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. Nowadays 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 that 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 facilitate cellular-like roaming, increased bandwidth, and service on demand for wireless-equipped devices in general. When an 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.
- Reduces churn: Improved customer happiness as a result of Wi-Fi’s ease of use will result in enhanced customer contentment, which will reduce churn.
- Provides a high level of security: The standards employed in the Hotpot 2.0 – Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint give a level of security that is far higher than that provided by many non-Hotspot 2.0 Wi-Fi access points.
Some of the key features of Hotspot 2.0 include:
- Passpoint: Passpoint is a certification program that enables devices to automatically discover and connect to Wi-Fi networks that are part of the Passpoint program. This allows for seamless connectivity and eliminates the need for users to manually enter login credentials or navigate through a captive portal.
- Wi-Fi roaming: Hotspot 2.0 enables seamless and secure roaming between Wi-Fi networks, even across different service providers. This means that users can move between networks without experiencing interruptions or having to manually reconnect.
- Security: Hotspot 2.0 uses WPA2-Enterprise security, which is a higher level of security than the WPA2-Personal security used in most home networks. This provides protection against attacks such as man-in-the-middle attacks, rogue access points, and eavesdropping.
- Quality of Service (QoS): Hotspot 2.0 supports QoS, which allows service providers to prioritize certain types of traffic over others. This ensures that high-priority traffic, such as voice and video, receive the necessary bandwidth to function properly.
- Policy enforcement: Hotspot 2.0 allows service providers to enforce policies such as access control, bandwidth allocation, and content filtering. This allows service providers to manage network usage and ensure that their networks are being used in accordance with their policies.
Hotspot 2.0 provides a more seamless and secure Wi-Fi experience for users, particularly in public spaces where multiple networks may be available.
While Hotspot 2.0 offers many benefits, there are also some potential disadvantages to consider:
- Device compatibility: Hotspot 2.0 requires devices to support the Passpoint certification program, which not all devices may be capable of. This could result in some devices being unable to connect to Passpoint-enabled networks.
- Service provider support: Hotspot 2.0 requires service providers to support the standard, which may not be universally adopted. This could limit the availability of Hotspot 2.0 networks in certain areas or for certain users.
- Implementation complexity: Implementing Hotspot 2.0 can be complex and may require significant investment in infrastructure and network upgrades. This could be a barrier for smaller service providers or organizations.
- Security vulnerabilities: While Hotspot 2.0 uses WPA2-Enterprise security, there is still the potential for security vulnerabilities to be exploited. Service providers need to remain vigilant in monitoring their networks for security threats.
- Network performance: Hotspot 2.0 requires more complex network configurations and additional protocols, which could impact network performance. This could result in slower connections or reduced network capacity.