New: Republic verified WiFi hotspots


#1

Today we’re excited to announce access to Republic verified WiFi hotspots through the Republic App (version 3.0 and higher).

We’ve partnered with a provider to bring you free access to over 30 Million hotspots nationwide. This feature is rolling out gradually over the next few weeks through the Play Store with version 3.20 of the Republic App. When enabled, the Republic Wireless App will now automatically connect you to nearby verified WiFi hotspots. You’ll have access to both premium networks and curated open networks that meet our standards for good connectivity. All this included for you as a Republic Member (on all My Choice Plans)!

Here’s how to enable the feature.

  1. Navigate to the ‘Settings’ tab in the top right of the Republic Wireless App.

  1. Select the ‘ Verified WiFi Hotspot Settings’ item.

  1. Toggle the switch to ‘Enable Free WiFi Connectivity’.

  1. Enjoy your expanded WiFi access!


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#2

So to open the can of worms, the curated open networks won’t be authenticated or verified by anything other than SSID, correct?


#3

@cbwahlstrom We are also ensuring that the WiFi AP has working internet connectivity and good signal strength prior to connecting a user.


#5

Since you have to be on 3.x or greater, this does not concern me (since I have a Moto X and X2), but it is intriguing. If I do upgrade to a new phone, are you going to be using a VPN for all these WIFI connections, or are we on our own? With all these exploits going around, it may be hard to manage who has updated their access point(s) to protect us. This is great news though!
Thanks!


#6

Great feedback @muerte33. We recognize the security concerns around open networks and caution our members to not use this feature if they don’t feel comfortable using open networks. We are exploring options for a VPN, stay tuned for more information!


#7

On the few republic verified WiFi that I connected to recently with the beta app, it did not connect automatically and calls were not allowed on some of the WiFi networks.


#8

Will a map be supplied so those of us in the hinterlands know whether to care?


#9

@grandbobby There may be times when live network conditions don’t meet our WiFi calling criteria (latency, specific ports), however general data access would not be impacted and we’d allow you to use the hotspot for data access.


#10

@cb1 Yes, we are working on a map that will show regional availability of WiFi hotspots.


#11

That is the best idea Republic has had since it began. I really hope this works. I am constantly having to turn wifi off to avoid local cable company wifi that appear “open” but are for customers only. I’d like a way to mark some connections as hostile.


#12

So this is an independent thing run by R.W, than Google’s own built in “Connect to high quality public (wifi)networks”? Google’s does also use their own VPN when that activates. To which if u want to stream any video from say Netflix, Hulu etc, u have to disable this cause those services do not allow VPN.


#13

Hi @SpeedingCheetah,

This is not Google’s feature. As @khalifa wrote,

This is a partnership we’ve entered into in order to provide additional value for Republic Wireless members.


#14

Can u disclose who “the partner” is?

The only other similar thing to this I have read about is Comcast/Xfinity hotspots.


#15

No… the idea is that it’s a feature Republic Wireless is providing for our members, and we really hope you’ll find value in it. Please let us know what you think. I’ve been testing it for a while, and it has been an occasional nice surprise to look down and realize I’m on Wi-Fi and didn’t have to do anything.


#16

Not sure how much this new feature has been tested by the techs…

Would it cause some sort of conflict to have both Google’s and R.W.'s “Verified WiFi Hotspots” features enabled?

Would u recommend only having one enabled at a time?


#17

Personally, I never leave Location on, unless I need it for Maps, Search, etc., so not sure how useful it would be for me unless I need/want a WiFI connection for a download or something.


#18

As far as I know, Location (GPS etc) doesn’t have anything to do with Open Wifi network detection.
The wifi radio does its survey scans independent of the GPS and Cell/LTE radio.

Unless they have changed things and tied both together for some reason.


#19

They’ve been testing it quite extensively for several months. Is there a specific issue you’re experiencing?


#20

well…no. The app hasn’t updated for me as of yet.

I was just wondering if R.W. users should disable Google’s version of this first…as it is On by default on Nexus and Pixel devices, and perhaps on other devices.

Curious that if both services are enabled, which one gets priority when a “verified” hotspot is detected.

On a personal note, I have moslty poor experiences with this kinda thing. (Google’s) As it did auto connect to the random “Verified” open wifi i was near, but there was no Internet connectivity at all unless u launched a Browser to view the hotspots Access Portal page to login or Accept some usage terms first. In the few places I have had this feature activate, I had to disable the VPN Google uses as the Access Portal page won’t load. (also cause I then have no access to video streaming apps with VPN) . I did report this to Google…never heard anything back from them.

I don’t think Google has an official map of their “Verified hotspots” that the phone will automatically connect to. Would be very cool if they did. R.W. too.


#21

Actually, my phone prompts me to enable Location service in order to use the Free WiFi Connectivity feature.