Wefi is an app for smartphones and laptops that makes it easier for you to connect to the Internet – and takes a “social networking” approach to the job. Instead of using crowded, sluggish, and expensive cell network data connections to access the internet on the road, Wefi users can access wifi networks all over the globe. The Wefi app looks for a wifi network in the area and checks in its database if it is in the Wefi database – meaning that it’s free and available for connection.
The Wefi connection manager automatically searches for available networks that have been discovered and uploaded by other users, and if you’ve discovered a new network that meets Wefi standards, it gets uploaded to the database for the benefit of others. Millions of Wefi users are mapping free and accessible wifi hotspots all around the world – over 114 million so far! – and users of the program thus get easy access to wifi connections in millions of locations, automatically. WeFi provides applications for Android and Symbian cellphones, and Windows computers and smartphones.
Why do we need Wefi? Each day, more devices – cellphones, smartphones, tablets, laptops, and others – come on-line, and nowadays all of them have always-on internet access. That access includes use of wifi networks, as well as 3G and 4G cell data networks. And that’s a problem: The more devices that try to go online, the more crowded the cell network gets. Already the network is sluggish; in a few years, when there are even more devices, it’ll barely be navigable!
The problem with the cell data network is that thousands – and sometimes many more – of people are trying to access the same internet data streams at the same time; the network is centralized, with all users trying to access the same wireless data stream at the same time. Wifi networks, on the other hand, are much less crowded (and hence are much less congested). A wifi network is basically an extension of a regular wired ethernet network, designed to serve a limited number of users.
Unlike wifi networks; although the effect of wifi is the same as that of cell data networks, in that users can access the internet without wires, wifi networks are really just localized extensions of wired networks that serve far fewer people. With Wefi, users can largely avoid using the cell data network, relying on the worldwide array of wifi networks they can access with the app to connect to the internet. And the company’s WeANDSF technology will automatically move a user’s data connection from the 3G network to a local Wifi connection whenever it finds one.
Wefi was established in 2005 by none other than Yossi Vardi, “godfather” of the Israeli tech industry, along with Shimon Scherzer and Tamir Scherzer (currently VP Research and Development), along with Amnon Kochavi. The company in 2009 secured Series B funding, and earns money from ad tie-ins and partnerships with several companies. Among the VC’s investing in Wefi is Pitango, whose, Managing General Partner Rami Kalish said that by “using its innovative technology, WeFi is the only company today, that has a solution for consumers, handset manufacturers, wireless applications and carriers to use mobile Internet, faster, easier and everywhere.”