Is It Safe to Use Hotel WiFi? No. Ways to Protect Yourself

Samuel Walker  - Technology Policy Researcher
Last updated: November 6, 2023
Read time: 15 minutes
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Hotels' WiFi security is insufficient. Still, you can use free internet there safely with tools like VPN alongside taking care of some best practices for online security. This post explains how you can protect yourself when on such networks.

Many hotels in major cities around the globe offer free WiFi hotspots that help travelers/guests stay connected with the online world. A hotel WiFi only requires logging in with a username and password to access the free internet service. While that sounds convenient, hotel WiFi security is always dubious. Most open networks are unsecured connections, hence the easy targets for hackers and spies. Therefore, adopting preventive measures, like using a reputable VPN, is crucial before connecting your device with a hotel WiFi.

A free WiFi connection is considered a luxury when traveling abroad and not wanting to subscribe to international roaming and mobile data. Yes, without WiFi, you might feel detached and unattended. But are you sure the wireless hotspot in your hotel room is safe and reliable?

By using unsecured WiFi, there’s a chance that you might end up exposing your bank accounts or your identity being stolen by a cyber-identity thief.

A few years back, you would only need to keep your wallet protected from thieves and secure your password while going out. Or additionally, people had to ensure they did not lose their credit cards. Yes, that all is still essential.

But traveling today also requires protecting yourself when using public WiFi. That pretty much justifies why people keep asking, ‘Is hotel WiFi safe?’

It indeed is a legitimate query to make. This article will explain why hotel WiFi is unsafe to use and how to use any public WiFi safely. That includes the airport WiFi network, WiFi at cafes, and hotel WiFi hotspots.