When travelling, we still need to access the internet. With two blogs and a vlog to maintain and all the nonsense that is social media, we can feel isolated when unable to get online.
Luckily finding a WiFi connection is not as difficult as it used to be. We still remember the joy of find the solitary coffee shop in town with a barely detectable WiFi signal. However, the prevalence of WiFi can come at a price. Our sensitive online information could be at risk from prying eyes on untrustworthy Wi-Fi hotspots.
This is where a VPN (Virtual Private Network) can help, it allows you to create a secure connection to another network over the internet. As well as online security, VPN’s can provide additional benefits, such as bypassing geographic restrictions. This can be very useful when travelling and you’re not in your home country.
The Basics Of A VPN (Virtual Private Network)
Without going into too much detail, a VPN is a way to encrypt and secure your data by adding a layer of privacy to protect your identity. Instead of accessing the internet directly, when accessing via a VPN you first connect to a secure server in another city or even another country. This server then accesses the internet which helps keep your data safe and masks your location.
The Practicalities Of Using A VPN
The good news is that a VPN is really easy to use, you don’t have to be a ‘techie’. Initially, you will need to sign up to a VPN service of your choice. There are ‘free’ services but nothing is truly free, these ‘free services’ may collect data and sell this to third parties and advertising networks. Exactly what you want to avoid!
Instead, use one of the many reputable subscription VPN services which are available.
Once you’ve signed up to a service and installed the app for your device you chose a server. Once you’ve chosen a server you then connect, this may sound complicated but don’t worry, most apps are easy to use and simply guide you through this quick connection process.
Additional Advantages Of Using A VPN
Have you tried to access your Netflix account when away only to find it blocked due to your location. Instead you have the choice between local TV, which is usually a stream of adverts for regional ‘wacky‘ car dealers or the hotels own ‘pay movies’ with the emphasis on PAY.
With a fast VPN service you can change your virtual location to match the location of your Netflix service which bypasses any geo-blocking. The same can apply to other streaming services such as Amazon and BBC iPlayer.
The VPN’s ability to change your virtual location can also be useful when it comes to booking hotels and flights. Many companies offer different prices to shoppers from different countries, so the ability to change location can possibly save you money.
It also restricts these companies from accessing your data and browsing history so you can get an accurate price.
These are just some of the reasons why using a VPN is essential, not only when travelling but in general day-to-day internet use.
Are you already a VPN user, what are your tips or reccommendations?