The WiFi Porter is an accessory that allows guests to connect to a network with a single tap of their phone. Let’s see whether this way is more convenient than typing in the password manually. On to the review!
[Disclosure: We reached out to Ten One Design and they were kind enough to send us a WiFi Porter unit. This is not a paid review. All views expressed in this review are solely of the writer. We would like to thank Ten One Design for sending us this unit. ]
The WiFi Porter is a wooden block that’s half an inch thick and about the size of your palm.
Printed on the top is a WiFi logo and at the back is an insert for you to put your network details (more on that later).
Also included in the box are face-plates with different patterns.
You are also able to purchase (for free) printed instructions for guests on how to use the WiFi Porter.
Head here for the setup!
The main feature of the WiFi Porter is to allow guests to connect to your network seamlessly. This can be done in two ways: By tapping your phone (NFC enabled) on the WiFi logo or by scanning the QR code at the back.
Features – Tap your phone
The WiFi Porter as an embedded NFC tag that stores the information of your network settings. With your NFC enabled phone, just tap the back of your phone to the WiFi logo and a prompt is displayed to connect to the network.
Features – Scan the QR code
For phones that do not have NFC, an alternative is by scanning the QR code (which is printed at the end of the setup process).
Usage and Performance
Using it is as simple as ABC – just tap and you’re connected. Scanning the QR code also work as expected. All I had to do was to launch the camera app, the the QR code in frame and connect from there. It’s worth mentioning that during my time with the WiFi Porter, I was using an Android NFC enabled phone. I didn’t have an iPhone with me so I wasn’t able to test how it worked. But note that the one-tap feature is supported for iPhones from 2018 onwards. Older iPhones models are able to scan the QR code.
You may be wondering “Ok, but what if I wanted to connect other devices like my laptop?” No worries, that’s still possible. Printed together with the QR code is the network name and the password. So in the event that your phone camera is jammed or your phone isn’t NFC enabled, the traditional way is available.
One thing to note regarding the usage of the WiFi Porter; networks where the users have a login and password won’t work on the WiFi Porter. An example of this is an office network. I tried it at the office and after tapping it, the status kept staying at ‘Connecting’.
Food & Beverage and Hospitality industry
Where it really shines is in the Food & Beverage and Hospitality industry.
Food & Beverage and Hospitality industry – Cafes
Picture this: You walk into a cafe, you place your order and you sit down. You want to connect to the Internet. Instead of searching for the network name and typing in the password manually, you tap your phone on the WiFi porter and boom! You’re connected to the network.
Food & Beverage and Hospitality industry – AirBnB
Another area for the WiFi Porter to be put to good use is at AirBnB properties. Generally speaking, AirBnB hosts would provide the WiFi information after the booking is confirmed via a ‘house rules’ manual. Most would also provide a print out at the property itself. Having the WiFi porter helps guests to connect seamlessly without fumbling for the network details. This is especially useful in welcoming guests considering the possible jetlag they may experience.
Where to buy
Head over to the WiFi Porter page here.
The WiFi Porter has a very specific use case; it is not made for your own usage. Instead, I think it’s made for people who have AirBnb properties, run a cafe or even own an office. It is in these places where it is truly put to good use – serving guests. At the very least, having one in your home is also beneficial if you have a gathering or a party. Just imagine repeating the password again and again to your guests.
“I don’t own any AirBnb properties, an office nor do I run a cafe – so should I buy one?” Well, there’s certainly no harm in getting one for your home. I would put it in the category of ‘nice to have items to show off how well versed you are in tech’. All in all, the WiFi Porter is well built, and does exactly what it sets out to do.