If you guessed McDonalds you were bang on. This week 1000 McDonald”s outlets came online with free WiFi and the remaining 400 stores in Canada will be online by the end of May. It is safe to say that Free WiFi is becoming ubiquitous in Canada.
The service is provided by Bell, which also provides free WiFi at Starbucks locations. No purchase is required and there is no logon number or password involved. The data transfer rate can be up to 11Mbps, I tested over 3Mbps at McDonald’s Beaconsfield this morning. I consider that to be excellent performance for a public WiFi Hotspot.
McDonald’s isn’t worried about WiFi squatters using up tables, in fact the Kevin Bolanis Manager of the Beaconsfield franchise says it will be good for business and in keeping with its new McCafe coffee shop image.
Like most free WiFi hotspots there is no encryption so users should take the necessary precautions to protect their data. If your company has a VPN, you should be able to run your VPN or secure tunneling client software. Bell Mobility/Canada provides fully routable/public IP addresses so that VPN connections should be seamless. Bell Mobility/Canada’s network will support any VPN technology, which is Internet Protocol Version 4 (Ipv4) compliant (this information can be obtained from the user’s IT
department). Most VPNs will meet this requirement.