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Topic # 130813 29-Sep-2013 10:04
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I'm heading over to the States in a couple of weeks.  I'll be there for over a month, and will probably end up using the wifi at the various hotels for my basic communications - email, online banking, browsing, etc.  I'm wondering about security though.  Someone has suggested that I should use a VPN, however I don't know much about VPN.  From what I understand, it sets up a private network between two or more computers, separate from the public wifi network.  This seems useful if I needed to "dial home" to access my files on my home computer.  But if just want to be secure on the public wifi, how would this help?  Or do I just need to take the usual security precautions: turn off file and printer sharing, firewall on, and ensure that https/SSL is in use on my email (outlook.com) and online banking sites.  Or is there something else I should be doing to be secure on public wifi?

The other option I'm exploring is getting a SIM card for my iPhone (current favourite is T-Mobile's Pay As You Go), and tethering that to my netbook.  How secure would this be, and what security precautions should I take?

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  Reply # 904412 29-Sep-2013 10:16
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SIM card with T-Mobile would be my choice. It is as safe as you can be and you can use the internet almost everywhere.

If you're looking for VPN, I recommend Witopia.





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  Reply # 904659 29-Sep-2013 18:06
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... I don't know much about VPN. From what I understand, it sets up a private network between two or more computers, separate from the public wifi network. This seems useful if I needed to "dial home" to access my files on my home computer. But if just want to be secure on the public wifi, how would this help?


For your purposes a VPN would provide encryption, which prevents other wifi users from snooping your traffic. You could set one up to connect to your home, but more than that once you do you can connect to the wider internet through your home connection, effectively using your home as a relay. A paid VPN service will allow you to connect to their servers, which gives you the layer of encryption, and then onward to the internet. A paid service would most likely give you shorter, faster, hops; as well as not having to rely on your connection back home.

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