Why you should avoid "Free Public Wi-Fi" networks

By Emil
Oct 11, 2010
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  1. Have you ever tried connecting to the Internet and a Wi-Fi network titled somewhere along the lines of "Free Public Wi-Fi" caught your eye? If you hang out in airports, libraries, coffee shops, school campuses, or laptop-friendly public places in general, chances are you've seen something of the sort. Failing to get onto the Internet via an actual Wi-Fi hotspot, you may have tried connecting to one of these, and since then you've probably never bothered. It didn't work the first time (which should be enough of a deterrent from trying it again), but you probably never bothered to find out ...

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  2. dustin_ds3000

    dustin_ds3000 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,128

  3. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,147   +172

    Wouldn't most people have SP3 now?
  4. Flannelwarrior

    Flannelwarrior Newcomer, in training Posts: 149

    If I saw an ad-hoc network like that called "Free Public WiFi" I'd think only that there was a douche sitting somewhere near me preying on people who don't know how to computer.
  5. tengeta

    tengeta TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 632

    I've noticed those before and ran away the second I noticed they were ad-hoc. I could see less experienced computer users double clicking it out of frustration in not being able to find Wi-Fi though.
  6. Lokalaskurar

    Lokalaskurar TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 616

    I've never seen this "Free Public WiFi", although if I did, I'd be pretty sure to shut off the WiFi-card card and move to another location. Atleast now I know what to look out for.
  7. Tanstar

    Tanstar TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 196   +18

    What he said. Why wouldn't you take a free upgrade?
  8. freythman

    freythman TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 124   +10

    This... is... old news..... This has been around for a couple years.... GIVE ME SOMETHING RELEVANT! RAWR!!!!
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,354   +302

    The Windows 7 firewall has three choices for 'type of network': Home, Work & Public.
    While at a hotspot (free or otherwise), be sure to select the Public option and it will configure itself to stop access to your system for all those MS specific ports, eg: 137-139, 445

    Users of other systems (XP, Vista) must learn how to configure their specific firewall product to do the same.


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