It might have become your morning ritual to enjoy a hot beverage and check your email at the local Starbucks. But as with many free things in life, public WiFi is not without its downside. Navigating the world of free WiFi requires you to take some protective measures.
According to norton.com, these are the major dangers of using free WiFi:
Concerns over the safety of free WiFi networks encompass all users of mobile devices. According to spiceworks.com, over 60% of companies have employees who are connecting company devices to free WiFi while on the go. Personal data is certainly important and having it compromised can cause serious repercussions for the victim. Exposing corporate information can lead to ramifications that affect a business, its employees, and potentially its customers.
There are multiple ways to minimize the potential danger to your data and device when considering the use of free public WiFi networks. According to inc.com, following these guidelines can help you keep your information safe. Both business and private mobile users can benefit from taking these steps.
If you think that you might want to use public WiFi in the future you absolutely need to have a VPN set up on your laptop or mobile device. Failure to do so entails the same sort of risk as driving at night with no headlights. You may make it to your destination safely, but it will be the result of dumb luck. Trying to keep your data safe on public WiFi networks without a VPN is just as crazy.
Most people don’t drive without headlights as they are aware of the risks that this involves. You should feel the same way about using a VPN when you access a public WiFi hotspot. You can find free VPNs, but in general, you will get better performance by going with a paid product. Most work on a monthly subscription fee that decreases based on the length of service you select.
Since we are focusing on protection when using public WiFi, the encryption capabilities are critical in the VPN you choose to employ. Here is a quick look at some of the best VPNs available.
Military-grade 256-bit AES encryption will keep your data safe with this VPN. NordVPN can be tested with no commitment with a 3-day free trial. There is a kill switch built into the software to terminate your online connection if the VPN service fails to make sure your security is maintained.
A single account lets you protect up to six devices at once. You can block malware and pop-up ads and the company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if you find it’s not right for you.
ExpressVPN is another high-quality VPN service that securely encrypts your data with 256-bit AES protection. Your purchase is protected by a 30-day money-back guarantee and you can connect up to three devices simultaneously on one account.
If the VPN connection drops, a kill switch shuts down your Internet connection immediately to protect your data.
Employing bank-grade encryption, Avast VPN protects your valuable data from unauthorized access. You can use the service on up to five devices simultaneously and try the product for free for seven days. A 30-day refund is available but only if you have not used the software above a certain threshold for connection attempts and data downloads.
Some reports of adware bundled with the software may make some users nervous about this product.
Connect up to seven devices simultaneously and enjoy the data protection offered by 256-bit AES encryption with CyberGhost. You can try the service free for 24 hours and they offer money back guarantees that vary based on the plan you select.
Protect your connection with a kill switch to disconnect you if the VPN fails.
VPN Unlimited provides strong 256-bit AES encryption to keep your data secure. They offer a number of different pricing plans, including a lifetime subscription. Potential problems with this tool include less than stellar download speeds and the logging of some user information that is usually restricted to the free VPN services.
You can protect up to five devices at once and there is a seven-day trial and money-back guarantee with this service.
Here is another VPN that offers secure encryption and the ability to protect up to five devices on a single account. It offers a risk-free three-day trial, but you need to enter your payment details in order to access this feature.
A distinguishing quality of this service is that they own and operate all of their own hardware, eliminating any third-party concerns.
Rounding out our overview of VPNs is IPVanish. As its title suggests, its primary purpose is to keep your online activities private by hiding your IP address. It also provides the encryption that you need if you are attempting to use public WiFi.
Test it out with a seven-day money-back guarantee. This VPN allows you to connect up to ten devices at the same time.
Now you are aware of the potential risks involved with using the free public WiFi that seems to be everywhere for the taking. You should be convinced that you need to add an extra layer of protection to keep your devices and data safe. That’s what a VPN service will provide for you. Don’t use public WiFi again without installing a VPN on your device. And please, turn on those headlights!