UPDATED: Free wifi hotspots but check your security first!

Been busy last month for me and the team at IDTP, so that’s good reason to apologise to those of you who read my blog regularly especially as the last article I wrote was over a month a go. Anyway, enough babbling by me 🙂 Next month we will launching a new web 2.0 site and a new anti-malware software called ‘IDTP Guard’. More on this later this month. http://www.id-theftprotect.com

Anyway, I’m sure most users of Wi-Fi know the frustration of being unable to find those free hotspots to read web mail, do a quick surf or just play around. Having spent much of the past month on the road I did manage to find some interesting FREE (that’s right 100% free – no catches) Wi-Fi hotspots.

Remember though Wi-Fi hotspots are not necessarily 100% safe – well you might say nothing is. Well we’ve done tests and found most WEP settings can be air cracked in pretty much no time at all. In fact start a ‘dictionary attack’ and my guess would be the average crack time would be around 10-15mins. Scary stuff.

On the move

When moving around using your mobile phone Wi-Fi or you carry a laptop with you you should have as minimum a firewall, anti-virus and anti-malware security. Most mobile phones today do not come pre-installed with mobile security. I believe it should – in fact the first 3 months could be free and with the advent of the iPhone and Nokia N95 S60 series you’d think security was a must. Well let me tell you it isn’t. In fact we noticed that on our Nokia N95’s there was no security at all, except you had to go to the download folder and search for F-Secure (anti-virus and firewall protection) if you knew what F-Secure was of course!!! Everyone always assumes you identify the brand (not true!!) Summary: excellent product it is I noticed it slowed down my Nokia a bit even causing it to lock.

My Software selection

Anyway moving swiftly along, here is my selection of security products for when you are on the move. I’ve broken this up into two categories: 1. laptops and 2. Mobile smartphones.

For those using laptops I suggest you use Jiwire’s excellent Hotspot Helper. Here is breakdown of some of my favourite laptop security software: (all are windows XP and or Vista)

This is a breakdown of my favourite mobile smartphone security software (I always show the full URL’s – so you can see where the link is taking you).

Managing the download file

Most of these are small files and considering what they do, that is one mighty small achievement! The downside of all security software we have ‘used and reviewed’ is the resource. On most occassions our mobile phones performance suffered. My worry here is that most users will switch the security off (or at best those of you who know anti-virus sucks resource) will switch anti-virus off alltogether.


For those of you wanting to find those very FREE hotspots (take my word, it is difficult enough to find these in Google let alone when I’m out and about) here we go:

1. Starbucks
2. Benugo
3. JD Wetherspoons
4. McDonalds
5. The Cloud (if you use in the City of London) Free for a month
6. Loose Connection (South of England) cafes and bars
7. Airports – go to: http://www.wififreespot.com/ (very easy to navigate site)
UPDATE: 16/04/08:
Coffee Republic UK to offer free wi-fi
Customers making a purchase at Coffee Republic will be offered a free wi-fi voucher giving them a login code to access the store’s hotspot from any wi-fi-enabled laptop, mobile phone or PDA. Shouldn’t wifi hotspots be free? The service can be paid for by advertising and of course you are buying the latte!

I’ll be adding to this list as I find them. In fact if anyone wants to add to my list please feel free and send me the information.

To help find those Wi-Fi hotspots (including the pay as you go ones) why not download the following software onto your computer. They are regularly updated and provide a comprehensive database from many countries. Here are three of my little gems:

1. Jiwire Hotspot Helper: http://www.jiwire.com/hotspot-helper.htm

2. myhotspots.co.uk: http://www.myhotspots.co.uk/

3. Symbian (Nokia smartphone users): http://www.my-symbian.com/s60v3/software/applications.php?faq=4&fldAuto=26

Well that’s all this month from me. Hope you found all this useful.

Mr IDTP, Julian Evans

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One Response to UPDATED: Free wifi hotspots but check your security first!

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