What is Wi-Fi Sense in Windows 10 and how to use it

When the Windows 10 operating system was launched, everyone started talking about a feature called Wi-Fi Sense. Although it was, and still is, a very useful feature, designed to make our lives easier, the way it worked caused a lot of stir in the media. Why? Because it was a feature that could be used to share Wi-Fi network login information between Windows 10 users. And that made people think that Wi-Fi Sense is not secure because of the way that passwords are stored. That was completely wrong, but there's no reason to go back, as Microsoft removed that feature from Windows 10 when they launched the Anniversary Update. However, we can still use a stripped down version of the Wi-Fi Sense , which now only lets you automatically connect your Windows 10 devices to open hotspots around the world. Read this article and you'll learn what Wi-Fi Sense is and how to use it on your Windows 10 devices.

What is Wi-Fi Sense in Windows 10?

Wi-Fi Sense is a Windows 10 feature that automatically connects you to open Wi-Fi hotspots, when you are in range of one. By allowing Wi-Fi Sense to automatically connect you to open hotspots, you can get online a lot faster than you would if you were to manually search for open wireless networks near you. And, if you rely on mobile networks from mobile operators in order to connect your Windows 10 device to the internet, you should know that open Wi-Fi hotspots are almost always faster when it comes to the download and upload speeds you get.

Wi-Fi Sense is also a feature that couldn't exist if Microsoft didn't maintain a database of open hotspots around the world. If you enable this feature, your Windows 10 device will collect anonymous information about the hotspots you connect to, and it will then send it to Microsoft's servers in order to build that database. When other users will be looking for open hotspots, their Windows 10 devices will be able to use the information that was previously collected from you, making the whole "search and connect" process a lot faster.

How to use Wi-Fi Sense to automatically connect to open hotspots

If you want to automatically connect to open wireless hotspots near you, you'll have to enable Wi-Fi Sense on your Windows 10 PC or device. To do that, start by opening the Settings app. A fast way to do it is to click or tap on the Settings button from the bottom left area of the Start Menu.

Then click or tap on the Network & Internet section.

On the left side of the window, click or tap Wi-Fi.

On the right side of the window, Windows 10 will load all the settings that control the way your wireless adapters and networks are managed. Among them, you will also find a section called Wi-Fi Sense.

As you can see in the screenshot above, Windows 10 clearly tells you that "Wi-Fi Sense connects you to suggested Wi-Fi hotspots". If you set the "Connect to suggested open hotspots" switch to On , your device will automatically connect to any open wireless network that is suggested by Windows 10.

If you enable Wi-Fi Sense and you want your Windows 10 PC or device to automatically connect to open hotspots in the future, you will also be able to choose whether you want to "Show a notification banner when action is needed from me". Make sure that you check this option.

That's it!


Now that you know what Wi-Fi Sense is and how useful it can be, will you enable it on your Windows 10 device(s)? We are very curious to know whether you like Wi-Fi Sense or if you think that automatically connecting to open hotspots could expose you to unnecessary risks. To share your thoughts, don't hesitate to use the comments section below.