Does Boingo Wireless Really Work?

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Does Boingo really work?Boingo is taking on a pretty ambitious goal, to establish a worldwide network of wi-fi hotspots, accessible through one monthly membership fee. They’re mostly located at airports, hotels, as well as coffee shops and cafes, making them very convenient for frequent or business travelers, of if they’re available at your favorite local venue. But how is the service for the price?

You may not like Boingo because before they came along wi-fi was free in places like airports, Starbucks, and McDonald’s. Now you can’t log on to places like these anymore because they make you sign up with a Boingo account. Perhaps one day Google will set up its own network of free to use hotspots, but until then you’re left with the choice of not connecting, or paying to connect with Boingo and paying for either a 24 hour pass, or a recurring monthly membership.

The Claim
Boingo claims to be the largest wi-fi network in the world, and they do this not necessarily by operating their own hotspots, but by adding already existing points to their network. They also claim that you don’t have to enter into a contract to use their service, and that you can cancel at any time.

The Hype
The hype is that if you don’t have a Boingo membership, you end up seeing Boingo hotspots all over the place. They definitely have an extensive network, but unless you frequent a place that’s on their grid you might not get enough use out of it to justify the cost.

The Cost
The cost is one of the more attractive features of the Boingo service. It’s just $10 a month, and right now they’re even running a half-off promo for the first three months so you can try it out basically for a full 3 months for $15 and if you like it you can stay on for just $10 a month after that.

The Commitment
Trying to find a Boingo hotspot is sometimes harder than you would think. The mapping service that it has is not exactly pinpoint perfect so it can be a little frustrating. Once you’re signed on though the quality of the connection has been described as ranging from really bad to really good, which can require a bit of patience and tolerance on your part, which can be hard to muster when you’re already stressed from traveling.

Taking a trip abroad is the ultimate test for a Boingo membership, and just being able to use it in a few select locations would definitely be worth the cost of having it. It’s almost cheap enough to just sign on for a monthly membership and forget about it, using it when the situation presents itself. For example, a one-day pass is &7.95 so it’s only a few dollars more for an entire month of service. Rather than paying as you go it’s seems a lot less hassle and potential expense to just go monthly.

However, in this economy you want to get value for your dollar, so it’s really a matter of the coverage area meeting your needs, and the service providing fast enough speeds to get to the pages you want to visit, and make the calls you need to make. Unfortunately trying it out first hand is the only sure review method.

Common Complaints
Users have expressed plenty of displeasure from unsubscribing from Boingo, and say it’s next to impossible to cancel the service. One user even said that she is resorting to disputing the charges through her credit card company, but it will be hard for her to do that since she willfully signed up. Apparently several people say this is a scam because they make it easy to get started but hard to terminate service.

Also, many people have said that the service is spotty, is slow when you actually can find a hotspot, and will charge your account if you inadvertently get logged onto their network as you pass through. This latter complaint is likely for the one-day service, and not a monthly plan.

Final Boingo Review

For the price, we would say that it can’t hurt to give Boingo a try, especially if you have a trip planned in the near future. However, keep in mind that several users have said in no uncertain terms that they don’t make it easy to un-enroll, so just be prepared, and contact their customers service well in advance to avoid any delays or additional payments.

Our Recommendation
We recommend trying out Boingo because of its low price. Only by seeing how the hotspots work for your location and phone will you be able to make up your mind of whether to keep it or not. Their already low price per month is on a %50 promo right now so you can get started with it on the cheap, and only stay on if it makes sense to.

What do you think? Does Boingo work or not?

35 Customer Reviews on “Does Boingo Wireless Really Work?

  1. This is a terrible service i get 500kb to 4mb i got a monthly subscribtion for 49.95 and they charged me an additional 19.95 i called and asked what the extra charges were for and they told me it was because i changed my account settings, never will i recommend this service.

  2. I’m stationed on a military base and we have to use Boingo if we live in the dorms. This is, by far, the worst internet provider I’ve ever had the misfortune of using. My ping is around 2500 on most days, which is 25x higher than what it’s supposed to be. Every time I call I go through the same cookie cutter support where the representative acts like he/she doesn’t care or tries to get me to look it up on the website, not to mention the support gets me nowhere. I know how to do all of the first tier troubleshooting because I’ve called so many times. Whenever the representative can’t find a solution they try to convince me that the terrible internet is passable or tell me I have to deal with it. I’ve actually been told that I have to deal with their terrible internet. All 3 times I’ve made them send someone out they’ve never shown up, not even with the courtesy of a phone call. I can’t wait to move out of the dorms so I can have the privilege of never dealing with this company again.

  3. I purchased this service in an airport. After 20 minutes I was cut off and could not get back online so I tried access with my phone. I got on but was cut off again. Later I got on again with my laptop and was cut off again. I gave up. Then two days later the company charged me and additional $7.95 for logging in using my phone. I contacted them to resolve the situation but they refuse to refund the second charge. Never again.

  4. I was at Logan Airport in Boston and tried to use their “free wifi” but I needed to have a Boingo account. What kind of BS is that?

  5. I have had Boingo for approximately 5 months. Each month that I have it, the service seems to get worse. This month alone Boingo has worked about half of the time (if even that). This month Boingo WiFi has been down a MINIMUM of 10 days (I’ve heard more from others that live in my building) and today is 23 July 2016. Even as I type this, the Boingo WiFi service is down. When I’ve tried to call and resolve the issue, I am put on hold for a minimum of 20-40 minutes. This, I am assuming because everyone else is also calling to complain. I say this because I live on a military installation and we all quite frequently have issues with Boingo WiFi. It is truly a waste of time and money. It is cheap, but you don’t even get what you pay for in this case. Over the past 5 months I have spent about $150 on WiFi with Boingo. I should have used that money on my mobile data plan to make it unlimited. That way I know that I would be receiving the service that I am paying for.

  6. They are taking over airports such as CLT and DCA which once had decent free wifi then charging to use their hotspot. In the meantime the places which now have a Boingo hotspot which once had useable wifi now the free wifi seems to have deteriorated substantially! Coincidence?

  7. Charlotte Douglas airport HAD decent FREE wifi unrtil Boingo took over the operation. Now they demand fees otherwise the free wifi is limited to 30 minutes and barely useable to send an email. IMHO Boingo is run by crooks shaking you down for cash. If I had any say the Boingo folks would be in Federal Supermax prison for their scam.

  8. I don’t understand how the service works unless you have a mobile modem/router with which to engage the network. If I need to rely on hotspots, then the service is not accurately being presented as it is not truly mobile. I can get wifi just fine in my home through my ISP wifi-enabled modem/router & extender (we used to call it a repeater 25 years ago) but when I leave, I no longer have access to my “hotspot.” I thought that mifi was personal portable Internet access but apparently it is not. Anyone I ever saw using mifi on the train, for example, had a small mobile Internet modem/router (a router indicates that you can connect to more than one device simultaneously through the same service apparatus) and I was told that it costs approx.$100/month. That was about a year ago. Since then, I thought that the cost had dropped. I would like to have personal wifi access on the train or at my desk at work so that I don’t have my searches documented when I’m looking for personal items on my breaks (ex. side effects of prescribed medications, homeopathic remedies to ease hormonal issues when getting my period, etc). But, I am not willing to pay $100/month for this, so I guess my male boss will just have to cope with his embarrassment when reviewing my monthly Internet access request report. However, I was told to learn how to use our VPN service to access my PC and Intranet sites which is kind of hard to troubleshoot unless I have wifi service outside of our corporate network and I have a busy & demanding family life so I really don’t have a lot of time to do this outside of work. I can use my existing Xfinity hotspot access at the train station but I then become a potential victim to vagrants looking for easy targets so this too can be stressful & I would like to find a low cost solution for my 40 minute train rides and my hour worth of lunch and break times. It sounds like Boingo is a giant rip-off and Millenicom/Freedom Pass is no longer a viable alternative. I guess I’ll have to keep looking.

  9. The service is basically worthless on my Windows-based laptop device. The Windows version of the Wi-Finder app does not work. I download it, it works until I turn my laptop off and then as soon as I reboot or turn the laptop on I get an error message that the Wi-Finder has encountered technical difficulties and must be closed. I called Boingo technical support and they said they cannot and will not trouble shoot the Microsoft interface. I got this service free through my American Express card or I’d be feeling very ripped off about having to pay money for a service that won’t work.

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