Wi-Fi finders: the freelancer’s secret weapon
One of the perks of being a freelancer is that you can “work from home” just about anywhere. But getting work done in the middle of Anchorage, Alaska, at a bus terminal in Adalaj, India, or even when your local coffee shop’s internet is down can be a tremendous stumbling block for completing yours tasks.
There are plenty of free Wi-Fi networks available at public locations like coffee shops, airports, and parks. If you find yourself stuck without that coveted signal, though, then you’ll need a backup plan. Here are some invaluable Wi-Fi finder tools that’ll help you keep things rolling along even when you’re out and about.
Wi-Fi finder tools
- Wi-Fi Finders
While most people will use their phones or computers to sniff out a signal, some prefer to use a dedicated Wi-Fi finder. Devices like the TRENDnet or the neat pen-shaped finder from Quantum Imports are small and powerful, and will generally gauge how strong a Wi-Fi signal is so you can move closer to the source if it’s too weak to get work done. And on top of that, many Wi-Fi finders are adapters as well and vice versa (see below), so you get both functions in one device.
- Create your own network
Tools like Google’s Fi essentially creates your own hotspot wherever you go by connecting to either the closest Wi-Fi network or to a 4G LTE source. This option is somewhat limited though, since only Nexus users can access it, and at $10/GB, it is rather pricey for continuous use.
- Laptop Tools
In order for a laptop to connect to a wireless network, you’ll need a Wi-Fi network adapter. New laptops have this piece built-in, but if you have an older model, you may need to purchase an external one. Products like the NETGEAR Wi-Fi adapter or the convenient Nano design will also boost your signal even if you have an internal adapter.
Source: TP Link
This tool won’t help you find a Wi-Fi network, but it will do something almost as valuable. Connecting to hotspots is a real battery killer, so JuiceDefender helps you a save battery life, and that’s something we can all appreciate. The app puts your phone into a semi-power saving mode, so that you have as much time as possible on your device while you’re out. You can customize your settings or use the preset modes to gain hours of battery life for your device.
Mobile device apps
Here are a few good choices for convenient and strong Wi-Fi finder apps that’ll keep your workflow steady and productive
- Wi-Fi Finder
A JiWire product, this is a really comprehensive tool. Not only can you find public and private networks in your own neighborhood to connect to, but you can even search for networks anywhere in the world. Covering 144 countries, Wi-Fi Finder lets you save
Source: WiFi Map
Security Note: Public Wi-Fi hotspots are hiding spots where hackers sit and wait for an unsuspecting freelancer to hand over their private data via this unsecured network. Don’t hop on the first Wi-Fi network you find. See if you can get one from a trusted provider. If you can’t, be careful with your browsing activity. Don’t log into any banking, shopping, or financing websites or apps that require you to put your personal information in. Alternatively, you can use a proxy server (or use a service) so your surfing is secure regardless.
Wi-Fi finders are also great if you are traveling and want to save money on roaming charges or if you don’t want to use up all your data on a simple project. Check out these apps, and give yourself the gift of faster, easier, and more convenient Wi-Fi, so you can get the job done and get back to enjoying the perks of being a freelancer.