At my office we have two wireless networks - an official one, and a "Guest" one. There is extensive filtering on the official one, and using it requires a users work credentials. The Guest one is basically "wide open", and anybody can connect without credentials (this is so that employees can use e.g. personal devices, while keeping them isolated from our official infrastructure).
I know one of the people who works in our network security department, and he tells me, "Oh yeah, I see all kinds of nasty malicious crap on that Guest network, I would NEVER connect my personal device to it". I assume he is talking about e.g. port scans, exploit attempts, etc.
My friend openly admits that he's usually overly paranoid, but in this case he feels very strongly about this.
I have proposed that connecting over a VPN provider would mitigate a lot of his concerns, but he does not agree. It was my understanding that a VPN to e.g. my own home's Internet connection would be effectively the same as connecting directly while I'm actually at home.
Assuming I trust the VPN provider, am I any worse off doing
[Device]-->[Trusted VPN client]-->[Nasty Wifi]-->[Trusted VPN server]-->[Home Network]
... than I am doing
The device in question is an up-to-date Android device, and I should reiterate that I am assuming that I trust the VPN provider implicitly.