A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is rapidly becoming an essential part of the tech toolkit for those that prefer to stay at home and anyone that is always on the move. These services are available across a whole host of devices, from desktops and laptops to phones and tablets, and their importance cannot be overstated.
There are numerous benefits to using a VPN for those that like to travel, and all of the best VPN services cover all devices as part of a single subscription. Staying safe in unfamiliar surroundings should always be the top priority, and here we share four great ways that a VPN can help to do exactly that.
1. Protect Your Data on Public Wi-Fi
Any seasoned traveler understands the challenges of finding a fast, stable connection. Your regular cell plan probably includes increased fees when traveling internationally, and, outside of buying a local SIM in every new destination, the widespread availability of public Wi-Fi can be a game-changer. So naturally, these networks are nowhere near as safe as those you might use at home, and a VPN provides a robust barrier between the information you send and receive and anyone else using the same access point.
2. Circumvent Local Access Restrictions
The free and open internet is not quite a reality for many in other parts of the world, and limited access to resources you need can negatively affect your safety. Indeed, while not always immediately apparent, even countries like the UK and Australia incorporate mild forms of content censorship, such as access to Torrent websites.
A VPN disguises your connection not only from others on the same network but also the ISP. So if you need to access something otherwise unavailable, your VPN will help you get around any restrictions and blockages. These blocks can extend to major search engines like Google and even communication tools you might require to let others know you’re safe, like WhatsApp.
3. Access and Approve Financial Transactions
One of the most significant nightmare scenarios when traveling is losing access to your financial information and, in some cases, having your cards restricted. Of course, it always makes sense to inform your bank of your intention to travel, as international transactions can flag automated fraud detection systems. However, doing so is not a fool-proof solution. A VPN can help travelers set a different country or even their home city when accessing sensitive information, reducing the risk of completing a number of security checks before regaining full access.
4. Prevent Snoopers from Seeing What You’re Up To
One of the best reasons to use a VPN at home is also a great reason to use one abroad. Online connections should always be viewed with a certain degree of skepticism, which will increase when outside your comfort zone. In some countries, even passing comment on the local political climate is punishable, and a VPN helps to prevent tracing you and your location. This step is perhaps the most important but also the most obvious. It enables people to avoid giving out their location to anyone unless they explicitly wish to do so.
VPN benefits extend far beyond this while traveling and are essential not only for security but also for a degree of freedom. For example, users can change their location to view different flight prices or access their familiar online streaming catalog from home rather than the local equivalent. Given the relatively low costs associated with using such services in the modern travel world, adding an app to your phone and a private connection to your laptop feels like a complete no-brainer and comes highly recommended!