About wi-fi

Wireless standards

Wireless device security

Please be aware of the following steps you can take to protect your data:

  • consider using a robust and updateable anti-virus software and personal firewall
  • turn off any automatic login facilities (i.e. if you've set your computer to remember passwords)
  • use a secure Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access your corporate network or intranet
  • enter any personal and banking details only when the site is secure (i.e. look for the padlock icon on your browser and click on it to confirm that the security certificate is valid).

Important: if you're using Windows XP (SP2) and view wireless connection status, you'll see BT Wi-fi described as an 'Unsecure network' or similar. Windows XP (SP2) describes most public access wireless networks in this way. Please ignore this. BT Wi-fi uses sophisticated 128-bit public key encryption during login to protect transfer of your data. Account traffic is encrypted and your account is password protected.

Authentication and account security

128-bit Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is used when:

  • logging in to use BT Wi-fi
  • purchasing a pricing plan
  • changing your password
  • checking your profile details.

When you choose to launch a new browser window to surf the web, depending on your chosen web site, your session may no longer use SSL. This is no different from normal use of the internet.

Network integrity

Our network uses:

  • firewall protection to our access routers to help stop hackers
  • dedicated IP network access to the internet
  • individual addressing for customers (i.e. each valid user has an individual session ID)
  • data centre firewalls
  • an Intrusion Detection System (IDS) at central sites
  • 'a walled garden' (i.e. traffic from outside a BT Wi-fi hotspot is only allowed from authorised servers using our data centre)

Please note: war-chalking (marking a building, pavement or site to tell others a wi-fi network is present) doesn't affect BT Wi-fi hotspots as all our users must authenticate to login.

Is WEP enabled for BT Wi-fi?

Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) is a security protocol designed to provide a wireless LAN with a level of security and privacy comparable to what is usually expected of a wired LAN - by encrypting data transmitted over the WLAN.

WEP is not enabled for BT Wi-fi (i.e. no on-air wireless encryption is used), because BT Wi-fi is a public access wireless local area network (WLAN). However, other security measures are in place when accessing BT Wi-fi, such as logging in with a unique username and password. We recommend that access to a company network should be via a virtual private network (VPN), and that whenever you're sending personal data, you make sure SSL is in place.


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Help & support

Lots of help about BT Wi‑fi, BT Broadband and choosing which wi‑fi access is best for you.

Dummies guide to BT Wi‑fi

Want to use BT Wi‑fi but not sure how? Our short guide will explain where you can find us and how to get online