Anyfi Networks targets existing Wi-Fi for public use

Software supplier Anyfi Networks claims to offer a secure means to move between residential Wi-Fi connections starting from your front door

Anyfi Networks claims its software is the best option to take your home Wi-Fi with you on the go.

The Swedish firm formed in 2006 with the goal of using existing Wi-Fi networks for public use, instead of investing more money into building extra infrastructure and increasing capacity.

Now it is preparing to go global with its patent pending software and to make partnerships with ISPs and operators to get onto mobile devices.

“It is a different way to think about Wi-Fi,” Björn Smedman, CEO of Anyfi Networks, told Computer Weekly. 

“Imagine server virtualisation and the way that a physical server can run many virtual servers. Anyfi uses that concept for physical routers and logical networks.”

The idea is that when a user has logged onto their Wi-Fi network at home, the software recognises them on the move. It will then allow them to connect to other local area networks (LANs) from the same ISP without having to go through a login process, enabling a seamless move from network to network.

Smedman claimed it did not affect performance for users who have their LAN tapped into, as the software creates a virtual access point separate from the home connection, which just uses the radio signal on offer from the provider.

However, Smedman also said it had built-in prioritisation features to ensure the fixed user’s needs were always put first, ensuring they took priority on bandwidth.  

From a security perspective, the VPA also ensures the user of the Wi-Fi connection has the same security on the mobile device as they have when they use it at home, so they are protected on the move. Smedman claimed that, due to the separation of the fixed and mobile users, Anyfi Networks can theoretically prove the two connections don’t mix.

Even though it is a software solution, it will be incorporated into the equipment given to customers by ISPs. This means there will be no need to download software onto mobiles or tablets and it will work as soon as the connection is installed.

Anyfi is in talks with a number of ISPs and operators across Europe, including several in the UK, although Smedman would not reveal which ones. Although he is hoping to make the product a global success, the CEO did admit there was more traction in the European market.

“It’s a little to do with culture,” he said. “The security of the product is perfect but the psychology of the solution could be improved.”

“Some people act instinctively, to say they do not want to use this type of solution, but we are more open to it in the EU perhaps.”

The technology is currently being tested by a small beta group of 100 users, but once deals are done with large providers, Smedman hopes the product will be available more widely in six to 12 months.

“The goal is to integrate it into modems remotely so once the deal is signed we can roll it out in a flash,” he said.

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