Showcasing the Best of Welsh Business

Freelancing Hotspots: Cardiff in Top 10 Connected Cities of the UK

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In recent years, there has been a domino effect of free WiFi spots emerging across the country, which is great news for anyone who frequently works on the go.

According to a recent report, the Welsh capital came 10th out of all UK cities with 291 public WiFi locations including; cafes, shopping centres, museums and train stations. The average number of downloads made in Cardiff over public WiFi was around 29,600.

Cardiff Council was recently named in the UK’s Digital Leaders 100 List for 2018, the nationwide initiative for promoting effective, long-term digital transformation across government, industry and charities.

Below are the best cities where commuters and freelancers needn’t worry about travelling for work as they can stay connected free of charge, with Cardiff coming in 10th out of 20 cities:

  1. London – 9,269 public WiFi hotspots
  2. Birmingham – 620 public WiFi hotspots
  3. Leeds – 597 public WiFi hotspots
  4. Manchester – 534 public WiFi hotspots
  5. Glasgow – 475 public WiFi hotspots
  6. Edinburgh – 471 public WiFi hotspots
  7. Liverpool – 362 public WiFi hotspots
  8. Sheffield – 359 public WiFi hotspots
  9. Bristol – 327 public WiFi hotspots
  10. Cardiff – 291 public WiFi hotspots

Supporting this, Insurance2go sought expert advice on staying safe when using public servers. Matt Powell, editor from Broadband Genie, said:

“When using public WiFi there is a risk that data could be intercepted. It is fairly simple for either the network owner or other users to monitor traffic, and any data sent unencrypted would be visible, which could include financial information or passwords. Ensure that websites you’re using are encrypted – look for HTTPS in the URL or a green padlock icon in your browser. When accessing a site without HTTPS keep in mind that all your activity could be monitored and behave accordingly. You should never enter a password or any other sensitive data into an unencrypted site when using public Wi-Fi. But remember that even when protected by HTTPS it is still possible to see what site you’re visiting.

“​It’s also crucial to always make sure you’re connected to a genuine Wi-Fi network​​, as hackers may try to catch unsuspecting surfers with fake hotspots set up to capture data. Confirm that the network name and password are exactly the same as provided by the network operator.”

Gary Beeston, sales & marketing director at Insurance2go said:

“From coffee shops to trains and tourist spots, free WiFi is usually within arms reach no matter where you are in the country. There are still many providers that request customers to login, but it’s important for Brits to remember not to be so trusting when using public WiFi, whether you’re using a work or personal device, and make sure you’re fully protecting yourself and your business whenever you are connected.

“Free WiFi is available for the public to use and enjoy, so browsing and navigating your way around the city or listening to music, (without making any transactions), should be a safer way to make the most of these free hotspots.”

Mobile phone insurance provider, Insurance2go, used its team of data analysts to analyse reports from Ofcom, and collate the findings (on the greatest number of free WiFi hotspots).