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Last Updated on February 14, 2022

Hotspots…Are They Really Safe?

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Hotspots…Are They Really Safe?

Open and free Wireless access points are assumed to be trustworthy and many users connect to them because they’re free and the easiest method to connect to the internet or create a network to connect your devices together. On the other hand, employing a router or a complex network of routers and repeaters is the best way to achieve a wireless network which will give you total control of your network.

However, yet another method to achieve a secure personal network is through the creation of a hotspot. In this article we will be discussing the basics of hotspots and the security precautions and measures that you should undertake while creating and connecting to a hotspot network.

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What is a Hotspot?

A hotspot is a quick way to create fixed or portable internet access points using the Wi-Fi abilities in your routers, mobile phones or laptops. When a router is used to create a hotspot, it is a fixed kind of a hotspot but when a laptop or a mobile phone is used to create a hotspot, it is called a portable hotspot. A fixed setup has all the features you will ever need to create an easy to use and highly secure network.

While a portable hotspot serves as a quick way to connect multiple machines, it is not as secure as a regular router network. Also, the range of a potable hotspot is shorter than that of a regular Wi-Fi router. Nevertheless, the portability provided by these kinds of hotspots makes up for everything that they lack.

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How to set up a Hotspot?

Setting up a hotspot is easy and can be automated completely by using software. The routers usually come with a plug and play interface and can be set up within no time using the help of your ISP.

Portable ones are even easier. The smartphones of today already have the application to create a hotspot built right into them. For others, you might want to consider going through a guide or tutorial to establish the most secure network. To learn how to quickly set up a hotspot on a Windows machine, additional steps may be required.

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Connecting to a Hotspot?

Connecting to a hotspot is easy – you just need to select the name of the hotspot and press ‘connect’ on your machine. However, there are certain precautions that you must take before connecting to a hotspot network.

  1. Ensure that you are connecting to a private network only.
  2. In case it is a public network, avoid signing into your personal accounts or making money transactions. In case you have to do so, use a free VPN app or VPN Software.
  3. Ensure the network you are going to connect to is not a rouge connection. Imagine you are sitting in a coffee house which gives complimentary Wi-Fi to the customers and one of the hackers sitting there has their portable hotspots turned on with the same name and password as that of the coffee house. Now, if you connect to this fake Wi-Fi, you might end up losing all your privacy to the rouge network owner as he would be able to monitor all your data and steal everything he wants from you very easily.
  4. Follow basic Wi-Fi security measures to ensure you do not lose anything.

How to protect your own Hotspot?

Since we have the hotspot creation facility right on our phone, we do not shy away from creating a personal hotspot network and connecting our laptop to it while on the go. While this is interesting and beneficial, one thing that we do not consider is the security of our Wi-Fi network.

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In no case should you be losing your bandwidth to an unauthorized machine and hence you should block any unrecognized machine connected to your hotspot. The easiest way to do this is through a wifi security app. This app will give you all the information about your network and let you block the unauthorized machines even if you have zero technical knowledge.

Hotspots are an easy way to access the internet but if you do not pay enough attention, you could end up losing all your personal data. That is why, every time you connect to a network or create one make Wi-Fi security your priority.

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