Expatriates are in the fortunate position of being able to travel the world. As you can imagine, being an expat has many advantages, the chief one being the opportunity to experience other cultures and society while retaining a connection to one’s homeland. Working expats also benefit from in-demand job markets that compensate foreign workers handsomely.
There are, however, some disadvantages to being an expatriate. One of the most common complaints from expats is the restrictions placed on Internet access by many countries. These restrictions make it necessary for expats to create their own expat shield by using a VPN.
Expat Internet challenges
In the present age of digital communications, Internet access has become a primary way for individuals to stay connected with their family and friends. You probably use a variety of applications like Skype and Twitter to manage your social obligations. Expats are no different, but using these services is even more important for them because these applications offer the most affordable means of communication.
The problem is that many countries actively restrict Internet access to Web 2.0 services. This is especially true in the Arab regions and China. An expat in these locations will encounter numerous difficulties in using the very services that the ordinary citizen takes for granted.
There is also the matter of obtaining local news and television programming while traveling. This can be difficult to accomplish for expats without the use of a VPN. It is a comfort when working abroad to know what is going on at home. One example is British expats abroad wanting to watch BBC iplayer, using the VPN they overcome geographic blocks.
The challenges posed by Internet restriction and censorship are of a primary concern to expatriates, and these are things the expat should consider before packing those bags to head overseas. An expat shield is just as vital as a passport.
What is an expat shield?
An expat shield is simply another name for a VPN. When you think of a shield, what comes to mind? Protection is likely the first thing one thinks of, and that is exactly what the VPN offers. Traveling to foreign countries presents its own unique set of security challenges, and one of these is the unreliability of foreign ISP’s.
Many countries heavily monitor ISP’s in order to spy on the browsing of Web surfers. In the Arab region, many ISP’s are state-owned, thus giving the government an inordinate amount of control over what can be accessed online. It is hard to have complete faith in the security of personal data where many foreign ISP’s are concerned. An expat’s personal data can be easily exposed over an unencrypted connection. So, the first thing a VPN does is increase the security of personal data. The shield itself is called a tunnel, and all information passing through that tunnel is secured by complex encryption.
In addition, that VPN shield clears the way for unrestricted Internet access. Many blocked websites can be accessed by using the VPN server, which helps to conceal the physical location of the user. If, for example, you want to use your Netflix account to stream a movie, Netflix needs to know that you are in the United States. Your IP address will give that information to Netflix. If you are accessing the Internet via a foreign ISP, that creates a problem. Resolving the problem is as simple as connecting to your US-based VPN server.
Is it hard to set up a shield for expats?
Nothing could be easier from a technological standpoint. All modern Internet-ready devices are pre-loaded with a VPN client that only requires you to enter the network credentials supplied by your administrator. You won’t have to download anything special, and no changes are made to your computer’s hardware when you set up a VPN.
One problem that some expats do encounter in setting up their shield is waiting too long to purchase VPN service. In many cases, trying to purchase VPN access is impossible once an expat arrives in a foreign country because these countries block VPN providers. The smart expat will purchase and configure their VPN before leaving their home country.
An added benefit for expats
A great advantage of using a VPN to create an expat shield is that the VPN can also be used when the traveler returns home again. Although the user might not need to unblock websites in their home country, they can still take comfort in knowing that their data transfer is secured.
This is important because so many people today regularly connect to unsecured public networks in their home country. From coffee shop hotspots to hotel Wi-Fi, unsecured networks are a prime target of data thieves and hackers. Each time you use them your data is potentially at risk.
VPNaccounts.com has helped many expats successfully set up a VPN shield, and we can do the same for you. Don’t put this important travel task off until the last minute.