These days, all of us use the Internet and the more the number of users, the more the ways to get internet. Some of us use the internet through a 4G connection, which people have in their smartphones, and some use the internet through WiFi hotspots, which may be public or private. To understand which is safer, let’s see some basic facts.
WiFi networks are of two types, public and private.
Private networks are the ones whose routers are installed at our house or office and are purchased from ISP. Private networks provide you highest speed that you require, and along with this, their network communication is also encrypted.
On the other hand, public networks are the ones that are installed at café, malls, airports, and other public places. These are generally not encrypted by any passwords, and hence, we are always advised not to use them while making any online transactions.
It is hazardous to surf on public WiFi. You never know when some hacker is gaining access to your system through this and may contaminate viruses and malware to all the connected devices through that WiFi.
Public WiFi is never safe because of two main reasons −
Hackers find it very easy to penetrate them and gain access to our devices, and once they do, they can access all our private information and cause some severe damage.
These public networks are not at all encrypted. This means all the people working behind the network can quickly assess your messages and even your browser history, for that matter, with all links you clicked.
But in private WiFi, if you do not set up your router securely, all these risks exist there too. Let’s say, for example, if your password is too easy to guess or you have shared it with your friends, then it becomes easy for hackers to breach its security and enter your network.
If you are using 4G connections, it enables you to access the Internet directly from the cellular tower of networks. Here the internet signals are received in the same encrypted way, the way you receive phone calls. Hence you can access this 4G internet anywhere around the globe if you have cellular towers around you of the network you are using.
These 4G connections are always encrypted, and hence they are for sure safer than WiFi, but you can never guarantee that any network is 100% secure. However, since 4G is a comparatively newer technology than WiFi, it becomes a little bit difficult to hack it.
And often, these network companies hire white-hat hackers to test whether their network can easily be hacked or not. The most common way through which a 4G network may be hacked has been termed a “Man-in-the-middle” attack where the third party holds themselves between two communicating parties like user and application.
Thus, using 4G for surfing is definitely safer than WiFi networks, but if ever you have to use the WiFi in an emergency, you can always be a little safer by using it in VPN mode and all your online activities would be protected.
To conclude, if you want to make a list of three, the 4G network tops the list, followed by Private WiFi and then obviously public WiFi for whatever reasons mentioned above in terms of security.