Public Wi-Fi networks are everywhere. From coffee shops to fast food chains, supermarkets to libraries, hotels to airports, and even when you walk on the street, you can easily connect to a public Wi-Fi without hassle. However, what lies behind the super-convenience is a high risk of your online privacy and security.
If you want to protect your digital identity, important or sensitive materials, preventing them from being readable, traceable and stolen, you are suggested to use a VPN on public Wi-Fi. VPN software works with the unique encrypted tunneling tech, with which all of the traffic and data are encrypted tightly so that anyone else can break it down and access them for further actions.
To help all of you understand why using a VPN on public Wi-Fi is a must, 5 convincing reasons are summed up in the following part.
1. Improve the Cybersecurity Level Outside Home/Office
Public Wi-fi is not as safe as the network from your home or office due to the open-to-all nature and maybe less secure settings. For one thing, everyone are able to discover and connect to Wi-Fi networks in public spaces, with no password or simple password provided for all. For another, since the Wi-Fi providers generally only take free network as a small part of their quality service for consumers, they won’t take that much effort to enhance the WiFi security just like the administrator of a private Wi-Fi do. Getting a next-gen router with additional security features, setting a complicated password for limited access, regularly updating the router firmware, enabling WPA2 AES highly reliable encryption, just to name a few.
Using a VPN on public Wi-Fi means, regardless of how secure the public Wi-Fi actually is, you choose to take action by yourself to lock your web request and data with internal VPN encryption.
2. Combat Threats from Hackers in the Same Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi hotspots are vulnerable to attack. That’s why modern hackers apply various hacking techniques to getting Wi-Fi users’ passwords of bank and credit cards, social account details and other information through Wi-Fi easily, for instance, Man-in-the-Middle attack (known as MitM), Denial of service/DDoS attack, Wi-Fi sniffing, hijacking, spreading virus and worms etc. To stop them deploy any of these tactics to access and acquire your personal information, simply keep all of your data encrypted with a VPN.
A VPN works by creating a secret tunnel to transmit all traffic with it and also through the VPN server. This way, both the outgoing and incoming data are safeguarded, and the hackers are left incapable of intercepting the communication between your device and the public Wi-Fi’s router to do MitM and other illegal behaviors to violate your privacy.
3. Stay Anonymous from ISPs, Governments etc.
Today’s internet is not as simple as what it was in the very beginning, and it becomes more ad-driven and heavily censored. Although there’s no way to be completely invisible online as long as you leave a trace on the virtual world, you can apply a VPN to make the situation better.
With a VPN on your mobile phone or laptop connected to a public Wi-Fi, your IP address will be hided. What benefits you can gain from such IP masking? Simply put, since the IP address acts like an ID for your identity, once you conceal it, your Internet Service Provider, government authority, Wi-Fi administrator and also personalized ads agencies turn to have no idea on what you’ve browsed, published, accounts information and also the downloads and file sharing (if there are). Consequently, you’ve got an upgraded level of anonymity, especially when you want to get rid of tailored ads or plan to control some sensitive data.
4. Avoid Falling Victim to Fake Public Wi-Fi Scams
As a matter of fact, the cybercriminals not only commit crimes by accessing normal public Wi-Fi networks with you and execute attacks, but also create and deliver fake free Wi-Fi hotspots (some call them honeypots or Evil Twin hotspots) in hot public places and trick users into connection for further bad actions. They are most likely to have ability to eavesdrop on all of connectors’ network traffic, steal your accounts and passwords, collect your browsing history, and forward you to phishing or malware sites.
Considering it’s generally too hard for average users to recognize those fraudulent public WiFis, everyone who is in badly needs to use public Wi-Fi for logging in, handling business stuff etc. should equip the device with a quality VPN to fight off the honeypots. Surely you’d better stay on a lookout for them and avoid such risky connections.
5. Bypass Filters, Unblock Websites and More
To ensure a relatively faster speed for average users, some public WiFi networks may block certain websites, banned streaming platforms or big file downloads, which makes you feel quite inconvenient. At this time, a VPN program comes in the right place just because it’s capable of removing those web filtering and blocking set by WiFi administrators and reclaim a free internet access, by hiding your original IP and delivering you another one from target location.
What’s a VPN and Why You Need One?
The full name of VPN is virtual private network, a computing tech developed to build private network within the public network. There are many types of VPN, among which consumer VPNs are mainly leveraged to level up the digital security and get around web filtering.
Public Wi-Fi is just one typical VPN usage scenario. Beyond that, a VPN can also be used in when you travel abroad to access local streaming services, when you move to a most-censored country (where quite many sites and social media tools are prohibited), when your internet speed is throttled by your ISP, when you want to dig into more information in libraries/schools etc.
Having a solid yet throttle-free VPN software like pandavpnpro.com is a good idea to work those problems out, regaining your freedom to access the web and unlimited bandwidth with the 10Gbps servers. This VPN offers thousands of servers around the world, supports first-in-class VPN encryption, and has won’s log any of your online activities. You can try it free on iOS/Android device if you are a frequent Wi-Fi user and plan to get a VPN.
The Bottom Line
After reading the five reasons why using a VPN in Public Wi-Fi is a must, are you going to get a VPN to shelter yourself from the potential risks in public Wi-Fi? According to the report from Identity Theft Resource Center in January 2024, there are 1,862 data compromises in total in 2024, up over 68% compared to the data of 2020. As cyberattack cases become increasingly common and public Wi-Fi becomes the top target for bad guys, we suggest anyone valuing the private and essential data world must take care of the personal data carefully and use a VPN with public Wi-Fi connection.
Still, besides installing a VPN, there are many other tips to keep your public Wi-Fi excrescence safer, like don’t share important files, don’t access bank accounts, keep the antivirus program up-to-date and turn off auto connection for public Wi-Fi.