jiWire offers free Wi-Fi assistant with VPN

Keep your Wi-Fi connections safe from eavesdroppers and hackers who might be trying to steal your personal information while reliably sending email from any Wi-Fi hotspot.

JiWire is offering for download a beta software utility called SpotLock that provides a simple graphical interface to connect users to hotspots (or home or corporate networks, for that matter). What’s more, the software—currently only for Windows 2000 and XP— will offer VPN secured connections.

The software features four tabs: The Connect tab brings up icons representing every Wi-Fi network the computer can see. Double click on a network icon to start the connection to that WLAN instantly (if no other credentials are needed). A hop to the Management tab will let you set up profiles for use on any network encountered, including the WEP/WPA settings needed—it will even accept info for other VPN services you might be running concurrently.

The interesting part of SpotLock is the Secure tab, where you can activate security on your connection. Once on, an IPsec-based virtual private network (VPN) tunnel is established, which terminates at a proxy server on the other end. This tunnel effectively encrypts your data while you sit at any hotspot.

SpotLock also builds in an SMTP (define) gateway for sending e-mail message. Anyone using the VPN tunnel can send up to 200 e-mail messages per day, even if the hotspot ISP you’re using throttles or prevents outgoing e-mail. No configuration is needed. Any note you try to send will go through over the SpotLock SMTP relay. Future versions may allow use of different SMTPs. Full Story…

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