Why you should be using a VPN whilst travelling
Last updated on 19/02/2020 by Melvyn and co.
A quick overview
VPNs have become increasingly popular with travellers as they allow users to create borderless internet browsing and access to all their usual applications in the same way as if they were at home. There are a whole host of reasons why many travellers purchase a VPN before going away, and in this article we cover both the security and entertainment benefits of using a VPN when overseas.
A VPN is a clever piece of software you can install on many if not all of your internet devices which creates a totally secure, encrypted internet connection giving the user the ability to connect to pretty much any country in the world with the click of a button. A VPN will enable you to hide your IP address and connect to a server location of your choice with the main benefit being that all internet traffic, emails, voice calls etc. are totally protected and remain private. Most of the best VPNs have thousands of servers spread across every continent giving you both country and specific city level choice with extremely fast connections. VPN applications are super user-friendly so you do not require any technical knowledge to reap the many benefits. They are also very cheap to purchase either on a long- or short-term plan depending on your needs.
Are VPNs legal worldwide?
It’s worth checking before you travel if using a VPN in certain locations could result in you falling on the wrong side of local laws. If you are visiting a sensitive jurisdiction, it is important to use a VPN with high levels of obfuscation technology meaning local internet service providers (ISP’s) can’t see that you are using a VPN. At the time of writing it’s currently illegal to purchase or use a VPN in locations such as China, Turkey, Iraq, Russia, Belarus, North Korea, Turkmenistan, Iran, Oman, and the UAE.
Security & privacy benefits
One of the downsides to travelling in foreign countries is you are likely to be heavily reliant on public Wi-FI networks to get online and hackers often target these networks allowing them to gain access to all your personal data, passwords and locations without you knowing. A VPN as recommended by CompareMyVPN.com will contain military grade AES-256 encryption and impenetrable VPN protocols keeping you safe and secure when out and about internationally. For more information and safety advice on using public Wi-Fi, please click here to read our article covering this topic.
Many regions around the globe have different privacy laws from what we’re used to back home and censor a lot of the websites and applications we love to use on a daily basis. China for example blocks all social media sites, Google, YouTube as well as the messenger services you’d look to use for communicating with friends and family such as WhatsApp and Skype, so you will need a good quality VPN to overcome these blocks.
Another major reason for using a VPN when traveling is to enjoy and stream all the great content you’d usually watch at home. Most of the popular providers such as BBC iPlayer, US Netflix, Sky Go etc are geo-restricted, so without a VPN turned on, your IP address and physical location is exposed showing your provider that you are away in another country and not back home. Many of the best VPN providers have dedicated servers to get around these blocks for streaming the likes of Netflix and other popular channels, but should you be interested in reading more about our top recommended VPNs for streaming, please check out our review page here.
How to use a VPN to book cheaper flights
Using a VPN when booking flights could save you a serious amount of money! Firstly, when visiting airline websites, Skyscanner etc., cookies are used to track what searches you have made for certain dates and locations. If you go back to these sites at a later date, this information will be stored in your browser and you may find that prices have increased as the company knows you may be close to making a booking. With a VPN switched on, this data remains encrypted and the airline will not be able to match your previous visits to you online now.
You may also find that airline tickets are cheaper when browsing from less affluent countries so simply turn your VPN on and connect to a few different countries to test this out. You may be surprised to see a remarkably different price, saving you a small fortune!