Verizon has rolled out a new product called Safe Wi-Fi, a VPN that provides a security stop for its mobile customers who log on to a public network. It will also be marketed as a way to block ads.
So WTF is a VPN and why does it matter? A VPN is a virtual private network. It sits between a device in front of you and a server in a data center. Think of it as a tunnel that hides or hides your internet traffic from other people on your local network. The open Wi-Fi at your local coffee shop can give advertisers and more creepy types the ability to track your IP address. A VPN provides a secure connection between you and the server, and hides the IP address from prying eyes.
Safe Wi-Fi (check video below) costs $ 3.99 per month per account and is available to Verizon customers on Android and iOS. Secure Wi-Fi covers up to 1
Verizon customers can log in to My Verizon and go to the Products and Apps page, scroll to Secure Wi-Fi and then click "get it now" to subscribe. The secure Wi-Fi feature will then be added to your account. Customers can download the Safe Wi-Fi app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store on their device, and then follow the onscreen instructions to sign up with a month of free campaign.
Users can turn on "Ad Tracker Blocker" in the secure Wi-Fi settings. Ad Tracker Blocker prevents customers from tracking ad networks while browsing the web, and from ads generated from device's downloaded apps, according to the Verizon FAQ page of the feature. In some cases, ads are blocked completely to prevent ad tracking from working. A gray image replaces the ad on the screen, Verizon says.
Sites that require advertisers may be blocked, according to the company.
It is important to remember that a VPN does not completely eliminate the risk. As TechCrunch reporter Romain Dillet notes, the risk just moves down the VPN tunnel. The person who runs the server can see all unencrypted traffic. VPN companies can investigate the customer's browsing habits and sell them to advertisers, for example.
Information: Verizon owns TechCrunch parent company ed.