Hampton

Free Wifi hotspots

5 posts in this topic

Over the last few days been trying out my iPad with some of the shops and other places that offer free wifi access.

McD's offer it via 'the cloud' but their system seems to be set up to prevent access to anything classified as adult, including this site.

Wetherspoons on the other hand offer free wifi in most of their pubs, again via 'the cloud' but their access seems to be unrestricted, at least it was where I tried.

Not really surprising that McDonalds has their access limited, but wondering if anyone has other experiences of chains that offer free and unrestricted wifi.

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little chef -totally unrestricted.

Toddington services - again unrestricted wifi (I wrote an FR there!)

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A general point about open wifi hotspots: they are precisely that... open. One is best advised to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when connecting via open networks.

BT provide free software for use with their Openzone network, or alternatively there are subscription-based VPN service available.

One added advantage of using a VPN is that they completely circumvent any web filtering being implemented by the hotspot provider (such as MacDonald's) although it's quite possible that forums such as this won't let you connect using a VPN (as they are also used to hide a user's IP address). It is also possible, but highly unlikely, that the hotspot provider would block access to the TCP/IP port(s) required for VPN to work.

Another advantage (perhaps the main one) is that VPNs completely cloak your browsing activity from your ISP, HM Govt, and your employer etc.)

B

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A general point about open wifi hotspots: they are precisely that... open. One is best advised to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when connecting via open networks.

BT provide free software for use with their Openzone network, or alternatively there are subscription-based VPN service available.

One added advantage of using a VPN is that they completely circumvent any web filtering being implemented by the hotspot provider (such as MacDonald's) although it's quite possible that forums such as this won't let you connect using a VPN (as they are also used to hide a user's IP address). It is also possible, but highly unlikely, that the hotspot provider would block access to the TCP/IP port(s) required for VPN to work.

Another advantage (perhaps the main one) is that VPNs completely cloak your browsing activity from your ISP, HM Govt, and your employer etc.)

B

Is there a cheap or free way of using a vpn that you know of? (I assume that "Tor" is a VPN then?

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Is there a cheap or free way of using a vpn that you know of? (I assume that "Tor" is a VPN then?

The Tor network isn't a VPN, but has a similar objective, although my understanding is that Tor anonymises the sender, whereas a VPN actually encrypts the traffic itself (like a HTTPS secure connection to an online bank).

I think there are some free or low cost VPNs, but you'd have to Google it. However, as with all things you prolly don't get something for nothing (which is why I haven't looked).

I don't personally use a VPN, as I never use open wifi networks (I have embedded mobile broadband on my laptop so use that instead), although I have access to a 'free' VPN as I'm a subscriber to Giganews (which costs $30 per month, so hardly free, although most decent VPN services will cost around $15 per month, some less, some more).

(I'm not quite paranoid to want to encrypt all of my web traffic, which of course is a major advantage of a VPN. Yet, anyway. :))

B

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