Feeds

Pocket Wi-Fi sniffers end missing hotspot misery

No need to boot up first

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Application security programs and practises

Reg Kit Watch Road warriors know the frustration: you're in a foreign city and want to find a Wi-Fi access point. Normally that means looking on the Internet for site directories that can tell you where the nearest hotspots are located, such as WiFinder or WiFiMaps. Most of the time, it's trial and error.

Now, there is a much easier solution. US peripherals maker Kensington has introduced a world first: a detector that will locate Wi-Fi networks. No more booting up your notebook to find a Wi-Fi signal.

Image copyright Kensington

The small device detects 802.11b and 802.11g signals from up to 200 feet away and filters out other wireless signals, including cordless phones, microwave ovens and Bluetooth networks. Three lights indicate signal strength. For $29.95 that's seems a bargain.

However, Wi-Fi Finder is not perfect. There is no display information on the owner of the network or whether the hotspot is commercial, free or private; nor is there any information about the level of security provided (WEP or WPA, for example).

Another US company, WiFisense, based in New York City, has a different approach altogether. Its wearable scanner not only detects the networks' signal strength, it will also indicate if they the hotspot is password protected or not. It then uses patterns of light and sound to announce its availability, quality and accessibility.

But it doesn't stop there: the technology can easily fit in any wearable, everyday object: laptop bags, jackets, belts and the like. Currently the WiFisense is a handbag.

"A haaaandbaaaag?" as Lady Bracknell might exclaim.

There are 64 LEDs embedded in the front of the handbag, which light up to acknowledge Wi-Fi presence at various signal strength. If there isn't any Wi-Fi activity in the vicinity, the LEDs look just like some beads on the bag's surface. Isn't that neat? ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.