There is an ongoing joke I have with many of my friends and colleagues. They say that I’m fueled solely by two things: coffee and WiFi…and I’ll be the first to admit that I can hardly live without either one of those necessities. While this Android app won’t help in the caffeine department, it can make sure that I’m connected to the web everywhere that I go.
It’s called the Free Wi-Fi Finder, suitably enough, and it’s provided by the good people at JiWire. On the surface, it might not seem like all that useful a tool. After all, if you already have an Android phone with Wi-Fi, you can just start looking around for hotspots on your own. However, this app is actually a lot more useful when you find yourself among unfamiliar territory, particularly when you’re traveling overseas and don’t have the usual wireless data connection you have back home.
Scanning For Nearby Access Points
The home screen for this app is clean and straightforward, giving you four possible options: Wi-Fi Scanner, Free Wi-Fi Near Me, Search Wi-Fi Directory, and Favorites.
The first of these isn’t the most useful thing in the world. As previously mentioned, you can just use the native Wi-Fi utility on your Android phone and search accordingly. That said, the graphical interface is nice, showing the nearby Wi-Fi access points as “blips” on a radar screen. There is the “list” layout available too, if you prefer.
Offline Directory of Verified Free Hotspots
But that’s not the main reason why you’d want to get this app. The Wi-Fi radio in your smartphone is only so strong and it will not be able to see every hotspot that is reasonably close to you. This is especially true if you find yourself amidst a concrete jungle of a major metropolitan area.
The much more powerful aspect of this Free Wi-Fi Finder app is its extensive hotspot directory. This information is available to you when you are offline too, complete with the ability to search through the directory to see what Wi-Fi access points are nearby. This isn’t just for the United States either, as there are over 150,000 verified hotspots listed in 144 countries around the world. That’s fantastic for international travelers.
The directory can be viewed on a map or on a list, and you can search for available hotspots based on an address of your choosing. This helps with some pre-planning too when it comes to choosing where you’ll be heading on your trip. The hotspots can also come with details like a phone number and driving directions, as well as the ability to filter by location type. Don’t want to see the hotspots in restaurants and cafes, sticking to government buildings and libraries instead? Not a problem.
The Internet Should Be Free
It’s not perfect, but it really can be quite the lifesaver when you’re desperate for some mobile Internet. Seeing how the app itself is free, there’s no reason not to have this as part of your repertoire, both at home and abroad. If you don’t have an unlimited wireless data plan on your Android smartphone, this can be a great way to save on those data costs too!