Free WiFi in Standard - Virgin West Coast

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Ant158, 13 Mar 2019 at 21:04.

  1. Ant158

    Ant158 Member

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    Recieved an email today from Virgin Trains stating that free WiFi is to be rolled out to standard class this year.

    “Have you heard the exciting news? From this week, we'll start rolling out free WiFi across Standard Class on our Pendolino trains.

    It'll be completely free across all our Pendolinos by May 2019, but for now make sure to keep an eye out for our posters and stickers or ask a member of staff to discover if you can get connected for free.

    For everyone travelling on our Super Voyagers, you’ll be able to enjoy our full BEAM entertainment service by the end of this year.”

    Are there many operators that still charge for WiFi access across the UK?
     
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  3. superalbs

    superalbs Established Member

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    East Midlands Trains only now then it seems.

    Certainly doesn't make them an attractive option for journeys
     
  4. FelixtheCat

    FelixtheCat Established Member

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    I doubt many people will be not travelling on EMT because they don't have free Wi-Fi.
     
  5. Journeyman

    Journeyman Established Member

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    Can't think of any. GNER initially charged for it in standard, then made it free, only for NXEC to start charging again. It's been back to free for a long time, I think.
     
  6. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    £0 is what the awful VT wifi service is worth. It's useless. You get about 50MB before you hit a cap - no use for anything other than basic Web browsing, certainly no use for working via a VPN which is just about my only use case on a long journey. If I had time I'd have sued them for my £6.whatever back.
     
  7. theironroad

    theironroad Established Member

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    Is it free for everyone? I know if a standard class ticket was booked online via them then they gave free access, but anyone with a walk up ticket in standard had to pay. Pretty sure this was still the case about a month ago when I last used them.
     
  8. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    It's now free for all, at least since January this year.
     
  9. theironroad

    theironroad Established Member

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    Ok, cool. Possibly I didn't bother trying as it was only London to Leeds as I've never paid for it even on London to Edinburgh etc
     
  10. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    I only found out because the booking confirmation emails no longer contained WiFi codes with a note "From 28th January 2018, Wi-Fi is free for all customers on board LNER services. Other operators Wi-Fi offerings may vary."

    ---------------------

    As for Virgin WC, the Pendo I had from Liverpool to Euston last Saturday had the WiFi name changed to "Virgintrainsfreewifi" however it wasn't connecting (either phone or tablet). I guess it means I can finally ditch Virgin Red from my phone as the only reason I kept it was for the code generator.
     
  11. gsnedders

    gsnedders Established Member

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    Is it capped? I've regularly done much more than that over the course of Glasgow – London with no problem, albeit primarily in 1st. (I wouldn't be surprised if there was some traffic shaping going on, but I'm pretty sure there's no simple capping.)
     
  12. jtuk

    jtuk Member

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    Well it can't possibly be any worse than the average quality of mobile data I get whenever taking VTWC, which is usually non existent
     
  13. RAPC

    RAPC Member

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    Sounds like an issue with the VPN configuration. Have used the 1st wifi, paid standard and the free standard wifi. Although the speeds are relatively low, never had an issue with a cap. Got a data tracker and my past few journeys have all yielded GB levels from the wifi, including the free service.
     
  14. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Maybe it's improved. The cap they told me about - you get 50MB (yes MB), after which it's HTTP(S) only.
     
  15. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    What network? I've worked all the way from MK to Edinburgh via Birmingham using EE on my iPad (using it as a hotspot) and only got dropouts over Shap, it was spot-on for the rest. Seemed to work best with it in my bag on the overhead rack.
     
  16. RAPC

    RAPC Member

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    I think it is a new supplier for the free wifi. (That's what was mentioned by staff, but not 100%). Certainly wasn't a cap on 1st class when I was on work travel trips with the old provider though. Paid standard I am pretty certain I was HTTP only, so probably didn't get close to a cap if there was one.

    The new, free wifi definitely surprised me as being better than expected. It's just a bit flakey at actually working on. Had 2 out of 4 recent journeys without working free wifi. Known issues on a couple of sets apparently....
     
  17. johnnychips

    johnnychips Established Member

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    Slightly off topic, but Eurostar free WiFi is very hit and miss but they say this in the information. Poor service provision in France apparently.
     
  18. Skie

    Skie Member

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    Last week I was on a 390 that had free WiFi, but it was an atrocious experience with pages taking a good 60 seconds to load. Similar to the previous offering really.
    Ended up on another one yesterday and it was miles better. Zippy loading times and only one or two bits where the train itself lost connection but it was a vast improvement over anything from the past.

    Wonder if the difference in experiences was because it's only really started this week? Would make sense if they have moved broadband supplier but had the changes ready to go on a number of units before the changeover. Either way it's a welcome change, and my phones battery was much happier.
     
  19. BurtonM

    BurtonM Member

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    I've found BEAM to be totally unusable on VTWC, every time I've tried. The paid wifi wasn't awful, and I resent paying for it, but it worked at least some of the time, though it did drop out a lot. Free is all it's worth.
     
  20. M60lad

    M60lad Member

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    Not used it for a couple of weeks but I'm not too keen on Cross Country's free Wi-Fi in standard class as it blocks online radio and other streaming sites which means you can't listen to music on the move which is what some people like to do.
     
  21. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    It also blocks Google Docs, Slides and Sheets, meaning you can't do work if you rely on those :(
     
  22. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    There is only limited bandwidth available on a train - the on board wi-fi would soon grind to a halt if everybody was allowed to stream.
     
  23. Puffing Devil

    Puffing Devil Established Member

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    It may be crap, at least it's free and works better than both my phone and my MiFi device.
     
  24. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    That's a bit stupid.
     
  25. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    Yes, a VPN is essential for that.

    On GTR you get speed capped at 50MB but after the speeds are still reasonable. I know today we expect tens of megabits, but anything over 0.5 or 1Mb is acceptable for browsing and social media, or saving changes to a document.

    If you want unrestricted data, use your own phone. Then it comes down to the rolling stock, the phone you've got (antenna sensitivity etc) and where you are. But you soon work out what works best for you.
     
  26. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    I wonder if someone should consider asking for these services to be whitelisted? It might be that they've just been restricted as a consequence of various default blocks to deal with streaming services?

    But as I posted above, a VPN solves the issue. I use VyprVPN but expect any will work.
     
  27. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    Up until recently this forum was blocked on TPE wi-fi! ;)
     
  28. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    I know, I don't expect it to be fast, but to block stuff like that, which people might actually use to work, is counterintuitive. The UV window film on Voyagers (and also Pendolinos) means the mobile signal is far worse than it is on comparable stock like Desiros, so good luck finding a reliable mobile signal!
     
  29. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    I suspect they haven't sat down and worked out all the sites that should work, and those that don't. The provider (is it Icomera or Nomad Digital?) may offer preset lists, that they maintain, and that could be where some Google services are affected because they were trying to block, say, YouTube.

    I haven't contacted anyone to ask about it, as I use the VPN 'workaround', but perhaps someone should mention it and see if they can allow access.

    However, I do wonder if Drive (also blocked) might be intentional though, as it does offer the ability to stream video (from your Drive storage, or a link from someone else) and send/receive files that could very easily consume a LOT of bandwidth. Imagine if you synced folders to your laptop. By blocking Drive, you probably block Docs/Sheets etc.
     
  30. Romilly

    Romilly Established Member

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    On the subject of using VPNs with train wifi, I found that if my VPN kicked in then I lost internet access via the train wifi. My work IT gurus said it's because the VPN on my work laptop, and the train wifi, were both trying to use the same port on the laptop. The only solution, apart from changing the standard configuration for all work laptops, was to connect via a MiFi dongle.
     
  31. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    With most corporate VPNs, if you are connected to the VPN your Internet access goes through there as well. Many corporate laptops are configured, for security/staff tracking reasons, not to allow any Internet access until the VPN is connected.

    It sounds like yours is poorly configured.
     

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