Re: Securing my PC at a Wireless Hotspot?

Chip Panarchy wrote:

Hi Chip,

So my question to you is, NOT on how to secure the Wireless Hotspot,
but rather on how to go about securing my connection to the hotspot.

If the hotspot uses encryption (WPA, WEP doesn't count as
encryption...), then your connection to the hotspot is secure (sort of).
If it doesn't, then nothing you can do will secure your connection *to
the hotspot*.

So, how do I secure my PC at a Wireless Hotspot?

This is not the same as securing your connection to the hotspot. All the
same principles for securing your PC apply whether you are in your
office, or at a public hotspot.

Would there be a way to have 256-bit AES or 256-bit Camellia
encryption on all outgoing traffic?


Or would you recommend a different method?

Of doing what? Securing your connection to the hotspot, securing your
computer, or securing your internet connection while connected to the

Can I please have some recommendations on what I need to add onto my
Windows XP installation in order to encrypt my connection to the
Wireless Hotspot?

I'm being a bit pedantic here, but you did ask about securing your
connection to the hotspot. If you're talking about securing your
interent connection while connected to the hotspot, then there are
several ways to do this. Someone already mentioned SSH tunnels, which
are a good idea. Another good idea is OpenVPN. Both of these require
equipment at some other location, however.

I really hope you don't take offense, my snarky comments are meant to
be tongue-in-cheek, not rude. I do want to point out how important it is
to be precise with language, though, as meanings change with (or
without) context.

All that being said, it is a simple thing to throw a linux box up at
home and set up ssh or OpenVPN so you can tunnel back to the house, then
go out to the internet from there. You can even do fun things with
OpenVPN like only routing certain subnets over the VPN, so normal
traffic you don't care about goes straight out, while high-value traffic
to your mail server, banks, etc go over the tunnel. This is a little
more complicated, but you'll learn a lot setting it up.

Aaron Howell
nGenuity Information Services
509-396-2075 x6000