Some of us have important data on our laptops -- some more important than others -- which can make the idea of connecting to a public WiFi hotspot sound like an invitation to disaster. Boingo thinks it can make those hotspots nearly as safe as a clamped down work connection by porting its Boingo VPN from iOS to the Wi-Finder app on Macs and Windows PCs. The option gives habitual hotspot users an encrypted connection from a close-by server, preventing someone else at the coffee shop from casually snooping on their files while they sip on double-shot espressos. VPN access is considered a free perk of having an account and doesn't even require latching on to a paid Boingo hotspot. As such, we'd strongly advise grabbing the update to keep that secure option available, especially if you're a Russian spy.
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Boingo Adds Personal VPN to Wi-Fi App for Windows and Mac
Boingo's Encrypted VPN Protects Laptop Users Against Public Wi-Fi Hackers
LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Boingo Wireless (NASDAQ: WIFI), the Wi-Fi industry's leading provider of software and services worldwide, announced today the availability of its latest Wi-Finder app for Macbook and Windows laptop and netbook users. The updated version of the award-winning app includes the Boingo VPN (virtual private network) to help protect users against security exploits in public Wi-Fi hotspots.
Boingo's VPN – previously launched on iOS apps – provides an easy-to-use security solution that can help users protect themselves from common security exploits. With one click, users can encrypt their Wi-Fi connection and protect their personal data. The Boingo VPN uses nearly a dozen VPN servers worldwide to improve performance by delivering service in closest proximity to the user. The VPN uses a customer's Boingo account to authenticate in one simple step, and the service is free to all Boingo Wi-Fi users who have set up an account.
"Since we launched the Boingo VPN for our iOS customers this summer, we've seen nearly 20 percent of all iOS sessions protected with our simple security solution," said Dawn Callahan, vice president of consumer marketing for Boingo Wireless. "Nearly a third of the devices seeking Wi-Fi in our venues are laptops, and we want to ensure that these users can also take advantage of our intuitive VPN and feel secure connecting at any Wi-Fi location."
Security threats on open, public Wi-Fi networks continue to increase, and many people report feeling unsafe when surfing unsecured online. A recent study conducted by the National Cyber Security Alliance found that 90% of Americans do not feel completely safe from hackers, viruses and malware while online, and more than a quarter of those surveyed reported that they'd been notified that their personal data had been exposed in the last year.
In addition to the Boingo VPN, the Wi-Finder app for Mac and Windows maintains the ability to connect to Boingo and partner hotspots with a single click. The app's location directory also includes more than 150,000 free, crowd-sourced hotspots that have been validated by Wi-Finder users, helping users find a reliable hotspot when they need a connection the most. The enhanced Wi-Fi location directory provides a color-coded rating system for hotspots, providing an at-a-glance assessment of a hotspot's quality.
Boingo's Wi-Finder app received the 2012 About.com Reader's Choice Award for "Best Travel" app, and the company has twice received the award for "Best Wi-Fi Service" from Global Traveler magazine.