Obviously both are the very same thing. I'd suggest to merge them and converting the remaining one (depending on which is the merging target) into a synonym.

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This came up a while back (in 2010, it looks like): wifi tags - are wifi-tethering and wifi-hotspot redundant? It might be worth revisiting, though. –  eldarerathis Dec 14 '12 at 21:59
    
Agreed. And as to Matt's answer there: one could still use two tags (e.g. wifi-hotspot and tether) if really necessary. Though I'd say most people don't distinguish the two. Is there really a technical difference between the two terms wifi-tethering and wifi-hotspot? I'm not aware of any (except you'd count an ad-hoc connection not as a hotspot, which might be an argument -- but still could be pointed to by using two tags then: wifi-hotspot and ad-hoc-networks) –  Izzy Dec 14 '12 at 22:06
    
I guess tethering over an ad-hoc connection may, from a technical standpoint, be different than a hotspot, as it wouldn't really be an AP in that situation. It would be essentially behaving like one, but I suppose it wouldn't really be one. I'm not sure if that alone is a convincing enough reason to leave them separated or not, though. –  eldarerathis Dec 14 '12 at 22:13
    
Exactly my point: only hair-splitting makes a difference here. And those who insist on that difference are rather discussing it at other SO "branches" (oh, there isn't a Networking SO? I thought there was...). So 1:0 pro merging the two :) –  Izzy Dec 14 '12 at 22:19
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I believe that these are actually different things:

could represent any wifi network, or a public 'wifi hotspot'.

would mainly represent the actual process of tethering, or creating a hotspot.

As such, I don't think they should be merged.

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As said: when concerned about the process, one could use wifi-hotspot and tether to indicate this. Too many "similar" tags are IMHO not that helpful -- it gets harder to utilize them for searching, as you first need to figure out which are available. But OK, that's my opinion... –  Izzy Dec 19 '12 at 19:49
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