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Wifi.com acquires Whisher

March 21, 2009 posted by Mike Puchol

The news are out! We can finally disclose what we have been working on during the last few months - Wifi.com completed the acquistion of Whisher in mid-January.

Logo

Wifi.com is the logical progression for Whisher, as it combines the best domain possible for a WiFi-related service, our mature client and backend technology, and their experienced team which brings on board business development and marketing experience, as well as US-based operations which can help us grow considerably. We already have exciting deals in the pipeline which will soon be announced.

We would like to thank our fans, our users, our investors, and even our critics, for all their help, feedback, input and support during these three years. With your continued help we can now make wifi.com grow way further!

Below is a short FAQ on the deal.

Q. What does this mean for Whisher users?

A. Whisher users don’t need to worry about service continuity. Simply download the new Wifi.com plugin, available at http://www.wifi.com/download.html. Uninstall your current plugin (Mac users, remember to reboot after you remove the Preferences Pane), and install the new one, entering your current Whisher login & password. Wifi.com uses the Whisher technology for its backend, website and client plugins.

Q. What happened to our shared hotspots, and the maps?

A. The reason the maps have been offline for the last few weeks is that at one point we had to switch our database over to the wifi.com servers, and thus the maps started working at http://www.wifi.com/find.php. We also have a WiFi directory at http://www.wifi.com/location/. The hotspots you have shared are all safe, and available under your account at http://www.wifi.com/ - nothing has been lost.

Q. Will you be offering premium WiFi access?

A. Right now wifi.com will concentrate on the social aspects of sharing. Control who you share with, add as much free WiFi hostpots to the community, and promote interaction between users. Eventually, we will start offering access to commercial and premium hotspots through per-minute and subscription models.

Q. Why hasn’t there been much activity around Whisher during the past few weeks?

A. We have been asked this many times, and we even read comments on other blogs that we were about to shut down - nothing further from the truth! What we have been doing is working extremely hard with wifi.com in order to bring the new service online as quickly as possible. We are a small team, and thus we could not dedicate enough resources to developing Whisher at the same time.

Q. What happens with the Whisher team?

A. Mike Puchol joins wifi.com as CTO, while Ferran Moreno and David Douek both go onto other exciting enterprises, about which we will soon hear great things about. You can find out more about the new team at wifi.com com at http://www.wifi.com/aboutus.html

Top 10 countries where WiFi is being shared

November 14, 2007 posted by Mike Puchol

We thought you might be interested in knowing some statistics about the WiFi sharing habits worldwide, so here you have the top 10 countries where Whisher is helping build truly Free WiFi:

1. United states
2. Spain
3. France
4. Switzerland
5. United Kingdom
6. Italy
7. Germany
8. Brazil
9. Netherlands
10. Portugal

We are literally everywhere, with WiFis being shared even in countries where one wouldn’t expect it to happen. Go and check by yourself in our WiFi coverage maps

Whisher coverage map screenshot

In the meantime we keep working on Whisher 3.0, which should be available to beta testers before the end of this year.

WiFi in third world countries

October 26, 2007 posted by Mike Puchol

Checking the news, I found out about another cool company trying to bring internet access to the most remote parts of the world. It is called United Village (http://www.unitedvillages.com/).
Their idea is to provide WiFi enabled PCs to kiosks in the rural areas of third-world countries. Students hired by Universal Village then drive around with a bus that automatically communicates with these PCs and send a cached update of the most popular websites (eg. Cricket results, etc.). At the same time it delivers and receives the latest emails, voicemail (which enables villagers to have a phone number), Google searches (yes…!!), etc. They are currently doing it in India, but are about to expand to Brazil and China.
I don’t know how scalable this business model is, but I must say it is a cool idea to try to break the digital divide and move slightly towards a universal internet access.

Today we explain: sharing modes

March 16, 2007 posted by Mike Puchol

People often ask about the three sharing modes that Whisher offers - unlike other initiatives, we are not about all or nothing, share or not share, have access or be left outside. Our approach is to let people decide how, when and with whom they want to share, and not be bound by their choice in a way that it affects their ability to interact with the rest of the community.whisher_sharing.png

With this in mind, we created three sharing modes: public, buddies-only, and private.

Public sharing mode

Public mode basically means that anyone with a Whisher client and a registered account can access your WiFi. When you register your WiFi, the credentials needed to access it (WEP or WPA key) are distributed to the rest of the Whisher clients out there in a secure way, so that whilst they can connect, they will never see your key. Whisher keeps logs of connections to your WiFi, and these will be available soon in a private account page at whisher.com for you to review.

Buddies-only sharing mode

If you are not ready to share with the rest of the community, but would rather start with your friends and relatives, or maybe you want to setup a small community WiFi network with your neighbors, then this mode is for you. The credentials to access your WiFi are distributed only to those Whisher users you have added to your buddy list, so controlling your sharing becomes as easy as managing buddies - don’t want to allow someone to connect any longer? Remove them from your buddy list. Someone coming to visit and you don’t want to go through the hassle of giving them the key to your WiFi? Add them to your buddy list, and when they arrive, they will be able to connect transparently.

Private sharing mode

If you are downloading important stuff, you probably want to enjoy the full speed your broadband connection offers. Simply enable private mode, and even those in your buddy list will be denied access - saving those users who you have added as VIP.

VIP you say?

When you enable private mode, you may want to keep some Whisher users connected, such as your family members or close friends, thus, all you have to do is add them to your VIP list. This is very simple, just select them on the local WiFi users list, right-click, and choose the ‘Add as VIP’ option from the popup menu. You will see a star next to their name, meaning they are now VIPs. To remove a VIP, you can either right-click on the user again and reverse the process, or you can open the WiFi profile window, where you will see all the VIP users you have added.

As you can see, sharing your WiFi with Whisher is safe, fun and hassle-free. You don’t have to wait for things to happen, fight unfamiliar hardware and settings, or install extra equipment - if your existing WiFi works, you can share it!

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