As the Verizon iPhone makes its way onto the market, a lot of people are talking about personal hotspots and tethering. But just what these hotspots are and how to best use them are still mysteries to many people.

What they are
A mobile hotspot is fundamentally a mobile broadband gadget that can be connected to the Internet anywhere. People may configure their smartphones to work as mobile hotspots as well. Tethering is the action of using your smartphone as a hotspot in order to connect your computer or another device to the Internet.

Why they’re great
These hotspots are particularly useful for anyone who does lots of work on the road or even at coffee shops. The free Wi-Fi that is available at many locations is not secure, making any information you transmit vulnerable.

A mobile hotspot minimizes that security concern because it is a closed network that, in the case of a smartphone, will only be open to one user. 

How you can use one
Thankfully, many mobile providers make available mobile hotspot and tethering capabilities in their wireless plans. When it comes to the new Verizon iPhone, hotspots will come at a price of $20 per month for 2 GB of data on top of the required $30 data plan for the iPhone.

Because hotspot and tethering features come at a price, they aren’t best for everyone. If you use the Internet primarily from one location, it may be more practical to use standard broadband Internet, which generally allows for unlimited usage.