Free wifi is available to most people in various kinds of commercial establishments – starting from salons, restaurants, mom and pop shops, retail stores, clothing stores, supermarkets, airports, trains and more. These have advantages as well as disadvantages as well.
First the advantages –
- These Free wifi hotspots allow people to have access to the internet from any device which supports wifi access.
- In restaurants, while eating the person is able to catch up on their mail, watch a TV program, download a movie or watch videos.
- Those who are waiting at airport lounges have something to do to kill the time while they wait to board their flight
- Those who travel for work often can continue working while travelling thus being more productive
- People can use free wifi to check their voicemail
- Some businesses use this as a marketing or sales gimmick as it is bundled free with their services or goods offered
The disadvantages of free wifi are:
- The access is limited at times
- The coverage of free wifi is generally intermittent
- It is not very reliable or simple as compared to using it at home
- There are security issues and especially sensitive information should never be shared when you are on a free wifi
- Criminals are able to hack into personal details with ease especially when wifi hotspots are used
- It is harder to find criminals who hack systems as there are so many people who are using the same network
Like everything free wifi has both advantages and disadvantages and therefore, in order to reduce the disadvantages and risks associated, business networks should opt for VPN where the data is encrypted. WPA/WEP encryption should be used too in this way; hackers will not be able to interpret the information being sent through.