We don’t block Steam or torrents on our free Wi-Fi – Starbucks

MyBroadband recently tested the free Wi-Fi offering at Starbucks stores in South Africa, and was seriously impressed.

Not only did we achieve fast results in speeds tests conducted via smartphones, we smashed some big downloads, too.

The solid performance is thanks to a partnership between Starbucks and BitCo, with BitCo providing stores with uncapped and uncontended 1Gbps fibre.

BitCo said its rollout of the fibre will continue to all stores nationwide.

Following our reports, however, MyBroadband readers stated they had not experienced the same freedom on the free Wi-Fi service that we did.

While our tests consisted of multiple protocols in action, including Steam and torrent downloads, readers reported that certain services were blocked for them.

Steam downloads and torrents were said to be blocked on certain occasions when readers accessed the Starbucks free Wi-Fi.

No blocked protocols

To find out what rules the company has in place when it comes to its free Wi-Fi service, MyBroadband spoke to Starbucks about the matter.

Starbucks stated that it does not block torrents, Steam, or streaming services.

“The sites all sit behind our core firewall, which will control and limit viruses, malware, and illegal content to the best of its ability – but it is configured to a very open policy, so we do not specifically limit protocols like Steam, Netflix, or YouTube,” said Starbucks.

The company stated it has also configured its equipment in stores to allow equal speed to all users.

This means that in the event of someone downloading a large game update on Steam, for example, and another user wanting to download a file, the Wi-Fi access point evenly divides the amount of available bandwidth to the concurrent users.

“Naturally, we keep a close eye on the overall usage to ensure our customers benefit from the Wi-Fi experience.”

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We don’t block Steam or torrents on our free Wi-Fi – Starbucks