Can a VPN really protect me when I connect to a Hotspot?



  • I had a terrible experience a week ago. I connected to a WiFi hotspot at a local cafe in Manchester and someone hacked into my phone even though I was using a free VPN. Is a free VPN really effective and safe? If not, can someone please recommend a good paid VPN that's not too pricey?



  • Well, hello their  ;D so sorry you got your phone hacked, btw how did you knew if its really hacked?
    who connects to a public wifi/hotspot on restaurants? i don't i know my data is very precious and free VPNs are not as secure. There's an old saying "There's no free Lunch".

    Anyhow, well if your concern is privacy and budget the best thing i could recommend you is to use Ivacy.com as they are reputable name in VPN industry and currently running a Cyber Monday deal which makes it as low as $1.50/mo.

    Meanwhile there are more vpn like hma, purevpn, earthvpn, nord etc.



  • I think that's a pretty good deal. :o
    Thanks furqanrizwan for the info !



  • your welcome



  • @AdrianH:

    I had a terrible experience a week ago. I connected to a WiFi hotspot at a local cafe in Manchester and someone hacked into my phone even though I was using a free VPN. Is a free VPN really effective and safe? If not, can someone please recommend a good paid VPN that's not too pricey?

    Well the problem is that the local network connection is required in order to connect the VPN.

    I'm not a expert on this subject but I'd say no, a VPN cannot protect your device from the local network.  At least not completely.  In the security context a VPN is meant to protect data in transit between the two end point networks/devices.  Not the data at rest on those devices or from the local network.  At the very least the device will have to be connected to the local network long enough to get the VPN established.  After that the amount of protection from the local network may depend on the VPN product (client software) being used.

    That's my 100K foot level view.  I know there are others here who can provide more accurate and detailed info.

    P.S. I use pfSense OpenVPN server and client to connect to/through my own home network when on the road.  But I don't use public hotspots.  So that's basically a free VPN fully under my control.



  • There are 2 issues here.  1) Your phone or other device on the local network and 2) securely transporting your data.  A VPN only protects the 2nd.  VPN or not, your device is still vulnerable to attacks on the local network.  That's why you should always use a firewall on computers.


  • LAYER 8 Global Moderator

    "There are 2 issues here. "

    The only real here is this is BS spam for their BS vpn..

    Come on 1 post wonder says hey I have been hacked using free vpn.. Then another 1post wonder comes in and says hey use this great vpn, you get what you pay for with those free ones.  Then another 1 post onder comes in gives thanks for that post about the great vpn…

    Come on really???  Reported to mods as the spam it is...



  • FYI - some cellular providers have their own VPN service, such as Google Fi here in the US. On Nexus and Pixel devices with Android 5.1 or higher, it automatically uses Google VPN when connecting to free open hotspots. It's a part of the OS settings called Wifi Assistant. Info here: https://support.google.com/nexus/answer/6327199?hl=en. But some warnings (there are circumstances where it can't work properly): https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/project-fi/czUAfVPSMno


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