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Top Five Non-Travel Uses For Wi-Fi Hotspots

I’m a big fan of using a mobile hotspot for connectivity on the go, and they’re a great thing to take on holidays. But hotspots don’t have to be limited to only when you’re on a long-distance trip for work or pleasure, as this top five shows.

Picture by Ed Yourdon

1. Students

I would have killed for a portable hotspot back when I was in university. Sadly, no such things existed at the time. If I ever go back to studying, I’ll definitely keep one. The appeal of having your own portable wireless cloud that can travel with you, whether you’re tapping notes away in a lecture theatre, working in the library or just lounging around in your room, is undeniable, even with campus-wide Wi-Fi in some locations.

2. Commuters

OK, this one does involve travelling — of a sort. But for most of us, the daily commute isn’t over a great distance; it’s a fixed trip every day. A portable hotspot makes it easy to use everything from a smartphone to a tablet and up to a laptop on the go. Now all you have to do is get yourself a seat on the bus or train.

3. Office work

The office might not seem like the most obvious place for a wireless hotspot, but there’s a lot of utility in having one tucked away in a drawer. For a start, they’re an excellent insurance policy if your office fixed-line connection goes down and you’ve got urgent work to do. Equally, if you spend your life in meeting rooms with limited Ethernet connectivity, a wireless hotspot will keep you physically untethered but still active online.

4. Renters

Rental properties come with many interesting quirks, not the least of which is sorting out the incoming communications. In a shared house, sorting out the phone and internet bill can be a challenging task, and a personal hotspot has obvious utility. Even those who live alone can benefit, as you don’t need to worry about paying for new ADSL/cable/NBN connections every time you move.

5. Escaping app limitations

Many applications simply won’t work — or won’t update — over a mobile connection. Apple recently upped its limit from 20MB to 50MB, but the issue remains. If you’re in desperate need of an app (or a function only available in its update), then a hotspot can provide you with the wireless connection needed to make it a reality.

Got other key scenarios where you find hotspots useful? Tell us in the comments.

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