What is Wi-Fi and What are Wi-Fi Hotspots?
Wi-Fi has been the buzzword among techies and the
not-so-techie people alike for quite some time now. And
while that is the case, not everyone knows exactly what it
means and what it stands for.
For starters, Wi-Fi is a brand of wireless technology that
is owned by the group called the Wi-Fi Alliance.
The group’s aim is to improve the interoperability of
wireless local area network (WLAN) products by following
the IEEE 802.11 standards.
This technology is usually used by mobile computers
although more and more mobile phones and PDAs are designed
to be Wi-Fi-enabled. As a wireless network, Wi-Fi does away
with the Ethernet cables that used to connect one computer
to another as well as one computer to the internet.
Another jargon in the wireless LAN community is called the
Wi-Fi hotspot, simply known as hotspot. A hotspot is any
public area that offers free or paid wireless internet
Some of them cover only a small area (e.g. hotel lobbies),
while there are those that cover an entire city (e.g.
While having hotspots has made cheap and even free internet
connection possible, there are also security issues that
accompany this technology.
Some hotspots are intentionally or unintentionally
unsecured so that any data sent over the network is
unencrypted. Because of this, malicious users can sniff
(i.e. monitor) data sent by others who are in the same
But several solutions such as having a Virtual Private
Network (VPN) are available, although they not widely used
because of the costs of implementing them.