WeFi -- Crowdsourced hotspot locator for mobile professionals

Summary:Mobile professionals know the value of finding free WiFi hotspots, and one of the best ways to find them is with WeFi.

Mobile professionals know the value of finding free WiFi hotspots, and one of the best ways to find them is with WeFi. WeFi is a free service that pinpoints up-to-date hotspot information on maps either on the WeFi web site or through mobile apps for smartphones. What sets WeFi apart is the crowdsourcing that keeps the hotpot database accurate through real-time information collected from millions of global WeFi users.

The WeFi web site can be accessed through any web browser and presents maps with all known hotspots in a form that is easy to use. Click the cursor on a hotspot on the WeFi map and a popup provides complete information about the hotspot, including if a login is required and if a fee is required. Hotspots of all types appear on the WeFi map, including those in businesses and even home WiFi networks. If you are traveling to a new location, simply enter the address and get the map for that area with all hotspots duly noted.

The WeFi mobile apps (Symbian, Windows Mobile, Android) are free and make both finding hotspots and updating information on hotspots as easy as a few taps on the screen. This crowdsourcing is what sets WeFi apart from other hotspot locators, as it collects information about a hotspot in real-time from the mobile apps. Lists of hotspots can be displayed if maps are not desired. Finding hotspots could not be easier.

Android phone owners with the WeFi app installed can take hotspot location to the next level by also installing the free app Lookator. This is an augmented reality app that shows the WeFi hotspots on the phone screen using AR. The phone camera shows the surrounding area on screen with all nearby hotspots superimposed on the moving display. This is a practical use of AR as it makes it easy to start walking towards the hotspots showing around you. Finding hotspots in a busy urban area couldn't be easier.

Topics: Mobility, Networking


James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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