How to Use WiFi on the Road

Want to know how to use WiFi when you are on the road? Using WiFi at home is one thing since you or a family member probably set up your home network, but Wifi Internet access in an airport or a hotel works a little differently. First, you need to find a wireless network to join, and then you need to keep your data safe while using an unfamiliar network.

Where can I find WiFi on the road?
Many destinations such as airports and hotels offer WiFi services. Some of these services are paid, although more airports are providing WiFi for free. AT&T customers can access AT&T WiFi broadband hotspots for free. When you open your Web browser, you will be redirected to the network's home page, where you may need to agree to terms of service or pay for the service.

What if the fees for WiFi are expensive?
If you would rather not pay or give out your credit card data, turn to your smart phone. Many smart phones offer apps such as the iPhone's JiWire, which detects free WiFi resources. JiWire relies on a directory of WiFi hotspots and user submissions to serve up a list of WiFi options based on either your location or a Zip code.

Is my data safe on a public network? How can I protect myself from hackers?
Whenever you find WiFi, free or otherwise, stay smart about security. Whether you are in a hotel or an airport, look at the Internet connections that are available. Don't just log on to the strongest connection or the first connection that you see. Read all the names because someone might be trying to snoop on your surfing. Steer clear of Computer-to-Computer options, and, if you can't tell which network is the legitimate one, ask a hotel or restaurant employee (or an airport employee-if you can find one) for the name of the network.

Once you get online, limit your browsing to anything you absolutely have to do, and make sure your firewall is on. Ideally, you will have an Internet security suite or a combination of security programs that you update on a regular basis. If you need to do anything business-related, access company information through a VPN.

With these WiFi travel tips, you can be sure that hackers won't give you any unwanted souvenirs.

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