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public wifi issues

rodgers73rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
edited December 2012 in The cake stop
I have a Google nexus that uses WiFi (no 3G capability) only. I'm in London for a few days and have found public WiFi a bit hit and miss.

Sometimes it doesn't connect at all, others I get a BT service that I need to log into.

Does anyone have any tips here - how do I find out what free WiFi networks are out there so I can sign up for them? Apart from BT I've run into The Cloud as well. Are these as simple as registering? Should I even bother signing up in the first place? Feels a bit like I'd need to sign up for a dozen networks!


  • sungodsungod Posts: 13,519
    there's free coverage in some areas, but it's patchy, around london quite a few coffee shops have wifi, big hotels often have open access in lobby areas

    if you have bt broadband at home it gives you free access to bt wifi (formerly openzone) and partner networks, it's probably the most widespread of the uk public networks

    sky broadband gives you access to the cloud, or you can sign up free, i tried it once but found it pretty dire, you get what you pay for

    caveat - i don't have either, but i travel a lot and of the two i'd go for bt as i see it more often and find performance much better, luckily my company pays for wifi when i need it

    if you are going to use it a lot it may be worthwhile getting an account with one of the services - but you need to look at all the tariffs and options to see which is right for your usage, bt's are here... ... roduct.htm

    ...depends on your usage, watch out for buying 'minutes' as if you don't logoff you can easily burn all your credit
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • MattC59MattC59 Posts: 5,433
    I have BT's wifi and it's been great. BT Openzone still exists, anyone can connect to openzone, but you need the access code, whether it's free or not depends on whether the cafe/bar/etc wants to charge you for the access code. BT Fon is the other service available, but only to BT customers. Every BT hub has a separate channel which is BT Fon only, so they create a network. There's a BT wifi app which allows BT customers to connect to BT Fon as long as they're in range of any BT hub. I believe this can be done through their website too, but you have to be a BT customer. I've found that it works well, but is obviously better in areas where there is a high concentration of BT hubs, such as residential areas.
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  • It is very patchy in London, and yes, you will need to sign up to a myriad of providers if you really want to have internet access everywhere. I've always found BT Openzone/Fon supremely variable in connection quality.

    You might find that tethering the Nexus to your phone (either by pairing, or using the phone as an internet hotspot) will give more consistent coverage.
  • There are also some wifi finder apps with databases you can download which show where you can connect easily for free. I downloaded one app and have used it around the world. It's not bad, and simply called Free Wi-Fi Finder
  • There is always McDonalds... free WiFi and the coffee is a lot cheaper than most places.
  • I've subscribed to two... The cloud and BT openzone. Through these two I manage to find free unlimited wifi in every town. Every Weatherspoons pub has free unlimited cloud and every Starbucks also offers free unlimited wifi through BT openzone.

    If you subscribe with BT, you can log onto any BT router that you pick up, even household routers. As every BT router sends out two signals, the first is the owners own wifi, while the second is free BT openzone available to any other BT customer.
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  • rodgers73rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
    I'm signed into the Cloud website and it's asking me to pay a subscription.

    Are you sure this is free???
  • ilm_zero7ilm_zero7 Posts: 2,213
    rodgers73 wrote:
    I'm signed into the Cloud website and it's asking me to pay a subscription.

    Are you sure this is free???
    the cloud is free in Nero
    Wiliers: Cento Uno/Superleggera R and Zero 7. Bianchi Infinito CV and Oltre XR2
  • rodgers73rodgers73 Posts: 2,626
    I'm signed up to BT wifi now - we have broadband with them so its free
  • ilm_zero7ilm_zero7 Posts: 2,213
    wifi should be free - its another rip off britain syndrome - everywhere outside europe its free all over the place
    Wiliers: Cento Uno/Superleggera R and Zero 7. Bianchi Infinito CV and Oltre XR2
  • durhamwaspdurhamwasp Posts: 1,238
    A wifi dongle could be an answer. You can get them from £10 one off. - Reports on Cingles du Mont Ventoux, Alpe D'Huez, Galibier, Izoard, Tourmalet, Paris-Roubaix Sportive & Tour of Flanders Sportive, Amstel Gold Xperience, Vosges, C2C, WOTR routes....
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