New York City gains public gigabit Wi-Fi through first LinkNYC kiosks

Posted:
in General Discussion
A long-awaited public Wi-Fi initiative, LinkNYC, is now officially live in New York City, providing people within range of the kiosks with free Internet access as well as ports for charging phones and tablets.




The first four kiosks were turned on Tuesday morning along Third Avenue in Manhattan, Bloomberg reported. More kiosks will go live in the next several weeks. Within eight years, the total across the city is expected to reach 7,500.

Access can be as simple as selecting the "LinkNYC Free Wi-Fi" hotspot under a device's Wi-Fi settings and entering an email address, which will automatically connect whenever any of the kiosks are within range. People worried about security can get a key for an encrypted connection, although this requires additional steps.

Each kiosk has a guaranteed range of 150 feet, and one gigabit of bandwidth, though individual users are more likely to see upload and download speeds closer to 300 megabits per second. This is still much faster than most cellular or landline Internet connections in the U.S. Range can theoretically extend up to 400 feet, as long as there are no obstacles in the way.

Other features include free VoIP calls through Vonage, and a dedicated button for calling 911. Maintenance costs should be offset by two 55-inch displays showing ads and public service announcements.

The kiosks are the result of a collaboration between the city government and CityBridge, a consortium including Qualcomm, Intersection, and CIVIQ Smartscapes.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,560member
    For those who care nothing about their private data, contact lists, credit cards, passwords, browsing habits, etc.
    SpamSandwichtallest skilHBW1
  • Reply 2 of 18
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    The encrypted connection would be the way to go: I detected a scam AMTRAK WiFi in Penn Station a few years back so I expect trolling around such a hotspot would be irresistible for some crooks.
    SpamSandwichHBW1
  • Reply 3 of 18
    Yes make sure you focus on the negatives of such an initiative first versus the potential. This is a great concept. Yes encrypted is the way to go. Take the extra steps to get this. For most it is a temporary point of access so shouldn't be too risky. It is also a great service for tourists...high speed access versus the battery drain an overworked LTE connection gets you. I would love to have this where I live.
    anantksundaramronnchia[Deleted User]pte apple
  • Reply 4 of 18
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Offering an encrypted path IS a positive, imho. 
    anantksundaramronnlostkiwi[Deleted User]
  • Reply 5 of 18
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,799member

    ... and a dedicated button for calling 911. 
    I don't understand this.
  • Reply 6 of 18
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,256member

    "LinkNYC delivers seamless, free internet (within a 400-foot range in some instances) — but it also warrants the usual questions of privacy in respect to user-data. The company makes good use of encryption through HotSpot 2.0, a tool which acts as a kind of safety blanket meant to surveil existing security tools.

    “LinkNYC will offer an encrypted network for HotSpot 2.0-enabled devices, making it one of the first encrypted public wifi networks and adding a critical layer of protection to personal data. On the LinkNYC Private Network, no one can see your online activity.”

    The question of governments collecting user data from Links follows the usual paradigm; however, LinkNYC notes that it will never sell user information to feed advertisers or third parties: “Like any other wifi providers or wireless carrier, we will respond to legitimate requests from law enforcement as required.”

    ronn
  • Reply 7 of 18
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    volcan said:

    ... and a dedicated button for calling 911. 
    I don't understand this.
    So like the public landline telephones they're replacing (where 911 was reachable without putting in money) these kiosks can be used by people without cell phones to connect to the 911 emergency system for assistance.
    anantksundaramvolcanpte apple
  • Reply 8 of 18
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    I wonder if Apple made an effort like this if it could benefit them?
  • Reply 9 of 18
    cali said:
    I wonder if Apple made an effort like this if it could benefit them?
    I don't see how.

    by the way hasn't there been similar initiatives before, now it's just secure and faster(I'm not complaining)?
  • Reply 10 of 18
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    lkrupp said:
    For those who care nothing about their private data, contact lists, credit cards, passwords, browsing habits, etc.
    Use a browser than encrypts everything, connect to a gateway with a VPN, whatever it takes to stop the paranoia..
    The only thing they could get from you is the MAC address, if that botters you, use a buy a USB WIFI one for your laptop, their cheap, and use it as a kind of burner phone...

    Of course, if you're device is a sieve... Like some devices.. Then there would issue of your device being vulnerable, like on any WIFI network anywhere.

     Then you could maybe worry from Man-in-middle attacks or direct attacks from people on the same subnet,
     unless the router(s) isolate everyone who connects from each other in their own little private space, then it's pretty safe even for the unpatched.


    edited January 2016
  • Reply 11 of 18
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    cali said:
    I wonder if Apple made an effort like this if it could benefit them?
    I don't see how.

    by the way hasn't there been similar initiatives before, now it's just secure and faster(I'm not complaining)?
    In some other cities, Philadelphia?, I don't think they had that advertising component and so with no good revenue stream their expensive rollout failed. Those electronic panels whose space is being sold finances this. 
    "Maintenance costs should be offset by two 55-inch displays showing ads and public service announcements."

    edited January 2016
  • Reply 12 of 18
    Yes make sure you focus on the negatives of such an initiative first versus the potential. This is a great concept. Yes encrypted is the way to go. Take the extra steps to get this. For most it is a temporary point of access so shouldn't be too risky. It is also a great service for tourists...high speed access versus the battery drain an overworked LTE connection gets you. I would love to have this where I live.
    Yes if it were 1998 and Friends, Coffee Houses and Sharing furniture with homeless strangers is how you picture NYC. This idea is antiquated. It's funding is drying up
  • Reply 13 of 18
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    lkrupp said:
    For those who care nothing about their private data, contact lists, credit cards, passwords, browsing habits, etc.
    3 letters, VPN
  • Reply 14 of 18
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,256member
    lkrupp said:
    For those who care nothing about their private data, contact lists, credit cards, passwords, browsing habits, etc.
    3 letters, VPN
    PrivateInternetAccess has been great for me. With that said there's been some recent news that may make VPN's a little less useful. Netflix put the word out this week that they'll soon be blocking access if a VPN is detected. I'm going to guess they'll only be one of the first of many to do so. 
  • Reply 15 of 18
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    gatorguy said:
    3 letters, VPN
    PrivateInternetAccess has been great for me. With that said there's been some recent news that may make VPN's a little less useful. Netflix put the word out this week that they'll soon be blocking access if a VPN is detected. I'm going to guess they'll only be one of the first of many to do so. 
    Isn't the same thing by a different name? 
  • Reply 16 of 18
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,256member
    gatorguy said:
    3 letters, VPN
    PrivateInternetAccess has been great for me. With that said there's been some recent news that may make VPN's a little less useful. Netflix put the word out this week that they'll soon be blocking access if a VPN is detected. I'm going to guess they'll only be one of the first of many to do so. 
    Isn't the same thing by a different name? 
    PrivateInternetAccess is the name of a very good VPN provider. 
    https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 17 of 18
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    gatorguy said:
    Isn't the same thing by a different name? 
    PrivateInternetAccess is the name of a very good VPN provider. 
    https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/
    Ah ok, gotcha. I'll look into it. 
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