Choosing Public Wi-Fi: Top three things you need to look for

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By VostroNet

As Aussies, we love a good deal! And for a customer, what better deal is there than free Wi-Fi when you’re out and about. In fact, Aussies love free Wi-Fi so much that the Norton Wi-Fi Risk Report 2017 showed that almost 83 per cent of Australians have used the service to log into their email accounts, share media online and even check their bank balances. By incorporating Wi-Fi into your public space you can keep customers happy, keep them there for longer, market to them via the network and learn more about their behaviours whilst there.

But what features of this service should you look out for when choosing a public network? And which features do you need to have to ensure the customer gets the highest level of satisfaction? VostroNet has chosen the three most essential criteria when choosing public Wi-Fi.

#1 – Secure Connection

You’ve successfully connected to the Wi-Fi network. How do you know if your device and connection are secure from online threats?

According to the ACMA, it isn’t required by law for a public hotspot to be secured from online threats; making the user vulnerable to attacks. Security is crucial, even amateur coders can learn how to hack an internet network! In 2015, a 7-year-old girl in the U.K. was able to ‘hack‘ into a public hotspot network in 10 minutes after watching an online tutorial.

To make things worse, when it comes to public Wi-Fi, Aussies aren’t exactly risk-averse. The 2017 Norton Wi-Fi Risk Report found that 60% of surveyed users said that they felt safe when using public Wi-Fi, despite more than half of them (51%) not using a VPN when connected. Over half then admitted they were unable to tell if a public Wi-Fi network is secure.

(87% admit to taking security risks on public Wi-Fi by conducting the listed activities)

There are a number of security measures that can be used to protect the end user. This includes firewalls which only allow secure connections, high-level encryption and content filtering (which filters out non-secure content for the purpose of protecting users from potential threats and not to limit their access or online experience).

A rule of thumb, look for a network that has the necessary protection in place. VostroNet’s public Wi-Fi network is firewall protected, helps to protect users from other devices located on the wi-fi and restricts users from filtered sites, offering multiple feeds for anti-virus, malware and zero-day threats.

#2 – Performance

Public Wi-Fi is an excellent value-add for businesses to attract customers. For instance, a large shopping centre may provide fast Wi-Fi to entice users to stay in the precinct longer, increasing the likelihood that they may make purchases as well as ensuring they are exposed to marketing.

However, any complications with network performance will result in the user reverting back to their mobile data. Research by UMASS Amherst and collaborators at Akamai found that most consumers give up on online videos if they haven’t loaded within two seconds! And why stick around, slow Wi-Fi completely defeats the whole purpose of offering Wi-Fi to add value to a public space.

The fact of the matter is, if the connection isn’t fast enough, the user will merely result back to their mobile data. So what should I do? Invest in quality infrastructure to keep the service online.

#3 – User-Friendly Interface

A public Wi-Fi network has to be easily accessible to the users who connect to it. An important feature that makes it easy for clients to access the network is the user interface. An interface might include an easy-to-use login layout with quick access to the internet and easily accessible support services.

VostroNet has made accessing the network easy by adding login via Facebook, Twitter, Google and email.

About VostroNet

VostroNet is a leading provider of high-speed internet to residential buildings, student accommodation, hotels and public spaces across Australia and New Zealand.

For more information about our services contact VostroNet