Term:open wifi« Back to Glossary Index
Open wifi (more correctl,y Wi-Fi) is any Wi-Fi connection that has not been configured with a password. Anyone with a Wi-Fi-capable device can connect to an open Wi-Fi hotspot.
If a password is used on a Wi-Fi connection, then the data being transmitted over the air is encrypted. Open Wi-Fi uses no password, and as a result, the data in transit is not encrypted. It can be easily viewed by anyone in range with an appropriate Wi-Fi capable device, such as a laptop, and packe- sniffing software.
Ask Leo! – How do I use an open WiFi hotspot safely?
This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2012)
A hotspot is a physical location where people may obtain Internet access, typically using Wi-Fi technology, via a wireless local-area network (WLAN) using a router connected to an Internet service provider.
Public hotspots may be created by a business for use by customers, such as coffee shops or hotels. Public hotspots are typically created from wireless access points configured to provide Internet access, controlled to some degree by the venue. In its simplest form, venues that have broadband Internet access can create public wireless access by configuring an access point (AP), in conjunction with a router to connect the AP to the Internet. A single wireless router combining these functions may suffice.
A private hotspot, often called tethering, may be configured on a smartphone or tablet that has a network data plan, to allow Internet access to other devices via Bluetooth pairing, or through the RNDIS protocol over USB, or even when both the hotspot device and the device[s] accessing it are connected to the same Wi-Fi network but one which does not provide Internet access. Similarly, a Bluetooth or USB OTG can be used by a mobile device to provide Internet access via Wi-Fi instead of a mobile network, to a device that itself has neither Wi-Fi nor mobile network capability.