On the slow-moving road to seamless wireless coverage, I can't help but whine, "Are we there yet?" In the meantime, this key-fob Wi-Fi finder comforts me by identifying 802.11a, b, and g hotspots at the flick of a switch. The ZyXEL quickly hooks me up with the local wireless vitals -- signal strength, number of available connections, which of them are password-protected. Turns out, I can pop onto open networks near the Santa Monica Pier and in a sweet waterfall-equipped park just a hop, click, and jump from the office. Bonus: At my wine-country cottage, the ZyXEL detected signals that my ThinkPad's internal Wi-Fi card missed. Though the finder's display lacks backlighting for late-night searches, this gizmo has me bemoaning a new problem: Why the heck are we stuck in the cube farm when we could be chillin' with our laptops in the park?
Erika StalderWIRED Gadget Lab
Nov 22, 2005