Gratis WiFi, wie wil dat nou niet? Meerdere aanbieders, zoals Ziggo en KPN, maken dat op een of andere manier mogelijk. Bij bovenstaande aanbieders overigens alleen als je klant bij hen bent. Anders kun je altijd wel ergens inloggen met of zonder wachtwoord. Wat komt er bij kijken en waar moet je op letten?

WiFi networks Ziggo and KPN
Both Ziggo and KPN are working on shared mobile internet, whereby customers can use each other’s broadband internet via WiFi. For this, a public signal, which is intended for other members of the network, is added to your own private signal. As for security, these are two completely separate signals that – it is promised – can never come into contact with each other.

To take advantage of this, you must first of all be a customer of Ziggo or KPN and have equipment with which you can use WiFi. Think of a smartphone, laptop or tablet.

Furthermore, this shared mobile internet works on the basis of reciprocity: you have to open your own connection to be able to use someone else’s.

WiFiSpots from Ziggo
All Ziggo customers now have a modem/router that is suitable for WiFispots, of which 900,000 are already active. According to a company spokesperson, Overijssel and Friesland are being added ‘at the moment’. This makes the WiFiSpots network in the Netherlands almost complete, with the exception of northeast Friesland and the Flevopolder.

WiFiSpots from Ziggo is not at the expense of your own bandwidth: an extra signal is added on top of the existing one.

KPN’s Fon network
KPN is working hard on the roll-out of a network with so-called Fon Spots, an originally Spanish invention that should be active throughout the Netherlands by the end of 2014.

However, this will come at the expense of your bandwidth. You give up part of your bandwidth at home in exchange for free access to shared broadband connections of other KPN customers in the Netherlands, but also the now 12 million Fon Spots worldwide.

Incidentally, KPN customers with mobile internet can also use the HotSpots for free . These can be found at NS stations, hotels and restaurants.

Public hotspots UPC
UPC has also successfully completed a trial with public hotspots and wants  to roll out its own WiFi network in all regions  .

Further offers an Irish / American WiFi network free hotspot  on  and to approach all over the country at restaurant chains McDonald’s, KFC and Subway. The same goes for Sweden’s Instabridge , which is building ‘the largest Wi-Fi network in the world’ and is offering access to it in hundreds of cafes and restaurants (both Apple and Android) through a downloadable app .

Other In
addition, there are approximately 1,000 WiFi hotspots spread across the country that are ‘published’ under our own management, but whose security is not guaranteed.

Research shows that one in four Dutch people sometimes uses a hotspot without a password. Of course, the temptation is great to use a public WiFi connection while on vacation or just somewhere on the road, especially if it doesn’t require a password.

However, you run an increased security risk. It is therefore no superfluous luxury to also purchase security software for a smartphone or tablet.

If you can’t resist the temptation for whatever reason, take the following precautions:

  • Do not go online banking on an unsecured hotspot;
  • Prevent your device from automatically contacting a public hotspot;
  • Once you get home, remove any free WiFi hotspots you’ve used;
  • Don’t log into apps you don’t need during a trip.
  • Check whether a hotspot indeed belongs to the hotel/restaurant/location where you are currently staying.

Also read:
Mobile working: the 5 biggest dangers »
Securing a wireless network »
How to create secure passwords »

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