Delhi dreams, Mumbai wins: Mumbai gets 500 public Wi-Fi hotspots installed

Mumbai went live on Monday as India’s largest public Wi-Fi network setting up 500 hotspots at prominent locations all over the city. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis took Twitter as a platform to announce that the city will observe phase one of Mumbai Wi-Fi. This move comes just ahead of BMC polls under the current central government’s initiative of digitally empowering the citizens.

Maharashtra had promised to set up 500 hotspots by November 2016 but delayed it by two months. Yet, the government has beaten Delhi Government which promised to provide public Wi-Fi service during 2015 Assembly Elections. Fadnavis claimed that around 23,000 users signed up the service and downloaded more than two terabyte data from January 2, 2017 to January 8, 2017 during the trial period. In further development, he also announced that the number of hotspots is supposed to increase and reach up to 1200 by May 1 when the city will celebrate its 57th Maharashtra Day.

Public Wi-Fi Security

Though, security still remains a crucial aspect in public Wi-Fi and it is yet to be clarified by the government if any safety measures have been or will be taken in future. Unsecure wireless networks have abundant risks while a user transfers data from his computer to the computer he is accessing. It gives attackers an easy access to everything on user’s device by merely slipping a malware into it or through Wi-Fi sniffing. The government must take some necessary precautions to protect the information flow on Mumbai’s hotspot network. Until then, it is best to refrain from using sensitive details like banking information on a public Wi-Fi. However, we should not entirely avoid using public hotspots as Virtual Private Network (VPN) service can be used to protect ourselves. It is a safe option which let us use the internet on an encrypted connection, terminating chances of cyber attacks.

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