Mobile Edge WiFi Signal Locator

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 14 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 14 October, 2007, 12:00am

What is it? A wireless-fidelity (Wi-fi) 'hotspot' signal detector created by Mobile Edge to help travellers stay connected to the internet while on the road.

How does it work? The signal locator identifies the presence of any 802.11 B or G wireless networks from up to 90 metres away. Operation is simple: press the button in the middle of the locator and a flashing LED light indicates the search is in progress. A continuous red light confirms a wireless signal has been detected.

Why do I need one? Trying to find a Wi-fi-friendly connection while travelling, especially to areas you do not know well, is frustrating and time consuming. The signal locator is a quick, convenient and discreet way to identify whether a reliable signal is present.

Tell me more. The device measures 5.5cm by 3 cm and weighs 226 grams. It also sports a useful key-ring attachment to make it easily accessible. It clearly indicates whether a signal is strong enough, avoiding unreliable or weak connections: the best signal is not always in the most obvious location. This is important for downloading or sending large files.

Any downside? The signal locator does not indicate if the identified network is open or security-enabled (needing a password to connect) so you still need to check if you can connect to the internet. But at least the gadget narrows the search and you can always request permission to connect to a private network.

Where can I find one? It costs US$29.99 and is available online from