Let's face it, none of us want to end up in hospital, but if we do we don't want to be bored out of our brains. Sadly, the vast majority of NHS hospitals in the UK have little or no entertainment such as televisions for patients, and those that do often charge extortionate fees.
Thankfully, free Wi-Fi has become widely available in public places such as shopping centres and libraries and now most NHS hospitals also provided it to. One hospital I stayed in recently, the Royal Gwent in Newport had free Wi-Fi throughout the hospital provided by Sky.
The Royal Gwent isn't one of the most modern hospitals in United Kingdom, and even though they provide small television sets, these are seriously outdated and only provide a handful of Freeview television channels in poor quality. Except for one free hour in the morning, these small TV sets will cost you several pounds a day to view.
If you have a laptop or tablet computer, you can watch various different catch-up or live TV shows via the Internet while you're in hospital. And of course, you can also surf the Internet and read about the latest going on's in the world.
How do you connect?
Its not too difficult at all to connect to the free Wi-Fi provided by Sky under the network name The Cloud.
Simply go to your network settings, usually in the right-hand bottom corner and and select view connection settings on your laptop or tablet.
And then simply select the cloud and connect .
After you have connected simply open your web browser (i.e. Internet Explorer or Firefox etc) and click the refresh button.
You should then have a page displaying "Get Online" displayed in your web browser.
Next you need to click on the "get online button" where will be taken to the next step.
After that, you will be asked to fill in a few details about yourself, such as your name, email address, mobile number and password etc. It's totally up to you whether you want to use real details or fake ones. It doesn't matter.
Once you have completed that step you are ready to go. Your browser should give you the option to save your email address and password if you like. If not, make sure you make note of it.
Every time you open your web browser, you will be presented with the page below.
Simply click on "Free Cloud Wi-Fi".
If you don't automatically have your email and password saved enter them and click continue and you should be able to get online.
Is the free Wi-Fi any good and what kind of speeds can I expect?
When I was staying at the Royal Gwent I was getting download speeds from 3 MB to 6 MB, which was good enough watch television on my laptop.
Bear in mind, there will be times when more people are online and the services become slower making it temporary impossible to watch television via your laptop.
What is the coverage like?
I stayed on two separate wards, one on the bottom floor and one of the top floor and Wi-Fi was freely available. Whether free Wi-Fi is available in every corner of the hospital, I do not know.
What about Wi-Fi signal strength?
It was always good. I was getting anywhere from 3 bars to 5 bars on the wards i stayed on.
Is the free Wi-Fi, reliable?
Yes and no. There were times when it wouldn't connect for an hour or two, but mainly it was reliable.