A wireless local area network (LAN) node that provides internet connection and virtual private network (VPN) access from a given location for users of devices with wireless connectivity is a Hot Spot. Now a days hot spots are common in airports, libraries, hotels, coffee shops etc. A user can connect to a hot spot manually by checking the wireless connection options then selecting one of them and entering authentication information which is usually a simple password. The establishment who owns the Hot Spot determines the range of the wireless router whose radius generally is about 100 to 200 meters.
Hot Spot 2.0 (HS 2.0), also called Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint is the new standard for public-access Wi-Fi. It enables seamless roaming among WiFi networks and between WiFi and cellular networks. Wi-Fi Alliance developed the HS 2.0. The Wireless Broadband Association enabled it to provide seamless hand-off of traffic without requiring additional user sign-on and authentication.
The HS 2.0 specification is based on a set of protocols called 802.11u. These protocols facilitates cellular-like roaming, increased bandwidth, and service on demand for wireless-equipped devices in general. When a 802.11u-capable device is in range of at least one Wi-Fi network, the device automatically selects a network and connects to it if the authentication to the network is done once before. Network discovery, registration, provisioning, and access processes are automated, so that the user does not have to go through them manually in order to connect and stay connected.
Benefits of Hotspot 2.0 Networks:
Hotspot 2.0 networks provide cellular-style roaming for Wi-Fi networks. When you move around the world, your device will connect you to available public hotspots automatically. There are a few benefits to this:
- Public Hotspots Become Easier and More Secure –
When you visit an airport or coffee shop, your device will automatically know which is the real public airport Wi-Fi network and connect automatically. You don’t have to guess whether “FREE_AIRPORT_WIFI” is the real network, connect manually, and click through a sign-in screen.
- Network Providers Can Band Together –
Hotspot 2.0 networks are designed to work better when service providers partner with other providers. For example, you have JioFi internet at home, which includes access to JioFi Wi-Fi hot spots around the country. The goal is for Comcast to partner with other hotspot providers, so Comcast customers could get online on other hotspot provider networks and other companies’ customers could get online at Comcast hotspots.
- Encryption is Mandatory –
Many current public Wi-Fi hotspots are open Wi-Fi networks but Hotspot 2.0 networks require enterprise-grade WPA2 encryption which means people can not snoop on your browsing.