In this new modern age, where technology surrounds us, you can get overwhelmed by all the advanced gadgets on the market. Like most other seem-to-be-identical gizmos, Hotspot and Wifi usually get the wrong idea of being the same tool to gain access to the Internet.
Confusing these two technologies may seem, you can find some considerable differences when taking a better look at them. So what is the difference between Wifi and Hotspot? Before getting down into it, let’s get started with some common misunderstanding about them!
Some Misunderstanding in the Usage Of A Wifi vs Hotspot
Like we have mentioned above, most Internet users tend to perceive Wifi and Hotspot as one. But there are noticeable distinctions between these two gadgets in terms of their features.
Before rushing into the details, let’s clear your mind with some necessary info first.
Wifi is an Internet technology that uses radio frequencies to transmit data between providers and receivers (usually devices). For that reason, it is wireless and doesn’t require any additional devices.
It receives and gives out signals based on the 802.11 network protocols. As for its convenience, most people choose to install this in their own home or office.
The service supplier sends signals to the modem device in your house, which will continue to transfer the signals to other electronics. Moreover, the price for wifi installation is not pricey, so most households are equipped with one.
In terms of Hotspot, it implies a place with advanced infrastructure for Internet signal delivery. The service providers also have to send signals to a modem or a router set up in the spot, and then they will operate as a LAN to provide the Internet to different mobile devices.
However, not similar to Wifi, people need to have a key to gain connection from the Hotspot to their mobile phone. From that, they can access many websites. As for this specific feature, a hotspot was generally used in public places such as restaurants, museums, supermarkets, etc.
What is Difference Between Wifi and Hotspot – Better Knowledge, Better Choice!
Both Wifi and Hotspot are two of the most common means of delivering Internet connectivity to people.
However, the technologies applied for each one varies in terms of speed, range, and access.
When it comes to the Wifi, these figures usually fluctuate. On the other hand, when they mention a hotspot, you should understand that they refer to a place with a wireless Internet network (WLAN). It could be a cafe, a hotel or a restaurant, etc. The Hotspot provides Internet access for users via a local wireless system.
So it is safe to say that whereas wifi is a connection technology, a hotspot is a physical location. So bear that in mind!
The Internet connection speed of Wifi is generally faster than those of a hotspot. It is mainly because the Wifi setup usually has a limited number of users. The Hotspot, which is installed in public places, will get more connections. Especially at peak hours, hundreds of people start to go out and enjoy entertainment activities.
The average speed of Wifi ranges from 12 to 25 Mbps, which enables you to download games and watch streaming videos freely without any interruption. There are also essential services whose speed would lie around 3 to 8 Mbps. You can still wander on several websites with this speed.
On the other hand, going online at a hotspot only allows you to keep track of some basic tasks. It could be checking emails, sending messages, or a few activities that do not need a high-speed Internet connection. The speed is slow most of the time due to the large number of people accessing it.
So if you want to comfortably watch your favorite Netflix show or keep track of the football game’s score, stay at home and use the Wifi. Don’t take the risk and end up being stuck in the crowd! If you still want to do it, then good luck, my friend.
In general, Wifi accessibility is more private than that of a hotspot. Wifi enables the owner to create a closed network where he or she is totally in control. They can set passwords for the device and decide whoever they want to gain access to the system.
This feature can help limit the number of people in the connection, thus keeping the connection speed stable and fast all the time. They can also decide to turn off the modem to close the system temporarily.
On the contrary, hotspot locations are usually public places such as libraries, restaurants, spa salons.
Such areas tend to open the network free for everyone to access. Sometimes hotspots are also linked to the host’s website for fast requests so that the owner of that place can provide support for you in a short time.
For example, many restaurants connect their website to the Hotspot so that you have to sign in to their system before going online. This step helps the restaurant control the number of guests at that time and also supports you in getting your order immediately after check-in in the table.
Therefore, we suggest you should log in to the Hotspot when going outside, especially when using services such as F&B or entertainment like movies.
Although Wifi and Hotspot’s ultimate goal is to provide Internet access to the masses, they come from different origins. While cable service providers are the suppliers for Wifi, big companies are the ones who provide Internet connection for Hotspot.
That explains why people in every part of the world can install Wifi for themselves as long as there is a cable system to transmit radio frequency signals. In contrast, Hotspot is often rarer as it requires a giant holding company with enough resources to install.
The Wifi is not only easy to install, but it also allows you to find the nearest local provider for the best services. The price is a real bargain too, so you can choose to buy the annual package for better savings.
There is also another piece of info you need to know. Service providers classify wifi package standards according to their capacity and speed. You will find a basic and high standard package to fit your personal needs and preferences.
To know which package that really fits, you need to figure out what kind of activities you will do on the Internet. Firstly, there is “light use”, which enables checking emails, listening to podcasts, and updating daily news. Secondly, there is “moderate use”, which supports HD streaming video, multi-party online conference, etc. Last comes “high use”, which is a combination of light use and moderate use at a higher level.
Infrastructure And Technology
Wifi takes radio frequency waves as its dominant technology to open new access points for internet users. The most popular network protocols that it employs are “IEEE 802.11.”
It creates a Local area network to support the wireless infrastructure system and enables signals to travel around the estimated range. So, devices around the area can receive the signals and send out info without disturbing errors.
The IEEE 802.11 network consists of two basic operational modes, which are infrastructure and peer-to-peer mode. In infrastructure mode, mobile units work through a WAP system that plays a role as a bridge to connect to other networks, for instance, the Internet or LAN network.
On the other hand, the peer to peer (P2P) mode has no base, and there is no specific administrator in control. Its primary technological mechanism is the Independent Basic Service Set (IBSS). In this model, the owners will function as an access point, and other connectors will be clients.
That info is just basic knowledge of Wifi technology, but it is quite enough for you if you don’t intend to become an IT expert.
When it comes to Hotspot, the technology applied is much simpler, it is only a location with wifi setup. It can be considered as an access point. However, the connection is comparatively weak and gets interrupted during peak hours.
As the Wifi is specifically designed for households and offices, the owner purchasing the service will be the one who takes control. The wifi setup offers unlimited access to users. However, depending on each individual’s needs, the owner can create a password and limit the number of connected devices by deciding whether to share the password or not.
Another situation is that you might want to get rid of some connecting devices to improve speed quality. In this case, you can rechange the password, and any existing devices will have to ask for permission again. The owner can also make some changes in the settings and install guest wifi to prevent unwanted devices from logging into your network.
It is like a kind of technological purge.
What about a hotspot Internet service? This service mainly starts from corporations or big companies to offer the masses free Wifi. Commonly, only the administrator takes control over the whole system no matter how many people are in the network.
Generally, the Wifi settings are usually safer than hotspots. If your house decides to install an end-to-end encrypted network, cyber hackers will find it pretty challenging to break into your system. Also, updating the passwords regularly not only helps filter unwanted connectors but also makes your network secured and unpredictable.
However, it is not the case for hotspots. Hotspots security is limited as it has to be open for everyone, serving as the public access point. Anyone can guess the password or hack into the system. They can steal important and private information and leak it on the Internet. Also, hacking a large system sounds more tempting than doing it in independent households.
So, if you are the boss of a restaurant or a cafe, consider using a VPN service for better hotspot protection.
Reading all the information above, you may find that Wifi seems to outweigh Hotspot in terms of all the factors such as speed, technology, etc. So why is Hotspot still a thing that people use regularly? Here is the answer for you!
Hotspot coverage area is much broader than those of a Wifi. Its coverage can expand up to 33 ft or even more. So that people around the area could get the signals and go online. Nevertheless, the connection strength will be gradually weaker if you go too far from the host transmitter.
With Wifi, the coverage range reduces several times, with a limited span at approximately 2.4 GHz frequency band. The average range set on sales of most Internet service providers is only somewhere around 32 meters. To reach a larger span, you would have to go for a higher package, which uses a 5 GHz frequency band.
There is also another way to raise the Wifi coverage range, using a Wifi repeater or an extender. By doing that, you enable the signals to go further a little bit to reach the users. But in the end, a higher span means higher costs, don’t forget!
In a nutshell, despite having the same goal, which is serving people with an Internet connection, Wifi features and Hotspot features basically have little relations. At the same time, Wifi takes quality as a powerful strength, hotspot heads to the quantity to bring Internet service to the masses.
Whatever distinctions they might have, they go along together to offer people the best Internet experience. What is the difference between Wifi and Hotspot? We hope you find a satisfactory answer to this question after reading this blog!
Thank you for reading!