An expat VPN is an indispensable tool for every expat that is actively engaged in traveling and working around the globe. More and more specialists in technical and other fields are being called upon to leave their own countries and provide valuable services in other regions, and Internet access abroad is something that can often be taken for granted or ignored completely until an expat arrives in a new location and finds their Internet access hampered by regional restrictions.
Setting up a VPN solution for expats traveling isn’t hard, especially when you use our VPN services at VPNaccounts.com, but it does require some forethought and planning. Here is a brief guide for creating an expat VPN that will serve you well regardless of where you happen to be located.
Get your VPN before departure
We can’t stress this enough. The most important part of setting up an expat VPN is to obtain your network credentials before you leave home. A few countries have made it difficult to access VPN provider websites via their state-owned ISP’s. You may arrive in a country and find that access to VPN provider websites are restricted.
Another plus of getting your VPN early is that you will be able to familiarize yourself with the different server options provided and also get a feel for the browsing speed you will have. Our VPN’s offer no significant difference in speed from your standard Internet connection.
We would recommend purchasing a year of VPN service at a time. This is important if your travels are going to be for an extended amount of time. It is not uncommon for expats to work in a foreign country for months or even years at a time. You’ll also save some money when you purchase VPN service in a yearly block as opposed to paying monthly.
Know the Internet restrictions in the region you are traveling in
This should be a no-brainer, but many expats are not familiar with the Internet restrictions in the specific area they will be traveling in. You can accomplish this task in a variety of ways. We have many articles on our blog that address the restrictions of different countries. You can also search Google for Internet censorship. Wikipedia has some good info on the Open Net Initiative that is updated frequently with the latest information on which countries are blocking what websites.
The fact is, some countries can change their Internet policies literally overnight while others, such as China, remain steadfast over time in the content they block or regulate. You can always check news sites for new information but it isn’t always front-page news when Turkey decides to block Facebook.
A good rule of thumb is this: expect that the access to your favorite media services (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime) and social media sites (Facebook, Twitter) will be blocked in the area you are traveling to. You may be pleasantly surprised sometimes when they are not, but you will never be disappointed when they are.
Back up the network credentials you receive from your VPN provider
Here is something a lot of expats using a VPN forget. Always keep a copy of the network credentials from your VPN provider in a safe place at home and on the road. Setting up your VPN is easy and you only need to do it one time. It doesn’t require a download. All you need to do is enter the credentials into your VPN client and you are good to go.
But what happens if your computer crashes? What if it is stolen or lost? While we will certainly provide our clients with the credentials, it is so much more convenient if you have quick access to them anytime you need to configure the VPN client on a new device.
And speaking of other devices…
Use your VPN on all of your devices
A true expat VPN should be accessible across all platforms that you use while traveling. From your laptop to your smartphone to your tablet or Kindle Fire, VPN can be used on every one of them. You should configure the VPN client on every device.
Sometimes you will find yourself in an environment where you need to connect to public Wi-Fi with a mobile device and the habit in your home country is to do this without a lot of thought. Even when you are at home, using your VPN on these devices when you’re are surfing on an unsecured public network is good personal security practice. You might not think making a search on Google with your tablet is a big deal, but any data you transfer across an unsecured network is subject to exposure.
Our advice would be to buy a vpn and set up your VPN on each and every device you have as soon as you receive the network credentials. Don’t procrastinate. It will take you less than thirty minutes to configure all of your devices.