Tips for Using Public Wi-Fi Networks

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The Best Mobile Hotspots of 2018
This newsletter may contain advertising, deals, or affiliate links. Verizon Jetpack MiFi L. If the device asks first, you've got a chance to make a decision about whether it's safe to connect or not. Then you know at least you're on the network you're meant to be using. The Sprint and T-Mobile plans also choke down video streams to low quality. They store passwords for you and keep them encrypted, even via their apps. Some hotspots also support guest networks and access controls, such as MAC filtering and time-based access controls.

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Thereafter, expand the drop-down menu and select your internet connection that you want to share or use as the internet connection source of your hotspot. This should be Ethernet. Following that, you can hit the Set up and Start Hotspot button.

For the first time, it may take a few couple of seconds to verify all entered information and start the hotspot. Otherwise, it starts everything within moments. After starting the WiFi hotspot, you can access your internet connection from any mobile, tablet or PC.

There are some same software that can help you to set the maximum number of devices to be connected with your WiFi hotspot. Login or create an account to post a review. The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our site terms of use. If you believe this comment is offensive or violates the CNET's Site Terms of Use , you can report it below this will not automatically remove the comment.

Once reported, our staff will be notified and the comment will be reviewed. Overview User Reviews Specs. Anyone nearby can surf the Internet through your sharing. This is also an ideal solution for setting up a temporary Access Point in a hotel room,meeting room,at home or the like. You can also prevent the use of certain Internet services.

Reviews Current version All versions. They're all the same thing: That means you enter credentials to sign in once, which get reused at hotspots all over the place, logging you in instantly and securely. A device has to have the right hardware installed to support Hotspot 2. You can find it in locations with consistent ISP providers like Optimum or Spectrum , or from paid hotspot providers like Boingo.

If it's an option for you, use it. Almost all laptops and phones make it easy to become your own hotspot for others. Rather than risk everyone in a group, one person could designate a device as a hotspot. Of course the best person to do this is someone with a tethering-capable carrier data plan on their laptop, tablet, or phone—since the backhaul to the internet doesn't have to then go through the public Wi-Fi.

It won't be fast, but it will be more secure. Pick a connection type to share, how you plan to share it Wi-Fi, duh , then click Wi-Fi options to name your Mac hotspot and give it a password. This should go without saying: A VPN creates a private tunnel between your laptop or smartphone and the VPN server on the other end, encrypting your traffic from snoops—even your ISP or the operator of the hotspot itself. To find the one that's right for you, read our roundup of The Best VPN Services , pick a top-rated one, pay for it, and put it on all your devices that use public Wi-Fi of any sort.

You'll be glad you did. For complete anonymity, use the Tor network. This is less a technical tip than a behavioral one: And filling in your taxes at a hotspot? Save those transactions for when you're connected safely to your home network, where you're a lot less likely to get targeted by snoops, since you already keep that one secure, right? There are a lot of passwords to remember, and you probably have to enter a few even while you're on public Wi-Fi.

But if you've been compromised—say some hacker is sniffing the airwaves and pulling down data—anything you type and send to the internet could be equally compromised. They store passwords for you and keep them encrypted, even via their apps.

If you do use passwords, try to make sure they're on sites where you have two-factor authentication set up. When you connect to a network with a PC, be it a Windows or Mac, the goal is typically to share some services—at the very least files and printing ability.

If you leave that sharing open at a hotspot and connect to the wrong thing, you're giving bad guys easy access. Disable it before you go out. Click the radio buttons next to "Turn off network discovery" so your PC isn't seen, and "Turn off file and printer sharing" to avoid sharing.

It's simply a more secure option. Most online retailers and financial institutions use SSL on their websites, and if yours doesn't, you should demand it. For example, a lock icon and the word "Secure" appear at the start of the address bar in the Google Chrome browser on the desktop just the appears on most smartphone browsers.

Public access Wi-Fi is great, but you could just carry your hotspot with you.

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