How to Bypass a Firewall Without Using a VPN?

While VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) are useful for keeping your own network private from hackers and snoopers, you may find that you need to use an unprotected Wi-Fi connection to get things done. So how can you securely connect to a wireless network without using a VPN?

To answer this question, let’s examine 3 ways that you can connect to an unsecure Wi-Fi network without using a VPN.

1. Hotspot Shield

Do you sometimes find that you need to work on a laptop but don’t have a VPN client? Or perhaps you are traveling abroad and need to access a Wi-Fi network that requires a VPN but don’t want to use one?

If so, you can use Hotspot Shield, a free VPN service that allows you to connect to private networks and secure Wi-Fi hotspots around the world. After signing up, you can immediately start using the service without needing to verify your identity or configure any settings.

Hotspot Shield provides a robust set of features, making it a great choice for a VPN service. You can choose from three different categories of plans (Basic, Standard, and Plus), with Basic being the free option that you may want to consider. With Basic you get 250 MB of memory per day, which should be more than enough for most people. This plan also doesn’t count against your data cap, so it’s a no-data-cap plan as well.

2. OpenVPN

OpenVPN is another great option for those who want to use an unsecured Wi-Fi connection without needing to verify their identity or worry about data caps. Like Hotspot Shield, OpenVPN is a free VPN service, but in addition to offering great security and flexibility, it also offers a feature that is designed to make connecting to unsecure networks easier: serverless configuration.

Serverless configuration allows you to connect to any private network (or public network) without needing to first configure a VPN server. That is, with Serverless Configuration you can just connect to the network and start using it without having to worry about IP addresses or settings. For example, you can launch a new connection to a Wi-Fi network by clicking the Network Icon on the desktop (or choosing Settings > VPN from within the app) and enter the password for the network. Or you can head to VPN.openvpn.com and enter the IP address of the network in the address bar. You will then see a menu item that looks like this:

This is a major advantage for those who want to avoid using VPNs for fear of overusing data or being slowed down by numerous connection settings. However, you should note that while this feature is great for those who want to quickly connect to an unsecured network, it is LESS secure than using a traditional VPN network because it does not require that you first establish a secure connection before using the network. For more information, see How to Use a VPN.

3. WPA2 Enterprise

If you are responsible for the security of a corporate network, you may want to consider using WPA2 Enterprise. This is the same security protocol that most businesses use to protect their networks. WPA2 Enterprise is designed to be user-friendly, and it allows you to connect to a private network simply by entering the credentials (typically a Wi-Fi password) for the network.

While more secure than using an unsecured Wi-Fi connection, WPA2 Enterprise offers convenience for corporate users who want to connect to a private network. Just like with the previous two suggestions, WPA2 Enterprise doesn’t require that you first establish a secure connection before using the network.

Which One Should You Use?

Now that you have some idea of the alternatives, let’s examine which one should you use in your particular situation. First, consider your needs. Do you need a no-data-cap, free VPN that you can use on any device or just a Windows-based laptop? Does the robust feature set of Hotspot Shield appeal to you? Or would you rather use OpenVPN to connect to an unsecured private network on a desktop?

As we stated above, not all VPNs are created equal. Different kinds of VPNs offer different levels of security and user-friendliness. Hotspot Shield and OpenVPN are quite popular, so if you are looking for a free VPN service, you may want to try one of these two options first. If, on the other hand, you are responsible for the security of a corporate network, WPA2 Enterprise may be the right choice for you since it is quite easy to setup and use.

Choose the option that best suits your needs. Which one do you prefer? Do you have a favorite that you would recommend under specific circumstances? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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