You may have heard of VPN. This is the abbreviation for Virtual Private Network and is extremely popular among many internet users, digital nomads and business travelers who want to send sensitive business information to their boss. VPN is a kind of private network that allows you to use the internet in a secure and anonymous way.
However, VPN is also very useful for you when traveling! A secure VPN connection offers many benefits for travelers who open their laptops on every WiFi hotspot, book their hotels and air tickets on the road, watch their favorite TV programs abroad and chat with their friends about the human rights situation in their holiday destination.
VPN gives you more privacy and a safer feeling when you are traveling abroad. Moreover, it is fairly easy to install with software or app if you have found the best VPN. Some VPN providers are free, while others have to take out a subscription. Below we have listed the advantages of VPN traveling.
# 1 Worry-free internet on WiFi hotspots
Wifi is a godsend when you are on vacation. At an airport, in the café, on a park bench and in untold many other places in the world, you can make free use of a wireless network. Handy to mail, can arrange your banking, can update your blog or buy train tickets, but there are also dangers to these public WiFi hotspots.
With these public Wi-Fi networks, everyone can watch what you are doing. Even worse, hackers and cyber criminals can extract personal information from you, such as your passwords and credit card information. This is possible even with encrypted websites that start with https. This problem can be solved with a VPN connection. In that case, your computer first connects to a VPN server, which then connects to the rest of the internet. This means your complete connection is encrypted and so-called ‘sniffers’ cannot see what you’re doing.
# 2 Watch your favorite TV programs while traveling
Do you always find it so annoying that you cannot watch your favorite TV programs abroad on your laptop or iPad? Public broadcasters and commercial broadcasters screen certain programs abroad because they do not own the broadcasting rights. This can be popular series, but also for example a match of the World Cup or the final of the Eurovision Song Contest. Via the IP address on your computer you can find out in which country you are. This applies not only to live broadcasts, but also programs that you want to look back on RTL XL or NPO Start (the former Missed Broadcast).
With a VPN connection you will no longer suffer from this frustration while traveling. You can then simply adjust the geographical location. If you connect to a VPN server in Netherlands, it seems like you’re in the Netherlands (even though you might be in Bulgaria). If you want to view an American series that is only available to Americans, connect to a VPN server in the United States.
# 3 Defy the internet censorship when traveling
Just as you can circumvent regional TV blockades, you can also use a VPN connection to defy government censorship. In some countries you cannot reach certain websites because the authorities block them for various reasons. China is making the crown with internet censorship. Many visited websites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube cannot be used there. But also in popular holiday countries such as Cuba, Egypt and Turkey, social media sometimes disappear from the radar for a short or longer period of time.
With a VPN connection you make short work of this internet censorship. You keep prying eyes outside the door, including the 2 million Chinese officials who, according to Amnesty International, control internet communication. If you are in China, you connect to a VPN server in a country that does not block websites.
# 4 You are anonymous (at least, in most cases)
You can use your laptop or smartphone while traveling and governments, internet providers and advertisers can find out what you are doing. Based on your IP address, they can follow which websites you visit and with whom you communicate. This is not a problem for most travelers, but it will be different if you ridicule the headscarf in home front during your holiday in Iran. You do not want to know what goes on in the minds of the Iranian vice squad if you raise this.
You can anonymously use the internet when traveling using VPN. Then make contact again with a VPN server in a neutral country that values the right to free speech. Internet providers, governments and advertisers can not follow you well with a VPN connection. Be careful with logging into a website with an existing account, because then that website knows where you are.