A VPN debate: WiTopia and HotSpotVPN

Defensively speaking, anyone using a public WiFi hotspot should employ Virtual Private Network (VPN) software to encrypt all traffic/data traveling over the airwaves. Less obviously dangerous, but equally snoopable, are wired Ethernet connections to the Internet in hotel rooms. I wrote about the dangers in hotels last month, see Defending against insecure hotel networks with a VPN.

If you work for a large company, you may already be using VPN software to make an encrypted connection to the home office. Many of you however, need it and don't use it.

Yesterday I briefly described the VPN services, and … Read more

More about VPNs: Price and Trust

Last month I wrote about using a rented VPN (Virtual Private Network) service to provide encryption for everything you do on the Internet (see Defending against insecure hotel networks with a VPN). The need for a VPN on a wireless WiFi network is pretty obvious, but, as I wrote, it is equally important for anyone who travels, as there are a number of ways to be spied on when you use a wired connection in a hotel room. I mentioned two companies that rent VPN service, Witopia and HotSpotVPN.

A reader left an interesting follow-up comment:

"I like the … Read more

Defending against insecure hotel networks with a VPN

My point last month, when I wrote that Ethernet connections in a hotel room are not secure, was that wired Internet connections in a hotel are no more secure than wireless connections. The issue I described involved a technically savvy guest, reconfiguring the network to place their computer logically between you and the outside world. Thus positioned, they might as well be watching over your shoulder.

A few days ago Leo Notenboom cited two additional reasons why wired hotel connections can't be trusted: hotel employees can snoop and, if the rooms are connected with a hub, even a nontechie … Read more