Finding Wi-Fi Nearby

By Eric Griffith

Remember the old days? When you wanted to find a public wireless network connection in your area, you sometimes had to boot up your laptop or personal digital assistant (PDA) and see if it could sniff out a signal from an access point. If you're lucky, maybe you saw a sign on the door or even a warchalking symbol on the sidewalk out front. From there you'd sign in to use the hotspot (free or paid) and surf to your hearts content. But that's so 2002.

First off, anyone who uses hotspots knows about the various Web site directories that can tell you ahead of time where the hotspots can be located, among them, and our sister-site, Just this week, the My AvantGo service for PDAs launched a channel just for called Hot Spot Locator -- the service already lists a T-Mobile Hotspot Locator channel specific to T-Mobile locations like Starbucks Coffee Shops.

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My opinion:

By fastlanwan

What I found most interesting is getting information on hot wireless access points is getting easier to get than ever. Thre's no real need for war chalking or driving anymore. Although the article is based on U.S. AP's, it applies to all developed countries. Web sites to find you, cheap devices to find you. Since we can't hide, we better secure our AP as best as the IEEE standard for your model can make it. Whether 802.11b, a, g or a proprietary standard get it as tight as possible before you end up on one of these maps or databases.

If your in a rural area you may still need to use older methods to find a hot spots or more time to hide but sooner or later you'll end up on some list(s).