I don’t like public WiFi. Period. I could end this post with that statement. But I’m not. Instead, I’m going to give you a look at an app that I think has potential, but I seriously question whether anyone should use it.

Hotspotio (free) is a new app that’s going to get a lot of attention. The concept behind Hotspotio is that you sell out your social networking information for internet access; you set yourself up for numerous vulnerabilities you give internet access to your social networking friends in exchange for “favors” (I’m not sure if they’re sexual in nature, or just socially linked favors):

See, a simple concept. And who knows, hugging might lead to something more.

Hotspotio is actually a pretty cool concept: sharing internet connections based on your social relationships, and receiving favors as a sign of appreciation. It’s kind of the “Klout” for mobile hotspots: the “clout” you get from the favors doesn’t really mean anything except you’re a nice guy/gal.

I had some slight difficulties [insert comical, “You are an Android user, afterall” remark here] setting up a sharing link, but if you remember the app is socially-based you’ll have an easier time. Just connect your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account and you can share or access friends’ WiFi networks.

And the social network sharing is what gives me some concern. Because I’m not sure who, down this rabbit hole of social connections, has access to my network I’m really hesitant to implement this. I don’t really want any of my social network “friends” visiting my house, so I’m really not too keen on sharing my home or office network connection. Double that for my “friends'” friends. I might consider sharing a malicious connection just so I could unscrupulously spread some infected networ around, but that might be a little too much for even my worst “friend.”

I don’t get the technicalities of the security of the whole app, and I’m sure the Hotspotio folks thought enough about those issues, but I’m still really confident that some boneheaded senior partner summer intern is going to “accidentally” share the firm’s entire secured WiFi network. And your IT department knows I’m right.

This app gets a 4 of 5 stars for concept and ingenuity, but truthfully, I uninstalled this moments after I finished this review. The people who should have access to my firm’s WiFi network have the password.

Hotspotio is a workable concept if you’re cautious about which networks you’re sharing.

Get this app on Google Play

Oh yeah, and here are some screenshots:

Start WiFi Sharing

Select a Favor

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Jeff Taylor

I'm just an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life. I'm also an attorney and I blog about Android for lawyers. You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.