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Chapter 4. JDS Networking > Public and Private Hotspots

4.5. Public and Private Hotspots

Outside of the office or home, many stores, restaurants, and other sites now offer wireless access. Some do it free of cost, some (such as hotels) require you to register and pay a daily fee, and some offer a subscription that lets you use their facilities in many different places as you travel. Regardless of the business aspects of wireless networking, all these sites are called hotspots.

4.5.1. What Kinds of Hotspots Exist?

Two basic kinds of hotspots exist: public and private. You can see the growth of public hotspots allowing wireless connectivity in many airports, hotels, college campuses, public areas, coffee shops, and restaurants. Public hotspots can be free or commercial.

Private hotspots can be located in the workplace, or you may have a private group of users who choose to create and share a hotspot.

Community hotspots fall somewhere between the spectrum of public and private. They offer free access, yet use privately owned access points. Public organizations create community hotspots and can be independent or affiliated with a nonprofit organization.

4.5.2. What Do You Need to Join a Hotspot?

As a JDS user, you will need a wireless network card, which can either be a PCMCIA device or a chip set built into a laptop. If you don't have wireless connectivity built into your computer, you could consider buying a Wireless-G card, which can attach to both Wireless-B and Wireless-G hotspots.

4.5.3. How Do You Find a Public or Community Hotspot?

Wireless service providers, colleges, airports, hotels, restaurants, and coffee shops publicize their public hotspots. You can also go online to find directories and web sites of public and community hotspots. The wireless compatibility organization, the Wi-Fi Alliance, hosts a "Wi-Fi ZONE"™ listing service at www.wi-fizone.org.

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