Ok, if you’re not using a VPN for public wireless traffic, you’re basically walking around the internet with your pants around your ankles.
Free Wi-Fi is code for “zero privacy”. That doesn’t mean zero privacy on their network, it means zero privacy, period!
See, your cell phone, tablet, computer or whatever sends out data in every direction 100% of the time. That’s how it finds the wireless signal. So, even though you are communicating with a wireless router, your data is still getting sent to anybody who is within range and set up to listen.
Worse, much of your stuff is sent “in the clear” or unencrypted.
It’s all too easy for me or anyone else to set up their device to receive your signal and your data.
The VPN is your fortress of solitude. What a VPN does is encapsulates your data with encryption. It basically digs a shielded tunnel from your device, through the internet, to a secure end point. That end point then makes the traffic request on your behalf, securely, and communicates it back through this shielded tunnel to your device.
Nothing is visible or accessible to anybody else.
For the tech savvy, with money to spend, you can build your own VPN and proxy setup. For the rest of us, there are VPN services out there that can do this for you.
These services vary from free, to insanely expensive. The free services have various limitations such as limited data usage, slow bandwidth, unmanaged end points, low or no security on the other end.
I do not recommend the free ones out there for the most part. However, they are at least somewhat better than nothing, if you are selective. (Connect to SOCKS5 when you can).
The paid services vary greatly, but I would like to draw your attention to three very popular, very reliable, and very secure VPN services that are quite affordable.
PIA is the least expensive, Nord is the mid tier, and Express is by far the most expensive.
I could break down all the nuances and differences if people want to know, but that’s all tech talk.
I ended up going with NordVPN. It’s $72 for 2 years of service. Unlimited data. That breaks down to just $3 a month.
They have a 30 day money back guarantee to test it out.
I can’t recommend these enough. You can browse and shop online, using any free Wi-Fi feeling secure to know that your pants are up, your belt is locked, and your chastity belt is fully secured.
There is nothing for you to setup. Just download the app, open the app, hit one button to turn it on, and the same button to turn it off. That’s it.