Having a good VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a travel essential.
Having a good VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a travel essential these days. That’s because there’s now a long list of people and institutions who all want access to your personal data. Not all of them have your best interests in mind. Hackers, identity thieves and even local or national governments may all have their own reasons for wanting to intercept or control your online explorations as you travel. Of course, they have no right to your personal data–but the law and questions of right and wrong are unlikely to sway them.
That’s why you need a VPN. Here’s what you need to know about them.
What’s a VPN?
A VPN service protects your information from others looking at your information when you’re online. Generally, these services offer more than one connecting server so you can get around internet blocking.
VPN service is useful for avoiding filtering and blocking. If you’re traveling through a country that bans certain types of traffic, a VPN lets you slip through their filters and use sites and content that is otherwise illegal in that location. VPNs also work to protect your security. You can easily tunnel through internet traffic thanks to a VPN which will work to guard your information from hackers and identity thieves. It also is a good idea when you use unsecured networks. Finally, a VPN can be used to access features offered in other countries: Choose a server located in another part of the world, and you can access services and websites that are available there.
To use a VPN, you’ll need to choose a VPN service and make sure it has everything you need from your service.
Getting Your VPN Before You Leave
As you shop around for the right VPN, take a close look at your specific needs and compatibility issues. One of the first things to check is platform compatibility. It may seem like a no-brainer, but check your smartphone and other devices and make sure whatever VPN you pick works with them. Additionally, research the fees associated with using your VPN, because you’d hate to rack up a ton of extra charges while you’re out. Traveling can be expensive enough as it is without incurring excessive extra costs. That being said, sometimes free VPNs are not the best option as they may be low quality or easy to hack.
While security matters, speed is also a factor. Find out how fast the VPN is and whether it can support the types of traffic you’ll have. Speed and security can both be impacted by the server locations. Get a VPN with great server coverage that lets you do what you need to do online while you’re traveling. Even the best VPNs only work if you use them. Make sure you find one that is easy to use or even auto connects.
Being able to automatically log in with coverage from your VPN is an enormous boost when you’re abroad. After all, you might forget to set it up or activate your service when you’re distracted by things such as your travel surroundings.
These are all really good reasons to do your VPN research and spend the time it takes to set up everything ahead of time. Then, you can focus on enjoying your trip instead of worrying about your personal cyber security.
How To Use A VPN
Once you’ve found a great VPN for your purposes, you need to remember to use it. Make sure you turn on your VPN when you are using wi-fi on your phone, tablet, or computer especially when you are doing sensitive activity like online banking, entering a credit card or email.
Also, be aware that you do need a strong internet speed to use a VPN. If you are in a location with a very slow connection, the VPN may not be able to work. Additionally, ensure the auto connect option is turned on so if your internet does drop and then re-connect, your VPN also connects. Finally, understand the limitations of VPN. A VPN will provide security and may prevent you from hackers but many VPNs will still track the websites you connect to and keep account data or credit card data.
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