The Best VPN for Public Wi-Fi Hotspots in 2020

by Olivia Morelli - -

The Best VPN for Public Wi-Fi Hotspots in 2020

Public WI-FI[1] is becoming very popular nowadays. Wherever you go, you can find free internet hotspots: supermarkets, restaurants, the library, on the plane, buses and so on. This is so great when you can use the internet for free and don’t worry about your internet plan over usage. But there are two sides of public WI-FI: the bright one and the dark one. In this article, we will discuss them both.

It is a time-consuming process to analyze the different VPNs and search for the best VPN for public wi-fi hotspots, so we did for you:

  1. ExpressVPN – A high level of encryption encourages safe and private browsing on the unsecured wi-fi network hotspots. An extensive server selection list and ultra-fast servers provide a significant internet speed without any slowdowns. Perfect VPN for public wi-fi places.
  2. NordVPN – Lightweight VPN service with double VPN data encryption method. It encourages you to military-grade data encryption and uncompromised privacy. Feel secure on-the-go and leave the hackers behind with zero profit.
  3. CyberGhostVPN – Fast and secure VPN service that provides OpenVPN 256-BIT AES data encryption. Suits entirely for travelers and business people who use the internet in any public place. It hides your IP and encrypts every single pixel.

This article will also cover the risks of using public WI-FI and how to prevent being hacked. Also, we overview the best VPN service providers for public wi-fi hotspots. We did an evaluation of VPN services for the public wi-fi by this criteria:

If you don't have the time to read an entire article, there is a table with the summary results:

What is Public WI-FI?

Public wi-fi is an area covered by a free internet where you can check your mail, browse the internet or even stream a video online. Free internet usually is sponsored by the owner of the building (restaurant, supermarket, coffee shop and etc.). It works for commercial purposes: “Come to eat pizza at our restaurant and use our free internet”. Sounds very good and many people are using without thinking of security and privacy. Every time you are connecting to the public wi-fi with or without a network password (open unsecured connection), you are risking. It doesn’t matter the connection requires a password or not, because many people already know it and can connect to it even from the outside of the building.

The danger of public WI-FI

Every year cybercrimes[2] are growing rapidly around the globe on public WI-FI hotspots. If you will decide to use a public wi-fi you are putting your privacy on risk. Hackers love public wi-fi because of the easy to steal your information and expose your privacy. Hackers spend a lot of time scanning the information on public networks, looking for a bank account logins, email passwords, distributing viruses and other malware. So you should think twice before start using open internet hotspots.

The risk of usage of public WI-FI

What could happen if you will be using insecure open internet is listed below. Read carefully and be prepared for the cybercriminal attacks before they start their black jobs.
Hackers

Hackers love open wi-fi connections very much. It is the easiest way to scan the traffic and to gather login information to your bank account, email passwords, social network passwords or other sensitive information like personal chats with your girlfriend or boyfriend. Simple connection to the public wi-fi can lead you to huge financial loss or sensitive date exposure.

Don’t let the hackers steal from you, encrypt your connection with VPN[3].

Man-in-the-Middle

You should know, also that there is a new way of fraud called “Man-in-the-middle[4]”. An attacker secretly relays and possibly alters the communications between two parties who believe they are directly communicating with each other. It means, the attacker makes independent connections with the victims and relays messages between them to make them believe they are talking directly to each other over a private connection, when in fact the entire conversation is controlled by the attacker.

The Best VPN for Public Wi-Fi Hotspots in 2019?

The attacker must be able to intercept all relevant messages passing between the two victims and inject new ones. This is straightforward in many circumstances; for example, an attacker within the reception range of an unencrypted wireless access point[5] could insert themselves as a man-in-the-middle.

Malware Distribution

Whereas you are using unsecured wi-fi and unsecured device, the hackers can easily inject malware, virus, spyware or ransomware into your computer and smartphone. In case your computer might start to work slower, your data can be transferred to third parties and you can lose money. So our suggestion would be not using an open wi-fi connection without a decent antivirus software or VPN connection.

Rogue public wi-fi hotspot

Another type of cybercrime is to create a fake wi-fi connection. The public wi-fi hotspot can be called by any name, for example, “Starbucks fast free net”. The name of the network doesn’t look suspicious and you will connect to it. Everything looks fine, and that you might decide to check your PayPal account. That’s the moment hackers were waiting for. They will read all the network data and will know what you are typing on a keyboard. In this case, you are putting yourself in a huge risk of financial loss.

How to protect your PC and Privacy on public WI-FI?

There are some tips and tricks on how you can protect your data and privacy from the cybercriminals. Follow the rules listed below and will make hackers job much difficult.

  1. Use a VPN connection while connecting to the public wi-fi hotspots. It will encrypt all your data and the hackers won’t be able to read it. VPN service can be added to laptops, notebooks, tablets, and smartphones while you are on the go.
  2. Do not connect to the bank accounts on the open wi-fi hotspots without a VPN. You will leave a huge chance for hackers to steal your data. Also avoid logging to the social, mail, or other sensitive information containing accounts.
  3. Use an antivirus software. It will warn you if something is going not right. Keep it up to date to avoid malware and virus injections on the free wi-fi hotspots.
  4. Visit HTTPS secured websites[6]. That means, that all data you are entering on it will be encrypted. It will be much difficult for hackers to read it.
  5. Switch on your device firewall[7]. It is a great way to add another layer of protection. This setting can be found on your operating systems settings, under the privacy and protection tab.
  6. Switch off network sharing[8], because it will be much harder to get into your device for the cybercriminals.

What can you lose?

Hackers can use your sensitive data for cybercrime or sell it on the dark web for future cybercrimes. There is a list what you can lose:

  • Logins for all saved websites (facebook, twitter, Gmail and so on.);
  • Private pictures and chats, media posts;
  • Business secrets and other sensitive data
  • Logins to your bank accounts, credit card numbers;

I think it is enough to get in big trouble. Right?

Vital factors for choosing a decent VPN for browsing in public wi-fi hotspots

Our job is to test and review VPN services and provide you the information about the best privacy solutions. From many VPNs, we took three services that, in our opinion, are worth to be mentioned. According to our methodology of VPN testing, we take the essential key factors, analyze them, and compare them.

While choosing a VPN for browsing in public wi-fi hotspots, you should pay attention to these things: Internet connection speed, Encryption level, Multi-device support, and of course, the Price.

The VPN speed is essential on slow public WI-FI hotspots

As you know, public wi-fi places provide quite slow internet connections. If you choose the VPN service that also offers poor quality of internet connection, probably you will get old while loading a simple website on your laptop. That’s why it is vital to choose an ultra-fast VPN.

The more server around you, the faster connection is

A decent VPN service provider has their servers almost in every country. Before buying a VPN check, does a VPN vendor has servers in your country. If the answer is definite, that means that you are going almost the same speed as you have now. If a VPN server is far away from you, you are going to lose speed because of ping latency time.

Protect yourself from cybercriminals with Data Encryption

We think that military-grade encryption is a big plus for simple internet users to protect themselves from hackers’ attacks. These days Cybercriminals became very innovative, and they can break down outdated encryption algorithms. So we recommend choosing a VPN that provides a 256-bit AES data encryption algorithm.

When the VPN fails, Kill a Switch is a must option

What is Kill Switch? This function is essential for business users for a fundamental reason. If you don’t have this option on your VPN, your activity on the internet might become trackable at any time. For example: When your connection to the VPN servers is lost, your IP becomes public. Hackers can see that you are doing on the internet and steal your data.

Protect your all devices

Many business people and travelers are using more than one device on-the-go. So there is no point in buying a VPN that can protect only one method. We would recommend choosing that VPN that can cover at least five simultaneous devices.

Our top-rated VPNs for public Wi-Fi hotspots

So you already know what critical factors you should pay attention, and how to choose a decent VPN service for unsecured public wi-fi networks. Our tests were done with more than 20 various VPN services on public wi-fi spots. After we did finalize all the results, we pick three VPN service providers that we like most. Keep reading and find out why those VPNs are so special.

1. ExpressVPN

expressvpn review
Website www.ExpressVPN.com
Rating ratings
Available applications available applications
Money-back guarantee 30-days
Price from $6.67 (-49% deal)
Oder VPN with a discount order vpn
More information ExpressVPN review

 

So if I were a businessman or a heavy traveler, my top selection would be ExpressVPN for browsing in public wi-fi hotspots. This VPN is characterized as one of the fastest VPN in the market. Besides that, it has extensive geographical server coverage and is available in 92 countries.
Also, it is worth to mention that ExpressVPN operates more than 6000 servers. Knowing these numbers, we can come to a conclusion that should work almost in any country.

If it is available in your region, so there are many chances that the internet speed on public wi-fi hotspots will not drop dramatically using ExpressVPN. Typically, the internet speed might drop slightly while using a VPN, but it is due to data encryption processes. ExpressVPN does not limit traffic bandwidth.

Moreover, ExpressVPN offers a 256-BIT AES encryption method, which guarantees hacker-proof security at any point in the world. As far as we know, nobody has decrypted data that were encrypted with 256 bit AES from the outside. It is so secure that the same algorithm is used on governmental institutions.

This service can be used with five different devices, and it should be enough to protect your all standard devices. It is supported by Windows, iOS, Mac, Android, Linux. Additionally, it also can be installed on BlackBerrys, Kindle Fire, Chromebooks, Barnes & Noble Nook tablets, Apple TV, Fire TV, PlayStation, Android TV box, and other devices.

ExpressVPN also provides the highest quality customer support services. If you face with some technical issues, there are 24/7 live chat available. The staff is well trained and very polite. We also did some fake problems with a VPN, and it was sorted out very quickly.

To sum up everything, we can say that this VPN service provider is worth your attention if you are traveling a lot and browsing in public wi-fi networks. By the way, you can save a lot of money by ordering service for a more extended time of period. They made many seasonal sales, and you can catch some good deals. Check the current price and see what they can offer to you now.

 

PROS

CONS

Compatible with many devices and platforms

High price

High level of security

Configuration limits

24/7 customer service

No ad blocker

 

2. NordVPN

nordvpn
Official website www.NordVPN.com
Rating 4.5 stars
Available applications available applications NordVPN
Money-back guarantee 30-days
Price from $3.49 (-70% deal)
 
Oder VPN with a discount order vpn
More information NordVPN review

 

Another excellent VPN that meets many security and privacy expectations would be NordVPN. It is a well-known privacy brand in the market for its double encryption technology, fast internet connection, and wide server spread geographical territory. 

 

During the test, the download speed of NordVPN was average at 65 Mbps, and the average upload speed was around 28 Mbps. It is an outstanding number for a VPN service. The speed test was performed with the help of free speed measurement tool https://fast.com   

 

NordVPN owns more than 5000 servers, which are located in 62 countries. High data encryption algorithms (256bit AES) ensures unbreakable protection against hackers on public wi-fi hotspots. 

NordVPN can support up to 6 devices connected at the same time. 

 

Supported operating systems: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and many more various applications for other devices. According to our tests, it perfectly fits for browsing on unsecured networks also of the Kill Switch function, which is also very common. 

 

It is nice to know that this VPN service vendor provides very high-quality customer support through a live chat. It is available 24/7, by phone, by email, and ticket system. 

The price of NordVPN is excellent if you will sign up for a more extended subscription. 

 

PROS

CONS

Wide geographical reaches

Performance hits and drop connections

Double VPN for twice the encryption

A monthly plan might seem expensive

User-friendly and pleasant interface

Not clear ownership

 

 

3. CyberGhost VPN

cyberghostvpn review
Official website www.CyberGhostVPN.com
Rating 4 stars
Available applications available aps for cyberghost
Money-back guarantee 45-days
Price from $2.75 (-80% deal)
 
Oder VPN with a discount order vpn
More information CyberGhost review

  

 CyberGhostVPN is also at our top selection list for using it on unsecured and open internet networks. The protection level is military-grade (256bit-AES). It also ensures that the hackers will not scan your data on the public wi-fi and won’t steal your money and other sensitive information.

Also, it is a no-log VPN, which means that the provider doesn’t track your activity and doesn’t keep the logs files on the server. The company is located in Romania. This country does not belong to the 14-eyes alliance. So, CyberGhostVPN is not obliged to provide users activity log to the policy or other governmental institution in case of suspecting something unusual.

CyberGhostVPN, like the other two leaders in this rankings, also owns many servers (5200) in various 92 countries. As you can see from the number, it is outstanding. Every year CyberGhostVPN is investing in its infrastructure and expands its network significantly.

As every premium VPN, it provides and premium customer support. You can contact CyberGhostVPN in any desired method: 24/7 live chat, email, or by phone. It seems that the support never sleeps and ready to help anytime.

If you have not an overloaded budget, CyberGhostVPN fits perfectly. For the extended subscriptions, it offers outstanding discounts. It could be named as one of the cheapest premium VPN services on the market. An excellent price and quality ratio brought this service to our top rankings for the best VPN for public wi-fi hotspots. 

 

PROS

CONS

Offering one of the widest geographical reaches

Performance hits and slowdowns

A very informative user interface

Not many personalized options

Easy setup and quick to start

Rough reviews by third-parties

 

Final thoughts

We would not recommend using public wi-fi hotspots if you are not protected from cyber-attacks. Hackers are waiting for internet dummies to commit the crime. They will definitely try to steal your money and other private data to fulfill their pockets. If you are not the geek of computer security, order one of our picked VPN and you will be sure for 100% that hackers will not steal anything from your device.

 

  The best Firefox VPN 2019 - expressvpn The best Firefox VPN 2019 - nordvpn The best Firefox VPN 2019 - cyberghost
Download Speed 65.76 Mbps 65.29 Mbps 65.99 Mbps
Upload Speed 29.44 Mbps 28.41 Mbps 31.22 Mbps
Server locations 160 59 62
Multi device support 5 6 5
Supported platforms 10 9 5
Kill switch function yes yes yes
Unlimited bandwidth yes yes yes
Router support DD-WRT & Tomato Firmware, Linksys, Asus, Netgear DD-WRT & Tomato Firmware, Linksys, Asus, Netgear DD-WRT & Tomato Firmware
Customer support 10 10 9
Price $8.33 $6.99 $2.75
Visit website visit visit visit

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Senior Media writer

Olivia Morelli is a senior media writer on Reviewedbypro.com. Her favorite topic to write about is ransomware attacks and how to deal with them, but she also enjoys covering the topics of other types of malware and VPNs.

Contact Olivia Morelli
About the company Esolutions

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