Some of the top internet service providers offer free public Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the country. I really appreciate these hotspots as well as the ones provided by every other café and restaurant these days. Not to sound cheap but if they can help me save a few bucks in these crazy financial days, then why not. Lord knows I have enough bills to pay already.
Anyway, as a writer, I have the liberty to work from anywhere I want and being a travel enthusiast I couldn’t think of a better profession. Therefore, I keep writing and travelling simultaneously. However, that means more often than not I end up using public Wi-Fi hotspots for work.
And since I have benefitted from the amazing spectrum promotions at home, I can enjoy secure gateway to Spectrum’s humungous network of public Wi-Fi hot spots across the country. I have been told many times that I shouldn’t rely on public Wi-Fi hotspots so much because of the threat cyber-criminals pose these days. If your system is not properly secure they will access it to steal whatever information they like. However, I found a solution to this and it is called a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
An Overview of VPN
A VPN is your first line of defense against these online thieves. Every sensible internet user will tell you that a VPN is your best friend if you want to avoid any cyber-crimes. It is highly recommended for people like myself who use public Wi-Fi networks often.
Here’s how a VPN helps you:
- A VPN essentially hides your IP address from the prying eyes of hackers. Your web data is routed through the VPN’s encrypted network.
- When you’re using a VPN, hackers can’t see you neither can your Internet Service Provider. Since your IP address is hidden you won’t face any throttling during gaming or streaming.
- A VPN encrypts all your data being transferred to other devices that can only be decrypted with your permission.
- In countries with internet censorship, a VPN can help you access restricted or blocked applications and websites. Since you’re browsing anonymously, no rules apply.
- I can’t emphasize enough on paid subscriptions. If you’re using a free VPN you’re basically allowing them to sell your data to their sponsors, hence killing the purpose of data protection. So look for a VPN subscription that fits your budget. They start from as low as about $3/month.
- Look for reviews and recommendations from neutral sources ideally. However, starting with friends and colleagues wouldn’t be a bad idea. Also, look for online sources independent of the company you’re aiming at.
- Read the permission agreement and the terms of service very carefully. It is very important to know which information the VPN service wants to access, which information they will collect and what exactly will they do with it. If the agreements seem tricky, they probably are.
- Use a service that provides the highest level of encryption. It will allow only permitted devices to access or use your data.
- Always select a VPN with a built-in shut off in case of encryption failure. It is possible for everything to have glitches at some point, so if there is a time that your VPN’s encryption fails and you are left vulnerable, your VPN service should automatically shut down all data traffic to and from your device.