Restaurants, malls, trains, hotels: it can feel as though Wi-Fi is everywhere these days. Until you’re traveling, when you can still spend an age trying to find a network, only to find it’s password-protected or the local winner of Slowest Wi-Fi 2015.
WiMAN is a free Wi-Fi manager for Android and iOS which can display a map of all your local Wi-Fi networks, along with estimates of distance (x minutes by foot/ car), and flagging them as “verified” (another wiMAN user has connected), “authentication provided” (another user has connected but you need a user name/ password) or “not verified” (no-one has connected yet).
You’ll only see the networks wiMAN knows about, of course. The developer says there’s more than 8,000,000 from around the world, but as something like 330,000 of those are in New York alone, there’s plenty of scope for black spots.
Still, we found good coverage in a local test. Networks can be rated by other wiMAN users, so the app is offering more than just a standard database. And maps are downloadable, too, allowing you to use them when you’re offline.
Once you’re within range wiMAN’s simple Wi-Fi manager detects and displays local networks in two list (authentication required, or not), and automatically connects you to the best.
There are also bonus options to run speed tests on individual networks, display stats on how they’re used (number of wiMAN users who’ve connected, amount of data exchanged, more) or share a new network with other wiMAN users.
Will wiMAN help you? It all depends on how your location matches up with its coverage. The app found new networks for us, though, and a 4-star rating at Google Play suggests it’s working for others, so it’s certainly worth a try.