Most wireless internet service in hotels are quite expensive. I stayed a night in Cititel Midvalley last week and they are charging RM30 (US9.40) for 2 hours. I wanted an hour or maybe just half an hour to check my emails but they told me their minimum usage is 2 hours. Instead of spending RM30 just for wireless internet in my hotel room, I can actually go to Coffee Bean or Starbucks, order a cup of nice coffee and use the wireless internet there for hours!
Of course there are pros and cons. If I want privacy in Coffee Bean, I need to find a corner seat so that people can’t see what is on my screen. There is also a risk of some hacker might be accessing my passwords, credit card numbers, sensitive company data and much more. And standard antivirus software won’t protect me.
Here is a free security software that keeps your Internet connection secure at public hotspots, home or work.
Hotspot Shield creates a virtual private network (VPN) between your laptop and the wireless router. This impenetrable tunnel prevents snoopers and hackers from viewing your email, instant messages, credit card information or anything else you send over a wireless network. Which means you remain anonymous and protect your privacy. Actually Hotspot Shield can also be used at home when you’re connected to your router. It is the same thing as proxy technology except Hotspot Shield claims to encrypts your traffic but it doesn’t explain how it plans to encrypt your data.
Hotspot Shield is quite simple to use. Just download Hotspot Shield (less than 1MB) and install. You can either run “Hotspot Shield Launch” shortcut from desktop or start menu and you’ll notice a shield icon appear at your tray. Your default web browser will open up http://www.hotspotshield.com/launch/ page. To connect to Hotspot Shield VPN server, you can either right click the tray icon and select Connect or click the big “Run Hotspot Shield” button at the webpage. When you’re connected, you’ll see a similar page like the image below.
Hotspot Shield service is totally free. If you wonder how can they run their servers to provide you with such service, well, they are funded by advertisements. After connecting to Hotspot Shield VPN server, you’ll immediately being redirected to a advertisement website. Then, your web browser will have a bar on top that shows advertisement which will refresh every few minutes.
The advertisement bar is a little annoying… I also noticed that most of the time when I disconnect from the Hotspot Shield VPN server and reconnect again, I will be assigned to a new IP address. This means that you can use Hotspot Shield to download from RapidShare without limits! I’ve also tested the download speed and I only got an average of 20KB/s. For web browsing, the speed is fine but if you want to download hundreds of megabytes from RapidShare, it is very time consuming.
Update: If you are unable to connect using Hotspot Shield and getting Pulling Options page looping, Daemon Start Error or Bandwidth Exceeded, please refer to this article for a fix.
[ Download Hotspot Shield ]