Wifi hotspot and internet phones

If I understand using Smart phones  to connect to internet usually involves users purchasing a plan from internet provider, and as far as I know, most of them they are not unlimited (they have limited Gigs to use).
in the other side, there are Wifi Hotspots, these devices will allow users to connect their laptops to internet via Hotspot.
I believe Wifi Hotspot is like having wireless router at home, there is Unlimited usage of internet with flat rate. Correct?

I also want to know how the Internet provider assesses the usage of the smart phone usage when it is using internet ?  I mean if you do not download files through  your phone, will the internet size usage still be decremented , example if you have 2GB every month in your plan, browsing internet will decrement your 2GB ? how fast it will decrement it ?
I know that some people had to pay extra money , because their kids downloaded files from internet through their smart phones

Any clarification on this will be very appreciated.

Thanks
jskfanAsked:
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mankowitzCommented:
Many hotspots are free, but not all. If you go to any modern coffeeshop, they probably offer free wifi. If you go to a hotel, they might have wifi as an added charge, and if you go to an airport, you almost definitely have to pay for wifi. The business model behind each wifi hotspot is different. Most of they time, you have relatively unfettered access once you get to the hotspot, but not always.

Cellular data plans measure your internet usage exactly. As far as the cellular provider is concerned, there is no difference between downloading a movie and viewing it through youtube. In both cases, all the data has to be transferred to your computer and you will be charged on a per-megabyte basis.  

When you view a web page, you are downloading all the text, all the javascript, all the CSS, all the images and probably a whole bunch of tracking data. That's why surfing is the same as downloading to the cellular provider.
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George ZarifCommented:
The person that owns a smart phone will need to get a Data plan from the mobile/cell phone provider (example: rogers, bell, telus etc) none of them are unlimited data planes which could start from 500 MB and not GB.

So if you connect your cell phone to a WiFi connection this way you save your data for area that doesn't have a wireless connection.

As for your data it is hard to say how much you need! Every cellphone has an option to how you how much you've used so far, so I would keep my eye on it. Also if you download, watch videos that will eat up your data plan, but if you simply read text it wouldn't use much
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jskfanAuthor Commented:
There is a device people carry along and gives them access to internet also called Hotspot. It is like the od wireless card that users plug into their laptop to access internet, but this hotspot device is wireless , users do not need to plug to their laptop.
I believe the hotspot does not have limited access to internet..
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lherrouCommented:
there are Wifi Hotspots, these devices will allow users to connect their laptops to internet via Hotspot.
I believe Wifi Hotspot is like having wireless router at home, there is Unlimited usage of internet with flat rate. Correct?


In general, the answer to that question is no. Mobile WiFi Hotspots of the type I think you mean are limited by the plan they are on. The specific details of the data included depend on the provider and plan, but it's pretty hard to find an unlimited plan for these.

I also want to know how the Internet provider assesses the usage of the smart phone usage when it is using internet?  I mean if you do not download files through  your phone, will the internet size usage still be decremented , example if you have 2GB every month in your plan, browsing internet will decrement your 2GB ?

Yes, absolutely these go towards the 2GB limit. Every email you receive, every site you browse, updates to apps you use, even the apps themselves (YouTube, streaming music, etc)... all of these go towards your data limits (as well as files you download). How quickly depends on how much email you receive, how many websites you browse, whether the sites are more image intensive, if you watch a lot of videos, etc.

Cheers,
LHerrou
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remixedcatCommented:
Avoid open wifi for anything mission critical, as it's unencrypted if you must than use a VPN
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jskfanAuthor Commented:
Thanks!
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