Download of the day: Hotspot Shield Free

Think of it as a condom for your computer. Unless that’s a horrible image

Hotspot Shield Free

You’re in a coffee shop or a takeaway, and you’re connecting to the wireless hotspot so you can do a bit of online banking or update your top secret plans for world domination. But do you know where that router has been, or the company it’s been keeping? Can you trust that everybody else on the same network is as nice as you?

If the answer is no – and in most public places, it will be – then you need some protection in the form of Hotspot Shield Free.

Intercepting poorly secured Wi-Fi or setting up fake hotspots turns out to be incredibly easy, so it’s important to protect yourself when you’re out and about with your computer.

Why you need it

The world is full of villains and people who don’t secure their wireless networks properly, and if you get caught between them you could lose valuable personal information or logins that can be used to defraud you.

Virtual private networking tools like Hotspot Shield Free create a secure network for you to connect to, hiding the data you transmit and receive from everybody else. That has a happy side-effect of getting around geoblocking, which is when a website won’t show content to people from certain countries, and it messes with advertising tracking too.

Download here: Hotspot Shield Free

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Contributor

Former lion tamer, Girls Aloud backing dancer and habitual liar Gary Marshall (Twitter, Google+) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to .net, MacFormat, Tap! and Official Windows Magazine as well as co-writing stacks of how-to tech books. "My job is to cut through the crap," he says. "And there's a lot of crap."