The average person relies on the Internet in everyday life whether they’re at home, their local coffee shop, or on vacation. However, each time that you log onto a public Wi-Fi network, you are putting sensitive information at risk. Whether it be identity theft or having your personal information sold, traveling without using a VPN carries many risks.
Use a VPN when you travel to encrypt your data and prevent hackers from accessing private information. A VPN can also prevent data throttling because your Internet service provider cannot monitor your online activity. You can access different streaming service options with a VPN because you can spoof your location, and changing your location can also help you get better deals on hotel rooms and tickets to attractions in some cases.
VPNs are legal in most countries, but it’s worth checking online before you travel internationally to make sure it’s legal in that country. Do some research and look for reputable VPNs to get the best protection. Follow along as we explore why you should use a VPN for your next trip and highlight the protection they offer.
What Is a VPN?
A VPN, or virtual private network, provides a private Internet connection. They have become more and more popular in recent years as data breaches and hacking have sadly become more common. You can browse the Internet and your favorite streaming services through a VPN without the risk of your data being exposed.
Your data is encrypted when you use a VPN making it impossible for nefarious websites and hackers to access it. Tech-savvy people often use a VPN when in public because public Wi-Fi networks are the most vulnerable to hackers and data breaches.
Are VPNs Legal?
Many people mistakenly believe that VPNs are illegal, but they are legal in most countries. However, you should do your homework before you travel to a foreign country to make sure they are legal there. For example, VPNs are illegal in some countries like Iraq, China, Russia, and North Korea.
Countries that ban VPNs typically have strict laws regarding Internet usage. Russia and China are among the strictest countries when it comes to Internet surveillance. Anything that prevents Internet surveillance, such as VPNs, is illegal in these countries. Otherwise, you will have no problem using a VPN when traveling in most countries, such as Canada, the United States, Mexico, and most European countries.
Do I Really Need a VPN When Traveling?
It’s worthwhile to use a VPN when traveling because your data and privacy are at risk. Traveling entails connecting to open and unfamiliar Wi-Fi networks that you cannot always trust. A VPN affords travelers the peace of mind to surf the web and use apps without having to worry about a data breach.
You can use a VPN for Android, iPhone, and the laptop that you travel with. Let’s look at the top reasons why you need to use a VPN when you travel.
Your privacy is at risk anytime that you use a public Wi-Fi network. Using public Wi-Fi networks is often unavoidable when traveling. You risk identity theft, malware, and data snooping when you use public Wi-Fi as hackers can easily access your information and steal your passwords.
However, they cannot get into your phone or laptop if you use a VPN as your data will be encrypted. Whether it be at your hotel or a nearby café, you can only browse the Internet without risk if you use a VPN.
Your data is frequently bought and sold online by people that snooped through it when you browse the Internet unprotected. That is why you often get targeted ads on social media and in your email inbox. Sure, these ads can be useful sometimes, but the invasion of privacy can understandably leave anyone feeling queasy.
Your Internet service provider cannot access your browsing data when you use a VPN. Because of that, they cannot share it with advertisers that would otherwise market to you. Targeted ads based on your browsing history won’t appear, and you can browse in peace on your vacation.
Protect Your Work
Many people that travel for work use VPNs to protect their company’s data. Depending on your job, you may receive sensitive information that could be disastrous if it got leaked. Many businesses have started using VPNs since the COVID-19 pandemic because of how many people started working from home.
VPNs let employees access sensitive information and applications that businesses use without the risk of data breaches. It’s especially worthwhile to use a VPN if you take a work trip because your data is more vulnerable when you must rely on public Wi-Fi networks. The risk of getting hacked and leaking data that could harm your company and even threaten your position isn’t worth it.
No Bandwidth Throttling
Bandwidth throttling is when your Internet service provider limits your browsing speed. This happens when you use the Internet a lot because your provider monitors how much you browse. Bandwidth throttling can be a major inconvenience when traveling, especially if it’s a work trip or you’re trying to make plans.
You can protect yourself from bandwidth throttling if you use a VPN because your Internet service provider cannot monitor your browsing. That way, you can maintain fast browsing speeds and it won’t affect your bandwidth during your trip or when you return home.
Access Different Streaming Options
Streaming services have unique content in each country that you can only access there. However, you can get around this if you use a VPN. VPN users can set their location to another country and suddenly open a variety of shows and movies on Netflix that are only available there.
It also comes in handy if you take a trip to a foreign country and can’t access your favorite shows because they aren’t available. Simply change your location back to the United States and unwind with your favorite show after a long travel day. This is more of a fun reason to use a VPN than a practical one, but it is one of the perks of using a private network.
Get Better Deals
You can get better deals on plane tickets, hotel rooms, and tourist attractions in many cases when you use a VPN. That is because prices are often based on your location which you can change with a VPN. Change your location and investigate prices for attractions in the city you plan to visit.
There is a good chance that you will be able to get better prices, but it may take some trial and error. Experiment with a few locations and compare the prices to get the best deal.
Using a VPN is only effective if you do it correctly. There are several rookie mistakes that many people make that effectively reduce the protection that a VPN offers. Your data will be at risk if you use your VPN sporadically as consistent use offers the best security.
It’s a common mistake to use a VPN while browsing and turn it off. However, your data is at risk again as soon as you turn off your VPN. If you plan to turn your VPN off right away, then you may as well not use it in the first place. Keep your VPN always turned on so you can retain privacy and protect your data.
There is no shortage of VPNs to choose from these days. However, you won’t do yourself any favors if you pick a VPN that isn’t reputable. Do your homework and pick a VPN that has a good reputation and plenty of online feedback so you can get as much protection as possible.
When Should I Use a VPN On My Phone?
You should use a VPN on your phone anytime you are in public. Hackers often post up in public places, such as coffee shops and bookstores, and check for vulnerable users that are logged onto the Wi-Fi network. You can also protect your data when you use a VPN on your phone at home.
This will make it so that you don’t get targeted ads, and it lets you browse the Internet anonymously. Using a VPN is the only way to ensure your phone won’t get hacked so you don’t compromise your security.
It’s worthwhile to use a VPN when you travel. You will be able to freely browse the Internet without worrying about data breaches and invasion of privacy. They come in handy when you travel for leisure, but VPNs are particularly helpful on work trips when you must deal with sensitive information.
You won’t have to worry about bandwidth throttling or getting targeted ads when you use a VPN. Use your VPN constantly for the best results as your information will be at risk once again when you turn it off. Subscribe to a VPN service before your next trip so you can travel without risking identity theft and data breaches so that you can browse the Internet with peace of mind.