An area where wireless service is made available for Wi-Fi enabled devices or computers to access the internet.
Most hot spots charge users for access by the day or month, however some are free.
The area size can vary. A hot spot at a coffee shop, for example, might be accessible from across the street, but not the next block. At an airport, a hot spot might cover just a few gates, or the whole airport.
Mobile devices can also create their own small hot spots, including phones and dedicated data devices.
See: Mobile Hotspot
The service is enabled by one or more Wi-Fi "access points" set up by whoever offers the hot spot. The access point is a small electronic box connected to the Internet, with a Wi-Fi radio and antenna.
The term "hot spot" was popularized by T-Mobile, and is often used to refer to an access point owned and run by a company as opposed to an individual.