Virgin's Wi-Fi on the Tube: How good is it?

Virgin's Wi-Fi on the Tube: How good is it?

Summary: Six London Underground stations now have free Wi-Fi access for the summer, provided by Virgin Media. ZDNet UK went down in the Tube stations at midday to find out whether the service works and what kind of speeds can you expect

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TOPICS: Networking
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  • London Underground Virgin Wi-Fi provides tube line status updates

    Once you're registered and logged on, you see the default home page. This is Virgin Media's portal, but with the addition of a Twitter ticker at the bottom of the screen showing status updates and delays for London Underground lines.

    Credit: Ben Woods

  • London Underground Virgin Wi-Fi speeds range between 7Mbps and 34Mbps

    ZDNet UK performed Wi-Fi speed tests at each of the six stations. The best download speed was at Green Park, with a maximum of 34.4Mbps. The station also scored a touch above 10Mbps upload speed and had a ping time of just 37ms.

    The worst rates were seen at King's Cross, which had a download speed of 7.6Mbps, and upload speed of 7Mbps. The other four stations returned download speeds of between 19Mbps and 33Mbps.

    Credit: Ben Woods

  • London Underground Virgin Wi-Fi service can easily stream iPlayer content

    Virgin's Wi-Fi service will be free for all customers over the summer, becoming chargeable after the Olympics have ended. It is clearly intended for social networking and emailing, despite the impressive download speeds, as there is typically not much time to do more between Tube trains.

    Nevertheless, in our testing Virgin's service had no problem dealing with tasks such as running Flash-heavy websites or watching Coast on BBC iPlayer.

    Credit: Ben Woods

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Topic: Networking

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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