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privacy on a public network

December 17, 2012 at 11:14:16
Specs: Windows XP MCE SP3, 1.794 GHz / 1370 GB Ram

How can I surf the web without others viewing the sites I am visiting and most importantly not stealing username and passwords when using a wireless connection to connect to a public wireless network?


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#1
December 17, 2012 at 12:41:04

You can't unless the location you're connecting to has encryption.

For instance, I read recently that facebook is using https (the "S" is for secure) for logging in to their site to prevent exactly this issue.

However, unless the place you're logging into is using secure (encrypted) login's, there's not a lot you can do to prevent it. Which is to say, if whatever website you're connecting to is using plain text login, then anybody using man-in-the-middle software can potentially capture your information.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#2
December 17, 2012 at 12:41:07

I use a VPN from cotse.net on my home connection & as soon as I connect to a public network, if I'm traveling. There are other things besides that but it's too much to type here.

How do you know when a politician is lying? His mouth is moving.


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#3
December 18, 2012 at 00:18:12

What I can only advise on this is to hide your PC on the network by running a DOS prompt command NET CONFIG SERVER /HIDDEN:YES then press enter. You will get an operational successful message.

To check your PC status on this command on DOS prompt type NET CONFIG SERVER, the server hidden option would tell you the status YES if ON and NO if OFF and to OFF this tech you type NET CONFIG SERVER /HIDDEN:NO

NOTE: The word after hidden changed.

Thanks.


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Related Solutions

#4
December 18, 2012 at 07:14:36

Having VPN connection is pretty secure way for you to access Internet by using public wireless network, be it open or encrypted wireless network.

In addition, it's important to use https secure way to perform authentication online.

In general, if you don't feel comfortable or unsure, don't perform online banking or other important online transactions when your laptop is connected to public network.

Hope this helps.

picoHat
Home Network & Wireless Network Help


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#5
March 12, 2013 at 12:05:13

What is so different using a VPN than a regular home network that makes it more secure?

Is it not possible for prying eyes to wander into your connection using the VPN server software as easily as one can on a wired/wireless home network?

Instead of having dozens of people sharing a network, isn't it more risky sharing a network where there are millions(?) of users?


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#6
March 12, 2013 at 13:26:42

In a nutshell, a VPN is a point-to-point encrypted tunne between to different sites. With regard to security, the only thing more secure is a dedicated leased line between the same two sites.

For more information on VPN, google it and do some reading.

What is so different using a VPN than a regular home network that makes it more secure?

You're trying to compare fruit and veggies here. The two are not the same thing. Mind you, if you had a best friend you trusted, you could establish a VPN tunnel between his home network and yours and share everything. To understand why you're comparing dissimilar things, read up on a Local Area Network as well as VPN and you'll understand. A comparison of similar things would be, "what's the differnece between a dedicated leased line and a VPN" (in this case, both things that join two remote locations)?

Is it not possible for prying eyes to wander into your connection using the VPN server software as easily as one can on a wired/wireless home network?

No, it's not. a VPN tunnel is encrypted and has a begining point and and end point. If you're not located at either end, you can't unscramble the data flowing over the open network (internet) since you don't have an encryption key.

Instead of having dozens of people sharing a network, isn't it more risky sharing a network where there are millions(?) of users?

Certainly it's more "risky" but risk can be mitigated using technology like a VPN. A lot of sites use encryption and secure web pages...most especially for anything that involves say purchasing online using a credit card.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#7
March 12, 2013 at 18:36:33

Thank you for the response azedas101, I haven't had a chance to check out your suggestion, but I did have a chance to get a WISP device to connect to the existing network that seems to be doing very well as my speed has gone up from 1-5Mbps to a constant 12Mbps making browsing bearable without having to wait at all for pages to load.

That and I haven't had a dropped connection yet.


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#8
March 12, 2013 at 18:54:45

Curt R?

An encrypted tunnel between 2 sites?

I was hoping that VPN proprietary encryption software was better than the WPA.. used by NAT routers/OS's.

..."Privacy is increased with a VPN because the user’s initial IP address is replaced with one from the VPN provider" was found after a Google Search but what I could not find in what I read was how it restricts others on the same shared network to see what sites I was viewing, but I guess you already answered that with your first https comment.

When you say another leased line are you referring to renting a new modem from a new separate internet connection account?


Thank you



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#9
March 12, 2013 at 21:27:26

What kind of "shared network" are you talking about here? The internet? A work network? A home network?

If the sites you're logging into remotely, like a bank, are using a secure login, like I mentioned in my first response, other people on the network can't access that data in a meaningful fashion because it's encrypted between you and the "https" (s = secure) login like I mentioned in my first response.

If you're really concerned, don't login into anything while on a wireless network. Do it from home while you're plugged in.

As to people not seeing what pages you're surfing, well......if this is a work environment, no matter what you do, it's most likely logged......period, end of story. If you're concerned about strangers seeing what websites you visit while you're connected to some free wifi hotspot, again, don't connect to them. Wireless is inherently insecure and when you're connecting to any wireless network, anybody else who wants to, has the know-how and the correct software can initiate a 'man in the middle' attack and have a look at your data. That's the price you pay for wireless.

A dedicated line would be like the dedicated fiber optic line I have between my main site and a different physical location within the same town. These are very expensive and not what you're looking for.

Perhaps if you explained what websites you want to surf without anybody knowing it, we might be able to better help you.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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