Pretty much anyone using the data services at the Olympics games will require secure, high-speed WiFi connections that lets them complete their work, upload photos, and update social media accounts with ease.
So it was a ringing endorsement by BT — the local ISP providing a majority of WiFi hotspots for Olympics attendees — that made Private WiFi so thrilled.
The Olympics-wide ISP recommends that all users download personal virtual private network software immediately upon connecting to their public WiFi to bolster security through encryption.
A VPN keeps online communications safe by creating a secure “tunnel” through which all encrypted data travels. Whether you’re an Olympic attendee or simply surfing at Starbucks, what other steps can you take to prevent being hacked while on public WiFi? First, turn off WiFi or Bluetooth when you don’t need them. Second, avoid online bill paying or accessing sensitive financial accounts. Finally, turn on data encryption on your smartphone or tablet.
Certainly the hotspots will take the strain off networks in London, with the increase in people using smartphones to send user-generated videos and share photos.
Still, the London Olympics committee organizers made a surprise move last week when it banned the use of personal wireless hotspots at the 2012 Olympic games, adding to already prohibited items like pets, pepper spray, bicycles, walkie-talkies, drugs, and oversized hats.
According to the link above:
“Personal/private wireless access points and 3G hubs (smart devices such as Android phones, iPhone and tablets are permitted inside venues, but must not be used as wireless points to connect multiple devices).”
This means that WiFi is allowed within the park, so long as its through BT, an official partner. Keep in mind that BT is offering a range of WiFi services across London, but that connection is for a fee — the public WiFi is not free.
Meanwhile, for those in London looking for free WiFi hotspots, check out the Tube. Virgin Media’s free WiFi services across the city’s underground Tube network continue to expand. It’s already available on more than 70 stations and will be extended to 120 more stations before the end of 2012.