Traveling internationally is so fun! Getting to see new places and experience different cultures is amazing. But you do have to be careful about staying safe while traveling abroad and your online privacy and security these days.
Public Wi-Fi connections can be risky, and some countries block or monitor certain websites and apps. Using NordVPN service can help keep your internet activity private and allow you to bypass geo-restrictions on sites and apps when traveling. This article give you a great solution on how to use a VPN to stay safe while traveling abroad.
How Does a VPN Work?
A VPN is a secret tunnel that hides what you’re doing online from prying eyes. When you turn on the VPN, it creates a protected path between your device and a server that’s far away. All your online activity goes through that tunnel, so your internet company and hackers on the Wi-Fi can’t see what you’re up to.
Your connection comes out from the VPN server, so to the websites you visit, it looks like you’re accessing the internet from there, not your real location. This tunnel also encrypts everything, which keeps hackers from snooping on your info.
So a VPN gives you privacy and lets you use public Wi-Fi more safely. It’s like putting on a private, secure tunnel to browse the web. No one can sneak a peek at what you’re doing inside the tunnel! Just make sure to choose a good VPN company you can trust to protect your online life.
The Best VPN For Traveling: How To Choose?
If you’re looking for a VPN service to use while traveling abroad, here are some key factors to consider:
- Server locations – Choose a VPN with servers worldwide, allowing you to connect from anywhere. Look for servers in your destination countries.
- Speed – Ensure the VPN has reliable connection speeds, as slower speeds can disrupt browsing and streaming.
- Platform support – The VPN should have native apps for all your devices like Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, etc.
- Security features – Look for standard VPN security like AES-256 encryption, a no-logging policy, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection.
- Ease of use – The app should make connecting to the fastest server seamless based on your location.
- Reliability – Pick a VPN that works consistently abroad without connection drops or blackouts.
Some of the top VPNs for traveling include ExpressVPN, NordVPN, Surfshark, and ProtonVPN among others. Read reviews and test them out before subscribing. Many VPNs offer free trials or money-back guarantees so you can test them risk-free. For example, you can get an ExpressVPN 1-month coupon to try it out for a month without fully committing.
Steps You Can Take to Improve Your Online Security Before Travelling
Here are some key tips to boost your digital security before you travel internationally:
- Update your device operating systems, apps, and antivirus software to protect against the latest threats.
- Use strong passwords and enable two-factor authentication wherever possible.
- Back up your data and files in case your devices get lost or stolen.
- Remove sensitive info from your devices and clear your browser history and cookies.
- Enable firewalls and use reputed cybersecurity tools.
- Only connect to trustworthy Wi-Fi networks; use a VPN to encrypt public Wi-Fi traffic.
- Disable location tagging and limit sharing of travel plans on social media.
- Research the cybersecurity and digital privacy laws of your destination country.
- Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when not in use to prevent snooping.
- Use end-to-end encrypted messaging apps like Signal for communication.
- Consider using disposable ‘burner’ devices if traveling to very high-risk countries.
How A VPN Works To Protect Your Privacy:
When you connect to a VPN, here’s what happens in the background to keep your browsing safe:
- Your device contacts the target VPN server and initiates a secure VPN connection via an encrypted tunnel.
- The VPN authenticates your access and then assigns you a temporary IP address from its server location.
- Your web traffic is encrypted using protocols like OpenVPN or IKEv2 and sent through the tunnel to the VPN server.
- The server decrypts the data, fetches the requested info, re-encrypts it, and sends it back through the tunnel to you.
- Your device decrypts the data allowing you to access the content. The source IP is the VPN server’s IP, not your real IP address.
- Your ISP and network can only see you’re connected to the VPN server – they have no access to your actual browsing activity and data.
- Your online activities like websites visited, data transferred, and downloads are all hidden from external view, ensuring privacy.
How To Use a VPN During Travel Abroad
Follow these steps to successfully use a VPN while traveling internationally:
- Research VPN legality – Make sure VPNs are legal in your destination countries before traveling.
- Select a reliable VPN – Pick a reputed VPN known to effectively bypass geographical restrictions.
- Download VPN apps – Install the VPN provider’s apps on all your internet-enabled travel devices.
- Sign up for a VPN – Create an account and subscribe to a suitable VPN plan based on your travel duration.
- Learn the interface – Familiarize yourself with the VPN app’s server selection and connectivity features.
- Connect to VPN server – Select and connect to a VPN server located in your travel country or region.
- Verify your new IP – Visit a website like iplookup.com to confirm your IP address matches your VPN server location.
- Encrypt traffic – Route your web traffic through the active VPN tunnel to encrypt it.
- Disable VPN when not needed – Turn off the VPN if accessing region-restricted content or making local calls.
Should I Pick Up A VPN For Traveling?
Yes, using a VPN while traveling internationally is highly recommended to enhance your privacy, security, and access online. Here are some key reasons to use a VPN for travel:
- Encrypts your internet traffic to prevent hacking of sensitive data.
- Allows you to bypass geographic restrictions and censorship abroad.
- Conceals your actual location and IP address from prying eyes.
- Protects you from cybercriminals on public Wi-Fi hotspots.
- Lets you securely access websites and apps blocked in certain regions.
- Avoids local snooping on your browsing activities and usage.
- Prevents travel companies and vendors from tracking you and profiling your habits.
- Lets you securely access your accounts and home networks while abroad.
For maximum online security while traveling overseas, use a trustworthy VPN service combined with general cybersecurity best practices. This will go a long way in keeping your data safe and accessible.
Using a virtual private network is an essential step for remaining secure and preserving your privacy while traveling internationally. A reliable VPN allows you to browse the web anonymously, encrypt your traffic, access blocked resources, and protect your devices on public networks.