Advanced Security – Tunneling
Using wireless encryption to secure a connection is great, but there’s just one problem – you can only make sure that wireless networks under your personal control are using the proper security measures. What happens when you want to use a wireless network that’s outside of your control or *gasp* left purposely unsecured so that anyone can access it? The horror, the horror!
There is one solution, however, and that’s the use of a technique called tunneling. This creates a specific connection between two computers, one of which is mobile and one of which is kept at a secure location. All of the Internet traffic sent by the mobile PC is directed towards the secure PC, which accesses the Internet on the mobile PC’s behalf and then sends it back.
What’s the advantage? It’s possible to encryption the connection between the mobile and secure PC – thus adding encryption to WiFi, even if you are on an unsecure network you can’t control. That’s nifty, and quite useful. Companies very commonly make use of tunneling in order to provide secure connections to employees, but there’s no reason an individual can’t do it as well.
Well, okay, there are two reasons: Difficulty and expense. Setting up a server in your home for use as a tunnel is not easy. You’re likely better of using a virtual server service, which will set you up with an account and a portion of a server that can be dedicated to your tunneling.
Tunneling is in fact a bit extreme for the purposes of most home users. If you’re out and about, your security won’t be at great risk so long as you don’t access password protected accounts over unsecure WiFi.
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