VPN is an abbreviation for “Virtual Private Network.” When you connect to the internet using a VPN, you do so via one of the VPN’s servers. This encrypts your device’s communication, shielding you from some of the security risks associated with public wifi connections (more on this later!). Apart from protecting your privacy, a VPN enables you to access geo-restricted content, such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
Not all VPNs, however, are created equal. Some are far quicker than others, while others have security problems or will not operate with your preferred streaming providers.
The best VPNs for public wifi hotspots combine a high degree of security with fast servers and simple-to-use applications. We’ve reduced the field and just picked VPNs that provide the following:
- Encryption provides the highest degree of security.
- Additional security features include a kill switch and protection against DNS leaks.
- A no-logs policy safeguards your privacy.
- Servers that are fast and dependable for browsing, streaming, and video conferencing.
- A global network of servers located in dozens of locations.
- Customer service through live chat.
- Desktop and mobile applications that are easy to use.
The best VPN for public wifi hotspots
NordVPN is our top recommendation for a VPN for public WiFi. It’s lightning-quick and has a global server count of roughly 5,000. Whether you’re connected to a hotel’s public wifi or a neighborhood eatery, there are several secure servers to select from. This VPN is great for unblocking geo-restrictioned content, such as Netflix to catch up on your favorite TV program or Skype to communicate with family and friends.
We discovered that NordVPN is quite well-designed. It’s fast and simple to use, with a diverse selection of applications and browser extensions available. Apart from 24/7 live chat assistance, NordVPN supports simultaneous usage on up to six devices. NordVPN secures your connection with 256-bit AES encryption, which protects you from hackers and snoopers. Apart from a stringent no-logging policy, NordVPN also includes DNS leak prevention and a kill switch. Additionally, NordVPN has an automated VPN connection for wifi, which connects you to the VPN instantly when you connect to a wifi network.
When you choose NordVPN, you’ll get applications for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and Android TV. Additionally, browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox are available. Routers need human configuration.
How to get a virtual private network (VPN) for public wifi hotspots
We urge you to use a VPN not only while using public wifi connections, but at any time and from any location to keep your information secure. Whatever time or location you use a VPN, the method is always the same:
In four simple steps, learn how to get a VPN for public wifi connections.
- Secure your connection to a public WiFi network using a VPN—we suggest NordVPN.
- Download the VPN software or browser extension.
- Connect to a server using the VPN software or browser extension.
- You’re now connected to the VPN, which makes it more secure!
Are VPNs legal in my country?
VPNs are not legal in all countries. VPNs are, thankfully, legal in the great majority of nations. Indeed, the only nations where VPNs are prohibited (or at the very least, considered unlawful) are the following:
- North Korea
- United Arab Emirates
Why am I required to use a VPN while using public wifi hotspots?
Whether you’re at a neighborhood café or a hotel in another country, public wifi connections may be really helpful. The issue is that public wifi networks might pose a danger to your privacy and serve as a haven for hackers. Unfortunately, a large number of public wifi connections are insecure and are exploited to steal your personal information.
For instance, Man in the Middle (MITM) attacks place hackers between your device and a web server. This enables them to monitor your online activity, from the websites you visit the substance of communications you write. Needless to say, this may have a significant negative impact on your privacy. This may result in the loss of your data and even identity theft in certain situations.
Through the use of a VPN, you may establish a secure connection between your device and the VPN server. The method encrypts traffic, shielding you from prying eyes such as your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or hotspot provider. The best VPNs for public wifi hotspots provide critical security features like encryption, DNS leak prevention, and a kill button. Additionally, there should be a rigorous “no-logs” policy in place to safeguard your privacy.
What further precautions can I take to ensure my safety while utilizing public wifi hotspots?
Aside from using a VPN, here are a few further steps you can take to enhance your online security while using public WiFi hotspots:
- Verify the network name to which you are connected. Using a network with a name that is similar to that of a legal network is one of the tactics hackers utilize.
- Avoid utilizing public wifi networks for operations requiring sensitive information, such as online banking or making credit card transactions. The same holds true for passwords—you’re better off utilizing a reputable password manager to ensure your security.
- Ascertain that you are connected to HTTPS and SSL-encrypted websites. This significantly improves the security of your connection to websites. If a website is HTTPS-encrypted, you can readily tell since it should show a closed padlock symbol at the beginning of the URL bar.
- Wherever feasible, use secure networks that require a password. Whether it’s at a café or a hotel, this is much safer than connecting to an open and unprotected public wifi hotspot.
- Disable your phone’s automatic wifi connection. Numerous smartphones connect automatically to neighboring WiFi networks, ensuring that you never leave without the internet. You may configure your device to request authorization before connecting to a network.
Is it possible to use a free VPN in public wifi hotspots?
We highly advise against using free VPNs while connected to public wifi connections for the following reasons:
- VPNs that are available for free are not secure. Numerous free VPN services lack encryption, DNS leak prevention, and other critical security features like a kill switch. Without them, your internet security is no more secure than it is for someone who does not use a VPN. As a result, you’ll be a prime target for hackers, especially if you’re linked to public wifi networks.
- VPNs that are available for free cannot be trusted. There is very much anything that is free, and this is definitely true with VPNs that promise to be free. Typically, free VPNs earn money by recording your traffic and selling it to the highest bidder. Others profit from advertisements that may disrupt your surfing and streaming.
- Free VPNs are inefficient. This may be infuriating when you’re trying to browse, stream, or video call. Due to the fact that many free VPNs have a huge user base but a small number of servers, the server load becomes excessive and your bandwidth is limited. Our is not the case with any of the VPNs on this list of the best VPNs for public wifi networks.