What is a wi-fi hotspot (and are they safe to use) easeus data recovery 94fbr

If ever you’ve gone to a coffee shop to get a low-fat, double shot, soy caramel macchiato and connected to their Wi-Fi on your laptop, then you’ve already used a hotspot. You’ll find public hotspots in all kinds of places—coffee shops, restaurants, hotels, airports, libraries, bookstores, and more. If you’re traveling (or even roaming around your own town), it’s not hard to find a hotspot—even in other countries.

Aside from the obvious locations, like major chain restaurants and coffee shops where’d you’d expect to find them, you can just search the web for something like “wireless hotspots in Chicago”—or whatever town you happen to be in. Of course, if you don’t have an internet connection at all, searching the web isn’t an option. In that case, you can prepare ahead of time by downloading an app like Wi-Fi Finder (free for iOS and Android).

It downloads and installs a database of free and paid Wi-Fi hotspots that you can search later, even when you don’t have a connection.

After you’ve found a hotspot near you, connecting to it is usually pretty easy. If you’ve got automatic network discovery enabled on your device, you should see available networks pop up automatically when you hit your Wi-Fi settings. If you don’t, you’ll have to browse for it. That’s where the app—or a good web search—comes in handy. It will usually let you know the name of the network, the password, and whether or not the network is free or time-limited.

Security is a genuine concern with Wi-Fi hotspots. They are, after all, publicly available networks. Keeping all your sensitive information private should be a priority to anyone using a public network. Even though you might be signing in with a password (and maybe through a web portal), that only helps the people providing the connection limit access. It doesn’t keep your internet activity private.

• Use a VPN: A virtual private network (VPN) lets you create a secure connection on top of a public connection. Think of it like a secure tunnel through the internet. There are a lot of VPN services out there and, if you’ve never used one, we recommend you brush up on what a VPN is, and why you might need one. That guide also has some solid recommendations for safe, reliable VPN services.

• Use HTTPS: Accessing a site that encrypts your information using HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) ensures your connection is secure. It does this by checking security certificates to ensure that the site you’re connecting to is the correct site, and by encrypting web traffic. You can tell a site supports HTTPS because you’ll see a lock symbol next to the URL in your address bar, and “https” at the start of the URL itself.

Aside from public Wi-Fi hotspots, you also can create your own. Your smartphone likely has a hotspot setting that allows you to share your mobile connection with other devices. Whether you have that setting depends on your phone and your mobile carrier, but it can be really useful on those occasions that you need to connect something like a laptop to the internet and don’t have other options.

Also, most carriers place limits on how much data you can use through the mobile hotspot feature. Even on plans where you have unlimited data, you might find your hotspot allowance limited to something something less. For example, Verizon limits hotspot usage to 15 GB per month (after which the speed drops dramatically). And yes, that seems like a lot of data, but it really depends on how you’re using the internet.