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I am curious about what necessary steps/precautions one should take when dealing with a situation in which you have to use an internet connection provided by a landlord.

I assume you would at least want to replace the router and modem, and from what I've seen there is the Modem to the wall, to a box outside your house, to a box that connects multiple houses on the grid. Any one of those could be tampered with, I would assume. I would think you would want to call the landlord's ISP to come out to the residence to make sure nothing had been tampered with as well?

I also have read a lot of people recommending VPNs when someone has to use "public wifi," but I'm not sure if a VPN is needed if we make sure that none of the hardware in the house/outside is tampered with? I would assume VPN would be a smart idea regardless if we think the hardware is "safe," but I'm curious what others think?

I'm assuming the landlord could get a copy of what sites you visit, and what you do, from their ISP; however I am not sure if there are ways they could MITM the connection without tampering with their own devices?

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I do believe VPNs would be the best (and easies solution) in this case, since all you need to do is get your own VPS server and VPN through it. You wouldn't even need to check modems/routers of your landlord. If you don't want to VPN, just make sure all your connections are using SSL protocols (example: HTTPS, SFTP, SCP, SSH, etc), nowadays the chances of getting compromised by MITM attacks in SSL connections is low if you have all your applications updated and if you always check the site certificate.

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