Create Your Own Hotspot Shield with a VPN

hotspot protection with vpnCreating your very own hotspot shield is one of the best reasons to purchase a VPN. Wi-Fi hotspots have become extremely popular, and the chances are you have used them many times to browse the Internet. Using a hotspot without the proper precautions can put your personal data at risk, so we’re going to walk you through creating a hotspot shield that will keep you safe.

The facts about public hotspots

Public WiFi hotspots are nothing less than unsecured networks that allow access to anyone within range of the signal. No password is required to connect to the network and the data shared on the network is not encrypted.

Globally, there were over 4.9 million hotspots in 2012. That number is expected to swell to 6.3 million by the end of 2013. In addition, over 150 million laptops are sold each year which have an integrated WiFi feature. These numbers should tell you that a lot of people are accessing the Internet via these unsecured public networks. Most of them are accessing them without a hotspot shield.

Public hotspots can be found in hotels, restaurants, libraries, bookstores, airports, and hospitals. There is even a playground in Brooklyn, New York that offers a free hotspot. It is very convenient to access the Internet from these locations, and many people do.

Hotspot security concerns

There are three points where security is compromised on an unsecured public network. The first of these is the connection between the access point and your computer. This connection needs to be encrypted, and public hotspots do not offer this. Leaving the network unsecured is a matter of convenience for hotspot providers.

The actual hotspot itself is the next weak area, followed by the access point’s connection to its ISP. Anyone of these three areas can be vulnerable to attack, and whenever you connect to the hotspot you enter into a partnership of sorts with the network and your own security is compromised.

That might sound a little hard to understand, but here is all you need to remember: in order to preserve security on a public hotspot you need to create a hotspot shield by using the end-to-end encryption provided by a hotspot VPN.

Building a hotspot shield

The first step in creating your hotspot shield is to purchase a VPN account from You don’t need to install any software. Your device already has a VPN client. Just configure the VPN according to the instructions we provide and you’re all set.

What a VPN does is pretty simple. A VPN creates a virtual private network between the public hotspot and your machine—a tunnel. The connection between your machine and the VPN is end-to-end encrypted, so anyone who tries to snoop your private data will only see random gibberish.

In the most simple of terms, the VPN is the knight in front of your secured fortress. It secures the data going out and secures it coming back in. It holds the hotspot shield that will deflect any attempts to compromise your online safety.

Beef up your VPN hotspot shield

Once you have your VPN configured and use it to connect to a public hotspot, there is another simple measure you can take to enhance the security of your browser while on the public network. We’re using Firefox as an example here, but most browsers have a similar security option that you can tweak.

  1. Click the orange FIREFOX box at the top left of your browser
  2. Select OPTIONS from the dropdown on the left, and then click OPTIONS again. This will bring up the options screen.
  3. Click the CONTENT tab at the top of the screen. This will bring up a window that looks like this:

firefox vpn settings

       Make sure you DESELECT the box which says ENABLE JAVASCRIPT.  Click OK to exit and save your settings.

A lot of spyware and malware is transmitted over the Internet via the use of JavaScript. In addition, Java Script can enable the tracking of your online browsing activities. It is better to disable JavaScript when you are using unsecured public networks, and you might want to even consider doing it on your home network whenever you are browsing unfamiliar websites.

Fighting the battle without a hotspot shield

If you use public WiFi to connect to the Internet without a VPN to encrypt your connection, the risks are fairly great. You don’t know the other people on the network and have no assurances from the hotspot provider that someone isn’t sniffing your traffic.

Hotspots are a fact of life if you want to maintain connectivity while you are traveling, but your VPN account can travel with you wherever you go and provide a hotspot shield that is powerful, portable, and able to stand between your machine and a public access point.

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