Finding a 'Hotspot' Near You

The success of wireless networks has changed the way people use their computers for work and for play. But, what do mobile educators and students do when they cannot remain within the limits of their local wireless network? To remedy this situation, wireless hotspots are popping up worldwide to accommodate wireless users, with more than 4,000 hotspots in North America alone.

Hotspots are geographic locations containing access points that provide public wireless broadband network services to visitors through a WLAN. Typically located in heavily populated places such as airports, hotels, restaurants and libraries, hotspots are accessible to anyone with the proper wireless equipment. Hotspots are already operating at your local McDonald's and Starbucks.

The next generation of the hotspot is the "hotzone," a larger geographical area consisting of multiple hotspots, such as the six-block-wide hotzone in San Jose, Calif. Watch out for more hotzones being created in Seattle, San Francisco and San Diego. To locate a hotspot near you, visit one of these sites:

This article originally appeared in the 10/01/2003 issue of THE Journal.