Google may be close to launching a Wi-Fi service.

A FAQ page on the Google website instructs customers how to download Google Secure Access, a client application that is described on the site as a tool "to establish a more secure connection while using Google WiFi".

A Google spokesperson declined to comment further on the company's Wi-Fi plans or strategy.

In April, Google began sponsoring a free hotspot in San Francisco's Union Square.

Also, Google has been exploring wireless access to its services with a local flavour. The company has been promoting local business listings that pop up on browser-equipped mobile devices, and driving directions to be obtained via SMS-enabled devices.

The Google Secure Access FAQ page states that the Secure Access program can be downloaded at certain Google Wi-Fi locations in the San Francisco Bay area. However, the client can in fact be downloaded to any computer that is connected to the internet.

The page also says that while Google Secure Access should work at any Wi-Fi location, Google hasn't tested it elsewhere. The page states that Google Secure Access is a beta product. Google has taken this "public beta" approach with a number of its products, notably its e-mail service Gmail. It was widely available by invitation before it was "officially" launched.