Tech Tips (Mobile Hotspot Series #1): What is a mobile hotspot?

By Amy Hofmockel, Creative Technology Librarian

Don’t have an internet connection at home? Want to use your mobile devices—smartphones, laptops, and more—on the go without incurring data charges?

A mobile WiFi hotspot can be used to provide a strong, fast, and secure online connection for your mobile devices anywhere cellular services are available. So if your phone gets a signal, the hotspot does too!

Want to learn more about mobile hotspots, how to use them, and how to borrow a device from the library? Check out our FAQs below and contact us with questions. And check out the other posts in this three-part Tech Tips series:

Mobile WiFi hotspots FAQS

  1. What is a mobile hotspot?

A mobile hotspot is a small electronic device that is just a little bigger than a deck of cards (see diagram below). It receives cell signals the same way a cell phone does, then lets you link your laptop, smartphone, or other device that can connect to a WiFi network so that the device can access the internet. When you check out a mobile hotspot from the library, it comes in a zippered bag along with a power cord, adapter, and instruction card.

T-Mobile Mobile Hotspot
  1. Why do I want to borrow a mobile WiFi hotspot?

If you don’t have internet access at home, you may want a mobile hotspot so you can attend online classes, fill out job applications, or have a video call with someone. If you are traveling, you can use the mobile hotspot to have internet access anywhere you can get a cell phone signal, without using up your data on your own cell phone plan.

  1. How can I borrow a mobile hotspot?

Mobile hotspots can be picked up from our new secure lockers in the Main Library Lobby, or mailed to your Oak Park address. Follow these steps to get started with checking out a mobile hotspot »

More in the Mobile Hotspot Series

Have a tech question?

Amy Hofmockel

About Amy

Amy is a creative technology librarian who always looks for ways to create those “ah-ha!” moments for digital learners. She enjoys writing, gadgets, and baking.

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