Sharing Wifi network using Facebook Connect Feature

Nobody wants to give someone access to his/her Wi-Fi network. As it involves a tough decision:, which among other things involves handing out the password.

A Swedish startup called Instabridge, has an easier way.

Instabridge’s free Android app lets you automatically share Wi-Fi networks with your Facebook friends. The app works by taking advantage of the Facebook Connect authentication tool, which lets users to log on to websites with Facebook credentials. The app is available in a few of European countries at present.

How to use the App: 

When you install Instabridge, you need to log in with your Facebook username and password. The app then determines who your friends are and lets you invite them to use a network. To share a Wi-Fi network through Instabridge for the first time, you must type in your network’s password, which is encrypted and stored on Instabridge’s servers. If a friend using the Instabridge app on his smartphone comes within range of a network you’ve shared, Instabridge pushes the network credential to your friend’s phone so he can get online, but it doesn’t show it to him. Once he’s moved out of range, the credentials are deleted from his phone.

The App also allows the user to lock users out of the network. The app also includes a map showing all the networks available to the user. In the next version, the start-up is adding a feature, by which a user will be able to add friends with the address book on his/her phone. Other fiture additions include, adding other social sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn in the mix.

Instabridge says that although Instabridge app must be running all the time (along with your smartphone’s Wi-Fi), it doesn’t deplete the smartphone’s battery; as it operates in the background and links into the phone’s normal Wi-Fi scanning activities only when it sees a network it recognizes (just as a smartphone with Wifi  does).

Instabridge’s cofounder and CEO, Niklas Agevik, is confident that with the more smartphones and tablets proliferation, the inconvenience of having to share a Wi-Fi password (which means losing money as well; if the WiFi owner is on a limited data plan) will make more and more users uneasy. And this will help the start-up.

Availability: The app is currently available only for Android users in countries like Sweden, Estonia, Denmark, Norway, and Iceland. About 5,000 people have downloaded the app from Google Play till now and there are about 2,000 active users.

Instabridge plans to launch the app in US in early 2013, and after that in other countries.The company is also considering an iOS version of the app.

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