There have been recent news reports questioning whether time spent on commutes checking emails could be counted as part of the working day. We aren’t going to get into this debate as it is fairly well covered in the BBC news article. But what we do want to look at though is the technology that allows this to be possible – wi-fi!
Wi-fi on trains
According to the BBC article, 54% of customers using the train’s wi-fi were using it to send work emails. Wi-fi has been available to trains for the past 13 years and there are a number of challenges for the supply companies to keep up with the demand and quality of service. RailEngineer has an interesting article showing the different areas the train and technology companies are having to consider when supplying wi-fi on the move: coverage, capacity, education and railway requirements.
If you are a commuter or considering using wi-fi for business then you might want to check out National Rail’s website which lists all the train operating companies and what wi-fi they provide, and more importantly, any charges.
The BBC article states also that many commuters are using their own mobile phone connections to check work emails. It could be that they are using 4G and checking their emails on their phones. They could however be tethering their phone’s 4G data allowance and using it as a personal wi-fi hotspot for them to check their emails on their laptops or other wireless devices. For more information on how to use tethering on your commute, do read this on 4g.co.uk for a detailed explanation.
What you should be aware of
As an IT company, we always hold the best interests of our customers at heart. Using train wi-fi is definitely here to stay but like any type of wi-fi network there are always some risks of hacking. Pen Test Partners were recently able to access personal data belonging to passengers including credit card details. So it seems that the technology needs to put safeguards in place, particularly with the announcement that all trains will have free WiFi by 2019.
Following October 2017’s Krack wi-fi attack, we put together some simple advice to protect your wi-fi connection including only visiting HTTPS sites or ensuring your computer has the most recent security features.
If you are a North London IT Support customer (or would like to be) and have a query about a wireless device or installing wi-fi then get in touch with us on [email protected]