Staying safe on Sheffield Free Wi-Fi

Staying safe on Sheffield Free Wi-Fi

There are dangers being online whether you are using your home broadband, your mobile broadband or Sheffield Free Wi-Fi. We thought we would share some tips to help you stay safe while using our service.

Always make sure your device has the most up to date software.

Make sure you only connect to the SSID 'Sheffield-Free-WiFi'.

When you connect there should be no browser warnings. (Make sure you are using up to date software and that the date and time are correct on your device).

Make sure you follow any instructions we provide while you are logging in.

Protect your username and password and make sure your password is not easy for someone to guess. Definitely no words that can be found in the dictionary, names, telephone numbers, birthdays or other easy to guess passwords.

Most sites that require you to enter information will have https at the beginning of the address in your browser. Make sure you see the browser padlock on all websites when entering any personal information. If your web browser displays a warning when you visit a website do not click ok, leave the site even if you think the site can be trusted. Get in touch with the site owners and ask them about it. This can be a tell tale sign that someone is intercepting your data or that the site is fake.

Sheffield Free Wi-Fi uses many techniques to combat online dangers. We cannot discuss most of them publicly for obvious reasons but something that separates us from most other public Wi-Fi services is that we assign a private network to each user while they are online.

These private networks are called vlans. Normally when using any form of shared Wi-Fi service everyone that is using the service is in the same vlan and can see everyone else's devices. The ability to see other users devices causes obvious security issues, other users can see any shared folders you may have, they can use software to try and break into your device, they can even intercept your data. With the Sheffield-Free-WiFi service this is not the case. Your connection on our network is separated into its own vlan which isolates your account and your data from everyone else. It is the same technology that is used by broadband companies to separate their traffic. If you have more than one of your own devices using your account they will be in the same vlan so they will still be able to share data.

If you are ever in doubt about using Sheffield-Free-WiFi please just ask us.

Free Wi-Fi Service Launches in Sheffield City Centre on World Wi-Fi Day

A little over a week ago we switched on the Sheffield City Centre Free Wi-Fi service. We have been quiet because we wanted to watch how well it was working and what people thought of it as well as sorting out the odd bug.

Now we know how well it is working and what people think. We have received nothing but positive feedback and the number of users is now into the thousands, in just a week. Thank you.

Over the coming months we will be bringing more areas online. When complete we will be covering at least 293 streets and many public venues. All users will receive a 20Mb/sec service and watch this space for news of speed upgrades.

We would like to thank Sheffield City Council for the opportunity and especially one or two individuals at the Council for all their hard work. We would also like to thank the Sheffield BID, if it wasn’t for them there wouldn’t be a Wi-Fi project. There are many other companies and individuals that we need to thank and we will in future posts.

Here are details of the service in case you haven’t already read about it.

Each user will receive 20Mb/sec of free internet access.

You can roam through the coverage areas and remain constantly connected.

There are no download limits

Your personal data will not be sold

The service is family friendly

The service is very secure

Areas currently covered:

The Moor


Peace Gardens


St. Pauls Square

Surrey Street

Norfolk Street

Norfolk Row

Tudor Square

Pinstone Street

Leopold Street

Chapel Walk

The next phases of the network rollout are currently being prepared. When complete the coverage will include all areas within the Sheffield inner ring road.

Current indoor coverage

Sheffield Winter Garden

Indoor coverage due to go live in the next few months

Sheffield Town Hall

Sheffield City Hall

Ponds Forge Leisure Centre

Sheffield Arena

Moor Market

Howden House

A number of businesses with public and visitor areas such as coffee shops are installing the Sheffield Free Wi-FI service for their customers to use. If you are able to use the service in your favourite Coffee shop or other hangout please let us know so that we can publicise it.

Also, you will soon be able to replace your home or business broadband with a version of the Wi-Fi service. It is a unique service that brings the network into your home or business. You will be able to seamlessly roam from your home into the city without ever being offline and still access your home devices.

We are very excited about the project and we hope that you are too.