Those who travel often know that having a VPN is a must. In some locations VPNs are more important than others. Where do you need a VPN most when traveling? Let’s take a look and sort out some information for the expats and globetrotters.
There are different reasons people travel. Those reasons can also have an impact on the demand for a VPN. If you are a tourist that mainly wants access to social media accounts or a foreign worker that needs everything from secure email to access to local news, a VPN is probably going to be a good investment no matter where you are located.
Places Where a VPN is Always Required
At the top of the list in a discussion of where you need a VPN when traveling are the countries which embrace a strict regulation of the Internet. These countries include China and many nations in the Middle East. Before traveling you should ask yourself a few questions:
- Is the government likely to spy on me?
- Is it likely that my favorite apps are restricted?
- Is accessing certain parts of the Internet illegal?
The first on the list is something that can be said about most governments today. It has even been revealed that the United States is sometimes involved in data collection of its citizens. If long-standing bastions of personal freedom like the US are spying on you, you can bet that China is. It could be safe to assume that someone is watching no matter where you are.
Geo-blocking is used throughout the world by streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu to make sure no can access programs without the proper licensing. Some countries also restrict the use of services like Skype and Whatsapp. To get past these blocks you will need a VPN in order to display an accepted IP address.
When it comes to illegal activities on the Internet, you should use caution when traveling. In some Arab countries viewing porn online is illegal. Getting caught doing so can have serious consequences. A VPN can possibly help you visit restricted sites, but we offer this with a caveat. Getting caught or observed by someone can still lead to trouble.
Why A VPN is a Must for Travelers
In addition to all of the things we just mentioned, a VPN has other advantages for travelers. The most important of these is improved security.
Think about it. When you are traveling you will likely depend upon Wi-Fi hotspots for your Internet access. This means that you’ll be connected to the Internet offered by your hotel or by local coffee shops. In some cases these networks can be unsecured or offer very limited protections. In fact, such networks are a frequent target of hackers and data thieves.
You should always be using a VPN when you connect to these networks. You’ll also be able to prevent the ISP from seeing what you are doing when you are browsing online.
Security concerns are always present when access the Internet, but today more people are using mobile devices to browse online. This can be problematic. Without the proper protections you are potentially exposing the entire contents of your device to hackers.
One of the worst experiences that you can have when traveling is to arrive in a country without the proper means of accessing the Internet safely. You may even find that VPN access is difficult if you did not purchase a plan before you left home. That’s why we always recommend that you get your VPN before you leave for destination.
Hacking, Tracking, and Government Surveillance
Those who travel have always been targets for those who want to steal. This was true long before the Internet. The digital age has just opened up more opportunities for thieves to take advantage of the unsuspecting tourist.
There are individuals who make a living stealing data. They lurk where there are unsecured public networks, just waiting to see who they can take advantage of. Such networks provide a steady stream of fish for the sharks.
But things can become more nefarious than that. Mobile devices are also vulnerable to being tracked. A person could be feeding information to someone about their physical location. That could open up the potential of actual physical harm.
One way that people get tracked when they are traveling abroad is by updating social media information to include pictures of famous landmarks. Some celebrities have even stopped taking selfies with fans because they do not want people to be able to determine their physical location.
Finally, Internet activity has been used in the past for the purposes of government surveillance. You may not even be aware that what you are doing online is suspect in another country until it is too late. Ignorance is not considered an acceptable excuse in most cases.
Where Do You Need a VPN to Stream Media?
A final reason for needing a VPN when you travel is not really related to security. It is more related to the convenience of being able to access your favorite programming from streaming services like Netflix, Disney +, and HBO Now to name a few.
Digital content is managed according to geography. The Netflix libraries that you are used to may not be available when you travel to a foreign country. For example, content that is licensed to US account holders may not be available when you are in the UK or Germany. The solution to accessing your programming is a VPN.
You can also use a VPN when traveling in this way to watch local news broadcasts from home. You can even unblock apps like Skype that you may use to make cheap or free calls to those back home.
Many countries in the Middle East are at the top of the list when it comes to restricting certain websites. China, of course, is also known for Internet censorship. They even have something known as the Great Firewall of China which is an instrument of censorship and control. Getting around it requires a VPN.
One thing is for sure. The status of blocking when it comes to streaming media can change on a whim. What was available for access one day can be blocked the next.
It is beneficial to use a VPN all the time when you are traveling abroad. You may find that the need for a VPN changes some depending on the country where you are located, but the need is always there. VPNAccounts.com can assist you with an affordable and reliable VPN plan. Contact us before you leave for your trip. Our plans are cost-effective and tailored to fit your budget. Also check the post about VPN to defeat censorship.
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