While using a VPN won’t allow you to bypass WiFi passwords, it will let you use free WiFisafely and confidently. A Forbes report has found the majority of people use free public WiFinetworks 3-4 times a month with 20% of users making financial transactions on thesenetworks. Without a secure VPN, your internet activity is visible to the network provider andyou risk becoming a target of hackers who use free internet connections as a channel fordata theft.

What is a VPN?

A VPN or Virtual Private Network is used to create a secure, encrypted connection betweenyour device (computer, smartphone, or tablet) and the internet. A VPN protects your onlineprivacy and security by hiding your IP address, encrypting your internet traffic, and providingyou with a new virtual location.When you connect to a VPN your internet traffic is securely transmitted through a VPNserver. VPNs also use strong encryption algorithms to scramble your data, thus making itunreadable to anyone trying to intercept it. To hide your location, VPNs will mask your actualIP address and so you will appear to be accessing the internet from the VPN server’slocation.

Does a VPN make the internet free?

In short, no. To securely use a VPN service, you need an established internet connection –meaning you must already be connected to the internet. So, a VPN can’t help you sneakonto your neighbour’s WiFi, nor can it help you use your cellular data beyond your usagerestrictions.

However, a VPN does enable you to use free WiFi networks with anonymity and privacy.Using free internet in combination with a trusted VPN service, can be a cost-effective andconvenient solution to accessing emails or online banking on the go.Are public WiFi networks safe?

Free WiFi networks are commonly found in public spaces, such as cafes and libraries. Whenusing public WiFi, your online activity can be easily viewed by the provider or hackers.In an interview with CNBC, the head product manager of Norton expressed his concernsabout personal data being put at risk when users connect to public WiFi. If you use yourdevice to access personal data or finances on free internet, your data is vulnerable to theftfor fraudulent purposes.