We pretty much use the internet wherever we go these days, including cafe's, libraries, shopping centre's and more.
But, did you know that there is a risk in using the free wifi? If there is no password to get onto the wifi network, it means it's unencrypted, so all the data that passes from your device to the internet is there for anyone to see.
And even if there is a password, someone else with that password that's sat in the same cafe as you, could still potentially (with the right tools and skills) see your data.
Some wifi networks are more secure than others and do separate your traffic from everyone else to keep it safe, but how would you know?
Now, it is unlikely that someone is going to snoop on you, but the fact that they could should give you concern enough to want to protect yourself.
And that's where VPN's come in.
When you use a VPN, it encrypts your data over the network, even if the network is open and therefore protects you from other people trying to snoop around.
Be aware that being encrypted helps you stay secure and protects your privacy, it does not make you anonymous! If you log on to Amazon, Facebook or your email then you can still be tracked if the powers that be so wish.
Encryption does not make you anonymous!
There are probably hundreds of VPN applications that seem to offer many of the same things, some for free and some not so free. Here's what's most important in a VPN :
- Supports OpenVPN
- Has a 'no logs' policy
- Has many different server locations
- Has a free trial or free version
Now, people often say that a free version is no good, but there are some very good free VPN providers.
My favourite that I have recently discovered is Windscribe as it seems quick, has a 10Gb data limit, which is pretty big and has a great set of features.
Using a VPN doesn't mean you're up to no good, as some people seem to think. This is about your personal information remaining private in a world where we seem to be giving more of it away.
So, use a VPN when you can, pay for one if you want and surf away.