Tuesday, February 26, 2008

[Wireless] Free global Wi-Fi network?

Today I read an article "Is a free global Wi-Fi network possible?". It said a company called WeFi is hoping to provide a virtual global wi-fi network which is free to allow every to log on.

Actually, WeFi is not the first one working on this. You can find free Wi-Fi hotspots from some websites, such as gWifi.net, free-hotspot.com etc. The basic idea of this kind of free wi-fi network is to find unsecured hotspots to access in. However, the distinction of WeFi is that it provides a software that can automatically connect your device to the best available hot spot.So it saves time of switiching among different hotspots if there are some.

Nevertheless, the ratio of unsecured (free) access spots to all spots in a typical area is not as high as WeFi said to be 50 percent. By checking the hotspots map provieded by WeFi, I found this ratio is about 20 percent on average. We know current 802.11 products all support WEP or WPA and the vendor encourage people to set up a log-in password for data protection. Only some businesses (such as Panera Bread‎) may have open wi-fi spots. For individual wi-fi hotspot owner, unless he is generosity and can bear the low data rate as well as the risk of privacy intrusion, he may make his wi-fi open and free. My two cents: just finding and utilizing the existing open wi-fi resources may not make this virtual free wi-fi network long-lived. As a wi-fi user, I definitely hope the Internet access be free. But, I also know another phrase "There is no such thing as a free lunch."

No comments: