You adore your favorite café because it has not only the most delicious muffins you’ve ever tried but also treats you to free Wi-Fi. But have you ever thought that this, at first sight, innocent treat can hide serious danger?
Public Wi-Fi hotspots are everywhere—hotels, cafes, airports, schools, etc. They are a real boon to travelers who aren’t eager to spend their money on expensive roaming services. But keep in mind, that together with free Wi-Fi you can get into a serious trouble.
Pitfalls of public Wi-Fi
The first danger you can face with public Wi-Fi hotspots is hackers. They use many tricks to intrude upon your data, block access to the Internet, still money, etc.
Using packet sniffer hackers can get into the unencrypted cookies sent from different websites. This allows them download your personal information from your accounts on Facebook, for example, and use it for their own purpose.
The next danger to be aware of is evil twin. It is a fraudulent Wi-Fi hotspot aimed to eavesdrop on users. Thus you should be rather attentive while choosing a Wi-Fi hotspot to connect to.
These pseudo access spots are twins of real Wi-Fi hotspots offered by hotels, airports, coffee-shops and other public places. The weakest points are your visits to unsecured websites, the addresses of which don’t have letter “s” at their beginning (https:// instead of https://).
Sometimes hackers trick online surfers making Internet access chargeable. This allows sniffers to get users’ personal data from their payment details.
Another pitfall of public Wi-Fi is website restrictions. No access to Facebook and Twitter in the hotel you are staying in is rather disappointing and annoying.
A guard of Wi-Fi security
Although public Wi-Fi hides numerous pitfalls, it doesn’t mean that you must never use it. There is a solution which can make your online activities safe and it bears a name of a VPN.
VPN, i.e. a virtual private network, is a set of technologies that adds security and privacy level over public and private networks. It encrypts user’s data, makes net surfing anonymous and lifts geo-restrictions.
By means of a VPN you can easily and safely use public Wi-Fi hotspots and don’t be afraid of snoopers.
Here is a list of 5 best VPNs which will guarantee you 100% security and privacy of your Wi-Fi hotspot use.
Best VPNs for Public Wi-Fi Hotspots
1. PIA VPN
- Safe Wi-Fi
- 256-bit OpenVPN encryption
- Kill Switch
- 5 simultaneous connections
- P2P is allowed
- Doesn’t keep any logs
- 3342+ servers in 24 countries
- Low price ($3.33 per month)
- Based in the US
- No Free Trial
To prevent hackers’ attacks and keep its subscribers safe during their net surfing PIA uses three different protocols— PPTP, OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec.
Still for public Wi-Fi hotspots we recommend to choose either OpenVPN or L2TP/IPSec. Unfortunately, PPTP isn’t reliable enough to protect you from snoopers.
With PIA encryption your data look like cryptographic gibberish for hackers, ISPs, government authorities and other peering eyes. Even in case of connection drops you will remain protected from Wi-Fi swindlers thanks to PIA Kill Switch and DNS Leak Protection.
Shared IPs used by this provider will prevent you from tracing. They will also lift geo-restrictions which block such websites like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, etc.
Its 3342+ servers scattered in 24 countries will provide you with high speed for online streaming and torrenting. By the by, PIA is considered to be one of the best VPNs for secure P2P file-sharing.
PIA has a high compatibility level and supports devices with Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android and iOS platforms. It also permits 5 simultaneous connections.