I’m writing this in the Starbucks Irondequoit in Rochester while Joyce finishes her health/drug testing for her new job. I just signed up for the T-Mobile Unlimited HotSpot and GPRS Internet for $20/month. Not a bad deal, I get all the minutes I can use and Internet for a total of $60. I’ll let you know how the GPRS works after I get my new BlueTooth phone, the Motorola V330. This Internet connection is fine, if insecure. I’ve only had a couple of minor problems:
- I can’t seem to send mail — it appears to be prevented somehow by T-Mobile.
- There’s a way to make the connection secure, but it only works on Windows — boo!
That’s all — I’m not unsatisfied, and as of right now I’d recommend the service for anyone who travels frequently or spends a lot of time in Starbucks.
Security on an insecure connection — some ideas
For those of you who are technical enough or interested enough to figure this out, there are ways to make a completely insecure connection safe for sensitive information. SSH, the “Secure SHell” is the most obvious one if you have access to an SSH server. For example, I solved my email problem above by SSH-ing into my computer at home in Pittsburgh. SSH even allows you to connect to your graphical user interface. If SSH is inconvenient, you can still rest easy if you can encrypt your email and chat programs. gnuPG or PGP are two asymmetric-key methods to send encrypted email.
Just make sure your computer’s individual firewall is enabled.