Any experience and insights from NY residents about the nature of WiFi security (including solution) would be very helpful.
Yes, encryption works flawlessly in NY. And why shouldn’t it? It’s universal:
Remember to use WPA2 encryption on your own WiFi router because it’s among the most secure standards today. But if you’re mobile, on the move, in NYC or other parts of New York then you’ll need to install mobile encryption software.
I spend a lot of time in NY and have lived there for several years. While most people tend to be drawn to free wifi hotspots at coffee shops, restaurants and even colleges, fact remains that it’s not safe to do so without some kind of encryption.
Think of it like a firewall, except in this case it’s a military-grade "mobile firewall" against hackers, wireless snoops, viruses and malware. Also, there’s the anonymity part which keeps your electronic devices (laptop, smartphone, tablet) safe in a big city like New York and surrounding areas like Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Bronx, even Staten island.
Outside NYC, I have personal experience with the risks of unsecure WiFi in cities like Buffalo, Rochester, Yonkers, Syracuse and Albany. (I work in internet security, by the way, and also teach the subject at a local community college.)
I also have a cousin in Mount Vernon and grandparents in Schenectady who are long-time wireless internet users.