Is Free Wi-Fi Overrated?

From time to time, I find myself using coffee shops that have Wi-Fi for meetings with clients. It’s great that many of these places offer this valuable service, along with good coffee and treats. For as great as free connections can be, relying on them may not be the best idea.  Here are some thoughts and ideas for the next time you need to access the Internet away from home.

  1. The Wi-Fi signal is not always very strong or consistent. This goes to location and power of the wireless hubs. Sometimes extenders are used to increase the range of the signal. If the network was designed properly, then there maybe a hardware failure somewhere.
  2. Some places put time limits on your connection. While the owner appreciates you being a customer, they may not want you there all day long.
  3. Free Wi-Fi networks are unsecured.  It’s possible that someone near by is capturing your every move on the Internet. Makes online shopping a little hazardous.

I’m not saying that using public free Wi-Fi is a bad thing.  Just be smart about it.  Leave the online shopping and banking at home in your secured environment.  Maybe you have to do some secure Internet surfing away from home. The situation could be that your laptop isn’t connecting at your local hangout.  Get yourself a hot-spot.  Many cell phone providers offer special hot-spot plans.  Some cell data plans include space for hot-spot use. That way you can turn on the secure network connection in your cell phone.  This means you and your friends can surf safely anywhere that you have a cell connection.

Whatever you decide to do have fun and be careful.


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