What is a Wi-Fi hotspot and How can your Business Benefit from this?
By now, you’ve probably heard this question asked several times: “Do you have a Wi-Fi hotspot?” and “what’s the password to it?”.
What is a Wi-Fi hotspot and why are people looking for it every time they enter an establishment?
A Wi-Fi hotspot is basically a physical place or location, which provides an internet connection. People who have Wi-Fi capable devices can then connect to this hotspot and gain access to the internet.
The internet is shared through a WLAN or Wireless Local Area Network. You will need a router to do this and a subscription to a local internet service provider.
What you’re basically doing is allowing your customers to share the services of the internet service provider while they’re in your establishment.
How do People Connect to your Wi-Fi hotspot?
For people to connect to your Wi-Fi hotspot, they first need to have a Wi-Fi capable device. Most of today’s devices are already Wi-Fi capable so this is the easy part.
All they will need to do is open up their Wi-Fi program then ask you for the password if you have set one. Now all they have to do is enter it into their device and they will immediately be connected to the internet.
For security reasons, you may want to change its password regularly. This will help you control the traffic and bandwidth usage from the internet service provider that you’re subscribed to. This will also help you ensure that the people connected to your WLAN are customers in your establishment and not just some people who are piggy backing off of your router to have some free internet without availing of your products and services.
Now, how can a Wi-Fi Hotspot Benefit your Business?
Everyone knows that technology has made some very big leaps and bounds over the past decade. Nowadays, everyone has a smart phone, a tablet or a laptop. These devices need the internet to be fully appreciated.
Everyone also seems to have the need to be connected always to perform social functions or work.
Your establishment (and the Wi-Fi hotspot you possess) offers a solution for these people. If you have a fairly fast internet connection and Wi-Fi hotspot, people will be more likely to patronize your establishment.
How do you Set it Up in your Office or Store?
It’s time to get a little bit more technical. You already know what a Wi-Fi hotspot is and how it can benefit your establishment, now it’s time to get one going and reap the rewards that come along with it.
So how do you set it up?
First, make a call to any of your local internet providers and find out which one will give you the best deals. The best deals are often the ones with the fastest internet speed, the highest bandwidth allocation and the lowest price. You can ask those questions if you want.
If you have made up your mind about which ISP to go with, it is time to finalize the subscription and wait for them to connect your establishment to the office. Some ISPs do an initial survey to check if your area is within their jurisdiction and it may take a couple of days before they finalize the installation.
Installation is pretty easy as all they have to do is connect a physical wire (or hardwire) to a telephone hub then install a receiver on your end. This receiver translates electronic impulses from the hub. Another hardwire is then installed from the receiver to your modem and finally an Ethernet cable is attached between your modem and router. Sometimes these internet providers also have devices that act as both the modem and router, making it more convenient and less of a hassle. They will also throw in the modem/ router into the deal if you sign up with them so that is one purchase you can strike off your list.
You will be assigned a standard password with your router/modem and the installers will actually help you with that or you can just refer to the manual. After the initial installation has been done, you can choose to change your password to a more memorable one for you. Changing passwords is as easy as going to your ISPs website and logging onto your account to change the password there or you can do it locally by going to your computer’s control panel and changing the security settings of your modem router.
Your ISP will probably just issue you a standard modem/router, which will serve its basic function. However, if you want a faster internet connection or transmission of your Wi-Fi hotspot, you may want to invest in a better modem/ router.
Other Means of Having a Wi-Fi Hotspot
Do you know that your phone can actually serve as a Wi-Fi hotspot? Most Android phones have a tethering capability effectively turning your smart phone into a hotspot.
All you need to do is set up the tethering capability with a network password just as you would do on your router.
Now, whenever you’re out with friends, you can just turn on your mobile data services, activate your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot and give your friends the password.
The usual number of people who can connect to your device is usually dependent on the number of devices they have. In most cases, around 5 Wi-Fi capable devices can connect to it
There are also Wi-Fi capable devices that you can bring along with you if you are out aside from your phone. These devices can often be purchased from your local ISP and they work just the same as a router except they depend on the ISPs cellular sites to get a Wi-Fi signal.
You will have to watch out for these devices though because turning your phone into a mobile hotspot or using a mobile Wi-Fi device will put a huge drain on your battery, so bring a charger along if you are planning to go this route.