When we are outside, we always be looking for free Wi-Fi. Except for free, we also want it to be secure as we know that connecting to a public Wi-Fi network is dangerous and could even cause bad damage on money.
How to get free Wi-Fi?
1. Find a place offers a public Wi-Fi hotspot
If you need free internet connection, you should always find the well-known public places that offer Wi-Fi hotspots instead of the unknown Wi-Fi hotspots. There are many Wi-Fi hotspots you can choose from, like cafe shops, libraries, stores, museums and more.
Some cities even offer free Wi-Fi throughout their towns, plazas, or tourist attractions. So you can easily find it in the city like New York, San Francisco or Tokyo. Just do some research before you are going on a trip.
2. Turn your phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot
If you are in the places with no Wi-Fi hotspot around but you really need to send business emails, you can use the 3G or 4G connection on your phone and turn it into a Wi-Fi hotspot. You may not be able to stream TV shows with it, but it’s enough for some basic usage like sending emails or browsing websites.
For Android users:
-Open the Settings.
-Click More under the Network & internet.
-Select Hotspot & tethering.
-Click Wi-Fi hotspot.
–Set up a strong password and slide the bar to turn it on.
For iOS users:
-Open the Settings.
-Tap on Personal Hotspot.
-Set up a strong password and slide the bar next to Personal Hotspot.
3. Use Wi-Fi Apps
You can also use some apps to find free Wi-Fi anywhere. Here the list of some Wi-Fi Apps.
Instabridge is a crowdsourced app that offers a map with over a million free public Wi-Fi networks. It includes login credentials,and it ‘s also featured an auto-connect function. Thus, your mobile device will connect to the Wi-Fi automatically while you’re close to a any of the Wi-Fi hotspot listed in the app.
Wi-Fi Map is one of the most popular apps out there that can help you find free Wi-Fi. It contains a map with over 100 million Wi-Fi hotspots along with login credentials. Since the app is crowdsourced, most networks are tried and tested.
Wi-Fi Finder is an Android-only app that help you find the nearby Wi-Fi hotspots and also indicate whether they are free or not. It’s a great app for frequent travelers. What is the best part is that you can look for nearby hotspots even if you don’t have any mobile data since it has an offline function. The app only lists verified hotspots and also indicates their speed and locations.
Why public Wi-Fi is dangerous
Not only the malicious hackers, even legitimate providers like your Internet Service Provider could be looking for ways to take advantage of your usage of publice Wi-Fi. We list the risks and solutions for that:
Sometimes you thought you are connecting to a public Wi-Fi, you may actually be connecting to a fake network that established by a malicious hacker. This can allow the hacker to intercept your device to steal your information and perform criminals.
Your devices are also unsafe when connecting to public Wi-Fi because a hacker could spy your traffic for your identity sensitive information.
If you set up your phone as a hotspot, remember to set a strong password. Otherwise, a hacker could intercept your network.
Wi-Fi apps also have loopholes. They will list hotspots created by well-known hotspots and also by the bad actors. It’s better to check the community opinions and feedback on the preferred network before establishing a connection.
The auto-connect features is convenient, but to be safe it’s better to keep the auto-connect feature off as you could connect to a malicious hotspot without your acknowledgment. Not all Wi-Fi apps are altruistic. Some might also be running background scans for nearby Wi-Fi join requests and using them to create Wi-Fi heatmaps of public and private Wi-Fi networks. Stalkers can use these maps to find your location.
Using public Wi-Fi could also expose your privacy. A restaurant, a library or a supermarket could be snooping your online activities on their network and then take advantage of your data.
Also beware that some Wi-Fi apps will log your traffic to collect your IP address, your location, your login details, device ID, and more. They might share these with third-parties, such as marketing agencies even if the government. So carefully read the privacy policies before click agree.
How to secure your Wi-Fi
Connecting to free Wi-Fi is actually a risky business. Anyone capable of intercepting an unprotected connection can steal your login credentials, banking details, emails, and other sensitive information. However, that doesn’t mean that you should stop using public Wi-Fi altogether. What you should do is be vigilant and take extra precautionary steps to protect yourself.
Turn off public network sharing
You may be annoying with the pop-up that asks whether trust the network or not and share your information when you establish a new connection. If you blindly accept it is just like leaving your front door open at all times. Hackers will be able to easily intercept your connection and gain access to the information on your device.
Enable your firewall
Some people disable their firewalls due to their annoying pop-ups and notifications. However, enabling it before connecting to public Wi-Fi is essential. You’ll require consent before using some of the apps on your device, but in return you’ll get a better gateway defense. So do enable your firewall.
Use a VPN
A virtual private network, known as VPN, is your best bet to make sure the safety of public Wi-Fi connection anywhere all all times.
When you connect to a public Wi-Fi network with a VPN service, your connection will be fully encrypted. The VPN creates a secure tunnel locking out anyone on the same Wi-Fi network from sniffing your traffic.
It hides your true IP address so it’ll be harder for hackers to find your location and intercept your device.
Some VPNs will offer you extra security features. For example, a Kill Switch that cuts your internet connection off if your VPN drops which ensure your online security by all times.