How to get free WiFi on East Coast trains

July 12th, 2011 16 Comments By Paul Smith

Picture 7 How to get free WiFi on East Coast trainseastcoastlogo How to get free WiFi on East Coast trainsWe’ve long been of the opinion that since East Coast began charging for WiFi on board its trains, the service is no better than when it was was free. East Coast PR claimed they’d performed all sorts of technical wizardry to ensure consistent, high-speed access, whereas is reality it couldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding.

And of course the pricing makes no sense at all, given that the route stretches from Glasgow to London; £4.95 for an hour or £9.95 for 24 hours – chances are you’ll be paying top whack, then. “But what about 15 minutes of free WiFi, Bitterwallet?” If it worked, that’d be great – but even opening your email is like waiting for a horse to solve Fermat’s Last Theorem.

So here’s some homework for those travelling the route on a regular basis, posted recently in the comments by avid Bitterwallet reader Iain. Let us know how you get on:

If you want to utilise the free East Coast WiFi service for more than 15 minutes then you will have to change your MAC address. The system works out your device based on the network cards MAC address so keep changing that and you will get free net for your journey.

I have been sitting on East Coast WiFi for free for the past hour now and no issues other than the annoyance of having to re-connect every 15 minutes.

If you’re using a Mac then you want to find an app called “ChangeMAC” on CNET and it will sort you right out.

If it isn’t working for you then make sure the MAC address you are trying to set begins with 00:23: otherwise it definitely won’t work on Lion.

If you’re on a PC then google “change mac address windows” and you will find all you need.

Enjoy the free WiFi!

Comments (16) Jump to most recent comment
  1. Posted by SW July 12, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Also, for the lazy, if you start something downloading/streaming before the time limit comes up, it’ll keep going – it only realises the time limit is up if you change page/site.

  2. Posted by Richard July 12, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    That’s a pretty good tip considering Lion hasn’t been released yet.

  3. Posted by Bazinga July 12, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    It depends how clever your horse is.

  4. Posted by Bob July 12, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Maybe he meant Lions

  5. Posted by axisofevil July 13, 2011 at 2:52 am

    For Linux:-

    Note the ancientness of the web page…

  6. Posted by Paul July 13, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Enjoying free use of a service you are asked to pay for…………….

    isn’t there a word for that?

  7. Posted by br04dyz July 13, 2011 at 10:17 am

    @Paul….yep, its called marriage!

  8. Posted by Pall July 14, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    This would be great, don’t you have to do some kind of registration/login before you can use it? How do you go about doing it with the login etc?

  9. what about opening a VPN on the free bit; and keeping it open?

  10. Posted by Keiran August 2, 2011 at 8:46 am

    @skippy, when I activate Expat Shield pages won’t load. I’m not sure if it’s just me or my laptop but it’s not happening. Thanks to the author for the original tip though!

  11. Posted by Ben April 29, 2013 at 8:17 am

    @Paul. It’s not as criminal as East Coast charging £4.95 for 1 hours worth of unacceptable poor quality wifi, after you have just paid £292 for a return ticket! Especially when I get a better Internet connection on my phone for no extra fee.

    What nobody has mentioned is, even after paying £4.95 per hour, East Coast wifi is limited to the most basic of websites. For example, video from BBC news or Youtube will not work.

  12. Posted by Josie May 30, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    I’m on an East Coast train right now, and the wifi is really pants. The only good thing about it is my frustration led me to this site and the horse solving Fermat comment made me laugh out loud

  13. Posted by David December 9, 2013 at 7:13 am

    Better hack: connect to the wifi while seated in first class, then move to standard class. It thinks you are still in first class, and so you get free wifi the whole journey.

  14. Posted by RSol January 4, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    on train now (scotland to london) network is ok .
    Ive got cookie self destruct and ghostery (a tracker blocker)
    and the 15 mins ran out an hour ago still goin
    been downloading snes roms and all

  15. Posted by melj September 10, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Does anyone have a wifi code unused/spare (maybe from loyalty scheme) that they would graciously give me for tomorrow afternoon?

  16. Posted by Alessandro February 21, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    Thanks for your blog post, another suggestion is to clear the browser cookies as I believe they keep track of the ‘expired’ connections.

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