Originally Posted by pkgman51
What/How are folks maintaining secure internet connections when using public hot-spots? I'm reading about free, and subscription, VPN services to secure a connection. Do the free services work or do you get what you pay for? How about the subscription services? Or, do you just rely on having "https" connections?
We're leaving for Chilliwack in a couple days to pick up our new '19' and will need to do things like paying bills while were on the road. Your input is greatly appreciated.
For browser traffic, use the https version of the website. If it's an online banking site, they'll force encryption anyway.
For other types of traffic, a VPN is your best bet. I like OpenVPN, and it's also used by my employer for remote access to the network.
Also, keep your patches up to date, turn off the wireless adapter when you're not using it, and if you're using Windows, disable file and print sharing. When you connect to a WiFi network with windows and it asks you what type of network it is, choose 'public network'. This has the same effect as turning off file and print sharing as well. Lastly, if the WiFi hotspot provider has not bothered to use WPA 2 or better encryption, and doesn't require a password to connect, be VERY wary of using it, especially for sensitive transactions like online shopping. Your financial data will still be encrypted due to the https session with the site, but the network itself is not secure.
Consider investing in your own cellular hotspot like a Verizon MiFi. In the end, you control the encryption level, the password, and who gets to join. Much more secure than public WiFi.