We’ve all had experienced the need for Wi-Fi but failing to find one when we needed it the most (I've had plenty of these situations). And while sometimes it feels like that nothing’s free anymore, it may come as a surprise that Wi-Fi can still be accessed freely pretty much anywhere though rare as it may be. The thing is – you just have to know where to look.
But don’t get too excited just yet, because jumping at every unsecured public network can make you a target for hackers and cyber-criminals. In this post we share some techniques on how you can get free access to free Wi-Fi networks, while ensuring security.
Getting Free W-Fi Anywhere
If you haven’t noticed yet, there’s an available app for practically anything that you need, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to find apps that let you access free Wi-Fi anywhere. Here are a few recommendations that you can check:
This is one of the more popular apps that let you get access to free Wi-Fi. What makes it such a useful app is its feature that lets you check a map with over 100 million Wi-Fi hotspots which contain login credentials. Since the current version of the app is crowd sourced, most networks have been checked and verified. However, this does not mean that they’re entirely safe and secure as there could be several hotspots listed by bad members.
Tip: Check community reviews and feedback on which network/s are more preferred before establishing a connection.
Another similar app to Wi-Fi Map is Free Zone. The app has a huge network of free Wi-Fi listings all over the world. However, the app is only available to Android users at the moment. Unlike Wi-Fi Map, Free Zone doesn’t give users login credentials. It does, however, automatically connects your mobile device to a Wi-Fi network listed on the app. And while this may seem convenient, this also poses a risk of auto-connecting to a potentially malicious network. Therefore, it’s best to first consider the consequences of turning on the auto-connect feature of the app before you take advantage of this service.
This is another crowd sourced app which provides a map with over a million free public Wi-Fi networks you can connect to. It provides both login credentials and an auto-connect feature. This means that whenever your mobile device gets within an active Wi-Fi range, you automatically get free access to a nearby network. And as mentioned above, there is the risk being targeted by hackers when you pick up an enlisted malicious hotspot. For safety measure, it’s best to disable the auto-connect feature of the app.
What makes this app different from those abovementioned is that it almost exclusively applies to airport regulars. WiFox offers an extensive listing of airport and lounge Wi-Fi hotspots all over the world. The app also provides login credentials for users. With the app’s regularly updated database and its availability for offline use, it’s definitely something any frequent flyer should not miss out.
Why Connecting to a Public Wi-Fi is Risky
Let’s face it. Free public Wi-Fi is one of the few things that any individual could pass on as this can prove to be a very useful thing when dealing with all sorts of problems anyone could encounter anywhere. However, it’s crucial to remember that when something is free, you are most likely the product.
And while connecting to a public Wi-Fi network does not require any authentication and authorization, it’s quite common to encounter captive portals requesting you to agree with their Terms of Service or to ask password from someone. This, however, is not surprising at all since most public Wi-Fi hotspots are only set up for convenience, and have nothing to do with security.
Given this fact, users should always think twice before connecting to any public Wi-Fi network. Connecting to an unsecured Wi-Fi hotspot could compromise your activities and data that you wouldn’t normally share with anyone close to you, even more in public.
What Can you Do to Secure your public Wi-Fi Connection?
Now that we’ve already touched on the dangers of connecting to a public Wi-Fi as well as some of the best ways to get free connectivity, it’s also important to learn some ways on how to secure your connectivity. Here’s how:
- Enable your Internet Firewall
By enabling your internet firewall, your device can block out any intruder which may attempt to access your system. While this may seem like a very basic tip, enabling your firewall can prove to be very effective against cyber-attacks.
- Turn off Public Network Sharing
With the many security vulnerabilities which you may encounter in public Wi-Fi networks, it’s important to look ahead at the possibility of a security breach, should you fail to turn off public network sharing. Once a hacker finds an opening, he could easily do as he pleases with the information stored on your computer or device.
- Use a VPN (Buy VPN)
VPNs are the most secure and safest way to protect your Wi-Fi connectivity be it at home or in public. As your connections become fully encrypted with a VPN, not only does your devices transmit data anonymously online, you also eliminate any openings from your end which hackers and other malicious entities may exploit for their gain.
And while most VPNs such as VPN Surf are subscription-based services, you will definitely get the value for your money as these not only offer security and accessibility features, but you also get to enjoy extra perks to ensure optimal internet experience.
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