How to Find Accessible Wi-Fi Hotspots
You can fire up a Wi-Fi finder app on your smartphone to find the closest wireless hotspots.
You’re at a public place looking to get on the Internet through your trusty laptop. You may be indoors. You may be outdoors. Either way, you’re searching for a publicly accessible Wi-Fi network, or hotspot, through which you can hop online. Yes, you can always power up your laptop and search for a network. But that can be time-consuming. Instead, you can simply and quickly tap into a Wi-Fi finder app on your smartphone to see if any networks are nearby.
Wi-Fi hotspots are much more prevalent these days than years past. You can find them at libraries, restaurants, coffee shops, and a variety of other public hangouts. A Wi-Fi finder app can show you at a glance a list or map of local Wi-Fi hotspots, how close they are, and whether they’re freely available or require a password or special account. By default, a Wi-Fi finder app will track down hotspots within a certain range based on your current location. But you can search for more than just local Wi-Fi networks.
Say you’re taking a trip to another town or state and want to know in advance which hotspots are available. You can simply roam around the app’s onscreen map, pinpoint your destination, and then see which networks you can access.
You’ll uncover Wi-Fi finder apps for the iPhone as well as for Android phones. Let’s take a look at a few different apps that could help you the next time you need a dose of available Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi Finder Apps for Your iPhone
This free app from the folks at security vendor Avast displays a map through which you can find hotspots in the United States and abroad. By default, the app automatically zeros in on your current location, or you can choose a different spot by swiping your way across the map or typing the locale in the search field. Avast then displays a list of all hotspots. Tapping on a specific one displays its name and tells you whether a login is required.
Wi-Fi Map also displays a map of nearby hotspots based either on your location or in any area you travel to via the onscreen map. Tapping on the name of a specific hotspot reveals key details about it. The app is free to download. But if your destination is too far away, you’ll have to pony up $5 to unlock the Pro version, which can then cough up details on any hotspot in any location.
Wi-Fi Finder Apps for Your Android Phone
Yep, the same Wi-Fi finder app available for the iPhone is also accessible to Android users. The Android version is similar to the iPhone edition. You can hunt for local hotspots and see which ones are open and which are password protected. You can also scan other areas beyond your current locale either by map or via a search tool. The app also offers an offline mode so you can download hotspots from any country and access them without having to first tap into your cellular data plan to get connected.
Offered by JiWire for free, Wi-Fi Finder offers a variety of options. You can scan your local neighborhood for private networks as well as public hotspots. You can travel to other locations via the onscreen map or search tool to track down hotspots. You can also download a database of additional areas. Tapping on a private network allows you to connect if you know the password. Tapping a public hotspot displays its location and tells you whether it’s freely accessible.