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Wi-Fi finder (Wi-Fi signal finder, Wi-Fi seeker or Wi-Fi locator)

A Wi-Fi finder, also called a Wi-Fi signal finder, Wi-Fi seeker or Wi-Fi locator, is a miniature electronic device that can determine whether or not a portable computer user is within range of an access point for a wireless local area network ( WLAN ). The intent is to eliminate the need to boot up the computer and attempt to connect on a "hit-or-miss" basis.

A typical Wi-Fi finder operates with the push of a button and indicates signal strength, the network identifier ( SSID ), the channel being received and whether or not the access point uses encryption . The operating range is approximately 300 feet, although this can vary depending on the presence of electrical wiring, steel building construction or other obstructions that block the propagation of electromagnetic field s.

Wi-Fi (short for "wireless fidelity") is a term for certain types of WLAN that use specifications in the 802.11 family. Many airports, hotels and fast-food facilities offer public access to Wi-Fi networks. These locations are known as hot spot s. An interconnected area of hot spots and network access points is known as a hot zone .

This was last updated in March 2011

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