Thinking about traveling abroad? Put VPN in the list of things you must have.
To explore new areas, walkers should be equipped with a map and compass. Beach tourists should stock up sunscreen to protect their skin. And modern travelers must use a VPN to secure their online privacy and devices.
It seems so normal to do your routine stuff online and not to worry about access or security. Over lunch, you check your inbox, read the local news, comment on your friend’s picture on Instagram, watch yesterday football match review on YouTube, even buy a birthday present for your sister, choosing it from her Amazon Wish List.
All of this you can do within five minutes. Wow! What a truly incredible time full of opportunities we live in! Opportunities that we take for granted until we leave our ‘natural habitat’ for some time.
Thousands of people worldwide can’t do all that stuff in their countries due to government censorship or geo-restrictions. Reading international news, texting in WhatsApp, Telegram, using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, or even Google is banned or limited over there.
You should be ready to face those restrictions and get armed to the teeth, as the inability to access websites and services, common for you, is not the only problem a modern tourist can have – it is your responsibility to ensure the security of your soft data, device, and privacy.
Free-for-all Internet you’re used to may be inaccessible in some countries you’re traveling to. In certain countries, lots of popular online services are banned. Thus, China, with its Great Firewall, other Asian countries, the UK, Australia, as well as some Middle East and Gulf countries, and many others have government censorship where Skype, Facebook, Twitter, and other services are blocked.
A VPN can solve this trouble and let you unblock services you need by routing your Internet connection through a server located in a different country. Most VPNs have servers across the globe, which allows your connection to bypass the filter in a country you’re visiting and appear to come from any country you have chosen from the VPN locations list.
In case you need to visit a website that can be accessed from a specific country only, you can choose a VPN server located in that country, and you’re in, no matter what your real location is. Or if you have inconveniences with multilingual sites, which detect your location while traveling and provide content in the local language, just turn on a VPN and access the site like you’re browsing from some other country.
Paying with your debit or credit is much faster and more convenient both at home and abroad. However, using your card abroad, your payments may be declined, and your account suspended for unusual activity. You can try to avoid this unpleasant situation by informing your bank about your journey in advance, but there is no guarantee your card won’t be blocked anyway.
It is not bad that your bank cares about your security, but it’s not the best experience to spend ages on hold with the fraud department only because you have tried to book a hotel in Istanbul while you’re in Turkey. And a VPN is here to sort everything out.
As your bank recognizes the place the transaction is made from based on the IP address, with a VPN on, you can easily show a common location not to make your bank worried. Just choose your home country or better home city, and your current IP will be changed, and there will be less risk of your account being locked out.
The same situation may happen with other financial services. For example, PayPal often freezes accounts if they are accessed from a different country, and it may take forever to get it unblocked. Such a simple solution as a VPN can save your time and not waste it trying to get everything back to normal and be able to use your money.
Public Wi-Fi hotspots are often a lifeline while traveling. Buying a local SIM card or having roaming that you can afford doesn’t eliminate the possibility of using shared Wi-Fi.
It may be convenient to use public Wi-Fi, but such insecure connections can expose your online activity and data, with all passwords and other sensitive data, to anybody on the network who understands how to grab it.
Today, there are solutions that help to prevent this kind of fraud, for example, secure HTTPS sites, but there are also thousands of insecure websites, services, and apps out there.
Turn on a VPN on your device, and your connection is properly secured and anonymous. Because your data gets encrypted with a VPN before it is sent over the Wi-Fi network, it just appears as useless and incomprehensible rubbish to anybody who is trying to see what you’re doing online.
Originally, VPNs were used for connecting corporate computers to head offices, but it’s not the case now. Today, leisure travelers almost always can do whatever they need right from their smartphones, not taking laptops at all.
While preparing for traveling, it’s better to take care of installing a VPN app to your devices in advance. Most good VPNs offer dedicated apps for Android and iOS, as well as for Windows and other operating systems. Usually, you can use a single VPN account on different devices simultaneously, which will let you use all of your devices safely while traveling.
However, pay attention that it is not enough to get the app installed, as it will protect your device and all the data there only if a VPN is turned on.