There’s no denying it: if there is one thing you and your fellow colleagues and friends always long for, it’s going on a holiday. Regardless of whether your next destination includes a nice calm beach in a tropical paradise or the scenic views of the mountains, one thing we know for sure is that you’ll be taking your beloved smartphone with you, and most likely your tablet or laptop, too. However, if connecting your beloved devices to public Wi-Fi hotspots is dangerous enough in your own country, doing it in a foreign place can be even more risky. When you want to catch up on the latest season of your favorite Netflix series while chilling in your hotel or whichever other accommodation you’re staying at, you may be in for a surprise when you find out there’s a geoblock on your streaming account. With this in mind, don’t forget to pack your VPN too, as you’ll be using it more than you think, especially if you’re visiting a country with strict online policies.
Reasons to Use VPN While Traveling
Whether you are traveling for business purposes or just because you want to get some rest, here are some reasons why using a VPN is more than beneficial:
The good old content unblocking that VPNs enable is one of the main reasons why so many people invest in such a solution to begin with. Imagine landing at your summer destination and Facebook or your favorite news site happens to be blocked there. With a VPN this is no longer a concern: with a few simple clicks you can change your virtual location, attributing your device a new IP address. From that moment on all geographical website restrictions will be gone. This is very useful if you’re visiting a country where online censorship levels are high or you are at a place that enforces social media bans.
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Using Wi-Fi Hotspots Securely
What many people don’t know is that public Wi-Fi hotspots can be extremely dangerous. In fact, even before you leave your country you can unintentionally put yourself in danger by simply connecting to unsecure Wi-Fi networks that are typical in crowded spaces like coffee shops or even the airport itself. Fortunately, VPNs help in this matter too, since using them establishes a secure connection via encrypted tunnels to your VPN provider’s servers. Most top-notch VPN companies equip their services with AES 256-bit encryptions, which is a military-grade level of protection, and they also allow you to choose from a handful of VPN protocols. These protocols are designed to either make your connection speed quicker or your protection greater than a previously selected security level.
Safe Banking & Payments
Connecting to an unsafe network makes you vulnerable to digital eavesdroppers that may be using it to spy on people. The situation only gets worse if you happen to do some online banking or shopping during the time of your vacation. The attacker will be able to access your usernames and passwords without much effort, and from that moment on the hacker is pretty much in control of your money. However, thanks to the these encryptions and VPN protocols, even if the network is unsafe you’ll have a rock solid wall between you and everyone else, and therefore no one will be able to spy on you or your details.
Avoiding Government Snooping
Government snooping is another grave concern, especially in repressive countries like China, Turkey and many others, who often utilize online censorship and spying. VPNs can also prevent you from being spied on by a foreign country’s ISP. In much the same way that these programs help protect you against hackers and other eavesdroppers, the moment you switch on your VPN you essentially put on an invisibility cloak, meaning neither ISPs nor governments can see your digital footsteps. Believe it or not, the above aren’t the only concerns: even if you’re getting into the U.S. you may also find your social media background checked at customs.
Cheaper Travel Prices
Perhaps one of the biggest hidden features of VPNs is the fact that you can use them to enjoy better prices in online stores by making the store think you’re located in another country. In fact, you can use this feature to purchase the latest piece of technology much cheaper and to save money on flights, car rentals and a whole lot more by virtually moving your location to the country with the best prices. With VPNs, the world is truly in your hands and there’s no reason for you to pay extra fares.
Best VPNs for Traveling
After regarding some of the ways VPNs can help your vacation go as planned, it’s time to look at some of the providers that you should consider as your next travelling companions:
Despite its funny name, HideMyAss is surely one of the world’s top VPN providers, delivering more than just a trustworthy service. You can use the company’s incredible network of 860+ VPN servers in more than 340 locations spread over 190 countries to enjoy the best travel and car renting discounts or to unblock any content anywhere. And to assure a safe connection, regardless of where you are, HideMyAss features the best encryptions and protocols. It also deploys a handful of extra tools such as a proxy, and the so-called Anonymous e-mail and Referrer. HideMyAss is fully compatible with all popular devices including desktop computers, mobile apps and more.
PureVPN is yet another great provider with a solid clientele and fan base. One of the key features that PureVPN is known for is its server network of more than 750 servers in over 140 countries, which is more than enough to cover the entire world and allow you to access some sweet online deals. It has an AES 256-bit encryption and all existing protocols, including the company’s exclusive one called Stealth. There’s also a quite innovative tool that allows you to turn your Windows-based PC into a virtual router and use it to connect to up to ten devices at the same time. PureVPN has the most complete device range, with computers, smartphones, tablets and much more being actively supported either via official apps or manual setups.
There are several reasons why IPVanish is considered to have a service capable of blowing away any opponent. One such reason is the extraordinary network comprising of 750+ VPN servers in over 60 countries, which translates to more than 40,000+ shared IP addresses. More than that, even, intrusive ISPs and governments cannot even take a peek at your online activities, since IPVanish keeps you protected with 256-bit AES encryption, a SOCKS5 web proxy and the best security protocols from which you can choose at your will. But most importantly, you can set up IPVanish on pretty much everything that has a screen thanks to fully responsive apps and trustworthy manual setups.
Precautions with Free VPNs
If you’re one of those people who always opt for free solutions, then think again. Although the market is full of the so-called free VPNs, do not blindly fall for them: the deal they offer might seem convincing enough, but there is always a catch. Whether you like it or not, free VPNs simply don’t exist since every quality VPN service needs strong and costly infrastructure to operate.
That’s why you should always opt for a trusted provider, like the ones we review here on Best Reviews. Not only are these recommended companies completely trustworthy, but they often also provide extra tools for you to be as safe as possible online, such as kill switches and much more.
Protect All Your Devices
Although VPN companies tend to develop their services focusing primarily on computer users, we must not forget that mobile devices are much more vulnerable due to their portable nature. The internet is a dangerous place: even though it has its own share of harmless and even benevolent users, it can also be one of the biggest playgrounds for virtual bullies. Even Wi-Fi signals that seem to be pretty safe and require a password to be accessed can be a risk so long as they are public. In fact, every device connected to the internet is vulnerable and that’s why you need to take countermeasures. Hence why opting for a multi-platform VPN or, in the case of PureVPN, turning your PC into a virtual VPN router is advised.
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