4 Reasons You Should Never, Ever Travel Without A VPN

by Anil Polat · 2 comments

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A virtual private network (VPN) is a category of technology that’s as equally useful as it can be confusing for travelers. Whether it’s the name that’s intimidating or the fact that most people don’t feel the need for them until they’re actually traveling, a VPN is something you should never go anywhere without. A solid VPN service, like my personal favorite Hotspot Shield, provides you with your own little secure piece of the Internet. Connections are made between your laptop, tablet, or other device over an encrypted tunnel, giving you the following benefits.

1. You Can Access Netflix, Hulu, And Other Streaming Sites

This one is more specific to US, UK, or Australian-based VPN services, like Hotspot Shield I mentioned earlier, which allow you to watch your favorite TV shows from anywhere. In essence, when you connect to the VPN, your laptop appears to be in the United States so you avoid the regional blocks Netflix and others use.

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2. Maintain Your Privacy

Working through an encrypted connection to a VPN means the web traffic you’re browsing is very, very difficult to monitor. This not only helps you remain anonymous online, but also protects your communications from the NSA and other spy agencies when traveling.

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3. Potentially Get Cheaper Airfare

Airline websites often structure their pricing based on the region or country you happen to be searching from. It’s more of an art than a science but by changing your virtual location using a VPN, you can compare prices different countries, possibly uncovering lower airfare for a given route.

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4. Surf Cafe Wifi Without Worry

After breathable air, free wireless is the second most important thing floating around most digital nomads. Yet logging into any open connection you don’t control could broadcasting just enough information to get your online accounts hacked. A VPN can protect your online accounts at Internet cafes, coffee houses, and places with open wifi.

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To further protect your digital assets when traveling, be sure to never travel without these free programs and learn how to lock down your laptop when needed.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Vinny September 25, 2013 at 11:56

While it might be a bit technical for most users, what are your thoughts on using Putty to open up an SSH tunnel to machine back home and browse the web through it?


2 Anil Polat September 26, 2013 at 17:34

It’s a good option for censorship and privacy between the A to B connection; it all depends on where the desktop is and if you trust the traffic from that going out.


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