You are much much better off with wifi finder software on a laptop or PDA. Unfortunately, *ANY* site/list is usually way wrong, and way out of date. I usually find thousands more sites that aren't listed in a given area. I have installed many, 8 of which have been running for at least 3 years, and not a single one is on the list. Of course, almost every list I have seen wants MONEY from the person with a Hotspot to be listed. I don't know of a whole lot of people with a free Hotspot that ALSO want to pay some company for a listing. Note, they are free to use, but cost money to be Listed.
Saw that before, tried it, remembered it only worked with some cards I had, and not with the built in WiFi on two of my laptops, but I went a different direction (and to me better, cause it works with all cards I have, but only works with XP/2000/Tablet PC). Got WiFi finder *AND CONNECT* software (something the free stuff won't do) for under $20, uses windows stuff instead of specific stuff for cards, and works with all cards. (software is Winc, free trial for 30 days, download it at
Go to the web site and look under forums, one of the first items is what cards does it work with. It works with my US versions of D-Link, UsRobotics and Linksys notebook cards. I have both B and G cards and it just works.
Someone has to pay to host the lists, and maintain the lists. There are some that keep up with submissions, but it's a big task. Not much money in free wifi, nor the lists of them.
Netstumbler works with a lot more cards on WinXP than on earlier versions. NetStumbler is handy for mapping an area. You might have NetStumbler and a GPS in your car, and just drive around. That would give you an idea of what spots are available, and you can plot them on mapping software like MS Streets & Trips, or Delorme Street Atlas.
If you just want to see what's available, and connect to an open WAP, or manage a set of profiles for closed WAPs, the free tool from
will do that quite handily, with a broader range of cards than NetStumbler, on older Windows as well as WinXP. It has no mapping or GPS, although it does have a directory of known hotspots, mostly commercial.
WindowsXP with Service Pack 2 alone will find and manage multiple WAPS much better than earlier Windows versions. It might not update the list of available networks as rapidly as Boingo, so if you are driving around, just trying to find a spot, either NetStumbler or Boingo will help out there. For just connecting to spots that are available from where you are, WindowsXP-SP2 is just fine.