We make it easy to get online with an SPL HotSpot. If you have a Library card, you can check out a hotspot for free. Then use it to connect your tablet, laptop or other Wi-Fi-enabled device to 4G LTE and 3G networks. You can borrow an SPL HotSpot for 21 days.
About SPL HotSpot
The SPL HotSpot is easy to use and gives you a wireless connection to the internet. Just turn it on, and you are ready to connect up to 15 devices. With the SPL HotSpot, you can use your laptop or tablet to do research on the internet, shop at your favorite website, download movies and music from the Library – and more.
Our SPL HotSpots are one of our most popular circulating items. The best way for you to reserve one is to place a hold:
Place a hold online. You can do this anywhere with internet access, including at your Library. When a HotSpot becomes available, you can check it out at your branch just as you would a book or DVD.
Visit any branch and ask one of our librarians to help you. Be sure to have your Library card with you.
Ask Us or call our Quick Information Center at 206-386-4636. Please have your Library card number with you when you call.
Low-Cost Internet Access
The City of Seattle maintains a list of low-cost internet options to help you afford internet access at home.
Who can borrow an SPL HotSpot?
Anyone who has a Library card can borrow a free hotspot. If you do not have a Library card, you can apply for one here.
How much does it cost to borrow an SPL HotSpot?
There is no charge to borrow and use an SPL HotSpot. You can check out and use a mobile hotspot for free for 21 days, just like other Library materials. Hotspots are subject to the usual charges for lost materials. If you lose the hotspot or damage it beyond repair, we will charge a $90 fee to your Library account.
How long can I keep the hotspot?
You can borrow an SPL HotSpot for 21 days. You can get free internet access with the hotspot during that time. There are many people waiting to borrow an SPL HotSpot, so please return the hotspot on time. The mobile hotspot will stop giving you access to the internet within 24 hours after the due date. You can renew a hotspot if no one else is waiting to borrow it. However, there is often a very long waiting list for hotspots. To renew a hotspot, log into your account or visit any Library location.
Where can I return the hotspot?
You can return the hotspot to any Library location or book return, just like other items. Please help us get the hotspot quickly to the next person waiting for it. You can do this by fully charging the battery before you return the hotspot. Also, please return the hotspot with all its original packaging and accessories.
How do I start using the hotspot?
- Press and hold the Power/Menu Button for 2-3 seconds, until the display screen on the front of the device turns on. You don't need to use the plug or cord - they're used to recharge the device.
- The WiFi is active when the signal strength shows on the display screen.
- In the WiFi settings of your computer or device, choose the hotspot name and enter the password when prompted. The password can be found on the both the hotspot and within its case.
- RESET DEVICE. In the event that the hotspot does not appear as a WiFi connection option, remove the battery cover on back of the device and press the reset button for 2-3 seconds, until the display screen on front of device reads “Factory reset restarting now.”
- CHARGE DEVICE. When the “low battery” message appears on the display screen, the hotspot will need to be charged. Connect the USB cable to the hotspot charging port and plug the two-pronged charging adapter into a standard AC outlet. When the hotspot is powered off, it will take about three (3) hours to fully charge.
Where will the hotspot work?
The hotspot will let you access the internet anywhere in the United States with a 3G, 4G, or LTE data network.
What can I do with an SPL HotSpot?
You can use the hotspot to browse the internet and send email. You can even use it to call people with services like Skype, FaceTime, and WhatsApp. There are many ways the hotspot can help you connect with friends and family. One thing it cannot do, though, is support texting and SMS messaging.
How does SPL HotSpot handle my privacy?
We care about your privacy when you use an SPL HotSpot. Because the SPL HotSpot program is an “opt-in” service, we want you to understand what information about your internet usage is tracked or used:
- We do not have access to or collect your internet usage data. We do not provide your information to the ISP.
- We do keep a record that you have checked out a hotspot only during the checkout period. We use this information to help us run the Library according to our Confidentiality of Borrower Records policy. We remove your personally identifiable information from those records as soon as you return the hotspot.
The only information we collect about the SPL HotSpot program is:
- The total amount of data sent and received by each device
- Anonymous circulation data about the hotspot devices
- Data that you choose to give us anonymously in an online survey
We do not allow the ISP to use ad-targeting programs ("supercookies") to identify you or track your internet usage.
The ISP has its own privacy policies and may not follow ours. To get an extra level of security while you are using the hotspot, you may want to use a VPN service or the Tor browser.
Where can I get more detail about the hotspot device?
Please read the User Guide included in the hotspot.
Refer to the following for more information on the hotspot:
I received a hotspot that looks different from what I’ve received before. Is this new?
The Library regularly assesses our hotspot devices and consults with our Internet Service Provider to offer the best hotspot service to our patrons. From time to time, we may upgrade our devices to reflect changes in the hotspot market. Updated instructions and links to device user manuals will always be included when a device is upgraded.