Developed by a Chinese developer Chen Danian, Wi-Fi Master Key (Free Wi-Fi Access App) is the world’s first and largest peer-to-peer Wi-Fi sharing platform. Operated by LinkSure Network, it attempts to provide free and safe Wi-Fi connection shared by Wi-Fi hosts around the world. Released in 2012, it became the world’s largest Wi-Fi sharing community by 2016 with over 900 million users. It’s the 3rd largest software app in China and 5th most downloaded (IOS and Android) app worldwide. It has yet to make a good impact on Nepali market but this could come in handy for the users. Available in more than 15-languages it saves the data costs by connecting to free shared Wi-Fi networks. You just need to search for a blue icon and tap to ‘Connect Wi-Fi’.
Wi-Fi Master Key is a great tool for mobile devices to gain certain access to various Wi-Fi networks and obtain their information which all are stored in a cloud database, but it is not a hacking tool. The information provided by the app is shared by the owners themselves. Thus, it does not assist in unlocking Wi-Fi passwords that are not shared. They claim to aim to build a trusted platform for everyone to enjoy the free access to the internet. The company secures the user connection using Real-time hotspot security and connectivity protection and Wi-Fi security insurance coverage *currently only available in China. The application is packed with various features that are highlighted as:
Search and connect to variously available Wi-Fi hotspots around you.
Enables your phone as a portable hotspot on one tap.
Power saving mode resulting in extended battery life.
Built-in signal detector to help you find the most suitable Wi-Fi.
Built-in speed tester.
Smart built-in traffic statistics tracker to manage data usages.
These features are really great and the app can be very useful to various users. But every cloud has a silver lining. For all these advantages, Wi-Fi Master Key is something of a double-edged sword. Though the app is secured as stated by the company, there are various claims following the security issues while using the app. At the beginning of 2018, Ministry of Industry and Information Security (MIIT, China) released a review on cybersecurity threats which revealed that the app is suspected of invading other people’s networks and stealing user’s personal information.
MIIT believes that an underlying function in the app allows users to share their personal information like passwords as well as other vital information that are not even owned by them. MIIT organized a network security professional organization to conduct technical analysis on the app and found out that it shares the user information. Therefore, MIIT warns the Wi-Fi network providers should be more careful to share their network and regularly change the Wi-Fi password.
So it all comes down to you on how much can you trust the app and use the benefits its providing.