WifiForward and the Future of WiFi

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WiFi ForwardAccording to WifiForward, a group of companies concerned with making WiFi better, we are in for a WiFi crunch in a few years. By 2017, the group says, WiFi networks will carry a majority of all Internet traffic, leading to a possible connection bottleneck as WiFi networks struggle to handle all of our devices trying to access the Internet.

WifiForward believes that we can alleviate this WiFi crunch by both improving current WiFi frequency bands and finding additional frequencies that can be used. Currently, WiFi transmits frequencies at 2.5 GHz or 5 GHz. The higher frequency allows the WiFi signal to carry more data.

WiFi frequency bands are the unlicensed spectrum WiFi uses to function. “Unlicensed” means that WiFi is able to access radio spectrums without the need for regulations and restrictions that might be applicable for other forms of communication. The downside is that this spectrum is shared by anyone who wants to access it, and thus can become overloaded.

WifiForward believes that improving and creating new WiFi frequency bands will help create reliable connections to WiFi including superfast “gigabit WiFi,” help spur the development of cost-effective wireless broadband for unconnected urban and rural locations, as well as move us into the era of a WiFi-enabled home for the “Internet of Things.”

Having better WiFi connections can only lead to a brighter future, but as we move into this WiFi-centric world, we would do well to keep online security issues in mind.

Public WiFi Networks are Completely Unsecure

As great as it is to have access to WiFi at all times, unless we are logged into our home or work networks that are encrypted, WiFi networks have absolutely no security at all. WiFi signals are just radio waves, and anyone with a laptop and some simple, free software can hijack our private information.

As we move toward this bold new WiFi-enabled future, we must make sure to keep our security front and center.

Hackers Can Attack Anything Connected to the Internet

It used to be that only our computers were connected to the Internet. Then, our phones became connected. Soon (if not already), many things in our homes will be connected to the Internet as well, including toilets, refrigerators, heating systems, toasters, digital cameras, children’s toys, and TVs.

All these Internet connections mean more ways for hackers to infiltrate our systems and thus our lives. Again, we must make sure that our security is as protected as it can be, and not left as an afterthought.

Privacy is Important

Connecting to WiFi networks at all times is a great idea, but it also means that it’s a lot harder to control our privacy. For example, if your mobile phone has WiFi enabled, it essentially turns into a tracking device, meaning that anyone, from businesses to the government, can track where you go and how you spend your time.

Most of us still want to keep our private lives private, and believe that we have an inherent right to privacy. Let’s make sure that we continue to value our privacy as something important to protect.

VPNS: Best Way to Protect Yourself on Public WiFi

A VPN, or virtual private network, is software that secures encrypts your data whenever you log into public WiFi. A VPN is probably the most important security component you can own, even more important that antivirus software and firewalls. If a virus infects your computer or someone accesses our files, it can be a headache to fix, and may cost us some time and perhaps a little money to fix the problem.

But if a hacker steals your identity because you’re not using a VPN when accessing a public WiFi network, it could easily cost you thousands of dollars and years of effort to restore and safeguard your identity.

There is no doubt that the future looks bright for WiFi, and we need to encourage innovation as we move into the next generation of WiFi frequencies. At the same time, our increased reliance on WiFi means that we face increased risks from the unsecure nature of WiFi signals. Let’s make sure that we take the proper steps to protect our privacy.

 

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Jared Howe

Jared Howe is PRIVATE WiFi’s Senior Manager, Product Marketing Communications. Working in high tech for over 15 years, Jared currently lives in Seattle with his wife, daughter, and their two cats.