Like many of you, I spend a decent amount of time working at public wi-fi hotspots, particularly at Panera Bread. Panera Wi-Fi works well and is generally reliable. It’s also susceptible to packet sniffing, just like any other public Wi-Fi. That’s why the following precautions when working remotely.
It goes without saying that I use Ghost Path VPN anytime I hop on public Wi-Fi. Unless I need to connect to a specific location I just use the default ‘Closest Locations’ settings in the Ghost Path VPN client. That will generally give you the best speeds because the software chooses the nearest VPN gateway and connects there.
I also use Viscosity’s VPN client occasionally for quickly connecting to a specific server or for doing competitive VPN research.
I use Apple hardware primarily, so my laptop of choice is my 11″ Macbook Air. I also keep my iPhone and Galaxy Note 3 with me and use VPN on those as well if they’re connected over Wi-Fi.
- Always try to sit in a place where no-one can see your computer screen.
- Avoid phone calls at Panera; you never know who could be listening.
- If you can afford it you should get a portable LTE hotspot and use that instead of public Wi-Fi. I use a Mi-Fi from Verizon and couldn’t be more pleased. It’s about $40/month I believe.
- Even if you’re using a VPN, don’t do your banking or anything super-sensitive on public Wi-Fi.