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back to article Starbucks extends gratis Wi-Fi to UK

Starbucks has granted Brits free Wi-Fi access. Tweeted the coffee giant today: "All our customers can access Free Wi-Fi at hundreds of Starbucks locations throughout the UK. Just click 'Connect' and enjoy!" Starbucks free Wi-Fi UK Well, not quite all of the beverage purveyor's punters: the company was later forced to admit …

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Anonymous Coward

Oh joy.

Now it'll be even harder to find somewhere to sit in those places for those of us who, you know, actually came for a coffee.

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You came into Starbucks for a coffee?

Interesting.

I assumed they made coffee by applying the principles of homeopathy to warm milk.

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Coffee/keyboard

You go to Starbucks for coffee?!

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FAIL

Starbucks =/= Coffee....

If you really want a coffee, I seriously doubt your local Starbucks is the place to go to get the best quality example...

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JC_
Joke

You go to Starbucks for the coffee?!?

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No - for tea.

I can't comment on their coffee, but I did get a really top-notch cup of tea from a Starbucks the other day...

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Bronze badge

Does it have the crap login requirements like McDonalds?

This makes the system a pain, you have to log in to use it. (And it doesn't even work reliably with all devices)

I went on holiday to Belgrade, earlier in the year. All the hotspots there just worked. Just connect, and that's it.

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JC_
Thumb Down

If there's no login requirement then there's not much to stop any old punter using it. Fair enough, you might think, but they're businesses, not charities.

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Starbucks have actually had free wifi for a long time now IF you registered a Starbucks card. That had a login to BTOpenzone using the registered details.

I'm guessing therefore that they've removed the card requirement

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Starbucks Poland

I live in Poland and the Starbucks here has free wifi with no login or anything.

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Unhappy

Free wifi + overpriced coffee

translated:

"Hopefully if we hook you up to some free wi-fi, you won't notice that your wallet is considerably lighter, and your coffee tastes like yak piss"

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Free wifi + overpriced coffee

Stick to the cake then.

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Coat

But

the cake isn't very sticky either...

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Anonymous Coward

It's a lie...

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Devil

No free airport Wi-Fi?

So, how about Starbucks give you a voucher for 15 minutes of "free" Wi-Fi access when you buy a coffee.

That way, some punters will be going through four coffees per hour, so that equates to just under £10/hour, making it the most expensive free Wi-Fi on the planet.

The customers will be so very wired from the caffeine they probably wouldn't even notice..

I should be in marketing.. not a techie...

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Free or...

..."free". I thought you had to be a BT customer to use OpenZone? I am not and it pisses me off to find "free" wi-fi that I cannot use or have to pay for.

I guess they could argue that they do not mean "free" in the sense of "no cost".

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Free as in 'Free public wifi"?

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It might be a lease condition at airports, too.

This is a response to Caffe Nero's recent decision to offer free WiFi, I suspect. Starbucks are usually more generous at offering power outlets for customers, so this is a good move. It will certainly mean I use Starbucks more often, even despite their somewhat inferior coffee.

Both Pret a Manger and Wetherspoons offer free Wifi at their regular outlets and not at their airport outlets, too. I suspect it is because the owners of the airports have sold "exclusive" rights to offer WiFi within the airport to someone else, and therefore prevent regular retail tenants from offering it directly to their customers. It's certainly an annoying state of affairs.

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Power outlets

Over on this side of the pond, most Starbucks have actually removed a lot of their power outlets to discourage the "buy one coffee and surf all day" bunch.

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I work at JD Wetherspoons in an airport, and your suspicions are true. We managed to get our free WiFi hotspot active for a day before we were threatened with eviction due to breach of contract.

Surprised?

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Eh?

If you want coffee, what in dog's name are you doing in Starbucks?

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Anonymous Coward

Well, I suppose it saves me thirty seconds (if that) entering my BT FON credentials :-)

Just hope Starbucks aren't raising their prices to fund this...

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Not new

Free wifi has been available at Starbucks in the UK for years.

All you've ever needed to do is grab a Starbucks card, register it online and then use your Starbucks account to get free wifi. You only ever need to put money on the card once to register it and then you can buy your coffee with it as usual, leaving £0.00 on your card.

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Anonymous Coward

Free Internet too?

I'm fed up with cafes and the like that advertise "free WiFi" - which is true - but then don't connect you to the Internet unless you pay through the nose for it. Seems too much like a 'bait-and-switch' trick. What use is a free WiFi connection that doesn't connect you to anything?

So which is Starbucks offering - free WiFi or free Internet access?

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FAIL

Too little, too late

Stopped using Starbucks a long time ago because of the hoops you had to jump through for WiFi. Moved elsewhere and discovered the coffee was a lot better too.

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FAIL

Paying for WiFi in airports !!!?@@

Why don't the airport/transportation authorities in the UK provide free WiFi at airports like they do in civilised society? Imagine arriving at an airport and actually having to PAY for WiFi.. the mind boggles.. that would be like paying some sort of license fee just to watch TV or listen to the radio..

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Anonymous Coward

you pay a licence fee to listen to the radio?

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you do in Switzerland at least, quite possibly many other places, directly or indirectly (for example, surely some of the UK license fee that goes to the beeb goes towards BBC radio?)

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JC_
Thumb Up

Presumably the user that voted you down has never been in an airport abroad, desperately needing to get online, and been hit with horrific charges to do so. There's always one idiot out there...

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Hmm

Part of the TV licence fee does go towards BBC radio, however it is not a legal requirement to own a licence in order to listen to radio.

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At Mauritius Airport

The WiFi is completely free, and evenly distributed throughout the departure lounge so that everyone can get a signal. Talk of civilised nations should not exclude this little backwater nation that has simply got it right.

Contrast with Charles De Gaul airport and of course our own BAA operated rip-offs and that puts this lot to complete shame.

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Bronze badge
Joke

I've got a cat licence.

Well, it was on a dog licence, but the boke at the Post Office scribbled the word 'Dog' out, and wrote 'Cat' in crayon over it....

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Thumb Down

The cake is a lie

Anything I've ever tried looks like it dropped off a conveyor belt in a factory in Slough.

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I'd be more impressed...

...if it was Costa Coffee or Coffee Republic offering it.

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Flame

Why all the hate?

Starbucks may not have coffee beans run through a civet cat, but here in the U.S. most of them offer a wide selection of beans and many have single cup brewing systems that yield a fine cup of coffee. Their staff are uniformly friendly (as required by policy) unlike some of the small coffee shops with their snooty hipsters pulling the shots, and equally hip clientele hunched over their Macbooks with ironic stickers plastered on the lid, using the local Wi-Fi which requires a WEP key that represents an inside joke.

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Meh

Post your own message

Perhaps the coffee in Starbucks::US is better than it is here.

In the UK if one has a caffeine dependency then Starborks is the place to avoid as the stuff is weak and, well, rather pointless.

if ever I venture into a city then I tend to look for an old fashioned place run by an Italian, Turk or a Greek that had been there since the fall of the Byzantium Empire as then I know that the coffee will be flavoursome and full of bollocks.

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Anonymous Coward

Because Starbucks produces awful tasting, watery coffee.

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Trollface

Starbucks sell coffee?

Who knew?

I always thought it was overheated tramp sick?

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Anonymous Coward

Crap Process

I agree with other posters. In the US the connection just works. Hell, I walk past the local Starbucks on the way to the gym and wifi kicks in, no problem, no logon, no nothing. Any BT Openzone, even free access in the UK when I visit is a brutal pain in the ass for smartphone screens. Those Jackasses at BT have no flaming clue. Less with the logon thing, just make it work.

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What we need...

The whole Wi-Fi standard was very poorly thought out. The only authentication method specified was a single all-user password, so you can't really blame BT or anyone else for needing a web-based login screen.

What we need is for the successor to WEP and WPA to specify a standard for individual user domain authentication. Until then, we're stuck with the hacks in the current generation.

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Anonymous Coward

It exists

but try getting coffee shop workers to admin a RADIUS server.

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re:Less with the logon thing, just make it work

I want security, and a bit of pain for it thanks. But if getting your data nicked and identity stolen etc is fun for you, go ahead.

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Silver badge

So, the Wifi is free if you are a BT openZone subscriber already ?

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Starbucks have had free Wi-Fi for ages

I've been using Starbucks free Wi-Fi for a couple of years. You just register a Starbucks card on their website. When you fire up the laptop, connect to the Starbucks BT Openzone hotspot and fire up the browser. You end up on a BT Openzone landing page with a Starbucks login option - no need to sign up to Openzone.

The only time I tried a JD Wetherspoons hotspot the laptop couldn't handshake with the router.

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