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Chapter Five. In Public Places > The Hotspot Invasion

The Hotspot Invasion

If you haven't been watching closely, you might not have noticed that Wi-Fi hotspots (public areas with Wi-Fi connections) are sprouting up everywhere. Businesses have recognized the demand for wireless access where people congregate, and many laptops now have built-in Wi-Fi. Wireless networks are becoming almost as prevalent as ATMs.

A few years ago, Wi-Fi was typically found in larger corporations, and even then only in those that were on the cutting edge. But then something changed. Computer manufacturers such as Dell and Apple decided that they'd make 802.11 wireless networking capabilities either an option or standard on every machine they sold. This move, coupled with Microsoft's building Wi-Fi support into Windows, jump-started the “wireless movement.” Promotions for Wi-Fi access started popping up in TV commercials, in the airport, at hotels, and even in local coffee shops.


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