to 150MB, and video streaming services like Netflix will use as much as 250MB.
The Complete Guide to How Hotspot Devices Work
It’s no secret that staying connected is more important than ever before. Fortunately, this guide to how hotspot devices work will give you a better understanding of the technology that’s become a part of your everyday life.
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