Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Opinions about Boingo Wireless?

Recommended Posts

I just finished traveling for the last few weeks in Germany, England, and Denmark. Before I left, I got a Boingo account so I could have internet service while I travel. I don't know if anyone else has ever tried Boingo Wireless, but here are my experiences and thoughts:

  • Boingo is absolutely worthless in Germany. I was in Berlin and Frankfurt a lot, and never found a single Boingo-compatible hotspot. Not one. But you can't swing a MacBook without hitting a Deutsche Telekom hotspot. So, if you're traveling to Germany, your best bet is to sign up with a T-Mobile wifi account. But Boingo -- nope.
  • Boingo was virtually worthless in the UK. I traveled in London, Exeter, Torquay, and Oxford. The only place I was able to use Boingo reliably was at Heathrow airport. Boingo advertises that it works with BT Openzone hotspots, but every time I tried to connect with the Bongo app, the hotspot either refused the connection, or the app said there was an error. The only time I was able to get Boingo to work anywhere in England was at BT Openzone hotspots at Starbucks. But if you have a Starbucks card, you already get free wifi at Starbucks, so the Boingo thing is pointless.
  • Never saw a single Boingo-compatible hotspot in Denmark. But I wasn't there very long.
  • In order for the Boingo app to tell you if there are Boingo hotspots nearby, you have to connect to another internet service. If I have another internet connection, then I don't need Boingo, do I? So in terms of being able to locate a hotspot, the Boingo app is worthless because it doesn't cache any data. There is no way to store a list or map of Bongo hotspots before going to another country, or even in your hotel in the morning.

I just looked at my account, and in four weeks or so of traveling, I was only able to connect to Boingo eight times, and three of those were at Starbucks. Here's my entire usage:


I just got off the phone with Boingo to cancel my account. The woman said the reason I was able to connect so easily at Starbucks in London is because those used to be T-Openzone (Deutsche Telekom) hotspots. Well, that's great, but it doesn't help me when I can't connect to anything. She suggested that I should have called technical support when BT rejected the Boingo login attempts. I told her that I was on hold for 26 minutes just to get to her, and at $3.99/minute to use my cell phone abroad, I'm not going to spend a couple of hundred bucks in cell phone charges for Boingo to work out its problems.

In short - If you're traveling abroad, don't buy a mobile internet plan in advance. See what options are available once you get where you're going, and buy there. Don't assume that because a wifi provider claims to have thousands of hotspots that they'll work or honor your login credentials.

One thing I did find occasionally useful was Skype wifi. This is an app that lets you roam on paid wifi hotspots and takes the money out of your Skype account. I used this a couple of times, and it worked pretty well. The availability was spotty, but still better than Boingo. More importantly, you're able to see a list of what companies you can roam with in a particular country before you connect. Boingo's app has no such facility.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Create New...