Wi-Fi

Give your Android device instant access to all your Wi-Fi spots

Wi-Fi PC Sync takes all the stored Wi-Fi passwords on your Windows computer and transfers them over to your Android phone.

Google knows that very few people are good with typing in long passages on tiny smartphone keyboards. That’s why they built speech-to-text translation into every modern Android phone. But most Wi-Fi passwords aren’t the kind you can say out loud, or at least they shouldn’t be pronounceable. So an app like Wi-Fi PC Sync is kind of a lifesaver, even if you only use it once.

Wi-Fi PC Sync does just one thing: it takes all the stored Wi-Fi passwords on your Windows computer and transfers them over to your Android phone. That means that whenever your Android phone is near a Wi-Fi network that your computer has previously logged into, your phone will connect automatically, assuming its Wi-Fi scanner is turned on.

When your Android is connected to Wi-Fi, it generally moves quicker on the Internet, uses less battery power, and can provide a more accurate and quick location to apps that try to geo-locate you. Even if Wi-Fi PC Sync only provides one or two passwords to your phone that you can never remember, or saves you just a bit of battery life, it’s the kind of long-tail upgrade that’s worth the very small investment.

I’m always a bit surprised to discover how many people with new Android phones have yet to even turn on their Wi-Fi capability, let alone connect to their home and office networks. All smartphones benefit from Wi-Fi connectivity, but phone designers don’t go out of their way to make Wi-Fi a second-nature kind of service. It’s the top-most item in the iPhone’s Settings list, but it’s still tucked away in the Settings.

Android phones offer a Power Control widget you can use to quickly toggle Wi-Fi on and off, but that widget is one that most non-Nexus phone owners have to discover and place on their screens themselves. Android phones also offer a synchronization with your Google account, such that Wi-Fi passwords are stored and synced to any future Android devices you fire up, but I’ve found that Wi-Fi password syncing is not rock-solid dependable.

So grab Wi-Fi PC Sync from the Android Market, for free, and install it on your Windows laptop and Android phone. For now, it’s a nice solution to a problem Google should address more enthusiastically in future Android upgrades. (A hearty hat tip to Lifehacker for pointing out this little Android gem).

About

Kevin Purdy is a freelance writer, a former editor at Lifehacker.com, and the author of The Complete Android Guide.

11 comments
jbenjamin
jbenjamin

Doesnt anyone at TechRepublic CHECK these stories BEFORE posting them?

Trilln451
Trilln451

I don't have a rooted phone, would that make a difference?

Leafgreen
Leafgreen

Can't uninstall. Automatically runs in background. Probable malware. Kevin Purdy: did you try to use this yourself before recommending it?

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

Is the password traffic encrypted? Android Market did not mention one way or the other. And the link to the developer's website did not work. Next, why would this app want permission to use GPS?

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Do you keep the Wi-fi on in your Android device settings? Is there a particular reason for that?

Barmace
Barmace

Just reading the first few posts. Kevin did you even research this before recommending it. I really didn't get the WOW factor from this anyways. I connect to my Wifi from home and disconnect and WOW I can reconnect without putting in a password? Maybe I am missing something but it is like recreating the wheel. Probably should test stuff before you post it.

Leafgreen
Leafgreen

I finally was able to as well. I found other scary problems with this app. I tried to post them here on techrepublic but the post was removed. Extremely fishy.

kspurdy
kspurdy

As for the password traffic, yes, it's encrypted. Asked the developer and checked it out, and it appears it is. As for the GPS permission, that I'm not quite sure about. Checking into it.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

What post was removed? Did your post actually make it through the process and then was removed - because I can investigate that.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Hmm, it appears they changed the URL for WiFi PC Sync on us, I'll correct it in the body of the post. The new link is: https://market.android.com/details?id=com.whyfilabs.pcsync The forum moderator probably just saw a bad link and deleted your discussion post as matter of course. I'll talk to her about it. If you have noticed specific problems with this app, please add the information to the discussion.

Leafgreen
Leafgreen

The post included a URL that was BAD that was listed in the market for the developer of this app. (further proof of extreme fishiness of this app.). If TR thinks that URL is spam, then so is this entire review!

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