coverage mapWe like CafeNet at the Wellingtonista, yes we do. But it’s not always an unqualified feeling. Mostly it works well once you find a hotspot – and more arrive all the time. But sometimes, and with some devices, things aren’t so rosy.

At this Wellingtonista’s risk of sounding like a spoiled geek whose new toy won’t do what it says on the box, it seems that iPods Touch and iPhones don’t always have an easy time connecting to CafeNet. And it’s not just this writer’s experience – others have noticed it too.

Partly this is the fault of the devices themselves – web pages and help files for connecting Jesus phones and their cut-rate Touch brethren to wi-fi are legion.

Here in Wellington on CafeNet though, the problems are consistent and reproducible, apparently depending on which particular hotspot you attempt to connect to. Most hotspots around town seem to give users via DHCP the same IP address and router (nice piece of behind the scenes magic, that).

A few others seem to be configured differently, and appear only to pass an IP address without a router address, leading to the frustrating situation of the iPhone/iPod Touch being connected the hotspot but being unable even to reach the CafeNet homepage to authenticate.

Having tried to interest the CafeNet helpdesk in this without too much success perhaps the best mitigation for now is to map the problem – contributions welcome. Using this map iPhone/iPod Touch users may be able to find known good hotspots, and avoid the frustration of mis-behaving toys.

[It must also be said that these sorts of problems do not seem to be reported by people using other kinds of wi-fi enabled devices on CaféNet; and for the most part CaféNet works well for iPhone/iPod Touch users.]