Security fears and fiddly sign-up forms are hindering internet users in the UK from using public Wi-Fi.
New research conducted by ISPreview.co.uk surveyed over 1,500 UK internet connected readers and found that 72 percent prefer to use their smartphone or tablet-based mobile broadband (3G or 4G) connection to surf the internet when out and about if they are offered a good signal. Only 21 percent would choose to use a public Wi-Fi hotspot and the remaining seven percent said that they would not use either.
The survey then asked respondents if they would use a Wi-Fi hotspot with a very poor or no mobile broadband signal and 58 percent said they would, 25 percent said no and 17 percent answered maybe.
Respondents revealed that the biggest single problem with public Wi-Fi is security (42 percent), fiddly sign-up forms (30.1 percent), performance (15.6 percent), sporadic coverage (7.5 percent), price (2.1 percent) and other issues (1.4 percent).
“The trouble with public Wi-Fi is that mobile broadband connections have improved a lot over the past few years, largely thanks to the roll-out of faster 4G technology. On the flip side the patchwork quilt of Wi-Fi hotspots often don't deliver good performance,” said Mark Jackson, founder of ISPreview.co.uk.
“A growing number of reports have also shed fresh light on the security risks of public Wi-Fi, especially public networks, which can result in users having their personal data stolen or devices hijacked. It's often very difficult to identify whether or not a particular Wi-Fi network is secure,” Jackson concluded.