With the Internet's popularity it is not uncommon to see wireless access points located in common public locations such as airports, hotels and even in fast food restaurants. Cyber cafes are another option for people who do not have Internet access at home or need public access while on the go. There are advantages and disadvantages to using these locations.
Privacy is a primary concern when accessing public Internet access points. The networks are not secure and, in the case you're at a cyber cafe using a public computer, if you accidentally forget to log out of a site the next person may log in and have access to personal information. The information may include your name, address, social security or credit card numbers. On a personal level, someone can look over your shoulder and glance at your private information.
Public computers do not have the optimal specifications for many processor intensive applications, such as graphics and image processing software or games. If you're using a Wi-Fi access point, you may benefit from using the Internet with your personal computer because public access points usually have a higher speed than home networks; crucial for playing multiplayer online games.
Benefit to Costs
Accessing wireless points is low cost, or free in some places. It is cheaper to use a public access point if you do not need frequent Internet access than subscribe to an Internet service provider, which will charge you for the monthly service regardless of whether or not you use it.
Public Internet access points are convenient when you're on the go and need somewhere to stop in to get online. They may not always be as comfortable as your home, may expect or require you to buy something from the menu, and potentially limit your concentration due to noise or other distractions. Public access is also not always available due to businesses being closed during the night or on some holidays.