Knowledge Base

WiFi with giffgaff

Started ‎25-07-2017 by
Modified ‎07-12-2018 by

You can now get access to Wi-Fi on the London Underground with Wi-Fi provided by Virgin Media. We’ve also teamed up with O2 to provide access to around 8,000 secure hotspots around the UK. Both of these are absolutely free, and you can opt in and out as you wish.

This article will show you how to get set-up and should answer any questions you may have.

More information

Getting set up is slightly different depending on what operating system you are using, but follow the same 3 steps:

  • Download the latest version of the giffgaff app for your device
  • Open the settings menu (Hamburger menu.jpg)and choose “Wi-Fi Extra”
  • Then either press “Install/launch Wi-Fi settings” or toggle the button to “On”

The settings will be installed to your phone and will mean that future connection should be seamless.

Please Note: Your Wi-Fi connection will need to remain ON and you will also need an active SIM in order to use this service.

In the app settings, you have a button to install Wi-Fi Extra settings. Simple toggle the switch to “On”.

Please Note: Only available on Android versions 4.3 and above

Wifi_Android1.png  Wifi_Android2.png

For Android versions 4 and 5, simply toggling the switch in the app back to “Off” will remove the settings.

For Android versions 6 and 7, toggling this switch will not remove the settings. You will need to go to the “advanced Wi-Fi settings” on your phone, then “saved networks”, then find the “Wi-Fi Extra” network and “forget” it or choose not to connect automatically.

Please Note: On Samsung Android versions 6 and 7, you cannot forget the network, and will need to reset all network settings to completely turn it off and stop auto-connecting.

Wifi_Android_remove1.png   Wifi_Android_remove2.png

In the app settings, you have a button to install Wi-Fi Extra settings.

Please Note:

  1. You may get a pop up to allow the settings to be installed onto your device
  2. If a selection of devices appears please select the appropriate device to install the settings on.

Pressing this will take you to the phone settings where you can install. 

Wifi_iOS1.png   Wifi_iOS2.png

From your settings choose General> Profile> Wi-Fi Extra> Delete Profile.


In the app press “launch Wi-Fi settings”. Then scroll down to “Manage” or “Additional settings” – different versions have a different name for this page. Then toggle on to automatically connect to hotspots.

Wifi_Windows1.png Wifi_Windows2.png

Launch your Wi-Fi settings (like you did to turn it on), and toggle off the part about automatically connecting to hotspots.


Having the latest version of our giffgaff app might be the best solution. This will ensure you install the correct settings. For some members though, just turning it on doesn’t work so here is what you might want to try:

1. Do you have a dual SIM phone?
In this case, make sure your primary SIM is the giffgaff one.

2. You have the latest app, the phone has the Wi-Fi On and also Wifi Extra is turned On/ installed via the app. The Internet doesn’t work though.

Try a manual connection in this case.

  • Go to the list of Wi-Fi networks
  • Find the one called ‘Wifi Extra’ and touch to connect
  • On the first drop (called EAP method) select SIM
  • Press Connect

3. What happens if the certificate is expired or not verified? Will the WiFi Extra work?

Yes, it will work if you have already installed the old certificate.

The certificate is something we renew every year and you may find yourself trying to install WiFi Extra with a version of the app which has the expired certificate - if so, simply update the app to the latest version and install WiFi Extra.

WiFi Extra settings.jpg

If you are not happy that the certificate is showing as "Not Verified", you can remove the old profile by going to Settings - General - Profiles - 'WiFi Extra' - and simply select "Remove Profile". Then, please install the latest version of the 'my giffgaff app' available for your device. and reinstall WiFi Extra.

What is Wi-Fi?

It’s a way to connect to the internet without getting tangled up in wires. The internet connection goes through a modem, on to a wireless router, and then beamed to your device. A hotspot is an area within the range of this wireless router.

Who is providing the Wi-Fi on the Underground and the extra hotspots?

The Wi-Fi on the underground is provided by Virgin Media. We’re teaming up with O2 to provide the additional Wi-Fi hotspots around the UK.

When will I connect to the Wi-Fi?

If you have a compatible device and are all set up using the giffgaff app (instruction above), then you may automatically connect to Wi-Fi when you’re in range of a hotspot. We say “may”, as various checks go on in the background to check the strength of the Wi-Fi connection. You will only be connected to the Wi-Fi if the service is going to be at least as good as your 3G/4G connection.
Please Note: Your Wi-Fi connection will need to remain ON in order to use this service.

Can I manually connect to the Wi-Fi?

You can attempt to manually connect to the Wi-Fi using your giffgaff SIM, see the Troubleshooting section to find out how. However, this does not guarantee you will be connected to the hotspot, as there are other checks that happen to ensure you are not put onto a hotspot which is overcrowded or experiencing issues.

If you are in range and the service is strong enough, then the switching to Wi-Fi will all happen automatically in the background. You don’t need to worry about navigating menus or settings.

How can I tell if I’m connected?

When you connect to Wi-Fi automatically you’ll notice the Wi-Fi signal appear on your device, and it will show as connected to ‘Wi-Fi Extra’.

Is this different to O2 Wi-Fi?

Yes, it is. O2 Wi-Fi is a range of free public Wi-Fi hotspots that anyone can sign for. The Wi-Fi Extra hotspots service available here add further security and can be thought of as an extension of the network for giffgaff members.

Does this cost me anything?

Nope. Nothing. Zilch. No data used on Wi-Fi will come out of your goodybag allowance or incur any charge.

What is the service like on the underground? … Wi-Fi service that is

When you are in the range of a hotspot you’ll connect seamlessly and automatically in the background. Our testing suggests that the connection is good around the stations and platforms, but might get a bit hairy down a long tunnel.

Is it available in all underground stations?

Pretty much. It’s available in over 200 stations, with more likely to be rolled out in the future.

How fast is the Wi-Fi?

Several things can impact the speed - it depends how close you are to the router and how many people are trying to get online at the same time. The checks in place should mean you never get switched on to a poor connection.

What devices does this work on?

The service is built into the Android, iOS and Windows apps. All Android devices are compatible. However, you might experience problems with the Nexus and the Pixel. If you do, please tell us in the unreported service issue thread. 

Where are the hotspots?

There are 8,000 hotspots across the UK, and the list continues to get updated. There isn’t blanket coverage in venues, but there is a good number of hotspots setup in retail/food providers such as Subway, Costa, McDonalds, William Hill, HMV.

Is the Wi-Fi secured?

As well as running the latest security software patches and being proactively monitored for risks, the Wi-Fi Extra hotspots also use encryption to protect and secure the information being sent whilst online.

Why can’t I see the settings on my giffgaff app?

You’ll need to update to the latest version of the giffgaff app.



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