Well, I’m back from my vacation on Maui, and tomorrow the real world of work is back…and I am excited about it! You might think I am being facetious to say that I am glad to be going back to work, but truth be told, I really enjoy my job! I enjoy doing training classes for real estate agents so much that I even did one while on vacation last week. I presented an Introduction to ePro at the Maui Realtor Association in Kahalui on Thursday afternoon.
During the Q&A after the formal session, we got to talking about working from where the customers are and not from the office. I have found that most agents understand that in today’s competitive market the ability to work where the client wants you to work is a requirement, not just a good idea. The Maui agents were no exception.
The problem is how do you get an Internet connection while roaming around your market area? Even in an area like Maui, the agents face the same issues as we do here on the mainland, so I suggested to one of the agents in attendance that he take his WiFi enabled laptop to one of the many tourist hotels that abound in Maui and set up shop in the lobby. I could see the wheels turn as he thought it over. After everyone had left, he came up to me and thanked me for the idea and told me that he was going to give it a try.
That exchange got me to thinking about using FREE WiFi hotspots and how they could be located. As it turns out, a quick Google search for “locate free WiFi” turned up quite a few choices. Two stand out as my favorites, and I suspect that you will like them too.
Free WorldWide Web Based HotSpot Locater
JiWire has been around for a long time and this ad supported, web based WiFi HotSpot locater works very well in the San Francisco Bay Area.
I did a quick search by going to the web site, selecting the United States, then California, and finally my town, Danville, California. The service returned 6 hotspots, two of which are free. The other 4 would require memberships in the service that they support. The picture below shows the results of the search. As you can see, you can get driving directions or a map. If you know of a hot spot that JiWire does not have in their database, you can add it to help extend the usefulness of the service.
The results returned for a search of Danville, California, USA. Notice that the free spots are green (one is obscured by the balloon dialog) the paid spots are in blue.
Free computer or SmartPhone Application
Ok, this one got me excited. Not only because it can locate free WiFi hotspots, but also because once installed, it will locate free hotspots and then automatically connect you and open up your web browser to a web page. In other words, turn on your laptop, click on the icon and if there is a free WiFi hotspot available, it will connect you. It doesn’t get any easier than that. No configuration hassles, no set up (after you have downloaded and installed the program)
Click on the picture for a link to the web site and to learn more about the product. (Also for the download) It is also available for select telephones (sorry iPhone users, not for you!) Click on the YouTube video for a demonstration that will clarify things for you! One quick caveat, it may be illegal to connect to private hotspots, make sure that you have permission to do so!