Given the rapid uptake in Wi-Fi capable mobile devices, it’s no surprise that businesses from all over the world are attempting to cater for the demand.
Wireless hotspots have become commonplace in cafés, restaurants, sports grounds and even train stations, where people can forge a speedy connection and get browsing.
For some, linking themselves up to these wireless hubs has become something of a routine. It’s the given thing to do when they’re sipping on a skinny latte or boarding their carriage. For others perhaps less acquainted with their mobile technology, this process creates more problems than they might think it’s worth. The reality is, completing work away from the office, checking your social media feeds and drafting that important email in periods of idleness is more than worth the hassle. Furthermore, it’s easy to get connected to a mobile wireless hotspot when you know how.
So, without further ado, here’s the process from A to B.
FINDING A HOTSPOT
Newer devices can automatically scan for hotspots within their range of a signal, but this will only stretch so far. It might be worth downloading a hotspot finder app that will search for wireless hubs while you’re offline. These apps may also provide some indication of the signal strength available and, though GPS integration, will be able to take you to their location. If you’re unaware of any hotspots near you, it’s advised that you opt for the latter.
Whichever one you choose, you may still need to connect through the settings menu on your device. A Wi-Fi compatible device will state your current network status (i.e ‘not connected’) and list a group of available networks. Those with a padlock symbol or similar next to them will be password protected.
The process for connecting to a Wi-Fi hotspot is highly dependent on the type of hub you’re connecting to. A pay-per-surf model will usually require you to enter the company’s own username and password. You’ll receive this when you pay for your time. A free hotspot on the other hand simply requires you to select the network name (it should be obvious) to initiate the connection. Much like your broadband at home, this should also display the signal strength to let you know who’s at fault for a slow speed; the phone or the hub.
As we move onto the topic of Wi-Fi security, here’s where a few people declare their reservations. However, you should have no such issues when surfing through a reputable provider. It’s the relatively unknown that tend to arouse suspicion. You can guard yourself from any potential acts of data theft through encryption. This scrambles the information being shared by your device over the internet, meaning it’s not accessible to others.
First, look out for ‘https’ addresses when visiting a particular site. This will inform you that encryption has been put in place and that no information can be seen by nearby devices. When you’ve finished using your account, always log out. This will prevent someone else accessing your details while you’re blissfully surfing elsewhere. Try also to spread a number of different passwords across your accounts, and, as you would on a PC, always pay attention to any browser warnings that pop up.
The last precaution is to update all of your apps, security settings and programs to ensure you’re browsing at optimum speeds. You should be able to do this through an update centre on your device. Happy surfing!
About the author:The author is a fan of The Cloud, Europe’s largest independent provider of mobile Wi-Fi broadband. Whether you are an individual or business, The Cloud delivers an open network platform, so multiple partners can leverage a single network and is also the market leader when it comes to providing stunning visual experiences on small-screen Wi-Fi enabled devices.