How can I get free WiFi with BT Broadband, and what is BT Wi-fi?
Latest news for BT Wi-fiIf you’re a BT Broadband customer you can make use of the millions of BT Wi-fi hotspots dotted up and down the country.
BT Wi-fi is the new name of BT’s public WiFi hotspots (formerly called BT Openzone) and crowdsourced WiFi (formerly called BT Fon).
BT claims there are more than 5 million BT Wi-fi hotspots in the UK. These are a combination of public WiFi hotspots and shared hotspots (where BT Home Hub routers can be turned into shared public WiFi spots). There are another two million BT hotspots available abroad.
Read Recombu Digital’s guide to WiFi
Use of BT Wi-fi is also unlimited. So long as you’re a BT broadband customer, you can connect to a BT Wi-fi spot and work, read emails, check Google Maps on your phone, tablet or laptop or whatever device for as long as you want to for no extra cost.
BT Wi-fi: Where can I get it?
BT Wi-fi can be found in public locations like train stations, airport lounges (American Airlines and SkyTeam) and in hotels (Hilton, Thistle and Menzies).
In areas where BT Home Broadband customers have turned their wireless routers into hotspots, you should be able to make use of these too, if you’re a BT broadband subscriber.
Using the BT Wi-fi apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and BlackBerry, you can easily locate your nearest BT Wi-fi hotpsot on your phone or tablet on the go.
Using BT’s postcode checker (see above) you can see what BT’s Wi fi coverage is like in your local area.
BT Wi-fi: How can I get it?
In order to make use of BT Wi-fi, you’ll also need to set your BT Home Hub up so that it becomes part of the BT Wi-fi network. This ‘opting in’ as BT calls it, should happen automatically when you set up your Home Hub for the first time.
All BT Home Hubs set up since March 2009 will already be part of the BT Wi-fi network, unless you’ve opted out.
To check if you’re opted in or out of the BT Wi-fi network, follow this link and log in with your BT account details.
Once your BT Home Hub is opted in and is part of the BT Wi-fi network you should be able to connect to any BT Wi-fi hotspots on the go.
BT Wi-fi: Can I get it on my laptop, iPad, Android phone or BlackBerry?
When accessing a BT Wi-fi hotspot, you’ll need to log in with your BT email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the same password you’d use if you were checking your BT email.
You’ll need to do this if you’re logging in from your laptop, notebook, MacBook Air, phone, iPad, BlackBerry or any compatible WiFi-enabled device.
There’s a slightly different procedure depending on your device.
For mobiles and tablets you’ll need to download an app. But essentially the procedure is the same – turn on WiFi, locate the BT WiFi hotspot, log in with your BT email and password.
BT Wi-fi: How can I connect to BT Wi-fi on my Windows laptop?
Turn on your WiFi like normal. Click ‘Start’, then ‘Connect to’ and choose the ‘BT Wi-fi’, ‘BT Openzone’ or ‘BT Fon’.
Once connected, open your preferred browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox) and select ‘BT Total Broadband’
You’ll then be prompted to log in with your details (see above).
When connected and logged in, you’ll need to keep a window or tab open while you make use of BT WiFi. Once you’re done, remember to log out and close this window/tab to finish your session.
BT Wi-fi: How can I connect to BT Wi-fi on my MacBook?
Turn on your WiFi like normal and select ‘BT Wifi,’ ‘BT Openzone’ or ‘BT Fon’ from the list of wireless hotspots available.
Enter your Apple ID password and apply any relevant changes to your System Preferences.
Open your preferred browser (Safari, Chrome, Firefox) and select ‘BT Total Broadband’.
Log in with your details.
When you’re logged in, you’ll need to keep a window or tab open while you make use of BT Wifi. Once you’re done, remember to log out and close this window/tab to finish your session.
BT Wi-fi: How can I connect to BT Wi-fi on my iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch?
Download the BT WiFi app on your iPhone or iPad. We’ve included the link here because we’re nice like that.
On the main app screen select ‘I’m a BT Broadband customer’ and follow the set up process. Enter your BT email address and password when prompted. This will identify your iPhone/iPad and mean you’ll be able to log on to BT Wi-fi hotspots easily in the future.
Once you’ve finished, click ‘Activate’.
When you’re within range of a BT Wi-fi, BT Openreach or BT Fon hotspot, connect to this in the same way you’d connect normally (Settings > Wi-Fi > Choose a network).
Open the BT Wi-fi app, which will authenticate your phone and then close it. After this you should be connected to the net and be free to use the web as normal.
The BT Wi-fi app is free to download and requires iOS 4.2 or later.
BT Wi-fi: How can I connect to BT Wi-fi on my Android phone or tablet?
Download and install the BT Wi-fi app from Google Play (click here for a link). Open the app and enter your BT email address and password and hit ‘Activate’ to authenticate your phone.
When you are in a BT Wi-fi hotspot for the first time, click on Wi-Fi Settings on your device, and select BT Wi-fi. Open the BT Wi-fi app and you will automatically be taken to a connection screen and logged in.
Once you’ve set everything up, in future all you’ll need to do is connect to a BT Wi-fi hotspot in the same way and log in through the BT Wi-fi app.
The BT Wi-fi app works for Android phones and tablets running on Android 1.5 and above – basically every Android phone or tablet out there should be able to run this.
BT Wi-fi: How can I connect to BT Wi-fi on my BlackBerry phone?
Download and open the app from the BlackBerry App World here. Confirm that you are a ‘BT Broadband
Customer’ from the options and choose ‘Set Up Now’ and then type in your BT internet email address and password.When prompted click ‘Activate’.
This will automatically take you to the connection screen – this is the screen you’ll use to confirm future connections to BT Wi-fi spots.
When you are in a BT Wi-fi, BT Openzone or BT Fon hotspot for the first time, click on Wi-Fi Settings in your BlackBerry and select BT Wi-fi.
Open the BT Wi-fi app and you will automatically be taken to the connect screen and logged in.
BT Wi-fi: Won’t people using my BT Home Hub eat into my monthly allowance?
No. BT’s Home Hubs broadcast two dedicated WiFi signals, one for you and your house and the other for public BT Wi-fi use.
Anyone using your Home Hub to connect to BT Wi-fi will do so without eating into your monthly allowance. As it’s on a separate WiFi signal, BT is able to distinguish what’s been used by your home connection and what’s been used by other members of the public.
Others using your BT Wi-fi Home Hub connection should not cause your broadband’s connection speed to suffer either. BT says: “You only share a little bit of your WiFi, you won’t even notice when others are connected.”
Is BT Wi-fi really ‘unlimited’?
Those use is unlimited in the sense that there is not set limited, use of the service is regulated by a Fair Use Policy (FUP).
This FUP means that you can connect to BT WiFi for 10,000 minutes (roughly 160 hours) per month.
Should you exceed this, then you’ll need to wait for a 30 minute cooling off period. After this, you can re-connect again for another 30 minutes of use until the start of the next month.
BT Wi-fi: I’m still seeing BT Openzone and BT Fon as wireless hotspot names. Why are they not called BT Wi-fi?
BT is in the process of renaming all of its hotspots to ‘BT Wi-fi’. Until this process is complete you’ll probably see many BT hotspots retaining the older BT Openzone and BT Fon names.
The login process will be the same regardless of what name is applied to the BT hotspot.
- Upgraded BT Wi-fi app gives automatic hotspot sign-in with iOS
- Stop connecting to BT FON at home with the BT Wi-fi for Android app beta
- BT Wi-fi parachuting in to Geronimo and Young’s pubs
- BT Broadband customers get access to 11.6 million WiFi hotspots worldwide
- BT Wi-fi hits 5 million hotspots, good news for BT Sport fans
- Free WiFi from BT ensures Fenwick department store shoppers are being served
- Free WiFi from BT at Bristol’s The Mall, Manchester Arndale and 6 more shopping centres
- BT free WiFi comes to 1,500 Barclays branches
- BT Wi-fi app comes to Windows Phone
BT Wi-fi, the new name for BT Openzone and BT Fon, is now available in app form for Windows Phone handsets.
Working on all phones that have upgraded to Windows Phone 7.5 – which should be all of them by now – the app lets you locate and log on to the several thousands of wireless hotspots BT has dotted up and down the country.
The BT Wi-fi network, which is free for BT Broadband customers, spans 4.5 million locations in the UK including more than 500,000 hotspots in Greater London, around 72,000 in Manchester, Edinburgh and Sheffield, 65,000 in Birmingham and Leeds and more than 59,000 in Liverpool, Brighton, Bristol and Cardiff.
The new app is free and available to download now from Windows Marketplace. Either search for ‘BT Wi-fi’ on your phone or follow the Marketplace link which we’ve kindly provided here.
BT Wi-fi apps are also available for iPhone and iPad, Android phones and tablets and BlackBerry phones – scroll further down this article for links.
November 13, 2012