Hotspot 2.0

Network Security

What it means:

Hotspot 2.0 makes Wi-Fi roaming as seamless as cell phone roaming. Just as your cell phone automatically finds a roaming partner network and securely connects no matter where you travel, users can get the same experience over Wi-Fi.

Why you should care:

Most wireless users prefer to connect to Wi-Fi whenever they can, either to avoid cellular data overages, or because they’re using a Wi-Fi-only device. But they have to work for it—finding and selecting the right network, entering a password, logging on through a portal. With Hotspot 2.0 and the 802.11u standard, all that goes away. Here’s how it works:

Wireless providers—cable or mobile providers, enterprises, and others—join roaming partnerships with other providers. Users’ devices are loaded with the right credentials and security certificates. Then, anytime a user is away from her home network provider, her device automatically checks for Hotspot 2.0-capable APs with participating roaming partners. If one is available, she can connect automatically, without doing a thing.