Public WiFi question

  • Be sure to checkout “Tips & Tricks”
    Dear Guest Visitor → Once you register and log-in:

    This forum does not automatically send notices of new content. So if, for example, you would like to be notified by mail when Steve posts an update to his blog (or of any other specific activity anywhere else), you need to tell the system what to “Watch” for you. Please checkout the “Tips & Tricks” page for details about that... and other tips!

  • Larger Font Styles

    Just a quick heads-up that I've implemented larger font variants of our forum's light and dark page styles. You can select the style of your choice by scrolling to the footer of any page here. This might be more comfortable (it is for me) for those with high-resolution displays where the standard fonts, while permitting a lot of text to fit on the screen, might be uncomfortably small.

    (You can permanently dismiss this notification with the “X” at the upper right.)



Brian Tillman
Sep 23, 2020
I thought I read that if there is a publicly-available WiFi access point, that as long as it has a password, even if the password is known to everyone, that the individual connections to the access point are encrypted so it is safe to use. Is this true or not?


Active member
Oct 25, 2020
Everyone connected to a WiFi AP is on the same network. Encryption between devices in the same network does not rely on the AP password. Anything exposed inside that network is subject to being exploited.

The WiFi password mostly protects users inside that network from external agents.


Well-known member
Sep 30, 2020
Actually, I believe that if the system is using WPA2, each session has it's own special key. So, that might be secure. But, if you're using an older encryption, what you do might be visible to all. I would recommend using a VPN any time you're in public.



What could possibly go wrong?
Nov 7, 2020
It's all a question of trust of the AP. You will never know if they have client isolation or what the AP is actually doing so if you connect, it would be recommended to use a VPN and if you're really careful, go into flight mode before you do so as iOS, for example, will persist certain connections outside the VPN for a period of time.

Then the question of trust of your VPN service. You could run up your own VPN if you are capable but most services like StrongVPN, ExpressVPN and so on will give you more trust and security than some random wireless network.

You could also not connect to the Wifi unless you really need to. If you're like me, with unlimited data in most countries I will ever visit (if I could :D), Wifi is not so important unless I have no service at the time.