Using the South Western Railway free WiFi Service (England)

This blog post is about using the free South Western Railway WiFi service (England).

SWR Stream

Please note: This blog post isn’t sponsored and nobody reached out to me from SWR. I’m just blogging about a recent experience.

Introduction
I had to dash out of the door to a family emergency and I caught a series of trains across the south of England during a few days. I decided to connect to the train’s WiFi network and blimey, was I in for a surprise!

Connecting to the network
I found it easy to connect to South Western Railway’s wireless network either inside or outside a train. I connected to ‘SWR WiFi’ and then selected ‘copy url’ and contine ‘Continue’.

sign in to SWR WiFi

I then decided to use the service via the Google Chrome web brower and pasted the url into that browser.

When on a train at no time during the journeys I took, did I lose a network connection. When I was waiting for a connecting SWR train at a station, I was fortunate to connect to a nearby stationary train, even though I wasn’t even sat in the train!

Power consumption
I realised quickly that I should sit near a free to use power socket and plugged my USB power adapter into the socket, and then connected my phone to the adapter. I experienced no problem charging my device via the SWR train’s power socket. Once I finished watching the content, I topped up my phone’s battery for free.

Watching something
Whilst I had initially connected to browse the web and check email, I didn’t do any of that!

Instead I watched the movie ‘Atomic Blonde’ for free, as the wireless service offered free movies and TV shows. I noticed they had the excellent Rick and Morty available.  

None of my train journeys were long enough to watch the whole movie in one go, but thankfully each time I selected the movie at a different stage of my journey, the movie resumed from where I last left it.

There were other movie choices and plenty of TV shows to select from, such as Rick and Morty.

What device did I use?
I was using a Samsung S5 G900T with LineageOS 16 installed, instead of stock rom. I found it played the content from the SWR service smoothly and without issue.

Conclusion
In years gone by I used to read a newspaper, paperback book or listen to music via a tape player! Whilst I might still read a paperback book, sometimes I just don’t want to carry an extra item. I’m already carrying my phone and I think it’s fantastic that SWR are providing free content via a WiFi service for their customers.

The reason I was taking a train journey this time was actually for a family emergency, and my backpack was quickly stuffed with items as I quickly rushed out the door. I just wasn’t prepared for a train journey and finding some free entertainment was welcomed and needed.

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