You’ll be able to think about my annoyance after I found, late one night in July, that Vodafone had scrapped its assist totally free Wi-Fi on the London Underground.
I stood on a Northern Line platform, unable to message my buddy on WhatsApp to say I used to be operating late, unable to take a look at various routes on CityMapper, and unable to grasp why I could not discover Vodafone on the checklist of community suppliers supported on the TfL Wi-Fi web page.
Certainly this was a glitch? Certainly Vodafone hadn’t deserted its London prospects simply because the lockdown eased and life edged again to regular? I used to be dissatisfied to search out that it had.
I reached out to Vodafone for remark however was directed merely to Vodafone’s assist web page, which says: “We’re now not persevering with our WiFi companies on the London Underground”. Useful.
Vodafone is not the one community that does not permit Wi-Fi on the Underground, in fact. Neither do Sky Cellular, Smarty, or iD Cellular. On the time of writing, we will not see any assist for Tesco Cellular both (except you purchase a Virgin e-voucher). With Vodafone’s exit, Voxi prospects are more likely to be left with out Underground Wi-Fi too.
So how do you entry free Wi-Fi when you’re on Vodafone or one other community that does not assist Wi-Fi on the Tube? Let’s discover out.
How a lot does Wi-Fi on the Underground price?
The plain (and least interesting) method to get Wi-Fi on the Underground whereas on Vodafone or an incompatible community is to pay for a Virgin Wi-Fi move – however it’ll price you:
£2 for 1 day
£5 for 1 week
£15 for 1 month
In case you spend numerous time on the tube, particularly now that places of work and universities reopening, you possibly can guess that these charges will add up. And while you’re already paying a month-to-month price on your SIM, it is laborious to justify one other month-to-month price simply to entry a couple of minutes of connectivity Underground platforms.
So how do you get across the Underground Wi-Fi price?
Workaround 1: Swap your community supplier (simple however not ideally suited)
The SIM networks which can be supported on the TfL embrace O2, Virgin, Three, EE, and BT. So that you may as nicely change to one in all these companies, proper? That is the best resolution, in any case. See a few of our high SIM suggestions right here.
The issue with altering your SIM, in fact, just isn’t everybody has that luxurious when tied to a 12-month or 24-month contract. Plus, all the hassle concerned in switching suppliers simply to get free Wi-Fi for a couple of minutes might not appear price it.
However you could not have to…
Workaround 2: Get an affordable, appropriate PAYG SIM
When you have a dual-SIM telephone you needn’t change supplier. Simply get an affordable Pay As You Go (PAYG) SIM from on a community that helps Wi-Fi on the Underground.
If you do not have a dual-SIM telephone, you possibly can nonetheless use the identical resolution. You will simply have to swap your authentic SIM out with the PAYG SIM each time you are on the Underground. In case you do not fancy that, see the most effective dual-SIM telephones we advocate.
In case you go for a finances model, guarantee it is appropriate with the London Underground Wi-Fi. Smarty, as an example, operates on O2’s community however does not work on the Underground.
As soon as once more, make sure you purchase a PAYG SIM and never a pay month-to-month SIM – as you will not truly be utilizing this second card for its information, minutes, or texts (we’ll clarify).
You need to discover a PAYG SIM with a low minimal top-up quantity. Search for PAYG choices with minimal top-up values between £5 and £10. I opted for GiffGaff the place the minimal top-up quantity is £10, however Three’s is even cheaper at £5 (do not hassle shopping for its Information Packs as you will not truly apply it to the Underground Wi-Fi). Each suppliers can mail you the SIM totally free.
The wonder is you may solely have to high up as soon as – as soon as that cash is in your PAYG account, it may simply keep there because it does not expire. Connecting to the Wi-Fi does not contact your information utilization, and except you truly use your second SIM to make calls or browse the web, so your top-up quantity will keep unscathed.
For roughly the worth of a Boots meal deal, you will get a lifetime’s provide of free Wi-Fi on the London Underground. Simply remember to set your principal SIM as the first one on your calls, texts and information (some dual-SIM telephones will do that routinely).
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