Tech, Gadgets, Photography, Social Media and Poor Spelling

London underground wifi…

Pre Olympics the Underground had a rollout from Virgin of Free Wifi, this is Olympics only “free” Wifi and will be chargable post Olympics. I take the Piccadilly line every day and submerge at Finsbury park till Covent Garden so sub terrainian Wifi is of huge interest to my iPad and I.

Attaching is easy it’s not like there are a huge number of Wifi access points in the underground and once connected, its a virgin splash screen style captive portal which needs sign in and thats you giving up the valuable marketing data of your email address. Sure it won’t be used for anything nefarious than hammer you to pay for this service after the Olympics or sign up for Virgin broadband.

Wile it would be nice to tell you this is a half hearted attempt in the TFL grab for money style which seems to be hitting London right now, its not. Its damn fast broadband. Speedtest on my iPad registered it at 20 Meg up and 20 down.  I’m willing to bet this is faster than most people’s Broadband at home. And I guess that is the point, short bursts, fast broadband, this is after all marketing at its finest.

So what can you do here? Well an iPad test gets me Web page access, Skype Access however Flipboard doesn’t update, well mine doesn’t. Streaming podcasts seems to also be ok as well.

From a security stand point, when i first tried this, i ran a network scan and found laod s of other poples devices around me (a load, 3 a phone, an iPad and a Win 7 Laptop) and a bit of “hacking” got me onto the My Documents folder of the Win 7 machine within seconds. However I ran this tonight and i know there were at least 10 other people at Covent Garden running on the wifi and i couldn’t see them at all, so Virgin have secured up shared Wifi and I’d love to know just how they did it.. (thats me being very impressed)

So what does this really mean, well Wifi on the platform , checking the Facebook, Google+ and other such stuff while waiting for a train really is a no brainer and if you read online papers such as the Times, Telegraph or any other online content in the morning then the 4 or 5 minutes right now it takes to get on an Olympic tourist filled train its a great time killer. I’ve been using it to upload photos quickly to 500px and I will probably pay for a subscription if one is available post Olympics I dodn’t do Virgin boradband as they don’t do Fibre in my area, however might if its free Wifi Underground.

How could this be better? Well as a colleague pointed out Wifi on the Train is the next best thing and that is a whole differnet boad game, however skype and media could make some great advertising here, and a free service where you get a local advert to get free Wifi? Either way this is a great thing.

and just to show how good this is.. Here is a video from youtube..




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