Tactical Advice

Kensington WiFi Finder Plus

A quick method to locating wireless signals.
This story appears in the June 2007 issue of BizTech Magazine.

I first purchased the Kensington WiFi Finder Plus when I needed a faster way to locate available wireless signals — especially when working from a client’s location. Instead of having to boot up your notebook and perform a search, using the Kensington WiFi Finder Plus is a perfect solution for busy consultants who need a signal fast.

End-User Advantages

The Kensington WiFi Finder Plus detects Wi-Fi hotspots and Bluetooth signals. For anyone who works from client sites, the WiFi Finder eliminates the inefficient method of trying to find a hotspot. By simply pressing a button on this handy and inexpensive little device, the user is able to locate the connection and determine its strength. The Kensington WiFi Finder Plus is also compact and can attach to a keychain or notebook carrying case.

Why It Works for IT

Even though most buildings post if they have Wi-Fi access, and Web sites such as Wifinder.com make it easy to research good Wi-Fi locations, oftentimes you are in a hurry and need a signal fast.

The Kensington WiFi Finder Plus gives those who travel the ability to find the closest hotspot with little effort.

This product is remarkably simple. Just press a button and find the closest hotspot without having to pull out your notebook or hook up any devices. If a signal is detected, the device lets you find the strength of the signal by holding down the button and walking toward the source. The increase or decrease of the strength is indicated on a five-LED display that corresponds with most notebook signal strengths. The device is able to indicate the signal strength of 802.11b and 802.11b/g. It also filters out other 2.4 gigahertz signals from cordless phones, cell phones and microwave ovens.

Because of its small size — 1.5 inches by 2.5 inches — it also can easily be stored in your pocket. And it has a built-in flashlight, which can be useful when you need to find signals in the dark.

Disadvantages

The real downfall is the product’s battery. The product is sensitive to movement and activates accidentally. This causes the batteries to die quickly. The WiFi Finder Plus uses lithium batteries, which cost more and are sometimes difficult to find.

CDW Price: $24.93

Kristen Larsen is a freelance writer who works for Bradley Wiltjer Marketing Group in Aurora, Ill.
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