My wife and I are looking at moving into a new apartment, and one of the features of the house is free cable and internet. The landlord will be living in another unit of the house, so i dont know where the actual router hookup will be and if the free internet is in the form of a wireless signal. Now I would like to save some money and just take the internet, but is there any way i can hide my activity? Or is it basically that the landlord will be able to view all of my network activity?
There are multiple potential issues here.
If you're using the landlord's router (whether wireless or wired), the landlord can theoretically snoop on anything that isn't HTTPS (SSL) encrypted. This *includes* WiFi connections that use WPA/WPA2, since the connection could be tapped on the wired side of the landlord's WiFi router before it leaves the premises (after the WPA/WPA2 encryption has been stripped off).
Another potential concern if you do not have your own router is that you will be on the same LAN subnet as the landlord (and potentially other tenants too, if any). This increases the risk of malware infections propagating between you and the landlord and/or between tenants, since you don't have that extra layer of protection between you and everyone else. If the network is wired, you should still be able to use your own router between you and the landlord's LAN; but if it is WiFi this is going to be more difficult.
If you want to ensure that all traffic (including non-encrypted HTTP) can't be snooped by the landlord, you will need to use an encrypted tunnel to an off-site SOCKS proxy (this is what I do when I'm on the road and using public WiFi), or an anonymity service like Tor (I have no personal experience with this).
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