Over the last few weeks UPC has rolled out a service in Ireland called Horizon Wi-Free.
The service allows UPC broadband customers who are visiting the homes of other UPC customers with a Horizon box to get free WiFi. You don’t need to ask your friends and family to share their WiFi password with you, because the Horizon box uses two different WiFi hotspots – one secured one for the home-owner’s use, and a public open one for visitors.
And once you set up your smartphone or tablet to connect to Horizon Wi-Free for the first time, it should automatically re-connect whenever you encounter another Wi-Free hotspot.
Some things to bear in mind if you were wanting to use Horizon Wi-Free in someone else’s home are:
- You will need an active broadband subscription with UPC
- You can connect up to 3 devices to Wi-Free at any one time (a limitation if you have multiple devices and a large family sharing the subscription)
- You can expect restricted broadband speeds – a maximum of 2.5 megabit download and 0.5 megabit upload
That being said, I find it very useful to have WiFi available on my smartphone whenever I visit nearby family – especially as my family don’t tend to know their own WiFi password.
To set up Horizon Wi-Free on your UPC broadband subscription, you need to log in to “My UPC”, look down the list of “My Products” on the page and click on “Horizon Wi-Free”. On the next page you’ll see a link to set or change your Wi-Free password. This will need to be a separate password to that used for your My UPC login.
Once you have set up the Wi-Free password, you’re free to ‘roam’ on other people’s WiFi. You’ll need your UPC account username (as used for My UPC) and your newly created Wi-Free password to connect – but once your device is set up, you won’t need to keep re-entering it.
Here’s some instructions on setting up your smartphone or tablet.