Sunday, April 12, 2015

Are You a Time Warner or Xfinity Customer? Use WIFI When Traveling And Save Your Mobile Data

Let's face it, mobile data on a Smartphone is not cheap. You probably purchase a fixed amount per month - 1, 2, 3, 5GB or more. Assuming you don't download apps, watch videos or listen to music, 1GB may be enough. Watch a movie or two and you are well over your limit. So, it makes sense to try and use free WIFI whenever possible. Finding these Hotspots can be a challenge - they are far from becoming ubiquitous. Even if you do happen to find one there is always the question of security. Open WIFI Hotspots are notorious for lurking hackers and "bad guys" trying to grab your personal information and credentials. When using these you may want to refrain from accessing sites that ask for personal information, unless the site itself is using secure protocol. You can identify this security by looking your HTTPS in the address bar.



Fortunately, Open WiFI is progressing and the some of the large Cable Companies are taking the lead. Last year Time Warner Cable began building out WIFI Hotspot access points across their market, including locations that allow you to connect to Secure hotspots - using Hotspot 2.0. These 2.0 hotspots encrypt your communications and ameliorate the security issues we previously discussed. TWC calls these TWCWIFI- Passpoint. When you see one of these popup in the Wifi choices on you mobile device, you can connect securely. Of course, you will need your TWC account credentials to login. You will only need to login one time - your device will retain your credentials. The connection itself uses a handoff technology, and it is seamless. You can ride around a TWC market area and your device will "grab" the WIFI signal, as you move from one point to the next. You may also see other TWC wifi access points that are not secure. These are generally identified by TWCcable - no Passpoint notation. TWC has been expanding this technology very rapidly and others are beginning to take notice.

Comcast via Xfinity is also rolling out Hotspots across their market areas. At present, most of these are open hotspots that lack the security that we mentioned above, however, Comcast has indicated that they will be adding Hotspot 2.0 infrastructure in the future.

To take advantage of either of these technologies you need a Comcast (Xfinity) or TWC Internet account. But, if you are already paying for cable, this is a nice perk that will help you save some of that valuable mobile data. Grab a TWCWIFI-Passpoint connection, on the go, and stream a video - without Cellular data remorse.