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Wi-Fi Finder

Wi-Fi Finder allows you to search over 545,000 free and paid public Wi-Fi locations in 144 countries worldwide — and the best part is that you don’t have to be online to do so. I recommend starting by downloading the 38MB offline database from the app’s home screen (if subsequent updates are available, the app will automatically notify you).

Once the data is downloaded, you can then enter your current location even if you’re offline. Country, state/region, and city are required (you select from a drop-down menu), while entering your ZIP code is optional. Search results show free and paid Wi-Fi locations, including the name, address and type of location (café, hotel, etc.). Unfortunately, paid locations are just labeled as “paid” — a further improvement would be if the app listed the actual prices.

If you’re already online, the app allows you to find Wi-Fi near your current location (using location services) or worldwide. For the latter, you can enter a street, ZIP code or city.

Results are shown in map form, with free locations signaled in green and paid Wi-Fi locations in blue (if your device’s location services are enabled, the app displays the distance and turn-by-turn directions). Search results can be filtered by provider and type of location; a key even lists HP ePrint locations, which can be especially useful if you’re in need of a printer while traveling.

Finally, you can bookmark and share Wi-Fi locations, and if you know of a hotspot that isn’t listed, you can submit it.

Bottom line

The ability to find Wi-Fi without having to use Wi-Fi is especially useful when you’re traveling and not using 3G/4G.