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Secure Internet Connections while Traveling

How can you connect safely to the Internet from a Hotel or Internet Cafe? Meet two criteria:
  • Setup a Secure SSL connection with a trusted site and then connect out from there.
  • Get your DNS information from a trusted source.
I explained how a secure SSL connection prevents a "Man in the Middle" attack in the previous article. So, by setting up such a connection, you eliminate the snooping that could come from someone corrupting the Internet Cafe or Hotel. Then you can browse out normally from that safer point.

If you already have a VPN setup to your office, you could use that to access your office computer and then browse out from there. If you use GoToMyPC or LogMeIn to work remotely from your office computer, then you could use that and use your office computer to access the Internet and Email.

Otherwise, I recommend Witopia's Personal VPN - SSL service for $59.99⁄yr. It is based on Open VPN which is very secure and well tested. They have been offering the service for over 5 years and have proven they know what they are doing. When you purchase the product, you get a certificate for use with their product for a year. This allows you to VPN into any of their 37 servers world wide when you are away from the office and want to login to the Internet securely. So I right-click on their icon and choose the closest server (I normally use the one in Seattle). It then logs me in securely and sets up the VPN. Essentially, I become part of their network. I can then continue through that connection to do whatever I like safely.

Date: May 2010

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