Difference between WiFi and Hotspot

Today, gaining access to the Internet does not need signing up for the data subscription plan offered by the Internet Service Provider (ISP). There are other available choices. The Internet can be accessed and shared in a variety of other ways, thanks to our smartphones.

WiFi and hotspot are two terms that are sometimes used interchangeably to refer to connection to the Internet; however, there is a significant difference between the two. Hotspots are physical locations that are typically public places that are served by an access point that is used to connect devices to one another using WiFi. WiFi is a wireless network technology that connects mobile devices to the Internet without the use of actual cables. Radio frequency waves are used to connect mobile devices to the Internet.

Read through this article to get an overview of WiFi and Hotspot and learn how these two technologies are different from each other.

What is WiFi?

WiFi is an abbreviation that stands for Wireless Fidelity. It utilizes the IEEE 802 protocol family as its foundation. Support for WiFi is built into an overwhelming majority of today's products. Our mobile devices, including our laptops, tablets, and desktop PCs, all have access to the WiFi network.

  • A radio band operating at an ultra-high frequency of 2.4 gigahertz is utilized by the WiFi technology. The range of WiFi can be reduced when there are obstacles in the way, such as walls and doors.

  • If we allow our smartphone to share its Internet connection, we can create a WiFi hotspot for our group. On a more manageable scale, this entails securing the connection of one or two other devices to our phone using a password.

  • WiFi allows for data transfer speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second.

  • WiFi Protected Access is used to provide security because it has a higher risk of being hacked than other networks.

  • WiFi offers an additional benefit over traditional Ethernet connections. It is possible to utilize WiFi in locations where cables are unable to be laid down.

At first, Wired Equivalent Privacy, often known as WEP, was developed to safeguard wireless local area networks. However, as a result of the risk it posed, WiFi Protected Access (WPA) was developed. In addition, Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, are a useful tool for maintaining data security when using a public wireless network.

The Benefits of Using WiFi

Convenience −

  • Its users can access the wireless network over the same network.

  • Contacts can be created in a fraction of a second, without any configuration, using router or hotspot technologies.

  • It does not exist in wired networks.

  • It can take a long time to create and allow several users on a wired network.

Movements −

  • You can effortlessly do your task from anywhere using WiFi, even with mobile devices, as long as the WiFi access point you are using is within the point-up range.

  • Transactions at the bank, checking email, and sending messages are examples of such tasks.

What is Hotspot?

A "hotspot" is a physical area that is distinguished by a network device and that offers clients access to the Internet. It is possible for a hotspot to be either wired or wireless.

  • In order to give devices in a Wireless Local Area Network access to the Internet, it employs WiFi as the protocol, and routers as the network devices that make up the network.

  • Nevertheless, there are additional choices besides WiFi. Sharing an Internet connection can also be accomplished through the use of Bluetooth and USB cable. "Tethering" is another term that can be used to refer to a private hotspot. Sharing an Internet connection from a smartphone with other nearby devices is possible with the use of Tethering. Tethering can be accomplished through the use of USB connections or Bluetooth file sharing.

  • According to the volume of client activity, hotspots can be split into two categories. There are private hotspots in addition to public ones.

  • Wireless Access Points (WAPs), sometimes known as routers, are used to establish public hotspots. Hotels, libraries, and several other organizations have established them in order to better serve the needs of their guests.

The presence of a hotspot can create a number of security risks. Encrypting the wireless connection is necessary to prevent data thieves from making off with sensitive information. Additionally, the provider of the hotspot gets complete access to the materials that are being searched by the customers. Despite this, people's preference for accessing the Internet through hotspots is rapidly growing.

Difference between WiFi and Hotspot

The following table highlights the major differences between WiFi and Hotspot −

Basis of Comparison
Definition and Meaning
WiFi is a wireless communication technology that can be used in local area networks (LAN).Hotspots make Internet access available to wireless devices through the use of WiFi.
Without WiFi, there is no such thing as a hotspot.In contrast, a hotspot is produced through the use of WiFi
Devices used
In order for wireless devices and an access point to communicate with one another, WiFi is utilized.While the hotspot is generated by connecting an access point device to the router.
Speed of Internet
When compared to the hotspot system, the speed generated for wireless Internet among several users is very high.When compared to the WiFi system, the speed generated for wireless Internet among several users is quite poor.
Service providers
WiFi services are provided by a local area's ISP (Internet Service Provider).The majority of the services that hotspots offer to their various customers are often provided by phone or cellular companies.
Level of security
It offers a significantly higher level of protection compared to the system of a hotspot.The majority of the time, we connect to the Internet using public hotspots. As a result, its level of security is significantly worse when compared to that of private WiFi systems.
Data transmission through WiFi is accomplished through the use of electromagnetic waves operating within the 2.4GHz radio frequency spectrum.On the other hand, in the hotspot, wireless loca area network (WiFi) technology is used to link devices to an access point so that users can share the Internet.


WiFi is the up-and-coming standard in the field of networking. The more complicated Ethernet connections have been replaced with a more straightforward wireless topology. Hotspots, on the other hand, are created using WiFi to provide Internet access to wireless devices.

It is estimated that there are more than 50 million WiFi networks in the United States alone. Additionally, practically everyone must at some point or another have utilized their smartphone as a hotspot in some capacity. As early as 1997, WiFi was made available to the general public for the first time.

Updated on: 29-Jul-2022

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