Regardless of whether you are surfing the web for pure entertainment or business, you are constantly exposed to certain threats. A wireless connection is more convenient, as it allows us to do things on the go, and whenever we want. This is why surfing on WiFi and 4G became very popular.
But when it comes to security concerns, 4G and WiFi hotspots do not stand equal. For full disclosure, neither of these two is completely safe, but one is definitely safer. If you were wondering which one it is, you are in the right place.
Let’s see whether it’s safer to surf on WiFi or 4G and why.
When you are browsing online content on your mobile device connected via 4G, your cellular company acts as your Internet Service Provider. Your mobile data provider takes care of the security internally by using the latest firewalls and antivirus software. They also regularly update their servers, patch vulnerabilities and use the latest versions of firmware.
On top of that, all data transmitted over the 4G connection is encrypted. That makes it even harder for cybercriminals to make use of the data, even if they manage to steal it. Here are all the existing authentication and privacy-preserving schemes for 4G networks.
Your home WiFi can be safe only if you put your time into making it safe. First of all, you have to make sure that its firmware is up-to-date with the latest version. Be sure to download it from the official website of the router manufacturer. Then, you have to keep all the devices that connect via it updated. Using a good antivirus and firewall is another way to add more layers to your home WiFi network security.
While we are at it, make sure to change the factory default username and password on your router. Sadly, if you connect to your private WiFi network using a laptop infected with malware, you risk spreading it to all the devices. Worse still, you may leave a backdoor for a hacker to enter anytime.
Public WiFi refers to all those WiFi hotspots you encounter in shopping malls, restaurants, bars, hotels, airports, and so on. These WiFi hotspots are not safe at all, and your data can be exposed and stolen.
Very often, public WiFi hotspots are protected by weak passwords or no passwords at all. This is very convenient for hackers to intercept the network, sniff the traffic, and steal whatever they want. They can even plant malware on your mobile device to infect any network you connect to in the future, including your home and the WiFi network where you work.
Use a Mobile VPN
Using a VPN for Android is a very smart decision if you use your phone to surf the web while connected to the public WiFi hotspots.
The main benefit of using a VPN on your mobile device is data encryption. The VPN service provider will encrypt both outgoing and incoming traffic, making it impossible for hackers to use it for their foul deeds. Your IP address will also be hidden, allowing you to enjoy safe browsing while staying anonymous.
There are side benefits as well. For instance, you will be able to appear as if you are browsing from a different country. You will also be able to access any geo-restricted content and stream your favorite shows and movies.
As you can see, a 4G connection provides the safest online experience. It’s important to note that connecting your device to WiFi can also be more secure if you follow the updates and connect via VPN.
4G Is The Safest Option
At this point, it’s clear that a 4G connection is the safer option. Not only is the security handled by experts working for the mobile data carrier, but the data is encrypted as well. This makes using 4G very safe. But you won’t be able to use it at all times, or you might run out of data. So let’s take a look at what you can do to increase your online security while using your mobile device on WiFi.
Update your Mobile Software
Mobile phone manufacturers are regularly updating operating systems found on their devices, and this applies to both iOS and Android. Make sure to download and install the latest updates. Every app on your mobile device has to be updated to the most recent version as well.
This will increase the security of your device and make it harder for hackers to exploit known vulnerabilities, even if you are connected to a public WiFi network.