How A Hotspot Can Secure Internet For Your Business On The Go

How A Hotspot Can Secure Internet For Your Business On The Go

October 11, 2022 Mobile Business Internet Blog Remote Work and Digital Nomading RV Internet Travel Internet Security 0

It’s no secret that using public internet can be risky for any small business that has to operate on. If your a mobile small business, your risks increase dramatically. Mobile small business often find themselves having to use unknown WiFi networks for internet at hotels, conference and special events centers, among others. These public internet locations can be among the most insecure WiFi networks available. However, travel WiFi security issues aren’t limited to these high risk areas.

Many mobile small businesses turn to phone hotspots as cellular networks. While these networks are more private than the locations mentioned above, using a cellular network for internet does not automatically mean it’s secure. In addition, if you use devices via your phones hotspot you open up an additional layer of security risks.

While there are a number of solutions and preventive measures you can take, one of the best is to use a cellular hotspot with “always on” VPN support. In this blog we will explain what that is, how it helps and how else a cellular hotspot can help keep you safe when using WiFi on the go.

FCC Guidance

The FCC has guidance recommending you use only secure networks, a VPN (private network). It’s also highly recommended you bundle it with a secure cellular network to avoid security risks. As they note, if you travel regularly it is absolutely worth considering a service or device that can help you streamline the process.

The FCC guidance:

  • Check the validity of available Wi-Fi hotspots. If more than one hotspot appears claiming to belong to an establishment that you’re in, check with the staff to avoid connecting to an imposter hotspot.
  • Make sure all websites you exchange information with have “https” at the beginning of the web address. If so, your transmitted data will be encrypted.
  • Install an app add-on that forces your web browsers to use encryption when connecting to websites — even well-known sites that may not normally encrypt their communications.
  • Adjust your smartphone’s settings so it does not automatically connect to nearby Wi-Fi networks. This gives you more control over where and when you connect.
  • If you use public Wi-Fi hotspots on a regular basis, consider using a virtual private network, which will encrypt all transmissions between your device and the internet. Many companies offer VPNs to their employees for work purposes, and individuals may subscribe to VPNs on their own.

While these are all great suggestions, its just not realistic to avoid all risky WiFi locations. Travel, work and meeting obligations often require using WiFi in a variety of places. Cellular is a good option, but as we explain further down in this post it has costs which may not always make that viable.

A good cellular hotspot will help you avoid all of the security challenges, including all of the FCC’s suggestions. If you want to read more about the FCC’s security guidance, you can you can view the article here.

How Cellular Hotspots Help Secure Your Internet On The Go

Cellular hotspots help secure internet when traveling or on the go in two ways: device isolation and by using a virtual private network (VPN) to secure your internet.

Our handy infographic above illustrates how this process works comparing regular shared Public WiFi, whether it’s a hotel, conference center, or special events center or other location.

Device Isolation

One significant benefit of a cellular hotspot for security is device isolation. Device isolation is when your devices are physically separated from the WiFi network and other devices on it.

A cellular hotspot accomplishes this by creating it’s own private WiFi network, with the highest possible WiFi security. It will also include a passcode only you know. You devices will connect to your private network.

The cellular hotspot then connects to the a private cellular network. Rather than your individual devices being directly on the public WiFi network, only the hotspot will be. The benefit is that if the public WiFi is compromised in anyway, other devices won’t have direct access to yours. In addition to phishing attempts, where someone sends a phony email in an attempt to gain your passwords, the most common form of virus or attack happen when an infected device looks for others to spread to. Often the owner of the infected device isn’t even a malicious user, but rather than unsuspecting user who just happens to have a virus.

In addition to device isolation, cellular hotspot maximize your security with with VPN.

VPN And “Always On” Security

VPN stands for virtual private network. A VPN service will add an additional layer of encryption to your internet use. It secures the connection and creates what is called a “tunnel”.

Because the network the VPN creates is private, it will hide and isolate your information and internet contents from other devices or users on WiFi. They won’t even be aware it exists and it will be encrypted so even if they do discover it, they won’t be able to read its contents.

If you have ever used VPN for work, it does the same thing, ensuring your companies network remains secure even when you are working from somewhere else. If you work remotely on a regular basis having a device that will help keep your systems from being compromised even when not accessing your work systems is highly recommended.

While cellular hotspots by themselves do provide some security protection, using one by itself won’t make you completely secure. The same is true of VPN services. While they help ensure your communication stays safe, they don’t necessarily protect all of your devices.

The best solution is a cellular hotspot where the VPN service is integrated and running all of the time. While there are a number of products that do this, most require separate VPN setup you acquire separately from the device. Some can be enabled to automatically come on during connection, few do it by default.

Be sure when you consider a cellular hotspot you look for ones that have built in security, ideally with automatic VPN. If you are not sure which VPN service to consider, you can also look for devices and solutions that offer integrated VPN services so there is no additional setup or technical expertise required. And while the focus of this article is travel, keep in mind these services are available for home WiFi as well.

Cellular Hotspot Business Benefits

While most security posts tell you what you can’t do, one of the things we specifically do at Go Connect is focus on helping you with things you can do when you have the proper controls in place.

Connection Sharing

Great cellular hotspots allow you to share a mobile internet connection easily. In addition, unlike a phone hotspot, a proper business cellular hotspot while let your employees and other devices continue to operate even if you need to step away. The rest of your team can easily connect to your cellular hotspot. If they’ve traveled with you before they probably don’t even need enter a password again.

Every Device’s Connection Is Secured

A cellular hotspot with “always on” security will allow you to use any connection. While we still recommend “known networks” over any network, it helps you balance security and convenience.

Private Cellular Network

Unlike most retail grade mobile internet solutions, Go Connect’s data plans add an additional layer of security with a private cellular backend network. Go Connect’s cellular hotspots and data plans use the same towers, but the internet traffic is routed through our own private internet connection. So not only is there an additional layer of security on the device, there is an additional layer of security in the internet connection itself.