VPN: The Best Way to Stay Safe in a Public Wi-Fi

Last updated on December 16th, 2014 at 09:10 am

Security in Public Wi-fiThese days, public Wi-Fi zones are almost everywhere. Whether you are in an airport, restaurant or café, hotel, school, or even riding in a public transport, you can browse the Internet any time. But despite the fact that most of them are for free, safety is a major concern. Internet privacy is a huge problem worldwide, but many people don’t even care. There are actually many ways to protect yourself from hackers in a public Wi-Fi area. But so far, VPN (Virtual Private Network) is the best solution.

To prove that to you, let’s first discuss the other ways. First, Windows offer some automatic turning off public sharing of files. But still, you should check the settings before you login via a public Wi-Fi. Second, visit sites only with HTTPS in their web address instead of HTTP only. The letter “S” stands for Safety. Among the sites that use HTTPS are Google, Facebook, Twitter and some other sites that require you to login user details, as well as bank account and credit card personal information.

Another way to protect your online privacy is enable the built-in firewall of your operating software, such that from Windows. However, note that not all viruses and hackers can be blocked by this barrier. On the other hand, a lot of smartphone apps don’t offer strict online security and don’t use HTTPS. It is always best to use your browser when visiting them. In addition, you can also turn off the Wi-Fi when you’re not using it. For Windows, uncheck the “Connect Automatically” box next to the name of the Wi-Fi network.

If you will analyze deeper, all the methods are require you to make an action. But because you might be too busy or in a hurry, it is likely that you forget them. With a VPN, you don’t have to remember anything as it is like a “connect then forget” system. This is only a one-time set up for you, and your VPN service provider will do all the rest of the hard work. In case you’re not aware, many businesses are using VPN to protect their sensitive data when they allow their employees to access them in remote areas or at home.

But how does VPN protect their users? Once you’re connected via a VPN server, you will be provided with a new IP address. So if you are in a country that has very strict Internet policies, you can still visit their restricted sites. But more importantly, the traffic between your device and the VPN server is encrypted. This provides you better security from third parties including hackers. Another great feature of VPN these days is that they are available in mobile devices such as Apple’s iOS, Android and others.

However, not all VPNs are the same. Some of them offer higher level of security protocols. But obviously, paid VPNs are better than free ones. With a free VPN, you cannot expect faster connection and excellent customer support. Apparently, this is the direct opposite of the premium ones. As an additional tip, check the reputation of the VPN service provider before you pay them.