A hotspot is a physical location where people may obtain Internet access, typically using Wi-Fi technology, via a wireless local-area network (WLAN) using a router connected to an Internet service provider.
Public hotspots may be created by a business for use by customers, such as coffee shops or hotels. Public hotspots are typically created from wireless access points configured to provide Internet access, controlled to some degree by the venue. In its simplest form, venues that have broadband Internet access can create public wireless access by configuring an access point (AP), in conjunction with a router to connect the AP to the Internet. A single wireless router combining these functions may suffice.
A private hotspot, often called tethering, may be configured on a smartphone or tablet that has a network data plan, to allow Internet access to other devices via Bluetooth pairing, or through the RNDIS protocol over USB, or even when both the hotspot device and the device[s] accessing it are connected to the same Wi-Fi network but one which does not provide Internet access. Similarly, a Bluetooth or USB OTG can be used by a mobile device to provide Internet access via Wi-Fi instead of a mobile network, to a device that itself has neither Wi-Fi nor mobile network capability.
What is a phone Wi-Fi hotspot?
At its essence, a hotspot is a blend of software, hardware and network data services that combine to transform a phone into the equivalent of a broadband modem and router. In other words, it can distribute a web connection to nearby systems via Wi-Fi. This not only lets me get my laptop and tablet online, but I can share it with co-workers, as long as they’re in range and they know the password.
Some phones also allow tethering via Bluetooth and USB cables, but these techniques are less popular.
What kind of devices can connect to a phone hotspot?
A phone hotspot can work with any Wi-Fi-based device, including laptops, tablets, other phones, and even game consoles. (We don’t judge what you do in your off-hours.) Think of it as just another Wi-Fi source, only it comes from your phone.
How does using a hotspot affect battery life?
Speaking of battery life, turning on the hotspot abilities of your phone is like firing up a micro router, which seriously cuts back on its battery life. For example, while my Note 8 has a battery life expectancy of 10 hours, it lasted for just 7 hours, 20 minutes of continuous hotspot use with two devices connected. It’s best used for brief spells unless you can power your phone with an external battery or an AC outlet.