cellular hotspot

(redirected from WiFi tethering)

cellular hotspot

A cellular hotspot converts cellular signals to Wi-Fi and vice versa to provide Internet access for email, websites and other data transfers. A local Wi-Fi hotspot can be created using the following devices (see Wi-Fi hotspot).

Smartphone Hotspots
Smartphones have both cellular and Wi-Fi built in, and most phones can cross-connect the two to become a portable hotspot for laptops and tablets. Also called "tethering."

Mobile Hotspots
All carriers offer portable units. Also called a "portable hotspot," "personal hotspot," "mobile Wi-Fi," "mobile router," "mobile wireless router" and "travel router," the cellular fee is either added to the user's existing data plan, or a new plan must be activated.

However, a stand-alone hotspot is one more thing to travel with. To avoid packing yet another device, cellular service can be added to laptops by plugging in a USB dongle (see cellular modem). Tablets can also be purchased with a built-in cellular modem just like Wi-Fi, which is always standard equipment. The tablet's cellular phone number must be activated with a carrier.

Vehicle Hotspots
Built-in units provide a Wi-Fi hotspot within the cabin of a car or truck. In-vehicle cellular hotspots are available for many makes and models, and third-party devices are also made that plug into the car's diagnostic port (see OBD).

Stationary Hotspots
Typically called a "mobile broadband router," stationary units include a full-blown Wi-Fi base station that supports more devices over a wider range than a mobile hotspot. See mobile broadband router. See cellular vs. Wi-Fi.


Portable or Stationary
Wi-Fi hotspots can be created when traveling or at home.







Widely Available
These Verizon, AT&T and Sprint devices create hotspots as long as they find a cellular signal. (Images courtesy of Verizon, AT&T and Sprint.)







Put It Anywhere
The advantage of a mobile hotspot is its portability.
References in periodicals archive ?
The system is also MirrorLink-enabled, delivering connectivity between the system and the user's compatible Smartphone, so you can also connect to the internet through Smartphone Wifi tethering or Mobile Wifi Router, allowing for full internet browsing -- provided the car is stationary.
Connectivity options include Wi-Fi/ WiFi tethering along with Bluetooth 4.
So, for $20 you get the basic calling, texts, WiFi tethering etc.