WiFi Hotspot: What is it, how does it work and what is it for?

All those users who are familiar with wireless communications, have probably heard at least once about the “Hotspots” or their Spanish name “punto caliente”. The interesting thing about them is that they offer Internet access through a router and a wireless network.

Generally, they can be found in public spaces where there is high human traffic such as restaurants, libraries, hotels, among others. Thanks to them, customers can stay connected to the Internet for a price determined by the service provider.

Although they are very common today, little is known about their operation or benefits. Therefore, we will talk to you about what the WiFi Hotspot is, what it is for, how it works and many other details.

What is a Hotspot device and what are they for?

As we mentioned before, a hotspot is a device capable of providing people with an Internet connection. They are designed to cover the high demand for Internet connection that occurs in public and crowded places.

In this way, all those places that have access to broadband Internet that wish to help their clients by providing them with wireless access to surf, can opt for a hotspot. In short, they serve to offer WiFi connection to people in spaces where there is high user traffic.

Did you know that you can use your phone as a hotspot?

The mobile is a type of portable hotspot, because it is a device that moves to different spaces. The configuration of this function is basically the same in all smartphones. You just have to enter in Settings/Wireless connections. Once inside, you have to activate the “portable zone” or “portable WiFi zone” option. You can also find it under the name “Internet Sharing” or “WiFi Sharing”.

When you are logged in, you can change the default name and password. This way, all those users who want to connect to your network can identify which one it is.

Finally, you should know that the possibility of sharing the connection can also be via USB, WiFi access point or even Bluetooth.

How does a Hotspot device work to have Internet everywhere?

The most common operation of this equipment is through the use of a wireless network and a router, connected to an Internet service provider. However, two types of hotspots are available on the market, free WiFi and portable WiFi:

  • Free: those of free use are usually linked to a service, that is to say, you have to be lodged in a hotel, be a client in a place, among others to be able to have Internet connection availability. To enjoy this type of service, the customer must generally consume or use a specific service offered by the premises where he is.
  • Portable: Another very common way is by transmitting data from a device that has the Internet, and then share it with others who request it. The clearest example of this type is when data is shared from your mobile to a tablet, laptop and others.

Consequently, hotspots are in areas where there is a high demand for traffic and their coverage is conditioned by the use of one or more access points. Thus, the user can stay connected to the Internet in public places such as schools, cafes, etc.

What are the main advantages of using a Hotspot device?

If you are still not 100% convinced of the great advantages that can come with the use of this device, we mention them below:

  • It offers the possibility of limiting the time a user connects to the Internet, the speed he or she will use, among other settings.
  • Access limited by PINs.
  • Faster and safer connectivity.
  • It allows you to filter the contents, so that users do not have access to websites that could damage your company’s WiFi network.
  • Possibility of separating networks in order to obtain greater online privacy. This means that you can set up one network for customers and a different one for company members.
  • It provides maximum security, because it is possible to choose the best WiFi encryption method for your company (WPA, WPA2, WEP…)

How fast is the Internet from Hotspot devices?

The speed of the Hotspot devices is conditioned by the Internet plan you have. So, if you want to evaluate how fast you have from your Hotspot devices, the best thing to do is to use a speed test.

Thanks to it, you can know exactly how much bandwidth you are using. In case you still don’t have the speed you want, you can always choose to increase your data plan. Just contact your service provider.

What are the main alternatives to “Hot Spots” for having portable Internet?

There are also other alternatives that can work very well for you to have portable Internet. They are less known than the hotspot, but they do their job properly. We explain you what each one consists of:


Tethering can be understood as the action of sharing an Internet connectivity between devices. Usually the connection is made from a computer or device, through another one with network capacity. It is possible to do this with a wireless LAN, by means of a physical connection by cable or with Bluetooth.


It is also known as Mobile Broadband or BAM. With this technology, it is possible to have mobile Internet service with broadband anywhere, as long as coverage reaches the device. It has different speeds, which depend on the operator that offers the service.

Wifi Away

It is a device specially designed to have Internet anywhere you need it. It is a 4G WiFi that gives access to the network in almost all areas of the Spanish territory. The package comes with the WiFi router, a SIM card to connect to the network and a charger. It must be contracted for certain periods of time.


It is an application that allows Nokia phones to be used as a HotSpot or WiFi router to share the Internet to other devices. It is designed only for Nokia branded smartphones and has security settings tailored to customer needs.


It is a device similar to the WiFi Away, because it also acts as a wireless router capable of functioning as a hotspot. This equipment has the possibility to connect to a mobile network and offer Internet connection to a maximum of 10 devices simultaneously.

This post is also available in: Português (Portuguese (Brazil))

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