Free wifi in Blackheath?

There is no cat
As John asked in the previous squirrelly post about wifi, I thought we should have a specific post about it here. (The squirrels aren’t that interested in wifi).

The only free wifi in Blackheath that I’ve managed to find has been in the Blackheath Royal Standard Pub. It was encrypted though, so you’d have to go and ask the staff for the password… However, I have wandered around Blackheath before and spotted various unencrypted wifi points, but never actually accessed them. (Although, just because they’re not encrypted, doesn’t mean that they will work).

I’ve never understood why the some of the many coffee shops in Blackheath don’t offer it. I would have thought that it would differentiate them from their many competitors, but maybe they don’t want the laptop users eking out a single cup of coffee out all morning solely to soak up the wifi beams.

I first saw the quote above on a website called years ago, back when I was at university, and email addresses were full of numbers. The site was dedicated to the idea of free wireless access provided by enthusiasts. The idea was that if you were of a technical nature, and had spare bandwidth, you could offer your wireless router to the nearby community, and by a system of maps, find out who else was offering wifi too.

Sadly the site is quite old now, and hasn’t been updated for several years, but the idea is still a good one I think. So, if any bright spark in Petite Boulangerie Jade, or Handmade Foods is listening – get your routers opened up!

If I hear of any more coming online, I’ll be sure to add them to this post.

Photo of Einstein from Wikipedia.


Filed under blackheath, geek

10 responses to “Free wifi in Blackheath?

  1. Nebworth

    Hi Bugle

    The good folk of Deptfod have an open mesh network that allows you to get free wifi around the area.

    People share a proportion of their bandwidth to the network, so when people are within range, they can use a part of your connection. It would be great if there was something like this in Blackheath!

    here are a few links..


  2. timbur

    Free wifi also at Blackheath Library – just along Old Dover Road from the Standard. Don’t know of any in the Village itself tho’

  3. methers


    It’s hard enough to get a table in Boulangerie Jade or Hand Made Foods as it is. Encourage people to sit in there with their laptops messing around on Facebook all day and we’ll never get in.

    Let them pay to sit in Starbucks.

  4. Alternative “free” network is run by Fon (or BT Fon in the UK). You allocate some of the capacity of your own wifi router to Fon users and you get to use other Fon-enabled wifi worldwide for free. There’s a map on the Fon website. Should show at least one hotspot, in Foxes Dale (!), though not near any coffee shops. See

    • Ah yes, I remember reading about that a while back… To be honest, I’d be happy to open up my router regardless, if I wasn’t so inept at understanding computer security… Not to mention having a sad old Dell Laptop that probably has more holes in the security than a sieve… Wonder if Phorm are involved in the Fon thing though?

  5. No worries about computer security — I’ve talked to the people at Fon and BT (I write about telecoms professionally) and the router is partitioned so that outside users can’t get access to your system or your network, and anything they might do is clearly identified (ie, if they do anything dubious you don’t get the blame).


  6. And Phorm is definitely not involved in Fon — entirely different company.

  7. Pingback: A sundial? Nothing so useful… « The Blackheath Bugle

  8. John

    Thanks for the comments, I’ve ended up using the library WiFi.

    I did buy a network 3 WiFi doggle for my laptop but found I had no reception in Blackheath…

  9. Vincenzo

    The good people at The Railway pub tell me they are going to have Wifi soon so we could be entering the 21st century shortly.

    Starbucks has it but it is so slow that’s it really is useless. Plus, it’s a Starbucks.

    I have to agree that Hand Made and Jade don’t need their tables clogged up by the likes of me, unless it’s to eat their fine grub.

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