For overseas workers or expats, the digital realm is a lifeline back to the country they’ve left behind. If you’ve ever lived abroad for work purposes, you know how hard it is to keep up with everything that happens at home. Time zones are different, and often the network communication can be substandard at best.
And because travelers spend a healthy chunk of time browsing the internet, the need for an extra layer to protect data or access digital content cannot be overstated.
Expatriates and tourists living in hotels with publicly-accessible WiFi are sometimes putting themselves at risk by clicking on these hotspots and exposing their presence to the internet. Fortunately, there are easy solutions to vulnerabilities like this, and they are quite inexpensive.
A virtual private network, or VPN, hides a person’s digital footprint by redirecting your device’s internet connection through a secure private server instead of your internet service provider (ISP). A VPN creates a cloaking effect that hides your IP address, location, and identity from the rest of the world. Think of a VPN as a tunnel that goes underneath the chaotic surface level of the internet that keeps you safe.
A VPN does this through a process known as encryption. It hides your information in a way that cannot be accessed without a decoder, fundamentally transforming the data into unreadable gibberish until it reaches its destination.
Different VPN companies have various encryption protocols, but they all have these three elements in common:
1. When you access a VPN, your data is scrambled into a specialized code while it travels between your computer and the virtual private network’s server.
2. Your device’s privacy is kept safe since the VPN’s servers provide a secondary IP address. For example, if you’re browsing the internet in Vietnam and the server itself is in Brazil, the VPN will make it seem as if you’re accessing the web in a remote location somewhere in Rio de Janeiro.
3. With these safeguards in place, you can now browse online without any worries, confident that the VPN acts as a barrier that protects your personal information.
2. Unblock Websites and Streaming Services
While traveling abroad, some online services and websites may be blocked by your host ISP.
Although this is unfortunate and troublesome, there are ways to circumvent these barriers. A VPN allows users worldwide, regardless of location, to explore the internet without restrictions.
For travelers who feel homesick and would like to watch their favorite shows on streaming services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime, a VPN unlocks these sites through bypassing any restrictions. This means that you won’t have to miss the latest season of your beloved shows even while you’re on vacation.
3. Using VPN is Cheap
Travelers on a budget won’t have to worry about breaking the bank when considering a VPN service. A wide range of virtual private network providers exists in the current market that has varying prices, and some of them are really cheap VPNs.
Even better, these VPNs come with cross-platform capabilities, which means that you only need one provider to cover multiple devices such as your laptop (Windows and Mac), personal computer, tablet, and smartphone (Android and iOS).
Although free VPNs exist, such as ProtonVPN’s virtual private network with unlimited data, you will probably save a lot more money on a paid subscription. Free VPNs only offer a meager amount of bandwidth every month. Users who need a regular online connection will burn through the open data with only an hour’s worth of browsing. Aside from this, you won’t benefit from advanced features (such as a killswitch function that stops data leaks) without a premium account.
Want to try out a VPN?
Here are some industry-leading companies worth looking at:
One of the most trusted brands online when it comes to virtual private networks. Although their services are slightly costlier than most other companies, NordVPN‘s military-grade encryption system will ensure that you and your devices are safe from outside intrusion.
Another leader in the crowded VPN market, ProtonVPN prides itself on unlimited data for both free users and paid subscribers. Their servers are mostly based in Switzerland and Iceland, countries known for their stringent privacy laws. If you want a risk-free initial experience, ProtonVPN is a company you can trust.
One of the most affordable VPNs currently, Ivacy has more than a thousand servers in over a hundred countries worldwide. For less than a two dollar a month, you’ll receive multiple benefits such as malware protection, IPsec and IKE2 protocols, and peer-to-peer support.
A 100 percent money-back guarantee backs all plans from this company. PrivateVPN provides high-speed and limitless bandwidth, but they also have a beneficial 24/7 customer support network that puts you in touch with the developers themselves. That’s a service that no other company provides in the market.
An up-and-coming service provider that specializes in providing blazing network speeds, secure servers with unbreakable encryption protocols, unlimited data bandwidth, and cross-platform support. For travelers on the go, SaferVPN‘s program kicks in automatically when it detects a WiFi connection that isn’t secure.
A few final words on VPNs:
People use VPNs for different purposes. No matter the reasons for utilizing a virtual private network, online safety and security should always be the main priority. On the internet, your digital presence is a resource that should be protected. A VPN protects your digital identity and grants you the confidence to explore the digital world comfortably.