Tips for Using Unsecured Public Wi-Fi Hotspots

Many cities like New York and San Jose launched free public Wi-Fi services in 2012. This is  good news for residents and travellers who may carry their mobile devices. While it increases the availability of wireless access, it can also increase the threat of data theft. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are becoming increasingly popular as users seek higher levels of protection online. Users are turning to VPNs to ensure that their personal information is kept private through data encryption. VPNs can also prevent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and websites hosts from tracking user’s movements online. Most importantly, VPNs can guard against malicious hackers. This is particularly important when using unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Selecting A VPN Provider

There are numerous VPN providers. This can make it difficult for users to determine which to choose. A user should consider several factors when comparing VPN providers. A VPN provider that offers consistent performance is recommended. Knowing what goes into ensuring a high performance level will help the user choose a high value service. Quality providers are able to offer guarantees in terms of uptime and performance.

Determining Levels of Performance

There are two factors that define VPN performance: speed and reliability. A quality VPN provider will deliver both consistently. There are factors that influence a VPN provider’s speed and reliability.

  • Capacity. The capacities of the VPN’s servers are an important factor. Reputable VPN services should be open about the amount of capacity that each server has. They ought to be equipped with multiple servers to handle heavy usage. In addition, users should be aware of how many IP addresses are available. This indicates the number of VPN connections the provider can offer at any given time. Ultimately, users want to seek a provider that can offer effectively unlimited IP addresses and connections. If the IP addresses are limited, this can affect reliability. If the server is overloaded, the user will not be able to connect.
  • Server locations. Server locations are another important factor. Quality VPN service providers will have multiple locations between which users can switch. This is of particular necessity for users who do a lot of travelling. The ability to use a nearby server can increase speeds. The VPN provider must consistently be looking for ways to meet demand. This means establishing new servers around the world as the need dictates. The ability to switch between servers should be offered for no additional charge.

Avoid VPN Providers that Outsource

A VPN’s servers will perform to the standards of the companies that own and service them. Many VPN providers do not actually own their own servers. Instead, they outsource them to third-party hosting companies. As a result, users are subjected to the standards and quality of an outside company.

VPN providers who outsource their services tend to be unable to meet customer expectations. There an increased risk of data loss when outsourcing. Furthermore, sensitive personal information is not protected as highly as with a China VPN service that maintains its own servers. Users should look for a VPN provider who owns and maintains their own servers.

Frank Smith believes the internet should be free and open. He believes the readers can use a tool like VPN to increase internet freedom. Frank strives to inform others about the tools available for avoiding restrictions on the web.