Not everybody has an unlimited 3G/4G data plan on their smartphone or tablet. For the rest of us, it is essential to find a free WiFi hotspot, to stay connected. The WiFiMapper application, available for iOS and Android, will help us find our nearest free WiFi hotspot and its restrictions.
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Download and install WiFiMapper
The iOS version has been around since March 2015. The Android version is a bit newer, as it was released on July 16th.
There are other apps named "WiFi Mapper" at Google Play. So, if you find it through search, make sure you install the right one, from OpenSignal.com.
How to find a free WiFi hotspot with WiFiMapper
WiFiMapper has a massive database of over 650 million free WiFi hotspots, according to the description in Google Play. The app's website still mentions 500 million, but apparently it is outdated.
Once we installed and fired up the app, it will give us a choice if we want the app to collect information on WiFi hotspots automatically or not.
On the one hand, this helps the app get better for everyone, by creating a more accurate map of hotspots. If however we feel that this violates our privacy, we can go to settings and uncheck the relevant checkbox.
If we leave it checked on, we can sign in with our Google account, to edit the saved hotspots and leave comments.
Find a free WiFi hotspot near my location
If we are already on the road, we just need to click on the "my location" icon, so the map will zoom to where we are at and show the nearest free WiFi hotspots.
Of course, we need to have Internet access already through a data plan, to load the relevant data. If our phone/tablet doesn't have 3G/4G coverage, we will need to plan ahead, before we leave home. The app will create a cache with the most recent hotspots we looked for and have them available offline.
Find a free WiFi hotspot in a specific area
Let's say we want to have a vacation in Greece, which is perfectly safe, despite the Greek economy problems. Instead of paying through the nose for roaming, we can be prepared, and search for a particular area.
Selecting any of the icons we will see the business offering the free WiFi, and whether it is open, without a password...
...or it needs a password, which will apparently be provided by the business.
Selecting the "i", we will see more information for the specific WiFi...
...and by scrolling down we will see Foursquare comments, not necessarily about the WiFi, but for the business itself. Although in a foreign country, most of the comments will probably be in the native language.
Future features for WiFiMapper
Since WiFiMapper is a pretty recent app, its creators are planning a series of extra features for future releases. Those features will include, among others, secure password sharing for protected free WiFi hotspots, and Full offline maps for cities, so we can use the app without an internet connection.
Did WiFiMapper help you find a good free WiFi Hotspot?
Did you find the app useful, or do you need it still needs work? Leave us a comment.
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