General Security of the Internet

  keewaa 15:11 02 Dec 2005

I think I'm missing something really obvious and simple, but I can't work this out, and I can't work out why I don't know. I've been listening to GRC podcasts (14 & 15) on VPN click here , very interesting. But I can't grasp a very simple issue.

They talk about the insecurity of wifi in hotels, cafes etc and suggest a VPN to your home router as the solution. They say in the wifi location people could sniff your passwords to email, ftp account, banking, everything ... but VPN your coneection to home and it's safe from there.

Why is it any safer from your home router ... when you're working on a PC, surely all (or any of) the encryption is done before it leaves your PC. Therefore surely if your surfing at home, the same is true .... that anyone could sniff out all your details from the net ... in fact anyone could sniff out lots and lots of private stuff by sniffing traffic passing over the net.

So why, if surfing at wifi hotspots is not safe ... why is it any safer if you VPN to your home router and it is sent out decrypted from there? I know it knocks the hotspot out of the equation but what about as your traffic passes from your home router, around the net?

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