Updated: Whisher has sent this special offer to our readers. They are giving away WiFi Out credit to GigaOM readers, and you can get the details here. The deal allows you to get free WiFi at Starbucks, Hilton Hotels, International airports and other locations.
Whisher, which provides access to Wi-Fi hotspots around the world in exchange for access on users’ own home or business networks, has unveiled a client that allows access to its hotspots on Nokia Symbian (N81, N82 or E61) phones. The move is a smart extension of Whisher’s service offering; Nokia has been including Wi-Fi chipsets in many of its smartphones and has built a strong market share.
To integrate the client (and further lock users into using the Whisher service), the company has introduced a feature called Automatic Connection. When enabled, Automatic Connection scans all Wi-Fi networks within range and connects to the one with the strongest connection. (It’s unclear at this point whether the client would prefer a Whisher network over an open-access network if the two network strengths are equal.)
If you’d like to try the Whisher Wi-Fi sharing system and the associated Symbian client, there are two steps. First, visit Whisher’s web site and download the software appropriate for your home networking set-up (the company has both Windows and Mac clients). Once it’s installed, you’ll be “sharing” on the Whisher network of global Wi-Fi hotspots. Then point your mobile browser to http://nokia.whisher.com and install the Symbian application. After the app is installed, available Whisher hotspots will have a designated “W” icon attached, as pictured on the right.
To see whether the Whisher service has hotspots in the areas you frequent, be sure to view its global map.
The Wisher Wi-Fi network isn’t as far-reaching as the Fon network, but moves like this Nokia agreement — which capitalizes on the E Series and N Series wireless networking capabilities — are proof the company is working to stay competitive. What Wi-Fi roaming service do you use? Would you recommend it?