experts- do you trust and connect to wi-fi in public..

what are the pros and cons?
pros- of course, you save on your bandwidth (smartphone or tablets)

do you see downsides/cautions/concerns?
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25112Asked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Free Wi-Fi is often unsecured and, if unsecured and compromised, the risks are high for operating system damage to your computers.

Some free Wi-Fi is properly secured but then you are open to someone else using it and attempting to access your computer. You need to very strong passwords in this latter case.
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Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerCommented:
imo, any public WiFi network should be considered both insecure and hostile.  In such situations having a subscription to an encrypted VPN (virtual private network) lets you use the internet without hardware compromise via the network ... but ...

... if you're in a public area, there's a chance someone is watching your screen and your keyboard with a high-resolution camera and recording everything you do for later hostile use.  This negates the security provided by a VPN.

The only way to be secure on a public WiFi network is to not use it unless the matter is completely trivial and without monetary value.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
What I do (and most people won't) is have Internet on a USB key and have a subscription for usage . I keep my phone on cellular. It costs a bit more but I am very secure
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Jan SpringerCommented:
No, I do not trust it.  Use it only if it has encryption and don't use credit cards or credentials on an untrusted network.
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
it is an untrusted location use it only to connect to a vpn and do everything through the vpn. i.e. ProXPN. otherwise all of the traffic is sniffable by other users on the open wifi and there are plugins available for firefox to get the users passwords for popular sites i.e. facebook. The same rules apply for hotel internet access
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EirmanChief Operations ManagerCommented:
If you have a 3G/4G subscription on your phone
you should consider Tethering your tablet rather than using possibly dodgy free WiFi.
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25112Author Commented:
your point is well accepted.

in relation to this, is mobile internet 100% failproof or is it also susceptible?
for example, Verizon wireless has 4GLTE. Can other Verizon player hack in (if they are smart enough to do that)?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Mobile internet is (like anything else) not 100% foolproof but it is indeed VERY secure in general. Other people with the same ISP is not going to be able to hack into your system very easily if at all.

I use a Nokia CS-18 on my ThinkPad X230 Windows 8.1 machine. It does 4G where available and 3G in most places where I live.

It lets me do anything and work anywhere (where my phone works) and the ThinkPad is good for 4 hours of normal computing.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Thanks and I was happy to help
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