“What’s your password again?”
“It’s RAAR1000!!!B7B700000catsnamehere. Simple!”
Anyone who has ever been given a WiFi password made up of a jumble of letters, numbers, and symbols, will appreciate the WiFi Porter.
Simply tap the unit with your smartphone and voila—you or your guests are connected.
Or course, there’s a little more to using the new gadget than that, including which operating systems and devices are compatible with the device.
But, as we think you’ll see, it really is almost as simple and convenient as it sounds. Whether it’s used at a big summer BBQ with friends and family, in a remote location like a coffee shop, or at a business meeting, the WiFi Porter makes connection easier.
What it is
WiFi connecting patches like the Porter are nothing new. But the WiFi Porter is one of the first to be able to connect someone to a wireless network without requiring a companion pre-installed app.
Carved out of hard maple and about the size of an electrical outlet cover, the Porter can be used as a table-top device or mounted on the wall. Its circuitry is powered by your smartphone when you tap so it requires no batteries or power connection.
How it works
The WiFi Porter works with most Android phones and new iPhones. Guests simply tap their phone against the WiFi porter, and they’re connected. The device uses NFC (Near Field Communications), a wireless standard (like BlueTooth) used mostly for digital payments.
How to connect to it
Devices with this capability include iPhones running iOS 11 or later (one-tap WiFi requires 2018 iPhones or later), Android phones, and iPads running iOS 11 or later.
However, users with an iPhone XS, XS Max or XR will be required to download a configuration profile. Next, you have to go to Settings app and install that profile. Once all that’s finished, you’re connected.
Connecting older iPhones and iPads is simpler. You can connect by pointing the camera at and scanning the QR code on the bottom of the device.
While you don’t need an app to connect to the Porter, you do need one to set up the device. Tapping your phone against the unit for the first time gets you a link to download this app.
Once it’s downloaded, opening the app and tapping your phone against the Porter lets you choose which WiFi network you’d like to people to be able to access. Tap your phone against the Porter once more to confirm the settings (or else print a QR code from the app for use with older iPhones). Phones that subsequently tap the WiFi Porter device or scan the QR code receive the network information automatically and do not require any installed apps.
When/if you change your WiFi password, you can update the Porter with the same app you used to configure it with.
Remember what we said about bothersome (and lengthy) passwords? Since the Porter stores your info, manufacturer Ten One Design recommends that, yes, you use a long, complicated password.
Other precautions include the option to lock one-tap WiFi info after programming. This can be useful for when the device is being used in public.
According to the Ten One Design website, network information is encrypted and stored anonymously on an external server. The key for decrypting this data exists only on your Porter. Stored data is anonymous and never associated with a location, only a random id token.
Physical access to your WiFi Porter is sufficient to retrieve your network information from the Ten One Design server.
Where to buy
As time goes on, more of these porters will be available in Canada for purchase at local retailers, but for you early adopters, the manufacturer, Ten One Design, an Apple accessory specialist, offers two different versions on its website: the basic and the limited edition. The basic retails for $39.95USD, while limited edition models go for $59.95 – with $10 international shipping for us Canadians. The devices also come with instructions (for users/guests) available in two modes, colourful and minimal.