Peer-to-peer networking company Open Garden introduced WiFi Opener, an application that enables a user to share a Wi-Fi network's password and enable automatic connectivity for other app users within range.
Open Garden said its app, designed for Google's Android OS, is particularly useful for password-protected networks that are intended for public accessibility.
WiFi Opener enables networks that need to be widely accessible, such as those deployed for attendees at conferences, to "provide more security than an open network without making it harder to connect," said Stanislav Shalunov, Open Garden's co-founder and CTO.
A user can run the app to scan for protected Wi-Fi networks within range, and log the passwords to share with the community of WiFi Opener users. The app runs in the background, automatically connecting the user to Wi-Fi networks whose passwords have been stored by that user or other WiFi Opener users.
Open Garden noted that once a user connects to a Wi-Fi network via WiFi Opener, the connection can also be seamlessly shared with the user's tablet, Windows or Mac computer running Open Garden's mesh networking app. The company's original crowdsourced app combines bandwidth from Wi-Fi and cellular networks to enable the automatic creation of on-the-fly mesh networks.
Open Garden is a member of the Open Wireless Movement, which envisions the use of technologies that will let users open their wireless networks without compromising their security or sacrificing bandwidth. Other members of the group include the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Free Press, Mozilla and the Center for Media Justice.
- see this Open Garden release
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