"It is a simple task to make things complex, but a complex task to make them simple."
Techically, there is a lot going on with Easy WiFi. Those of you who care about understanding this stuff should maybe head on over to the Devicescape site and check out the information. But, here is a simpler outline about what is going on.
First of all, Easy WiFi uses both a client app and a web service. You place the app on your device and then it uses our web service to get most of the work done. The web service knows about all the networks: how to log into them, where they are located, how popular they are, and how well they work (or if they work at all). The web service also knows about how to help devices work with each of the network locations, and which users are allowed to use each network. Everything is stored on the web - not on the device. This allows for the app on the device to be very small and simple. More importantly it allows for new networks to be added quickly, or for changes to be made to networks, and for these changes to be made available instantly to all the devices out there.
The number one purpose of Easy WiFi is to make logging in quick and easy. On a home WiFi network and many work networks, logging in is no big deal: you tell the device the name of your network and your security password and you're done. But out in the world we're confronted by public networks. These are very different!
Many public networks need you to login using a web browser (technically, called captive-portals). Sometimes you need to establish an account, free or paid, and type in your credentials (typically username and password). Others will have you enter an email address or accept some terms and conditions. There are thousands of these types of public networks all over the world and they're all different. It's tedious to use these networks on a PC, but on smaller devices like phones it's really annoying or even impossible.
Easy WiFi is designed to automate this login process, so that the user doesn't need to be go through the painful experience (and, it allows devices without browsers or complicated user interfaces to work simply with lots of networks). In many cases, the app can run in the background on your device and log you in automatically behind the scenes (e.g Android, Windows). Unfortunately, on the iPhone or iPod you need to launch the app and then it will log you in.
Easy WiFi works with thousands of different public networks. They get added all the time to our web service. Users can submit a request for us to add a network but mostly we add them automatically through collection from all the Easy WiFi apps in use. Networks which don't need an account - click-through networks - become part of the Easy WiFi Network and made available to everyone. If the network needs an account, each user can add their login credentials into their Easy WiFi account and they'll extend their personal coverage.
Bigger public networks normally use these captive-portals described above, but there are a HUGE number of small networks which use a simpler approach and are simply open. These tend to be in small venues - coffee shops, libraries, etc - and offered as a service for the customer or citizen. While it's possible for anyone to use these types of networks, the challenge is always to figure out where they are located, what is the name of the network, and whether they work or not. Easy WiFi adds these types of networks into the Easy WiFi Network, and adds a lot of value by showing locations on the map, and monitoring the capability, popularity and quality of each location so that the user gets a good experience and can be connected automatically!
Essentially, the Easy WiFi Network is a big, worldwide management system. Underneath the surface are a large number of chaotic, unrelated parts - click through and simple networks - which can be extended by users adding in their own additional providers if they have any. Each user experiences all of this as a single, unified, and personalized network despite all the complexity underneath.
The Easy WiFi Network grows through user and automated submissions. There are several million Easy WiFi apps in use all the time and they are sending in lots of information about the WiFi they see and use. All this information helps add new locations to the Easy WiFi Network as well as monitor its health and capabilities.
The Easy WiFi app sends in lists of the WiFi networks they see around them, and information on the connections they make. If the devices contain GPS receivers, they may also send in coordinates. All of this is stored in a big database in the cloud where a continuous process of discovery, classification, and analysis takes place. Over time, the Easy WiFi web service will accumulate enough information about each network and location that it can determine what to do with it.
Easy WiFi knows about millions of WiFi locations, however most of these are not suitable for the Easy WiFi Network. Secured WiFi locations can't be accessed, of course, and others may fail a quality test or be insufficiently understood. Here is an example of how a new location gets added to the Easy WiFi Network:
This is a simplified form of the analysis which happens: this process of capturing and classifying networks is called scoring and over time can build up a large and more reliable network. Sometimes it takes a few data points for a new network location to appear, but Easy WiFi is biased towards quality rather than presenting poor information.
Using the Web Interface
About the Easy WiFi Network
Join the Easy WiFi Network
How Easy WiFi Works
Where to Get More Help
Frequently Asked Questions
How Easy WiFi Improves Security
Support: Forum, Twitter, or Facebook.