Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi Aware: your router knows you’re near

Wi-Fi Aware: your router knows you’re near

The Wi-Fi Alliance reveals their next Wi-Fi CERTIFIED service - Wi-Fi Aware. This certification program from the Wi-Fi Alliance is for a technology that works with your smartphone's built-in Wi-Fi sensing capabilities, allowing Wi-Fi Aware devices to discover one-another before they even make a Wi-Fi connection. In one sense this technology is similar to Bluetooth Beacons, sending your smartphone information when you get close enough to them to speak with them wirelessly. While Bluetooth beacons have been in testing for several years, Wi-fi Aware is brand new.

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Mount Fuji will be a free Wi-Fi zone for 3 months

Mount Fuji will be a free Wi-Fi zone for 3 months

Imagine reaching the end of an exhilarating but also tiring mountain climb. You reach for your phone to take a selfie or tweet to the world about your accomplishment. But alas, you have no Internet connection. Big problem, right? Well, not if you're on top of Japan's highest peak. That's right, the iconic Mount Fuji is going to have free Wi-Fi hotspots, eight of them, in fact, and they are being placed exactly so that you can share to the world your wonderful hiking experience.

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Virgin’s in-flight Wi-Fi will be able to handle Netflix

Virgin’s in-flight Wi-Fi will be able to handle Netflix

The Internet has become so ingrained in our digital culture that people have started to look for it, and in massive doses, even in places that, until a few years ago, you'd never imagine would offer the service. But while in-flight Wi-Fi is no longer rare as a unicorn, airlines are still in a race to advertise the fastest and best speeds on can offers miles up in the air. The latest to boast of this is Virgin America, whose partnership with ViaSat means that, theoretically, their planes' Wi-Fi will be good enough for video streaming.

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Windows’ Wi-Fi Sense might be more trouble than it’s worth

Windows’ Wi-Fi Sense might be more trouble than it’s worth

Sharing a Wi-Fi password in a room or office isn't exactly a herculean task. One can write it down, for example. It can, however, certainly be made easier. And by easier, Microsoft means automagical. That's why it invented Wi-Fi Sense as a way to easily share Wi-Fi credentials with friends so that they can easily connect to the same network you're on. Sounds convenient? Probably, but considering the way things are going right now, it might also be a security nightmare waiting to happen.

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Wi-Fi proxy could thwart cops, spies from finding you

Wi-Fi proxy could thwart cops, spies from finding you

The almost ridiculous extents which government agencies go through to get otherwise private data is sometimes being matched by equally almost ridiculous extents to protect it. Since Tor and VPNs no longer seem to be enough to protect user privacy, for good or for ill, some have taken seemingly drastic countermeasures. Like this Proxyham for example, which combines a Wi-Fi proxy with the concept of a HAM radio. Not only does it let users anonymously connect to Wi-Fi using almost unidentifiable low frequency radio channels, it also lets them connect from about 2.5 miles away.

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Google Sidewalk to put Wi-Fi hubs in bus stops, phone booths

Google Sidewalk to put Wi-Fi hubs in bus stops, phone booths

Just two weeks ago, Google launched a new subsidiary simply called Sidewalk that will put technology at the service of city building. Now, Sidewalk has announced its first acquisition and also its first project, an ambitious one at that. Called Intersection, the project aims to put Wi-Fi hubs in various public spots and infrastructure, where the intersection of people take place, hence the name. In practice, this means putting up kiosks or reusing bus stops and pay phone booths to provide not just high-speed but also free gigabit Internet to the public.

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Honeywell, Inmarsat successfully test faster in-flight Wi-Fi

Honeywell, Inmarsat successfully test faster in-flight Wi-Fi

The need for better, faster Internet connection is growing, and not just on land. That need extends even when miles above. Whether it be for serious work or well-needed relaxation, plane passengers as well as crews have started to demand for better quality Wi-Fi service while flying over land or sea. Aiming to corner that market before it actually blossoms into a full-blown business, Honeywell Aerospace and Inmarsat have joined forces, a partnership that has just born fruit, reaching that first but critical milestone that paves the way for the rest.

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iOS 9 Continuity to support T-Mobile Wi-Fi calls

iOS 9 Continuity to support T-Mobile Wi-Fi calls

Almost exactly last year, Apple revealed the Continuity feature of the then upcoming OS X Yosemite, a feature that, among other things, allowed Mac users to make and take calls on their Macs as long as their iPhone or iPad is within range. Useful as that may be, there was one subset of users that were left out in the cold. Those on T-Mobile that used Wi-Fi calling couldn't get their hands on Continuity. That is, until later this year when iOS 9 rolls out with that particular feature along for the ride.

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Researchers harness the power of Wi-Fi to charge devices

Researchers harness the power of Wi-Fi to charge devices

A team of researchers from the University of Washington (UW) are working on perfecting a method of charging electronic devices using ambient Wi-Fi signals. They technology, PoWiFi (power over Wi-Fi) makes a small change to routers, so they send out a constant signal that can be harnessed and converted into DC power by a "harvester". The idea isn't new, embodied by Energous's WattUp, but the UW scientists' PoWiFi works with pre-existing hardware, so there is no need to buy a separate device. Their modified routers are able to send data and power over the same signal.

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WiFiMapper app relies on crowdsourcing to find free WiFi

WiFiMapper app relies on crowdsourcing to find free WiFi

UK-based OpenSignal has made a record for themselves of gathering useful mobile network coverage data via crowdsourcing. Then they went on to use the same technique for gathering weather information. Now the company has released a new app that crowdsources the next most useful information: free public WiFi hotspots. WiFiMapper, now available for iOS, not only relies on users submitting information on hotspots, but uses OpenSignal's existing data from Foursquare to identify the type of location.

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