Broadband BT Home Hub

BTWifi-with-FON or BTWifi-x: which should I connect to?

BTWifi-with-fon
Which network? Pick the right BT Wi-Fi connection

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If you’re a BT Broadband customer, you probably know you have free access to the company’s entire Wi-Fi hotspot network. You’ll find hotspots in places such as airports, cafes, shops and even in residential streets, because everyone’s BT Hub router is also turned into a Wi-Fi hotspot that anyone can use.

When you’re looking for a BT network to join in a residential area, you might notice networks called BTWifi-with-FON and/or BTWifi-x, among others. Which should you pick? Here’s our guide.

BTWifi-with-FON

BTWifi-with-FON is the network you should pick when trying to connect your laptop, tablet, phone or other device.

When you choose the FON network and open a web browser, you should be presented with a login screen like this:

BTWifi-with-FON

On this screen, you can enter your BT Broadand username and password and you’ll be granted access to the Wi-Fi network. It probably won’t be as fast as your home broadband (FON users are only granted a slice of the available bandwidth), but it will be fine for day-to-day surfing, email or even watching Netflix.

Note, you don’t have to be a BT Broadband customer to take advantage of the FON network. If you click the BT Wi-Fi link on the login page, you can pay for access to the network. At the time of writing, an hour’s access costs £4. A day’s access costs £10 and a 5-day week costs £25. That’s pretty stiff, but if it’s the only option in your holiday home, it might be a price you’re willing to pay.

BTWifi-x

So what of the mysterious BTWifi-x? If you attempt to join this network you likely won’t get very far, as you’ll be asked for a username and password – your BT Broadband credentials won’t cut much ice here.

That’s because this is the network reserved for users of the BT Wi-Fi app. This app creates a profile on your device that allows you to automatically connect to BT Wi-Fi whenever you’re within range of a hotspot – and it uses that BTWifi-x network to do so. You can’t sign into it manually, it’s done automatically via the app.

While this sounds more convenient, I’m not a big fan of the BT Wi-Fi app – precisely because of that automatic sign-in. If you’re walking down the street listening to Spotify on 4G, for example, you’ll find your connection is constantly interrupted as you walk past houses with BT Broadband that the BT Wi-Fi app attempts to latch on to. Because you’re only walking past, the Wi-Fi doesn’t have time to connect, resulting in constant connection interruptions.

My advice: stick to the FON network when you’re out and about and forget about the BT Wi-Fi app.

NOW READ THIS: What is my BT FON log in?

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at barry@bigtechquestion.com.

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