Ahhhh, WiFi, such a treasure. It’s increasingly rare for people not have Internet connectivity on their devices, though there are ever more reasons to need it. For those of you without data plans, the drama of trekking around with your network manager open to find an open network can be made much more tolerable if you use the Instabridge app: a service to discover the WiFi networks around you and which ones have open access using data that’s collected and shared by the user community itself.

Thanks to the geolocation capacity of your device you can view a map of all the WiFi points and their areas of reach, and apply filters so you only see ones that fit certain conditions: open networks, ones that require you to accept terms of use, ones that don’t require a password or that have a minimum network speed. You can also see just the ones provided by bars, cafes, or restaurants.

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The apps users themselves add the new WiFi points, in a ‘gamified’ process with a ratings system that sets up a sort of competition with local rankings for users who’ve discovered the most WiFi networks. You can also vote on each point’s usefulness or tick it as mistaken. This dependency is double-edged, as the usefulness of the app depends entirely on how much people are using the app in a particular area. Instabridge, besides saving you hassle in certain circumstances where you need connectivity, acts as a database that memorizes the login details of networks where you’ve gotten connected in place of your Android’s own network manager, which is more than enough reason for it to interest those of you running around like chickens with your heads cut off in search of a bit of bandwidth.

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