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wifi
packet sniffer
virtual private networks
reading newspapers
laptop computer
internet activity
black hat
physical address
proxies
own business
Mask Your IP Address On Public Wifi
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Mask Your IP Address on Public Wifi

More people connect to the internet every year. Not only that, but those that are already connected, are beginning to do more online, and get online in more places than before. While "surfing the net" used to be strictly at home, as a form of entertainment, nowadays, you can do just about anything online - banking, business, shopping, watching movies, reading newspapers, and making phone calls. It's not uncommon to do these things in public places. There's wifi available at cafes, bars, airports, hotels, and schools. So why should you mask your IP address while using public WiFi?

When you connect to the internet, you are assigned an IP address. When you share an internet connecting with other people, you're also sharing an IP address. You belong to the same network, and sharing a network with someone is like sharing a physical address - a house for example. Sure, if you mind your own business, you won't notice that someone else is in the room next door. But if you get a bit nosey, you can find out a lot about what your neighbor is up to.

Deep packet searching, or packet sniffing is a tool, that if used properly, can be used by businesses or other organizations to improve security and prevent network congestion among other issues that may occur over a network. As a "white hat" tool, it simply help you monitor a network, so as to keep everything running smoothly.

However, as a "black hat" tool, it can be used for spying and intercepting data. When you connect to a public network and share an IP with other users, if they have a packet sniffer or other type of traffic monitoring tool, they can spy on your internet activity. If that doesn't bother you, the fact that they'll also be able to intercept passwords, chat logs, and other private information should. This why it's important to mask your IP address on public wifi.

There are basically two ways to go about this. Proxies and virtual private networks are two common ways to mask the IP on a phone, desktop/laptop computer, and other internet ready devices. Though they work differently, they both function on the principle of "rerouting" your traffic through a third party server. The server acts as a middle man, filtering incoming and outgoing data, and keeping your real IP hidden. In my personal experience, I've found that in the long term, virtual private networks can save you time an energy. Using proxies often involves long searches through lists of proxy servers, and can be time consuming.

However, the monthly fees for a VPN service may be impractical for a user who only needs IP protection from time to time. There are paid proxy services which can provide more reliable servers, better security, and a choice of IP locations, but to be honest, if you're going to spend three dollars a month on a paid proxy service, shelling out another two bucks a month can get you a decent VPN service which will provide you with better security features, more reliable connection, and better customer support.


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