Traveling with a computer, be it a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, enables you to stay connected always. However, although this technology makes your life easier, it exposes you to a lot of risks online, too.
Free WiFi is accessible almost everywhere, from airport lounges, coffee shops to hotels. The problem is that these hotspots are infested with hackers, and you can easily lose your credit card numbers and other sensitive data.
That’s why it’s recommended to get a reliable virtual private network (VPN) when traveling. It will encrypt your connections and mask IP addresses to maintain your anonymity and security. Moreover, a VPN will help you to bypass geo-restrictions and access whatever you want from anywhere.
In this guide, we’ll show you the best VPNs for traveling, how to use a VPN, and much more.
Quick summary of the best VPNs for traveling
- NordVPN – Our top recommendation for international and domestic travel today. It is a well-established VPN provider offering high-quality services for more than a decade.
- ExpressVPN – Offers an extensive network with blazing-fast servers in 94 countries. It will secure your connections and help you unblock almost everything.
- Surfshark – Best budget VPN for traveling. It has strong security and does not limit the number of devices you can connect simultaneously.
- Private Internet Access (PIA) – Massive server network that will help you unblock content and apps whenever you go.
- PureVPN – Lightweight software and user-friendly interface with a commitment to outstanding security and privacy.
Why do you need a VPN when traveling?
Here are some of the reasons why you need to use a VPN when traveling abroad:
Block snooping eyes
Usually, the sites you visit online are constantly trying to retain your information. This may be for diagnostic, business, or sometimes sinister purposes. A VPN will encrypt your internet traffic and change your IP address to make you completely anonymous when using the internet.
It may seem helpful for people who handle sensitive information, like journalists and whistleblowers. However, everyone’s privacy is at risk. In fact, anyone can target a wireless network, be it your library’s WiFi, coffee shop free hotspot, or any public WiFi connection. A VPN will prevent third parties from seeing what you are doing online.
That’s why we advise you always to get a VPN when traveling. You never know who may be creeping around to compromise your privacy.
Stay safe online
Probably, you have dealt with different types of malware at one point or another. Some of the common ones include viruses, ransomware, spyware, keyloggers, Trojans, etc. A reliable VPN should safeguard you from all these. It is a must to have for security while traveling.
There was a time I logged in to a hotel’s WiFi without knowing that someone had tampered with the router. After opening the browser window, I was immediately redirected to a malicious website that started to download malware on my laptop.
Popups continued to appear, and my browsing attempts routed to other strange websites even after leaving the hotel. That’s when I noticed something was wrong, and my personal information like bank account details and passwords may be at risk. I was forced to factory reset the laptop to start afresh, and in the process, I lost some of my programs and files.
This can also happen to you when you access the internet without a VPN. Some providers will even notify you when a malicious actor tries to install malware on your device.