Saturday, October 26, 2013

Indian Railways WiFi on Wheels: A Hands-on Experience

Saturday, October 26, 2013
The first WiFi-on-wheels in Indian Railways was launched with much pomp only to come out as another gruesome experience for travelers.The service is free till date and is available on some of the Rajdhani Expresses till date.

Connecting to the WiFi
To connect to the WiFi, one needs to search for the Access Point  - IRWIFI. It is an open Access Point, so you can connect to it without any password in the first step.After connecting to the Access Point, open your browser, you would be redirected to Indian Railways WiFi Log-in portal.

   Click on Register for Internet Access to be presented with a Registration form that would require to enter your Name, PNR No., Address, Government ID No.and Type, Coach No., Seat No., Email ID,Mobile No. and some other details.After successful submission of the form you would receive the password on your mobile via SMS. The username would be the Email ID provided during registration.
  Henceforth, for every session of internet usage one has to use the Login Username and Password which are valid for the entire duration of the journey.

Coming to the performance front, the speed of the connection is pretty poor and barely sufficient for browsing and at most downloading a few mp3s as could be apprehended from the screenshot below.A considerable amount of bandwidth seems to be allocated as Upload bandwidth which is absolutely unnecessary. Instead the Download bandwidth could have be augmented for a better User-experience.
Screenshot of a speedtest on IRWIFI
Overall slow but a steady time pass while you are on-board !
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