What is Wi-Fi? (part 1)

Remember the old record player/radio systems we called Hi-Fi’s? It meant High Fidelity, and some people say that Wi-Fi means ‘Wireless Fidelity’. Although the term ‘Hi-Fi’ may have provided inspiration, Wi-Fi doesn’t mean anything. It is just a marketing term so people don’t have to call it ’802.11′ — which is the technical specification. We also refer to it as ‘hotspot’ technology, because it only covers a small area, a ‘hotspot.’ You must be within range of the hotspot’s antenna, also called the ‘Access Point’, in order to use it. The range is usually a couple hundred feet. Wi-Fi is the most popular way for travelers to connect to the Internet. No contracts, no commitments, you just connect to the hotspot’s signal and start browsing! Many RV parks are Wi-Fi hotspots. Most all laptop computers sold within the last 3 years come with the necessary wireless equipment built in. Using Wi-Fi in an RV park You can also find hotspots in coffee shops, airports, rest areas, and libraries. To find a hotspot near you, try http://www.jiwire.com/. Just enter a city and state and you’ll see several choices. If you just want to see just RV parks, you’ll find a listing provided by RV.net users on the locations forum. Realize that all these lists are compiled by people – there is no such thing as a definitive list of all Wi-Fi hotspots. Some of these hotspots are free, some charge a few dollars a day. Or, if you’re going to be in one spot for a while, you can get a better deal by signing up for a week or a month. I know lots of people who would like to sign up once, pay a monthly fee, and be able to count on a Wi-Fi hotspot wherever they go. It just doesn’t work like that. Every hotspot makes their own arrangements. The best way to find out if a given campground has Wi-Fi is to look in a directory like Woodall’s. Each campground will have an indicator if Wi-Fi is available as well as an indicator if there is a charge, or if it is free. Of course, this information is out-of-date very quickly, so a phone call to the park is a good idea if it is important to you to have Wi-Fi. You might also want to ask if the Wi-Fi is available at your site, or only in the clubhouse. If you want to use the Wi-Fi at your site, the wireless adapter built in to your computer may not be good enough. I’ll tell you why in next week’s post. Chris Guld www.GeeksOnTour.com

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One Response to What is Wi-Fi? (part 1)

  1. Michelle R says:

    I purchased this GPS based on previous reviews. It more than met my expectations. I used it on a recent trip and it works great. Traffic reports directed me around some major city congestion. Very easy to use and shortly after registration, downloaded map update (first one was free). A great buy at a great price!!

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