The free JiWire Wi-Fi Finder App uses your GPS location to show you the nearest public and paid hotspots on a map. You can also search for a location, and it will work when you’re not connected to the internet.
Free for iPhone
Free for Android
How It Works
The app only takes about a minute to download. On the welcome screen, you’ll choose from these three options:
1. Find Public Wi-Fi Near Me
2. Search for Wi-Fi World-wide
3. Offline Wi-Fi Finder Available
The app will ask for your current location. This means it can search for Wi-Fi hotspots near you. On a map, you’ll see green and blue pins. The green pins represent free, public Wi-Fi. The blue pins represent paid Wi-Fi locations.
When you tap one of these pins, details about the location pop up. You can click it and get more information. Generally, you can see the name of the hotspot (even car washes are included), address, internet provider, it’s SSID (the name of the hotspot that you’ll connect to), and directions to the hotspot.
There are several filters you can use to modify your search. You can search by internet provider (AT&T, Cafe.com, T-Mobile, etc), or by venue type* (hotel, coffee house, restaurant). *JournalistApps.com has been unable to get the “Filter by venue type” feature to work properly. You can also favorite the hotspots you love.
Simply enter an address. Paid and public Wi-Fi hotspots will appear on a map, or a list if you wish. The other features are the same as those available in the location-based option.
Offline Wi-Fi Finder Available
You can download the database and search it offline. JiWire lists more than a half million free and paid Wi-Fi location across the globe. If you’re using an iPod Touch, this is an ideal option.
Pros & Cons
The app works extremely fast and gives you plenty of options. If you find that a hotspot is no longer in service, you can let the app know. But there’s no reviews of hotspots from other users. That means there’s no way to tell if the hotspot has a fast or slow download speed. Nor can you tell if there’s a restriction on portals, which is critical for journalists planning to upload their work via FTP.
JiWire’s Wi-Fi Finder App relies on ads and when the app first loads, there’s a pop-up ad you have to click off. It can be somewhat difficult to “x” out of the ad. It seems that you have to tap on the “x” slightly to the left before it will click off.
To get back to the welcome page, shake your phone– not too violently, of course!