JiWire Wi-Fi Hotspot Finder
Perhaps the most comprehensive hot-spot list youll find online, JiWire also provides the engine behind a host of other hot-spot directories, including Yahoos and a number of vendor sites. Users can enter an address or airport code to find hot spots within a radius of between 0.2 miles and 100 miles. You can also browse by location types—including free hot spots, airports, hotels or cafes—and by country. Results include names of providers, pricing and maps of the area that pinpoint other nearby locations. The search box can also be downloaded to mobile devices such as PDAs and cell phones so you can carry the directory with you on the road. And if you wish to add JiWires search engine to your own Web site, you can sign up to become an affiliate.
Wi-Fi Zone Finder
Drill down on a country, state and city to find nearby hot spots. You can also search for specific providers or venue types such as coffee shops or airports. Hot spots listed in this international database have been certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance. Includes free sites serviced by certified providers.
This is the best-known of 16 different online addresses that take you to NMV Globals hot-spot finder. The finder features a Road Warriors guide for the uninitiated that includes everything from tips on security and choosing a provider to a definition of WiMax and an explanation of why you should know it. Use top icons to select the type of venue you are looking for (hotel, coffee shop, etc.), then fill in at least one field to find one near you. A detail page gives location names and addresses, types of venues, and names of carriers who service them. Users can add or rate hot spots.
Enter an address to see locations within one, two, five or 10 miles, and youll get back a list of establishments with their addresses, phone numbers, URLs and names of service providers. Includes free sites.
The Wi-Fi-Freespot Directory is a state-by-state guide to free Wi-Fi hot-spots in the U.S. It comes with all the caveats that frequent travelers have come to expect--that the signal may not be strong (or even on), that it may overlap with other nearby WLANs (be sure you connect to the right one), and that the staff is not there for tech support. But, hey, isnt that often true at pay locations?
Performance is a bit sloggy on this site, which claims more than 28,000 hot-spots in its database. It also offers a lengthy list of service providers and access plans, as well as Wi-Fi tutorials and a guide to help you get online.
The Wireless Node Database Project is an international guide to free hot-spots. Its grown from a local hot-spot map of Sydney, Australia, into a sizeable database of listings from around the world. Street maps with pushpins mark free hot-spot locations for globe trotters. Each provides detailed information on the nodes, including elevation charts.
The Wi-Fi Guy (in real life, high-tech PR man D. Kent Pingel) doesnt provide a directory but an on-going blog of hot-spot critiques amidst tales from the road that Pingel gathers in finding them. Youll find a compendium of his travels, including photos, frustrations, and personal recollections—all of which amount to a fun read if youre not in a hurry to find a site.
PluggedIns.com is a directory of U.S. hotel hot-spots, both wired and wireless. There are also reviews and a blog with news for road warriors.
Search by city or zip code for a list of venue names, addresses, and phone numbers with provider information and user ratings on the service. It includes links to maps but does not sort by distance from your location.
CenterGate Researchs internal list of hotels with high-speed Internet access—both wireless and wired—features mini-reviews written from a business perspective. The database is international but limited.
Based in the United Kingdom, this international hotspot finder launched in June, 2004. At this writing (July, 2004), it already included a healthy index of international listings from its partners, Boingo Wireless and Trustive Wireless Internet Access. Coming soon: Promotions and special offers on things like discounted hotel rates.
Know of a finder thats not on this list? Send the name and URL to Mobile & Wireless Center Editor Carol Ellison at email@example.com.