A portable hotspot is known as a wireless access point created by a hardware device to share the host phone’s cellular data. This function can also be achieved by a dedicated smartphone feature. These mobile hotspots are portable and the hardware devices creating them are generically given the name Mi-Fis (similar to Wi-Fi) or pocket routers.
These are able to access cell signals, subsequently converting 3G signals into Wi-Fi. This creates a mobile Wi-Fi network which is able to be shared by many users within around 10 meters of the pocket router. The vast majority of wireless devices now consist of mobile hotspot devices and wireless data plans needed for enabling them.
As an alternative, a smartphone can be used to connect with relevant devices. These smartphones allow for the forming of a portable hotspot through accessing the phone’s cellular data connection, also known as tethering. People can usually struggle with this, so here is a small guide on how to use your personal smartphone as a mobile hotspot.
Firstly, the wireless mobile hotspot feature on the phone settings must be activated. Secondly, open the app tray tab and activate “Mobile Hotspot”. Next, you must click the Mobile Hotspot checkbox, but it would be advisable to connect your phone to a charger given that this can use up a lot of battery. In the notifications panel, an icon will show up to alert you of the availability of the new hotspot. Finally, the devices can now connect and join with this hotspot through Wi-Fi.
Naturally, there will be questions on the security of using and connecting with a portable hotspot. Ironically, the use of a phone hotspot can, in fact, enhance the security profile of your phone. This is because it enables you to avoid using insecure and unreliable public hotspots in places such as restaurants.
Also, using a mobile hotspot has the same level of security as making a call or using the internet on your phone, thanks to LTE traffic data being encrypted through the Snow Stream cipher. The phone’s hotspot utilizes WPA2 encryption that cannot be breached without a secure passcode. Moreover, to further increase security, a VPN with an AES 256-bit encryption can be bought.
A portable hotspot isn’t just limited to that particular device (i.e. laptops can only connect to laptops), it is able to work with all Wi-Fi-based devices, laptops, phones and even PlayStations. Most devices are able to connect around 10 users at a time unless it’s phones like iPhone 4 (3 connections) or Verizon (5 connections). The hotspot can be used anywhere there is a strong enough signal for the host device to get on to the internet, hence offices, transport vehicles, restaurants, and hotels are all very suitable places to use the mobile hotspot.
All in all, a portable hotspot is an extremely effective and convenient tool to get work done if you are away and just need to connect your laptop to the hotspot, or even if you are bored in a café and want to surf the internet for fun. However, it is most handy in connecting groups of people under one Wi-Fi connection.