Wi-fi for everyone!


During my trip through Thailand there was one recurrent irritation. The fact that in every new city, bar or place I visited, I needed to make a new Wi-Fi connection. I only needed to use the internet to see what places to visit, what route to take, etc. This task could be done in five minutes, but the finding a connection, asking for the password made my Thai Life a lot harder.

Hopefully an answer to my Free WIFIprayers came up with Instabridge. The company that was founded in 2012 wants to replace your phone’s default Wi-Fi manager and give you access to a crowd sourced database of Wi-Fi. Originally you shared your Wi-Fi with friends on Facebook, but Instabridge developed to broader Wi-Fi sharing community. Community members submit their password information through the Instabridge Android app, thereby opening (parts of) their network to everyone else. In addition the aplicaton comes with a pre-loaded database of venues that have free Wi-Fi, for example McDonalds or Starbucks. You can find where these spots are by looking on a map but most of the times you can also be navigated by using your phone’s compass. (http://instabridge.com/en/)

Yesterday Instabridge stated that it is hosting 20.000 individual sessions and adding 1.000 new access points every day. The app is coming up in emerging market such as Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and India, but also in countries like Spain, Canada, The U.S. and last but not least The Netherlands. The app is momentarily only working on Android devices, but the developers are making sure that it will be usable for iOS in the near future.

The company just raised $1.000.000,- to help this free network of Wi-Fi grow. The biggest part of this was backed by Creandum (the venture capitalist that was also involved in Spotify and Izettle early on). But several angel investors and other parties participated in raising the money. This shows that there is great interest in the potential this app could have.

There are some other apps that automatically connect you to open Wi-Fi network or similar apps (Wifi Opener), but Instabridge easily wins this competition due to the fact that it managed to build up a quite big following since it launched in 2012. Also what sets Instabridge apart is the community of users sharing Wi-Fi, making sure you get more (and better) Wi-Fi by using Instabridge. Personally I really hope this becomes a standard application and maybe even include the option to share your mobile internet (limited) to (foreign) users of this application.

Sources

Fitchard, K. (2014, October 15). community-wi-fi-startup-instabridge-lands-1m-seed-rouNo wifind. Retrieved from gigaom: https://gigaom.com/2014/10/15/community-wi-fi-startup-instabridge-lands-1m-seed-round/

O’Hear, S. (2014, October 15). instabridge. Retrieved from techcrunch: http://techcrunch.com/2014/10/15/instabridge/

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2 responses to “Wi-fi for everyone!”

  1. 353624cw says :

    Nice topic! I did not know about the existence of Instabridge and it seems like a very interesting application. However, I am not sure whether I would provide the access code to my wifi network. I would need to know more about the risks before I would do that.

    Your post reminded me of the company Bullseye which initiated a project to provide free wifi in 37 Dutch cities. The users can make free use of the wifi to surf and to stream. The project if financed by advertisements. The company wants to connect all large Dutch cities with wifi and allows people to only sign in once and have access to the network in the connected cities. This will indeed be a beneficial project as it will make life a lot easier! According to Bullseye, the only “but” of the project is that users have to indicate that they agree with the rules and regulations for free and unlimited wifi. It made me wonder how the advertising for such a project would work.

    According to Bullseye, the free wifi will be financed by pop-up advertisements. The ad will immediately pop-up as soon as you start an app. The users will get an ad every five minutes for three seconds after which it will automatically disappear. Personally, I think will be very annoying and if I would compare it to Instabridge, I think I would prefer to use Instabridge.

    Bullseye first starts with providing general ads but they intend to adopt a strategy similar to Google and other major ad networks in which they provide customized ads to users. Bullseye indicates that they do not want the ads to disturb the surfing experience of users but I think it is exactly doing that! How horrible would it be if I am reading your post and I would be disturbed by an ad of H&M? (No actually it would not be really disturbing especially if it is sale!)

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