Connecting to the Internet via 3G can be expensive and is not always reliable, but CAROLYN HOLGATE of MWEB Connect says this is not the case with Wi-Fi hotspots, and offers a few tips on how Wi-Fi can replace 3G.
Wireless hotspots are becoming pervasive across SouthnAfrica, providing a viable connectivity option when you’re not using ADSL atnwork or at home.
While many South Africans use mobile broadband tonconnect to the Internet when they’re on the go, it comes with a costnimplication as 3G is not the cheapest option. 3G can also be problematic from anstreaming and download speed point of view as 3G networks become congested.nWith access to spectrum for mobile data connectivity becoming increasinglynscarce, the international trend is for mobile operators to offload mobilenbroadband traffic onto Wi-Fi networks. This is something we could well seenhappening locally soon.
Accessing the Internet via 3G can become verynexpensive, especially if you’re using bandwidth intensive applications on yournlaptop or tablet. In addition, the quality of the 3G-connection may bencompromised if you’re not in a reasonably close proximity to a cellular tower.nThis is not the case with a Wi-Fi hotspot, which provides a far more stablenconnection.
Wi-Fi hotspots have mushroomed to sites all over thencountry in recent years with MWEB giving their customers free access to annetwork of almost 600 hotspots including airports, restaurants, coffee shops,nhotels, conference centers and shopping malls around the country.
MWEB ADSL subscribers receive five hours free Wi-Fineach month, which is roughly equivalent to 300 MB of data per month or aroundn50 music tracks and 30 PowerPoint presentations, making it a usefulncomplimentary service.
Many offices have now implemented wireless networks.nIf you have a Wi-Fi capable ADSL router at home, you can also turn your homeninto a secure Wi-Fi zone and use this connectivity for your devices at home.nTogether with a growing number of public Wi-Fi hotspots, this means many peoplenonly use 3G to connect to the Internet while on the road or away from anwireless connection.
If you have an MWEB ADSL account you can simply log innto any one of our approved hotspots. Or, you can purchase a wireless tokennwhere needed.
From a security point of view, taking a few basicnprecautions will ensure reasonable safety when using public Wi-Fi hotpots. Thisnincludes ensuring your access point is set up with Wireless Protected Accessn(WPA2) authentication and you’re not using any sensitive sites in hot spotsnlike Internet Banking.
5 Tips to make Wi-Fi hotspots worknfor you:
1. nLook out for national restaurant chains and hotelsnlike Mugg and Bean and City Lodge Hotels that offer Wi-Fi hotspots so you canneasily stay connected.
2. nSteer clear of using Internet banking or payment sitesnwhen using a Wi-Fi hotspot to avoid potential phishing threats and rare casesnof login information theft.
3. nEnsure your firewall and antivirus programs are up tondate and check that file sharing is not enabled on your laptop.
4. nIf you regularly access online accounts through Wi-Finhotspots, use a virtual private network (VPN), which encrypts traffic betweennyour computer and the Internet, even on unsecured networks.
5. nFile and printer sharing is a feature that enablesnother computers on a network to access resources on your computer. When you arenusing your mobile device in a hotspot, it’s best to disable file and printernsharing.
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