Thanks to one slim little device, most of us are used to having internet access 24/7. Because internet connectivity is so seamless, most of us don’t even notice when our smartphones switch between using WiFi and cell signals to hop online—especially as more cell phone service providers offer an unlimited data option. So, when traveling abroad, it’s pretty easy to just assume you’ll be able to pull out your phone and hop online like you would any other day. Unfortunately, if you do so, you could end up with some pretty hefty roaming charges! When a trip takes you out of the country, even just across the border to Canada or Mexico, you’ll need to find another option to get internet access while you’re away. For many, this means creating a wireless internet hotspot to get online while traveling.
What is a Wireless Internet Hotspot?
First, let’s talk technical details. Every time you run a quick Google search, check your email, even use a video calling app on your smartphone, you’re getting on the internet to do so. In fact, almost everything you do on your smartphone, including sending text messages or placing calls relies on an internet connection in some form. The plus side here is that, because your smartphone is so deeply connected to the internet, you can also use that same internet connectivity to help any other devices get online too. Nearly every smartphone these days comes with an option to create a wireless internet hotspot. Though, as a word of caution, most cell service providers include this in your data bill or charge a fee to use it, so check your plan before giving it a whirl.
A wireless internet hotspot is, essentially, a bubble of internet signal. It can be a signal put out by a program on your smartphone, a free WiFi signal at a local coffee shop, or an internet signal created with a specialized device made purely for the purpose of emitting a wireless internet signal. Connecting to a WiFi hotspot is just as simple as connecting to your WiFi router at home. With a free hotspot option, all you have to do is select the appropriate signal and perhaps authenticate your device. With a wireless internet hotspot you create yourself, you are generally given options to name the signal and set up security so others can’t connect with your signal and slow down your download speeds.
How do I Create a Hotspot?
The hardest part about a wireless internet hotspot isn’t connecting, it’s figuring out how to create one to begin with. There are a couple of different options for creating a hotspot: using a smartphone or buying a specialized portable WiFi device. When it comes to actually connecting to the hotspot you create, it’s usually as simple as turning on the app or starting up your hotspot device then choosing the appropriate connection on the device you’re trying to connect. However, this can only happen after you figure out how to get an internet connection to power your hotspot, and that part will depend on what you’re using to create the hotspot. For example, using your smartphone simply boosts the internet signal your phone is already receiving. It’s as simple as turning on the app and creating a name and password. Other options, including personal WiFi routers and other personal WiFi hotspot devices, need to get an internet signal from somewhere in order to boost it for your other devices. Generally, doing so requires some sort of plan from either a cell service provider or an internet provider.
Choosing the Right Hotspot Option for Your Devices
There are a couple of different factors that go into choosing how you’ll create your hotspot: where you are, how often you’ll need it, and how many devices you’re looking to power. When you’re within your standard coverage area and you just need to email a document quickly, your smartphone is a good enough option to create a wireless hotspot. Your smartphone can usually have a hotspot created and ready to connect in just a minute or two (though, this uses your cell service’s data plan, so check how you’ll be billed) and you’ll be able to get that document sent within minutes. However, as soon as you add roaming charges into the mix, using your smartphone to create a wireless internet hotspot becomes a lot more costly. Using your smartphone as a wireless internet hotspot option is generally better used for small, quick tasks like transferring a document from a laptop to your phone while you’re on the go.
The other big concern is that using your smartphone to create a hotspot is generally only enough internet speed for one person using one device. If you need internet for a group project or a business meeting, your smartphone isn’t likely to offer enough power. This is generally where specialized wireless internet hotspot devices come in handy. They provide faster internet speeds so you can connect more devices and do more while connected. Generally speaking, the higher your connection speeds, the more you’ll be able to do with your hotspot connection, so factor that in when choosing a device. If you want to check emails quickly, using your smartphone to boost a hotspot to your tablet is probably sufficient. But if you want to stream videos, download larger files, and so on, you’ll probably want to invest in a hotspot device with higher internet speed capabilities.
Get WiFi Everywhere
If you’re looking for a wireless internet hotspot option you can take anywhere, one of the biggest factors should be how you’ll connect. With Sapphire Mobile Hotspot’s personal WiFi hotspot device, you can easily create a hotspot with fast enough speeds to power your phone, tablet, or laptop no matter where you go. Sapphire is made particularly with those who travel in mind; whether you regularly go on business trips abroad, you’re taking a trip for fun, or you’re preparing to deploy for several months, a reliable internet hotspot can keep you connected to everything going on back home without an exorbitant international cell service plan. Learn more about how our international WiFi hotspot device works or shop online to get yours today!