Hotels, restaurants, coffee shops, airports, parks and libraries often offer access to unsecured public WiFi networks. Since these networks are generally free, most people tend to use them. But connecting to public Internet comes with a huge risk, unfortunately, since WiFi hotspots generally do not encrypt data. Unsecured public WiFi leaves users vulnerable to identity and data theft, snooping and malware infection. Which means that sensitive personal information such as passwords and financial data (bank accounts & credit card information) can be easily intercepted and stolen.
Kevin Clark, first assistant Monmouth County prosecutor, an expert in cybercrime, stated that ”the chances of you being hacked [on a public WiFi hotspot] far exceed the chances of your home being burglarized. This is a big business.”
While certain public networks require a password to connect to their WiFi, it is a useless security measure. “The fact that anyone can join the network is what makes it so unsafe,” cautions Matthew Green, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins’ Information Security Institute. “A password login to join the network might feel reassuring, but if everybody knows the password, that’s no better than not having one at all.”
Once a hacker joins the public network, he can easily intercept, track and monitor your web activities. Certain cybercriminals go even further and create free public networks that mislead users into thinking they are connected to a legitimate hotspot (“Free Restaurant WiFi 123”) while in reality they are on a malicious access point.
The worst part is that it takes close to zero hacking skills to hijack and monitor a public WiFi network. Since WiFi uses radio signals to broadcast data, software like FaceNiff, Firesheep, Ethereal and Wireshark can tap into the signal and make data sniffing a one click job.
VPN (Virtual Private Network) is the best way to ensure online security while accessing public WiFi networks. VPN essentially creates a highly encrypted private tunnel. All data passing through this tunnel cannot be intercepted and decoded and is, therefore, hidden from ISPs, network admins, hackers or other prying eyes. Thus, VPN ensures complete privacy and security at hotels, airports, restaurants and also provides anonymous web browsing.
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PIA is a leading no logs VPN provider with a massive amount of servers (over 3,000) that deliver excellent speeds and a very reliable service. PIA VPN does a great job protecting users’ privacy from surveillance, cyber attacks and other online threats. PIA offers an easy to install VPN app for all devices with advanced features that secure VPN connection from unexpected data leaks. For faster streaming and torrenting PIA software offers switching between different connection types and ports. To read a full PIA review click HERE.
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Romania based CyberGhost is a no logs VPN provider with over 3,500 high speed VPN servers. CyberGhost offers streaming servers to unblock Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer as well as secure torrenting servers. For faster streaming and torrenting CyberGhost VPN allows switching between TCP/UDP protocols. VPN provider offers desktop and mobile apps with built-in advanced security features such as automatic kill switch, DNS & IP leaks, anti-fingerprinting and tracking protection, an ad-blocker and anti-malware. To read a full CyberGhost review click HERE.
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Hotspot Shield is the largest no logs VPN provider serving tens of millions of users. Hotspot Shield has dedicated VPN software for Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android and even Windows Phone. The app allows users to split tunnel only selected websites via VPN while other browsing activities will continue using standard internet connection. Torrenting is allowed and streaming speeds are excellent as well. To read a full Hotspot Shield review click HERE.
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ExpressVPN has one of the largest and fastest infrastructures with over 2,000 servers in 94 countries. Ultra fast ExpressVPN network supports gigabit Internet connection which makes it a perfect choice for ultra high speed streaming and torrenting. Besides, ExpressVPN aligns itself as one of the Internet’s leading advocates for net neutrality, for a democratic and open internet. Considering they have a no logs policy, accept Bitcoin and are located on the Caribbean Island, they are a great choice for privacy oriented customers who want to protect their data from surveillance, bypass censorship and access restricted materials. To read a full ExpressVPN review click HERE.
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Hong Kong based PureVPN is a proud owner of a massive 2,000 servers network in over 140 countries with over 60 server locations specifically optimized for torrenting. PureVPN is a fast and reliable VPN provider with exclusive streaming servers to unblock Netflix, Hulu and similar services. PureVPN online gaming VPN servers are dedicated for gamers’ traffic only. Low ping offered by optimized PureVPN servers make it possible for gaming and streaming users to enjoy entertainment with the fastest load time. Secure PureVPN infrastructure is protected behind NAT Firewall. PureVPN offers custom apps for all devices, while desktop apps have a built-in Kill Switch feature that guards the users from unencrypted data leaks when the internet connection drops. To read a full PureVPN review click HERE.
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VyprVPN is a leading no logs VPN provider with over 700 ultra fast servers worldwide that support Google Fiber gigabit Internet connection (1,000Mbps). VyprVPN has done independent public audit by Leviathan Security to ensure that no logs are collected. Unlike most VPN providers, VyprVPN doesn’t rely on 3rd party hosting – they own and manage their own VPN servers. VyprVPN infrastructure is amazingly fast offering ultra fast speeds and low ping times for high speed HD streaming. With their server clusters located in close proximity to major gaming servers, VyprVPN also delivers a better overall gaming experience. VyprVPN custom software is very reliable and protects users from various IP leaks. In addition, VyprVPN is an excellent provider to bypass even the strictest firewalls that block VPN connection. To read a full VyprVPN review click HERE.
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IPVanish is a no logs VPN provider with a global servers infrastructure secured behind NAT Firewall. IPVanish offers native apps for desktop and mobile clients and allows 10 simultaneous connections. IPVanish servers are specifically optimized for streaming and gaming which ensures excellent download speeds and low ping times. IPvanish software protects users from unexpected data leaks and offers a number of advanced features especially useful for torrenting. To read a full IPVanish review click HERE.
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Offering over 3,000 servers in 50 countries, all mainstream protocols and 5 simultaneous connections, TorGuard rightfully earned its place as a top VPN provider. No logs TorGuard offers a reliable, fast and secure VPN connection. Their SOCKS5 proxy is an excellent feature for high speed multimedia streaming and torrenting as it integrates with the main BitTorrent applications. TorGuard native apps offer advanced security features to ensure no data leaks, even when the connection drops. TorGuard’s StealthVPN protocol is an effective tool to bypass strict firewalls and VPN blocking. To read a full TorGuard review click HERE.
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ZenMate is a no logs privacy oriented VPN provider with a number of built-in security features for advanced protection from cybercrime and various IP leaks. ZenMate has over 1,000 ultra fast VPN servers that are great for streaming (including Netflix), torrenting and gaming since the infrastructure is optimized for low ping times and virtually eliminates lag. ZenMate Premium software for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android is lightweight, efficient and reliable – it takes about 2 seconds to disconnect from one VPN server and connect to another. ZenMate simply never disconnects! To read a full ZenMate review click HERE.