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Helpdesk

A 24-hour helpdesk service is available to provide you assistance in using GovWiFi or information about the Programme. Please call the hotline at (852) 186 111 or email to enquiry@help.wifi.gov.hk or fax to (852) 2652 6111.

Alternatively, you may look up the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) provided below. These FAQs may address your needs immediately.

FAQs

General

Q1. What is the Government Wi-Fi Programme?

Q2. Where is GovWiFi service available?

Q3. Are the Wi-Fi services provided in the public housing estates part of the Government Wi-Fi Programme?

Using the service

Q4. Do I need registration to use GovWiFi?

Q5. Are there any control on usage time and bandwidth in using GovWiFi?

Q6. What do I need in order to use the GovWiFi service?

Q7.  Are there any limitation of using Wireless LAN channels in GovWiFi premises?

Q8.  Can GovWiFi service support watching of on-line video?

Security

Q9.  Is content filtering mechanism implemented for the GovWiFi service?

Q10.  Can data be intercepted through the airwaves?

Use of encrypted channel

Q11.  Do I need an e-Certificate in order to use the encrypted channel (freegovwifi-e)?

Q12.  I am prompted to enter username/password when I connect to the encrypted channel. Do I need to apply for a user account?

Q13.  I have already configured my mobile device with the encrypted channel. Why is my mobile device still connected to the unencrypted channel (freegovwifi) instead of the encrypted channel (freegovwifi-e) ?

Q14.  Why the username and password of GovWiFi encrypted connection for public used are the same and publicized? Is this encrypted connection reliable?

Usage problems

Q15.  Why can't I access to the Internet after I have connected to the network?

Q16.  The "Conditions of Use and Disclaimers" page does not show up after I have connected to the GovWiFi network?

Q17.  Why the signal strength is weak?

Q18. How can I avoid falling into the trap of using other commercial wireless services unintentionally?

Q19. Why the Wi-Fi connection speed is slow in some GovWiFi premises?

Common Wi-Fi Brand

Q20.  What is “Wi-Fi.HK via GovWiFi”?

Q21.  Which organization is responsible to manage the Common Wi-Fi Branding, “Wi-Fi.HK”?

Q22. What is the difference between “Wi-Fi.HK via GovWiFi”, "freegovwifi" and "freegovwifi-e"?

Q23.  What is the hotline for “Wi-Fi.HK” and “Wi-Fi.HK via GovWiFi”?

Q24.  Will the service of "Wi-Fi.HK via GovWiFi" be provided in more premises other than government premises?

Q1. What is the Government Wi-Fi Programme?

The Government Wi-Fi (GovWiFi) Programme is an initiative to provide free wireless Internet access to the public in government premises with high public patronage. These premises include public libraries, public enquiry service centres, sports venues, cultural and recreational centres, cooked food markets and cooked food centres, job centres, community halls, major parks, government buildings and offices.
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Q2. Where is GovWiFi service available?

GovWiFi service is available at selected government premises and the signage Signage is posted in these premises. You may also use our GovWiFi Locator to find out the location of the rolled-out premises or get the lists of launched sites and sites to be implemented at GovWiFiLocator and Premises Listhttp://www.gov.hk/en/theme/wifi/location/.
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Q3. Are the Wi-Fi services provided in the public housing estates part of the Government Wi-Fi Programme?

The free Wi-Fi services provided in the public housing estates are not provided by the GovWiFi Programme. They are provided by other commercial service provider for public rental housing tenants.
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Q4. Do I need registration to use GovWiFi?

No, registration is not required.
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Q5. Are there any control on usage time and bandwidth in using GovWiFi?

To ensure reasonable performance and fair use by all users, there are bandwidth control and time control for each connection. In general, the bandwidth allocated to each user is about 1 - 2 Mbps, while bandwidth of some premises will gradually be doubled. The actual performance would depend on the number of concurrent users and the signal strength of the spot the user is located. There is a 120 minutes connection time limit set for the service and user will be disconnected if his/her connection time reaches the limit. However, user can reconnect to the GovWiFi service if spare connections are available. Moreover, user will be disconnected from the service if there is a prolonged idle time of about 15 minutes or user has moved out of Wi-Fi coverage area.
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Q6. What do I need in order to use the GovWiFi service?

To connect to the GovWiFi, you just need a Wi-Fi device that is compatible to IEEE 802.11 b/g/n standards. For details of setup procedure, please refer to the  Usage Guidehttp://www.gov.hk/en/theme/wifi/guide/index.htm.
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Q7. Are there any limitation of using Wireless LAN channels in GovWiFi premises?

The equipment of GovWiFi uses all 13 Wireless LAN channels under the 2.4GHz frequency band that can be used in Hong Kong. Our equipment would automatically select the most appropriate channel that is less congested to deliver the service subject to the condition in the premises. However, there are some models of Wi-Fi device that only support a subset of these channels (such as channels 1 to 11 only). In case our equipment are using 12-13 channels in delivering the service in the premises, these models of device will not be able to detect the GovWiFi SSID and use GovWiFi service there.
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Q8. Can GovWiFi service support watching of on-line video?

The GovWiFi service allocates about 1 - 2 Mbps bandwidth to each user, and for Government premises with high patronage, the average connection speed can reach 3-4 Mbps. The connection speed should be sufficient for watching on-line video. However, Wi-Fi signal can be affected by a number of factors, such as signal blockage by obstacles like trees and moving objects, distance between Wi-Fi hotspot and wireless device, number of concurrent users, interference from nearby wireless devices, the capability of wireless devices, direction of antenna and weather condition, etc. Therefore, the stability and performance may vary depending on the environment and the location at which the user is watching on-line video.

 

Some on-line video services will adjust the video quality depending on the connection speed or provide options to users for selecting the resolution for optimal watching experience. User may choose a lower resolution, e.g. standard resolution, for watching videos if playback is not smooth.
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Q9. Is content filtering mechanism implemented for the GovWiFi service?

To protect users from unintentionally accessing websites that may contain obscene, indecent, malicious, or illegal contents such as pirated software or illegal gambling, the service provider is required to implement content filtering service for the GovWiFi service. The service provider adopts industry renowned information security and content filtering service and the system employs methodology and practices well recognized on the Internet in classifying websites into different categories automatically. The content filtering service provider also maintains a website (http://trustedsource.org/http://trustedsource.org/) for public to inquire the classification of websites. The content filtering system is operated independently by the service provider. GovWiFi neither specifies any additional criteria in websites classification nor requests any monitoring on the operation or details of website analysis. GovWiFi also does not collect or examine any information related to websites being filtered. GovWiFi only requests filtering of websites that are classified as containing obscene, indecent, malicious or illegal contents. The content filtering requirements would be adjusted at some premises in accordance with the Internet usage policy specified by the premises concerned, to align with the operation of these premises. For example, online gambling and online games websites are also filtered by GovWiFi at public libraries. 

 

If you consider a website is wrongly filtered, please contact the GovWiFi helpdesk (at Tel: (852) 186 111 or email to: enquiry@help.wifi.gov.hk) for follow up with the content filtering service provider for further study and analysis on the classification. Interested users may also check the classification of websites by entering the IP address, domain name or URL at the content filtering service provider's website (http://trustedsource.org/http://trustedsource.org/), as well as to offer suggestions on the classification direct.
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Q10. Can data be intercepted through the airwaves?

Data that travels over airwaves is vulnerable to data interception, theft or modification. For better protection, please use the encrypted channel (freegovwifi-e). For critical transactions like e-banking and accessing corporate network data, please use secure communication methods, like VPN, SSL and SSH.
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Q11. Do I need an e-Certificate in order to use the encrypted channel (freegovwifi-e)?

You do not need an e-Certificate in order to use the encrypted channel. However, your mobile device will need to be installed with the root certificate of "Thawte Premium Server CA" which is usually pre-installed in most devices. If your device is not installed with this root certificate, you can download it from http://www.thawte.com/roots/ (filename: "ThawtePremiumServerCA.cer" under the folder of "Thawte Server Roots" inside the downloaded zip file) if your device supports installing root certificates. To check whether your device supports installing root certificates, please consult your supplier.
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Q12. I am prompted to enter username/password when I connect to the encrypted channel. Do I need to apply for a user account?

You do not need to apply for a user account. A common account with username "govwifi" and password "govwifi" is used for logging in the encrypted channel of the service.
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Q13. I have already configured my mobile device with the encrypted channel. Why is my mobile device still connected to the unencrypted channel (freegovwifi) instead of the encrypted channel (freegovwifi-e) ?

If your mobile device supports setting priority for different Wi-Fi channels, you may set the GovWiFi encrypted channel (freegovwifi-e) to the highest priority, so that when you arrive at GovWiFi location the device will connect to the encrypted channel automatically.
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Q14. Why the username and password of GovWiFi encrypted connection for public used are the same and publicized? Is this encrypted connection reliable?

The username and password for encrypted connection (freegovwifi-e) of GovWiFi is used for build up an encrypted channel between GovWiFi and your Wi-Fi device. The encrypted channel for each user is independent and individually protected. Others cannot use the username and/or password to decrypt the data under transfer.
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Q15. Why can't I access to the Internet after I have connected to the network?

Please check that your wireless adaptor is configured to obtain a dynamic IP address, and the proxy setting in your Internet browser is off. Please also ensure that you have accepted the "Conditions of Use and Disclaimers" using an Internet browser before accessing the Internet, logging in instant messaging services (such as MSN) or logging in VPN, etc. For proxy-based browsers, e.g. Opera Mini, users may be required to accept the "Conditions of Use and Disclaimers" using another browser first.
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Q16. The "Conditions of Use and Disclaimers" page does not show up after I have connected to the GovWiFi network?

Please ensure that you have connected to GovWiFi SSIDs (freegovwifi, freegovwifi-e or Wi-Fi.HK via GovWiFi), start an Internet browser and access any web site (e.g. www.gov.hk). The "Conditions of Use and Disclaimers" page will show up. Read and accept the "Conditions of Use and Disclaimers" to continue using the GovWiFi service.
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Q17. Why the signal strength is weak?

The signal strength depends on a lot of factors, such as your position in the location, your mobile device and the orientation of your devices. Some less powerful mobile devices or notebook computers which are working under power saving mode may have a weak connection at some spots. Please move to areas with stronger Wi-Fi signal in order to have a stable Wi-Fi connection. Please remember to disconnect and reconnect the service after you have moved to use the nearest access point.
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Q18. How can I avoid falling into the trap of using other commercial wireless services unintentionally?

To avoid dispute on connection service charges, you should be aware of the data services you are using and the characteristics of your mobile devices. If you want to avoid connecting to chargeable GPRS, 3G, 3.5G, 4G or Wi-Fi services unintentionally, you should turn off the Internet access feature of GPRS, 3G, 3.5G, 4G and Wi-Fi, as well as disable the feature of automatic connection to these networks, if possible. Also, the signal strength of GovWiFi in the location may vary at different spots. Some less powerful mobile devices may have a weak connection at some spots. Please move to areas with stronger Wi-Fi signal in order to have a stable Wi-Fi connection.
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Q19. Why the Wi-Fi connection speed is slow in some GovWiFi premises?

Due to environmental and technical limitations, some GovWiFi premises can only offer limited Wi-Fi bandwidth, such as Peng Chau Sports Centre, Tai O Public Library, Mui Wo Public Library, and some locations in Shek Kip Mei Park and Tai Po Waterfront Park.
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Q20. What is “Wi-Fi.HK via GovWiFi”?

To make it easier for the public and visitors to access free Wi-Fi services of Hong Kong, an initiative of 2014 Digital 21 Strategy was to promote a Common Wi-Fi Branding, “Wi-Fi.HK”, for Wi-Fi services which are offered by the public and private sectors completely free or free for a certain period of time in Hong Kong. It will help the public and visitors find and connect to the public Wi-Fi hotspots throughout Hong Kong. GovWiFi is one of the services that joined the common Wi-Fi branding and the SSID provided by GovWiFi on the common branding is "Wi-Fi.HK via GovWiFi" which is available in all GovWiFi premises. ("Wi-Fi.HK via GovWiFi" is used for unencrypted connection and its service level is similar to "freegovwifi".)
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Q21. Which organization is responsible to manage the Common Wi-Fi Branding, “Wi-Fi.HK”?

Office of the Government Chief Information Officer entrust Hong Kong Wireless Technology Industry Association to establish and promote the Common Wi-Fi Branding. For the management of the Wi-Fi services, respective services providers are responsible for their services provided.
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Q22. What is the difference between “Wi-Fi.HK via GovWiFi”, "freegovwifi" and "freegovwifi-e"?

The service provided under "Wi-Fi.HK via GovWiFi" is basically the same as that of "freegovwifi". The new SSID would make it easier for the public and visitors to access free Wi-Fi services in Hong Kong. Users can choose to either use "Wi-Fi.HK via GovWiFi" or "freegovwifi" for unencrypted connection. For better protection, please use the encrypted connection "freegovwifi-e". [Refer to reply of What is "Wi-Fi.HK via GovWiFi"? for more information of the common Wi-Fi brand.]
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Q23. What is the hotline for “Wi-Fi.HK” and “Wi-Fi.HK via GovWiFi”?

“Wi-Fi.HK” is a service offered by various service providers. For enquiry on the “Wi-Fi.HK via name of Service Provider”, please refer to the "name of Service Provider" and contact respective services providers. For enquiry on the “Wi-Fi.HK via GovWiFi, please call the hotline at (852) 186 111 or email to enquiry@help.wifi.gov.hk or fax to (852) 2652 6111.
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Q24. Will the service of "Wi-Fi.HK via GovWiFi" be provided in more premises other than government premises?

The service of "Wi-Fi.HK via GovWiFi" is provided in GovWiFipremises only and its service is the same as GovWiFi. It will not be provided in other premises.

 

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Last review date: June 2016

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