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What is The Cloud? The Sky-owned public WiFi network explained

What is The Cloud? 

The Cloud is a public WiFi network with more than 16,000 hotspots in the UK. We’ve got a full list of UK shopping centres decked out with Cloud WiFi. 

News stories about The CloudThe Cloud is free to all customers in most venues, but Sky Broadband subscribers can make use of a Sky Cloud Wi-Fi app which lets you easily manage your Wi-Fi use and search for nearby hotspots. 

How can I get The Cloud WiFi? 

The Cloud is free in the majority of places where it’s installed. On your laptop, tablet or phone you should see ‘The Cloud WiFi’ appearing in the list of wireless networks you can connect to. Simply select this and connect as you normally would. 

You’ll have to create a Cloud account (it’s free) in order to use it. Or, if you’ve already set up a Cloud account, log in with this. 

What is The Cloud? Sky’s WiFi networkIs The Cloud WiFi free? 

Yes, in the majority of venues. 

Some places will charge you to access The Cloud, in which case when you connect you’ll be redirected to a payment page. Alternatively some venues may sell vouchers with passwords letting you use The Cloud for a limited time.

Whether The Cloud is free to use at a venue or not, you might need to get an activation code from a member of staff in either case. These basically authorise access to the service and don’t necessarily mean you have to pay.

The Cloud also sells monthly subscription packages. These are priced as follows:

  •     Cloud Unlimited Single – £6.95/month
  •     Cloud Unlimited Multi – £9.95/month
  •     Cloud Unlimited Music (for iPod Touch) – £3.95/month

What is The Cloud? Sky’s WiFi networkThese give you unlimited access to all Cloud WiFi hotspots, regardless of each venue’s policy.

Don’t Sky Broadband customers get free access to The Cloud WiFi?

Yes. Sky owns The Cloud and Sky Broadband Unlimited customers are free to use The Cloud WiFi wherever and as often as they like. It’s also part of inclusive WiFi from Phones4u and iPass.

The Sky Cloud WiFi app lets Sky Broadband customers easily access The Cloud from their iPhone, iPad or Android phone. Supported devices are as follows:

iOS Devices (iOS 4.3 or later)

  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • iPod Touch

Android Devices (Android 2.3 Gingerbread or later)

  • HTC: Desire, Desire S, Desire HD, Wildfire, Wildfire S, Sensation, Incredible S
  • Samsung: Galaxy S2, Galaxy Nexus Prime, Galaxy Ace, Galaxy Mini, Galaxy S
  • Sony Ericsson: Xperia Arc S, X10i

Once you’ve registered an iPhone, iPad or Android device your device will be remembered and will automatically connect to the network. This takes all the hassle out of having to log in and log out and search for authentication codes from members of staff.

We’ll update this list as and when more devices are added.

Check out our hands-on demo of the Sky Cloud WiFi app below to see how it works.

News stories about The Cloud

Free WiFi in Punch Taverns, the UK’s largest pub chain

What is The Cloud? Free WiFi in Punch Taverns, the UK's largest pub chainThe Cloud has inked a deal with Punch Taverns, the UK’s largest chain of pubs and bars, bringing free WiFi into even more British watering holes.

A number of Punch Taverns venues have already been hooked up to The Cloud’s network, which now includes over 9,000 pubs, with all participating pubs expected to have WiFi installed by the end of March this year.

Susan King, who has been running the Derwent Arms in Osbaldwick, York for seven years says that free WiFi has helped the regulars get connected and stay in the pub for longer.

“The pub is situated in a small village and the WiFi has been a real help as everyone seems to be connected with the internet nowadays. I see a lot of young people especially, coming in with smartphones and laptops and they tend to stay longer because they can use the internet for free.”

So there’s an alternative rural broadband solution – how about FTTP, Fibre to the Pubs instead of Fibre to the Premises?

January 9, 2012 

The Cloud brings free unlimited WiFi to The City

The Cloud is piping free unlimited WiFi to the City of London. Covering an area stretching from St. Paul’s Cathedral to 30 St Mary Axe (better known as the Gherkin), the Cloud deal sees London’s Square Mile becoming the first global financial district to offer free WiFi for everyone.

Going live today, December 17, the Cloud’s Londoners working in the City will also be kept up to date live updates from Transport for London.

The Cloud’s WiFi network consists of over 15,000 hotspots across the UK and serves a number of high street and public locations and is used by an estimated 5 million people a day.

December 17, 2012

Free WiFi at 100 Greater Anglia stations

What is The Cloud? Free WiFi at 100 Greater Anglia stationsThe Cloud has inked a deal with Greater Anglia trains which sees customers benefiting from free WiFi.

Commuters at Chelmsford station were the first to benefit from free wireless internet which rolls across to 100 stations in the region including Cambridge, Norwich and Stansted Airport.

Access to the Cloud on Greater Anglia trains is free to all for up to an hour, while Sky subscribers can enjoy free unlimited access.

November 27, 2012

    WHSmith free WiFi to boost Kobo eReader    

More than 600 WHSmith shops will have free WiFi from The Cloud by the end of 2012 in a bid to promote its Kobo eReader.

Around 19 per cent of shoppers use mobile broadband to compare prices and browse product reviews in store, and WHSmith will connect all of its Kobo display models to The Cloud customers can test drive them and preview its library.

September 24, 2012

WHSmith Kobo The Cloud free WiFi

  Free WiFi in The Malls of Luton, Uxbridge, Wood Green and Walthamstow  

Shoppers at eight The Mall shopping centres in the UK, plus Redditch’s Kingfisher and Waterside in Lincoln, will now get free WiFi thanks to The Cloud.

Benevolent retail developer Capital & Regional has decided to roll out the service because it lets consumers combine real shopping with e-shopping and encourages them back into stores.

The Mall shopping centres are located in Luton, Wood Green London, Blackburn, Sutton Coldfield, Maidstone, Uxbridge, Camberley and Walthamstow.

September 19, 2012

The Mall, Blackburn

  Adult websites filtered by default on The Cloud’s WiFi network  

The Cloud has announced that it’ll be filtering access to adult websites across its WiFi network this October.

This is aimed at giving parents who have implemented parental blocks on their home network peace of mind when their iPhone-toting kids are out and about.

Sites that are currently flagged as inappropriate under Sky’s Active Choice broadband filtering system – including pornography, illegal drugs and self-harm sites – will be locked out of the Cloud by default.

The Cloud’s public WiFi partners which includes the likes of JD Wetherspoons, Greene King and All Bar One, ultimately have discretion on whether the filter is applied or not. The default setting from October onwards however will be that inappropriate sites are shuttered.

We’ve asked The Cloud for further details on the block and which venues will leave it as the default setting.

This news arrives as the deadline for the Government’s public consultation on Parental Internet Controls approaches.

September 6, 2012

  Howzat? Free WiFi in Lord’s Cricket Ground  

The Cloud has announced that its providing free WiFi in the illustrious grounds of Lord’s Cricket Ground, the home of English cricket.

Specifically, the free WiFi will be available in the J.P. Morgan Media Centre, across the hospitality areas all the public bars and the Food Village.

What is The Cloud? Free WiFi comes to Lords Cricket Ground in time for England v South Africa

The roll-out comes in time for the England v South Africa One Day International on Sunday, with visitors now able to access fast, user-friendly, internet to browse the web free of charge on phones, tablets, laptops, e-readers, and all other wireless devices.

The landing page which greets users as they connect to the Cloud WiFi will come loaded with information about the Ground and its facilities including exclusive offers for tickets to future matches.

August 30, 2012

What is The Cloud? Sky’s WiFi network coming to ATS garages

  Free WiFi at ATS garages while you wait  

Sky-owned WiFi network The Cloud is coming to ATS garages in September.

All of ATS’s UK garages will be kitted out with complimentary WiFi next month, joining the likes of Greene King and All Bar One pubs and bars along with selected London Overground stations. 

The Cloud is banking on the periods of downtime when your car is being seen to as a key figure in driving use (excuse the pun):

“All our research and experience shows that WiFi is used most during periods of ‘down time dwell time’, when people have a few minutes to kill while they wait for something and want to stay in touch with their work or what’s going on online.

This is why over 5 million customers are now registered with The Cloud enjoying over 100 million minutes of access every week,” says Vince Russell, managing director of The Cloud.

August 14, 2012

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