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colinfindlay

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#162210 2-Feb-2015 11:30
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Hi,

I recently switched to Spark in order to take advantage of the free WiFi hotspots , since I'm pretty much in and around Auckland CBD for most of my day. But for some reason, it simply won't connect to the majority of hotspots - even if I'm standing next to them.
Of the dozen or so I've tried around the city, I've had maybe only 2 actually connect, and only one show the login page and work successfully. All the rest instantly go from "Connecting" to "Saved" on Android, or just fail to connect on my Mac.
I've tried 2 separate phones, and my Mac laptop - all of which are fine using any other WiFi - including other hotspots around town, so pretty sure it's not me. Is the service just rubbish?

Col

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richms
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  #1227552 2-Feb-2015 11:35
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yes its pretty erratic. Frequently get no IP assigned or else get an IP but it hangs on the redirect to the login thing so android just says ready to connect when network improves..

Also you have no idea you are really connecting to spark and not someone's wifi pineapple or other fake accesspoint. IMO free wifi is not worth changing telco over since its inherently insecure.




Richard rich.ms

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jonb
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  #1227569 2-Feb-2015 11:47
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I had similar issue when I was with Spark, it would connect to the one by Specsavers, but not to the hotspot by Platypus on Queen Street. 

Lots of 'forget this network' and reconnect attempts to troubleshoot.  One time I checked on the login portal, and my phone was listed twice with different IP addresses. Deleting one of them helped, if I remember.

I get the impression it was a good business idea, but not being a given an adequate budget to maintain and fix issues.

Nebbie
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  #1227890 2-Feb-2015 16:55
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When I first used this it was ok, how latency is almost always 400ms+ and speeds around 200kbit or slower... Once in a while I get speeds between 5 - 10mbit but this is very rare.
EDIT: Also Auckland CBD.




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Inphinity
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  #1227911 2-Feb-2015 17:25
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It seems, based purely on my use, that some hotspots are oversaturated with users, or signal issues. Most of the ones outside of the CBD work reliably and perform well, in my use, but the CBD is pretty hit and miss.

sbiddle
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  #1227954 2-Feb-2015 17:57
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The concept of the idea was always a dumb one. There is not and never will be a business case for such a deployment that can deliver a measurable ROI, and the mere fact it doesn't work means it's totally unsuitable for WiFi offload which despite initial denials from Spark, was the true motive behind the network.

You simply can't offer a seamless user experience between two different air interfaces that offer vastly different characteristics.

The US is obsessed by WiFi offload, but when you have such terrible mobile networks nobody notices the WiFi is terrible.





Wade
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  #1227973 2-Feb-2015 18:59
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Wife was complaining daily about this until I showed her how to "forget network"

As she uses the train with its free WiFi (Spark based iirc) it made her journey a nightmare as far as internet based activity

colinfindlay

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  #1230406 3-Feb-2015 12:07
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Wow - lots of bad experiences, but I guess it's probably not something I'm doing wrong then.

The thing is - I was was expecting it to be slow. I was expecting it to be flaky. I was expecting it to be insecure.
All round - I had pretty low expectations. But it pretty much just doesn't work at all. I think so far, I've hit a 90% failure rate, I'm not sure how they can do such a big advertising push on something that fails so badly.




nathan
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  #1230416 3-Feb-2015 12:21
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wow surprising you're finding this so unreliable.

I use this a lot from my phone as I wonder around the CBD I would say I Have 90% success not failure.

I'm normally using the WiFi in Viaduct/Queen St/K Rd area

old3eyes
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  #1230424 3-Feb-2015 12:33
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The only problem I've ever have with it is that after a month or so it forgets  who you are and you have to setup again..




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Old3eyes


jnimmo
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  #1230456 3-Feb-2015 13:00
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They really need to give us a certificate to install so we know connecting to the proper Spark Wifi (and would provide encryption) rather than connecting to someone running a fake Spark WiFi AP.
I've generally found it works pretty well in Christchurch. Maybe less other radio noise around here.

colinfindlay

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  #1230460 3-Feb-2015 13:04
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nathan: wow surprising you're finding this so unreliable.

I use this a lot from my phone as I wonder around the CBD I would say I Have 90% success not failure.

I'm normally using the WiFi in Viaduct/Queen St/K Rd area


That's interesting - I'm in the exact same areas! iPhone or Android?

timmmay
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  #1230494 3-Feb-2015 13:14
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My S4 works fine, I get low latency and good speeds in the 10Mbps range, Wellington CBD but rarely use it. If you want secure get a VPN that has an app - Astrill works pretty well.

richms
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  #1230556 3-Feb-2015 14:32
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The problem is at least on android you can't authenticate to free wifi with the redirects thru their server if you turn on the always use vpn and you don't know what apps will leak out during the time before you manually start it up.




Richard rich.ms

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