WiFi QR Share lets visitors scan to access your home LAN

December 22, 2011
8

With wireless data caps and throttling now an unfortunate reality on many American wireless carriers, WiFi hotspots are once again a necessity even for "mobile" devices. If you've got friends and family coming over for the holidays, odds are pretty good that they'd like to borrow your home network for some no-penalty Internet access. To avoid that unfortunate situation where you spend long minutes reciting the amalgamation of letters, numbers and characters you use to secure your WPA2 connection, use WiFi QR Share, which automatically embeds all the relevant information into an easily dispensable QR code.

Because the app requires access to some fairly sensitive password data, you must be a rooted user in order to take full effect. Non-rooted users can only send the SSID of the network. On the plus side, the app has access to all the wireless networks that your smartphone or tablet remembers, which in most cases is also all the networks associated with your Google account. You do not actually need to be connected to any WiFi network in order to share it - the app generates the code without using any Internet connection. Once it's transferred the data, the visitor can simply copy and paste the password when he or she connects.

WiFi QR Share is now in its first release, and so far has near universal acclaim in the Reviews section of the Android Market. If you want to disseminate the code even faster, you can email it directly to others, or just email it to yourself, print it out and let visitors scan the paper. Free Internet: it's a better party favor than fruitcake.

UPDATE: Developer Hostile informs us in the comments section that you can indeed send a WiFi password from an unrooted phone with WiFi QR share, you just have to enter it manually. Also, many QR scanner apps including Barcode Scanner (but not Google Voice) allow you to connect to the relevant WiFi network without any copying or pasting. Thanks, Hostile!


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  • Dave

    I love the power of QR codes. A couple of useful QR URLs

    http://zxing.appspot.com/generator/
    http://www.qrstuff.com/ 

    Both allow you to generate QR codes for wifi networks – though the latter says “Wifi Login (Android Only)”

    Enjoy!

  • http://profiles.google.com/markgoho Mark Goho

    So, if you’re rooted you can help your friends get on your networks with relative ease.  If you’re not rooted this app basically takes the place of you simply telling your friend which network is yours.  #FAIL

    • http://beyond-hostile.com/ Hostile

      You can still get your friends on the network the same way, the app just can’t generate the appropriate code automatically. It will instead ask you to enter the password manually. Otherwise, there is no difference between root and non-root.

  • Anonymous

    We posted about this almost a month ago. Yet another scoop we’ll never get credit for!  
    http://www.androidstatic.com/wifi-qr-share-is-a-life-saver-for-your-non-tech-friends

  • David LaCivita

    So how does someone utilize it on their visiting device?

  • Anonymous

    I printed one and put it in the living rom. Nice =)

  • http://beyond-hostile.com/ Hostile

    Dev here… just wanted to comment on a few things in the article.
    Without root, you can enter the password manually ahead of time, and it gets saved. You can get your friends on your network with ease still. It’s just not as automatic as with root.

    Second, with Barcode Scanner, no copy and pasting is required. You’ll just get a “connect to network” button. Copying and pasting is a fallback if the user has a QR Code reader that doesn’t have full support of WiFi QR Codes.

    Google Goggles is the most common QR code reader that doesn’t support WiFi QR Codes, but will support copying. I’m going to ask them to support WiFi codes, so we’ll see what happens. Until then, Barcode Scanner offers a better experience, and a lot of people already have that.

  • http://wavespot.net/ SocialWIFI

    Seems like a useful app.

    Another simple mechanism is to let a visitor connect using their Facebook credentials. You can setup a Wavespot (wavespot.net) router to let your Facebook friends automatically connect to your WIFI. No need for additional password sharing.