I can’t even imagine myself living without Internet access! And this fact shouldn’t surprise anyone, because most of our friends – be them virtual or not – are online. Not to mention that the Internet is our main source of news, entertainment and yes, even knowledge!
The Data Alliance consultants state that we are less than 5 years away from the moment when very generous, and yet inexpensive mobile data packages will be bundled with every smartphone plan in the US. This means that the profits of the cellular phone companies are bound to decrease if they don’t add new features to their plans.
Still, I wouldn’t worry that much about them; I’m already seeing some of the industry giants partnering with online movie providers and security companies, for example. It’s a win-win situation: you get to consume more content on your phone and keep your data secure, while everyone else gets to sell more.
But let’s get back to our problem: what should you do when you are away from home, either commuting to work or enjoying the torrid sun on a tropical island? The answer is Wi-Fi, of course. These networks can provide either paid or free access, if you are willing to risk the security of your data.
Still, for people who don’t have precious data to lose, free Wi-Fi may be the perfect solution. And there are lots of free Wi-Fi networks pretty much anywhere, starting with Mc Donald’s, Starbucks, and so on.
So what network should you choose? Well, the fastest one, of course! But what happens if you move 10 or 100 feet away? You’d still be connected to the same network, which may now have terrible download/upload speeds.
Of course, there’s always the option of disconnecting from the old network and choosing the new, fastest network in the area, but the process can be tiring. Fortunately, there are several Android aps that will automatically pick the best Wi-Fi network for you every time.
The best app, according to the number of ratings, appears to be Best WiFi. It switches between your saved access points (APNs) based on their signal strength, always picking the best one. It’s also the perfect app for people who have dual-band (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) routers in their homes. It is known that 5 GHz networks perform faster when you are near the router, while the old 2.4 GHz band performs better when you are away from the router.
With a score of 4 out of 5 coming from over 4,000 people, Best WiFi is a winner for sure. Install it on your Android phone and test it – you won’t regret it!
My second choice is SWIFI, aka “Auto Switch Best WiFi”. It’s probably the best solution if you prefer to connect to 5 GHz networks, because it is the only app that has the option of prioritizing them. SWIFI can also connect to weak Wi-Fi networks, provided that signal strength is at least 55 dBm. It’s also gotten the highest score of all the apps presented here – 4.1 out of 600 ratings – so you should definitely check it out.
The last app in this article, but not necessarily the weakest of them all, is Wifi Switcher. This Android application allows you to specify custom distances that will trigger (or not) the Wi-Fi network switch. It was built for people who have more than a router/access point in their homes, and it is able to turn off mobile data while switching routers. It also has a “pro” version, but the free version will do a great job as well.