Buffalo Connect FAQ



Who Can Use the Wi-Fi?


Buffalo Connect was created for people with wireless-enabled devices, such as laptops or smartphones, who live, work and visit the City of Buffalo. Those who agree to and comply with the Terms of Service and Acceptable Use may use Buffalo Connect.


How Can I Connect to the Wi-Fi?


The Wi-Fi network is called “Buffalo Connect” click on that name to connect. No special encryption settings, user names or passwords are required. Users must agree to Terms of Service and Acceptable Use agreement to connect.


What Devices are Supported by the Network?


The system is designed to allow any device with wireless capabilities to connect, including:

  • Cell Phones
  • Tablets
  • Laptops


What are the Rules for Using the Wi-Fi?


You must accept the Terms of Service and Acceptable Use agreement before using the Wi-Fi network. Users that violate the agreement may, without limitation, be blocked from future use of Buffalo Connect and face other consequences.


Is the Wi-Fi Secure?


Public Wi-Fi – whether it’s Buffalo Connect or at a local coffee shop, mall or library – is just that: public. Buffalo Connect an open-access wireless network, and the signal is not encrypted. Customers should use caution when working with sensitive information. Network users should also recognize the risk of entering user details and passwords into online accounts in public places. For further information please reference our Terms of Service and Acceptable Use. Users are responsible for their own anti-virus protection.


How Can I Report an Issue with the Wi-Fi?


To report a technical issue, please provide information through the Online Form.


Can I Expect the Wi-Fi to Work Inside Storefronts?


Buffalo Connect was set up as an outdoor service only. Some indoor areas may be in range of the service, but it was designed to only cover outdoor spaces.


How Far From Main Street will the Wi-Fi Reach?


Hotspot access points run along Main Street in downtown Buffalo from North Street to Canalside and the Erie Basin Marina. However, coverage may be found to have stretched further in some locations.


What is the Speed of the Network?


Bandwidth for Buffalo Connect is strong, but not unlimited. Users may experience service limitations dependent on a variety of factors, including:

  • Number of users
  • Signal strength at the location of the user
  • Type of device
  • Weather


Are There Limits to What I Can Download/Upload?


There is a limited amount of bandwidth available and therefore users may experience service limitations with large transfers of data, such as downloading or streaming movies. Accessing content at any given time may also be limited for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to:

  • Network speed at the time of use
  • Location along the Wi-Fi route


Is the Wi-Fi Prone to Weather or Other Factors?


Performance can be hindered by daily environmental factors, including weather.


Are There Plans to Expand the Wi-Fi?


Buffalo Connect was a targeted investment by multiple parties to improve the City of Buffalo’s wireless infrastructure. There are no immediate plans to expand the system though it has been designed to be infinitely expandable with the right amount of resources.


Who was Responsible for Engineering, Purchasing, and Installing the Wi-Fi?


M&T Bank led the effort to engineer, purchase, and install the system in partnership with Mayor Byron Brown, the City of Buffalo, and the University at Buffalo. The University at Buffalo provided fiber assets and expertise in network engineering design and management for the network. The locations of the access points are owned and operated by several parties, including the NFTA-Metro, National Grid, and Frey Electric.


Is the Wi-Fi Use Monitored?


Information about the system including, without limitation, the number of users, utilization, session times, and browser types are monitored and analyzed in order to maintain and enhance the effectiveness of the service.