Thanks to Verizon Wireless, I pay over $220 a month for my phone bill. It's just me on the plan—no family members, and it's not even unlimited data. So, when I receive that data alert message telling me that I've used up 90% of my plan and that I've still got a few more week until my billing cycle starts over, you know that I'm left scrambling to connect to some Wi-Fi.
Although we live in a very connected time, where free Wi-Fi should be readily available for all of us to use and share no matter where we are, I guess we're just not there yet. Residential areas password-protect their networks (for good reason), businesses make you purchase something to use their internet, and free Wi-Fi hotspots can take forever to find.
That's where WiFi Map comes in, an app available for both Android and iOS that locates where you are and provides you with a map filled with accessible Wi-Fi hotspots, along with network names and passwords so that you can connect for free. It's similar to Instabridge, but has a bigger user base and works on both Android and iOS devices.
Open WiFi Map and you will instantly see a map filled with blue markers indicating different Wi-Fi hotspots with available passwords and comments. You can also view them in a list underneath the map, sorted by distance.
When you tap on a Wi-Fi hotspot, you'll see more information, such as the name of the building where the Wi-Fi is, the name of the Wi-Fi network, the password, and any other comments/tips deemed relevant. You'll also be able to find completely free hotspots from coffee shops and hotels.
You can include your own Wi-Fi network, or one that you have the password for, by tapping on "Add." Then just select the location and enter the password. It's users like you and me that make this app what it is today, so it's crucial that we add networks when possible.
Using the search option, you can look for specific hotels, cafes, cities, and countries that you might be visiting soon so that you can check for nearby Wi-Fi networks before actually going, to scope things out beforehand.
You can also download some offline maps for free on the Android version, but the more popular ones such as Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago will cost you a dollar each.
WiFi Map also comes with a pro iOS version ($4.99), which unlocks all of these offline maps.
So, whether you're trying to download a large file, stream a video, or are about to run out of data like I always do, with over 2 million hotspots out there, you should have no problems finding free internet to connect to no matter where you are.