OpenSignal Shows You All The Free Wi-Fi Hotspots In Your Area Via Crowdsourcing

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Posted 2 years ago


New York's Harlem WiFi Network Completion Date NearsIn this day and age, those of us with smartphones know the saga of trying to find free Wi-Fi to avoid running up your mobile phone bill all too well. But, salvation may be possible thanks to a wireless coverage startup’s own policies and their most recent product to hit the app market.

Enter Wifimapper, a new app for the iPhone recently released by OpenSignal.

The company, based in London, began operation in 2010. Their claim to fame is their technology that effectively tracks mobile networks’ speed and coverage in an manner that is independent of these networks and relies heavily on tools within the app that not only can detect if you’re using Wi-Fi, but can also find out what free Wi-Fi hotspots you can access in proximity to your location.

OpenSignal mines this data thanks to the feedback it passively receives from users. This crowdsourcing approach takes on a new dimension with Wifimapper; OpenSignal encourages users to manually identify which hotspots they use that are free, which helps a process already in place that ‘guesses’ which of them are free in the first place thanks to previous interactions that are logged in combination with check-ins via social media platforms like Foursquare.

Another added benefit of the link with social media is that users can leave additional commentary on the various free Wi-Fi hotspots they encounter that are descriptive of the location, like cafes for example. The app is still in its first version, but early feedback suggests that this may be one app that could be a mainstay for smartphones in the near future.

Christopher A. Smith


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