Only as secure as user's wifi is not the same as secure - LAN Connection and Lite (non-https) Modes

Sun May 31, 2015 11:19 pm in AirDroid Web

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fitzhugh
OP

Only as secure as user's wifi is not the same as secure - LAN Connection and Lite (non-https) Modes

I do not find your faq answer and your article on security very reassuring. 
helps: http://help.airdroid.com/customer/portal/articles/1642081-about-https
http://help.airdroid.com/customer/portal/articles/1301287-is-airdroid-secure-

You write:
"In LAN Connection Mode and Lite Mode (Non-HTTPS), all data is transferred on the same local area network and not exposed to the Internet, the safety can be guaranteed (Do Not use it under untrusted network to avoid potential danger, e.g. public Wi-Fi). " [emphasis added]

This grossly overstates the case. So... it is guaranteed safe, but don't use it if the network is not itself safe?

This is like saying a phone is waterproof when you actually mean "well, it won't get wet as long as you keep it in a plastic bag"  The phone is not waterproof, the bag is... if the bag is sealed properly, not punctured, and not already maliciously filled with water by some sneaky person (oh, and a goldfish while they're at it).

Please consider changing it to say something along the lines of:
LAN Connection Mode and Lite Mode (non-https) are intended for use on trusted networks only and therefor not encrypted. For all other cases please use the following secure modes...

This gets around the problem of claiming it is guaranteed secure when it is absolutely nothing of the sort, as you say in the surrounding sentences. The current wording seems all too like the stuff we see from companies all over the web: "We care about your privacy. Your privacy means more to us than a stadium full of puppies. We would rather sell our own daughters to unknown strangers just escaped from supermax prisons than share even the tiniest bit of your private data."  when they don't actually say they won't share it -because they can't, their whole business plan relies on selling your secrets to everyone they can. In otherwords, just seems like you are avoiding the truth by saying happy things. (OK, you aren't really as bad as them - but it this is the interhighway, the superwebs, the hypertoobs, and if I don't make outragous exagerations you clearly won't understand that I care). 

The actual situation seems fine, just state it as it. 

Thank you!
 
fitzhugh
Coffee Admin
#1

Re: Only as secure as user's wifi is not the same as secure - LAN Connection and Lite (non-https) Modes

Thanks for the suggestion. I've modified the help document. 

As to the privcay data, don't worry, I can tell you that we never sell the privacy data (messages, contacts, photos, files, etc.) because we don't collect it. We sell Premium service and we're adding AD system. You may help us clicking the ads ;)
Coffee
Admin
yeltommo
#2

Re: Only as secure as user's wifi is not the same as secure - LAN Connection and Lite (non-https) Modes

Coffee wrote:Thanks for the suggestion. I've modified the help document.

As to the privcay data, don't worry, I can tell you that we never sell the privacy data (messages, contacts, photos, files, etc.) because we don't collect it. We sell Premium service and we're adding AD system. You may help us clicking the ads


I've always had my PC and my android device on the same WiFi network, and I had never had problems connecting until recently, which was the first time I had heard of a Lite Mode. After reading several explanations about what it is and how to choose this mode, I still have no understanding of either.

Let's start at the beginning. I have the AirDroid site (web.airdroid.com) bookmarked on my PC. When I clicked on the bookmark tonight, my PC automatically tried to connect with my device (presumably because I have my email address and password saved and the "Stay connected" option checked). But the attempt to connect failed. There was a "Failed to connect" message on my PC accompanied by a suggestion to use Lite Mode with instructions I can't remember. I went to my device, opened the Airdroid app, and looked for a "Lite mode" option. Not seeing one, I clicked on settings. I saw a "Lite mode" category and an "HTTPS connection" option within it. Because the PC instructions had mentioned something about HTTPS, I turned this option on. Then I exited Airdroid and restarted it. The very top of the Airdroid app read "Open web address" with an "i" in a circle next to it (presumably for "information"). Nothing happened when I click on either "Open web address" or the circled "i". (Is something supposed to happen?) Below these apparent (but not actual) options, it read "http://web.airdroid.com," and below that in lighter, smaller font, it read "Or https://192.168.1.71:8890". Nothing happened when I clicked on either. (Is something supposed to happen?) I clicked "Reconnect" on my PC, and it worked. The top of my app reads "Local Connection Mode." That's where I am now. Presumably I'm connected via "http://web.android.com" since that was the bigger, bolder address on my app before I reconnected and it's the web address that displays in the AirDroid tab of my PC browser. But as I said, I turned on "HTTPS Connection" in settings. Shouldn't the app have reflected this change before I connected? (And shouldn't my PC browser now reflect this change?) If not, what exactly changed (if anything) when I turned on "HTTPS Connnection"?

The title of this thread refers to "LAN Connection and Lite (non-HTTPS) modes." What is the difference between an HTTPS mode and a non-HTTPS mode? (Not all of us are technology experts.) And what is the effect of turning on the "HTTPS connection" under "Lite mode" in the settings? Apparently it doesn't mean that I'm in an HTTPS mode now. As I said earlier, the app reads "Local Connection Mode." Does that mean I'm not in Lite Mode, or are these two modes not related? If the latter, what is the alternative to Local Connection Mode? Is Local Connection Mode the same as LAN Connection Mode? If so, why don't you one term consistently? (So many different AirDroid features are referred to as a "mode" that the word means nothing to me.) I've connected only one way as far as I know. My AirDroid tab on my PC looks the same as it always has. The only reference to a mode is "Local Connection Mode" in the bottom right corner, which matches what the app in my device displays. I don't see any way on either my PC or my app to change to another mode. I suspect I'm not in Lite mode and that my PC connected to my device anyway, but I'm not certain. Assuming I'm right, why was I able to connect during the second attempt but not the first? I've since disconnected and reconnected several times without a hitch. Call me dumb, but I still have no idea what the purpose of the Lite mode is or how to get into that mode. (Or if I'm in fact in Lite mode, why isn't that evident?) Why isn't there a simple option to put my device (and my PC?) into Lite Mode and/or whatever the alternative to Local Connection mode is? AirDroid is a great app, but the instructions and help are awful IMO.
yeltommo
Coffee Admin
#3

Re: Only as secure as user's wifi is not the same as secure - LAN Connection and Lite (non-https) Modes

I've always had my PC and my android on the same WiFi network, and I had never had problems connecting until recently, which was the first time I had heard of a Lite Mode. After reading several explanations about what it is and how to choose this mode, I still have no understanding of either. I went to settings on my device and turned "HTTPS connection" on under "Lite mode," exited Airdroid and restarted it. I then tried connecting from my PC and I got connected. Does that mean I'm in LiteMode? The device app says "Local Connection Mode." Does that mean I'm not in Lite Mode, or are these two modes not related? If the latter, what is the alternative to Local Connection Mode? I've only connected one way. So many different Airdroid features are referred to as a "mode" that the word means nothing to me. On my PC, I use a bookmark to open an Airdroid tab (web.android.com). It currently looks the same as it always has. There's no reference to any mode. Call me dumb, but I don't have a clue what's going on. Why isn't there simply an option to click that will put Airdroid into Lite Mode or whatever the alternative mode is?

Hi, you may check this article to know more about Lite Mode: http://forums.airdroid.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=15895

Let us know if you need more help :)
Coffee
Admin
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