How To Watch Content From Your Home Country In Any Hotel
Travel is always exciting, but sometimes we miss the comforts of home, like our favourite series. The BBC iPlayer, for example, is freely available to UK residents to stream the last two weeks worth of high-quality BBC content, making it a popular service indeed. However, if youve flown off to a posh hotel resort in Spain for vacation, then you wont have access anymore, since the service blocks users with IP addresses located outside the UK.
Fortunately, you can bypass this block by using a VPN to reroute your data through a proxy server located in the UK. This process changes the IP address associated with your present location to an IP in the UK. iPlayer gets fooled into thinking youre connecting locally, and will serve you BBC content as though you were back home.
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This same method can be used to watch content from anywhere in the world, such as CBC content in Canada, Comedy Central content in the US, or Canal+ content in France. You can even use a VPN to unblock streaming sites like Netflix or Hulu and get access to a larger catalogue of streaming content from around the world. This makes a VPN an essential tool for an international traveller as it allows you to access the content you want regardless of the country you are currently travelling through.
The Dangers Of Using Unsecured Hotel Wi
Hotel Wi-Fi is just another form of public Wi-Fi, and we have covered the dangers of public Wi-Fi in general in another article. In summary it is not considered to be a very safe form of Wi-Fi compared to home networks, because of the large number of people often accessing it and the lack of control the user has in terms of security because someone else is managing and controlling how the network is set up.
For obvious reasons hotel Wi-Fi is often set up with customer service first in mind, with ease of access rather than security the main focus. Hotels want guests to be able to get online as easily and quickly as possible, and the result is often that these networks are not particularly secure or private.
For example it is not uncommon to see Wi-Fi passwords simply pinned up in the lobby of a hotel, meaning anyone who even walks into the lobby can note it down and use it to get on the hotel Wi-Fi network along with all the other guests. It makes it easy to use but it doesnt make it particularly secure when anyone could just wander in and get the password to the network.
Free wifi passwords such as this are often displayed openly in hotel lobbies and other public places, making the network easy to access for guests but not very secure
Any situation where you are entering private passwords and details on an unsecured public Wi-Fi network could leave you open to having this data stolen or your accounts hacked.
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Is It Safe To Use Hotel Wifi Heres What The Experts Suggest
Its among the first things we say sometimes to no one in particular when we check into our hotel room: whats the WiFi password?
Well, logging onto the hotels internet might not be as innocuous as it seems. It often lacks adequate security controls and privacy, making it a prime target for cyber criminals looking to steal your information. Does this mean you should be paranoid every time you use hotel WiFi? Absolutely not. But there are a few things you can do to keep yourself and your information safe while traveling.
This is what you should know about accessing hotel WiFi responsibly, according to a cyber security expert.
Stay Secure On The Hotel Wi
It used to be that criminals needed physical access to your equipment to hack into it. Today, they can do it via the internet, or even using radio waves if they are nearby . If unprotected, hackers can potentially use your shared connection to the hotel’s free Wi-Fi connection to get malicious exploits onto your phone or computer.
Our suggested VPNs offer maximum security, including auto Wi-Fi protection and a kill switch
From then on, they can steal your data and potentially even gain access to secondary networks – such as your work to steal intellectual property, or perform other digital crimes.
To prevent this nightmare, it is vital to use a powerful, secure VPN. This will protect you in your hotel as well as at any other Wi-Fi hotspot you encounter.
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Is Using Incognito Not Enough To Secure Me On Hotel Wi
No, this is a common misunderstanding. Incognito simply prevents your browser from storing your history on your own computer or mobile device.It does not prevent hotels, coffee shops, employers, schools, landlords, ISPs, governments, or other local network administrators from seeing what you are doing online. Only a VPN provides this encryption for your internet traffic.
Stealing Your Usernames And Passwords
Anytime you enter your usernames and passwords to log onto sites while surfing public Wi-Fi, you risk exposing these log-in credentials to strangers.
Type your username or password to log into your bank account? Hackers can snatch those credentials and log onto your account whenever they want. The same thing can happen if you sign into online portals offered by your credit card provider, doctors, or retirement accounts.
Again, never access financial or personal sites while using public Wi-Fi. To be safe, never visit any site that requires you to log in while you are surfing at a library, restaurant, or hotel.
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Why Use Hotel Wifi
Connecting using your 4G mobile data can be very expensive, especially if youre traveling. Travelers generally look for ways to save a few MBs wherever they can, which makes hotel Wi-Fi an attractive deal. If youre not cautious, your mobile data charges can run into hundreds of dollars. This is why using a hotel Wi-Fi becomes a compulsion for most travelers.
There are several reasons why you might want to stay connected on the internet even while youre vacationing. If youre on a business trip, its absolutely necessary to use the net. And even if youre on your personal trip, you would want to use maps to find directions, social media to share pics, and even translate if youre in another country. And all this cannot be done with your mobile data.
Best VPN To Use While Staying At An Hotel
There are numerous VPN service providers out there, all claiming to be the best. When it comes to top VPN to use at an hotel, you want to make sure that your VPN offers apps for devices you intend to use while staying away from home. These devices include PC, Mac, Android, iPhone, and iPad. You also want to verify that your VPN has a proper refund policy. That way, you can always get your money back just in case the VPN does not work as advertised. All in all, here are the best VPNs for hotels.
- Best for streaming and privacy
- High speed servers in 160 VPN locations
- Works for Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu
- 24/7/ live chat support
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How Does A VPN Work To Protect You On Public Wi
A VPN makes public Wi-Fi safer by encrypting your connection and tunneling all data through an alternate server. Because all traffic filters through the VPN, anyone spying on your actions won’t see anything useful. At best, they may be able to identify the secure server you’re connected to, but and not worth the effort.
When you connect to public Wi-Fi using a VPN, your connection behaves like this:
As you can see, all data between your device and the VPN server is encrypted, which means not even your internet service provider can spy on your actions. With a safe, secure connection, you remove much of the risk of using an open Wi-Fi network.
Do Hotels Monitor Their Wifi
Its difficult to say whether or not hotels monitor their networks, but one thing is clear it is possible to do so. You see, hotel servers arent unique like other servers, they keep a log file of data transactions made by their users. Your browsing data , as well as some of your personal details , is on that file, and therefore, available to access.
While your hotels management usually won’t be able to see the contents of your communications, they can easily find out what websites you visit and how much time you spend browsing the Internet. Doesnt sound like private browsing, does it?
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How Does VPN Help Protect Your Data When Connected Via Public Wifi
Basically, a VPN is an absolutely secure tunnel that connects your device to any other device available on the global network via the Internet.
If you imagine it more figuratively: without a VPN service, your is like a house without a fence when you connect to a public WiFi spot. At any moment, anyone can intentionally or accidentally enter your house and harm it or steal something. When you use a VPN, your home becomes an impenetrable fortress that is impossible to break in.
How It Is Done:
Hackers can set up their own wireless network using the same name as the hotel WiFi. A user will then try to connect to the hotels wifi, but instead would be connecting to the hackersevil twin access point that theyve created.
The victim doesnt know that this is happening, since they are still presented with a connection named Hotel_Wifi_Net. This allows hackers to see all of your usernames and passwords in plain text.
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Eavesdropping On Your Online Activities
You might think the web pages you view, email messages you send, and videos you watch while using public Wi-Fi are private. But theyre not.
With some basic technology, hackers can intercept just about anything you do online after connecting to the public Wi-Fi offered by hotels, restaurants, retailers, and libraries. The message, again, is clear: Dont visit any sensitive sites, send important emails, or watch any embarrassing videos while using public Wi-Fi. You never know whos watching where you surf.
Why Do People Hack Hotel Wifi Networks
Hackers may access a government or corporate network through a wireless connection provided at a local coffee shop or hotel. They do this because they know that there are likely no security measures in place.
Hackers may do this in order to steal sensitive information or to damage the network that they are infiltrating. This has been considered espionage in some cases. More often, hackers access networks for fun or personal gain by stealing credit card numbers, emails, social security numbers, and other private data. By joining a wireless connection at a coffee shop or hotel, people unknowingly put themselves at risk for identity theft.
How can Hotel WiFi be hacked?
There are several different types of hacking and cybersecurity risks associated with hotel wifi networks, including man-in-the-middle attacks, ransomware, cyberbullying, and credit card theft. The likelihood of these risks depends on many factors related to the network itself as well as user behaviors. With some awareness, users can reduce their risk of falling victim to hacker attacks while traveling.
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Why Is Hotel Wi
“The sophisticated security systems usually in place on corporate networks are not present on these kind of connections,” says Moody, who maintains that it’s easier for cybercriminals to execute Man-in-the-Middle and Man-in-the-Browser attacks due to the lowered security standard.
A 2015 report from Cylance found a critical vulnerability in the ANTlabs InnGate product used by hotels, which affected 277 hotels across 29 countries. The vulnerability enabled attackers to monitor and tamper with data traffic from Wi-Fi connections and gain access to hotels’ management systems.
Is There A Safer Alternative To Hotel Wi
Public and citywide Wi-Fi is just as risky consider these networks unencrypted and open. If you’re a commuter using public Wi-Fi, you’re putting corporate data at risk.
The safest way for businesses and frequent international travelers to get online while abroad is via the mobile network. Where possible, travelers are recommended to use mobile 4G connections, either tethering to their phone or by using a dongle. Many providers now offer free data roaming in numerous countries, although those after a ‘little black box’ global Wi-Fi hotspot for multiple devices also have options.
The Goodspeed 4G Hotspot is available for $149, offers a daily flat rate of $8.50 for 250MB of data when roaming, and has password-protected coverage in 85 countries. Other global operators are now starting to offer unlimited EU/global data plans for business customers, while those visiting remote places can rent a mobile hotspot from TEP or Vision Global WiFi.
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VPN For Hotels: Conclusion
Using hotel Wi-Fi opens you up to all kinds of risks. Hackers make fake hotspots that you could connect to by accident, and Wi-Fi providers constantly snoop on users to collect their data. Leaving your devices unprotected when staying in a hotel has become extremely dangerous, and could lead to all kinds of problems that would ruin your stay.
We recommend that you don’t take any risks when you stay in a hotel – by getting one of the five best VPNs for hotels today! Our recommendations even have a money-back guarantee, which means you can use the full, unrestricted VPN service without actually risking your cash.
The Dangers Of Using Unsecured Wi
Hotel Wi-Fi is just another form of public Wi-Fi. In summary, it is not considered a very secure form of Wi-Fi compared to home networks, due to the large number of people who access it often and the lack of control the user has in terms of security, because someone else manages and controls the way the network is set up.
For obvious reasons, hotel Wi-Fi is often set up with customer service in mind, ease of access rather than security being the primary focus.
Hotels want guests to be able to connect to the Internet as easily and quickly as possible, and the result is often that these networks are not particularly secure or private.
For example, its not uncommon to see Wi-Fi passwords simply pinned to a hotel lobby, meaning anyone who walks into the lobby can write them down and use them to connect to the network.
This makes it easier to use but doesnt make it particularly secure when anyone can just walk around and get the network password.
Anyone with access to the hotels Wi-Fi network who knows how to hack could potentially see what everyone else is doing on that same network. It can pose a significant security risk if people use Wi-Fi for personal things like email, banking, online payments, and social media. For an experienced hacker, it is relatively easy to execute a Man in the Middle type attack on an unsecured public Wi-Fi network, where he positions himself between the sender and the receiver and intercepts all the data broadcasted on the network.
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Do Hotels Monitor Wifi
While hotels may not track your connection intentionally, it is still possible for them to monitor their wireless network.
The thing is hotel servers arent unique theyre pretty much the same as servers of any other entity.
This means they also collect log files of your Internet usage and a lot of data pertaining to your digital identity and browsing habits.
It isn’t really good for your privacy, is it?
On the whole, the log files that the hotel servers keep can reveal the following information about your Internet activities:
- The exact time when you connected to the Internet
- Time that you spent online
- Time spent on a particular website
- Specific URLs you visited on a particular website
- Unencrypted HTTP traffic
However, hotel servers can also keep some personal details about your real identity.
These details are recorded by hotel staff before you check into a hotel and usually contain your name, surname, room number, etc.
Of course, as weve already said, your delicate data may not be of any interest to the personnel of the hotel you are at , but often its all not about the personnel.
The biggest threat to any traveler today, as you may have guessed, is hotel hackers.
That is true.
Cybercriminals are absolutely fond of hacking unsecured hotel WiFi connections, and there are even some elite hacker groups that target solely the hospitality sector.
The reason why they do this is simple: