For users of portable computers equipped for wireless, a hot spot (or hotspot) is a wireless LAN (local area network) node that provides Internet connection and virtual private network (VPN) access from a given location. For example, a business traveller with a laptop equipped for Wi-Fi can look up a local hot spot, contact it, and get connected through its network to reach the Internet and their own company remotely with a secure connection. Increasingly, public places, such as airports, hotels, and coffee shops are providing free wireless access for customers.
The Wi-Fi Alliance provides a list of hot spots through its Wi-Fi Zone program. A number of companies such as Sprint and Cometa plan to provide a nationwide network of hot spots.
In this Buying Decisions series, learn how to buy locally managed WLAN products and cloud-controlled wireless LAN products, how to make the business case for cloud-managed WLAN, and how to determine which cloud-controlled WLAN products are the best for you.
Cisco's WLAN controllers can be used in a range of organizations. Learn more about Cisco wireless LAN controllers in this product overview series. Other products reviewed include: Aerohive's HiveManager, Cisco Aironet wiresless access point (APs), Aruba wireless controllers and access points, Meraki APs and Ruckus Zone's products.