When traveling abroad, whether it’s for business or pleasure, you’ll want to have access to the same streaming services, communication apps, and banking services you get at home. Many travelers also regularly make use of public WiFi in restaurants, airport lounges, and hotels while being unaware of the risks that come with it. A VPN is the only way to ensure you’ll be able to access all necessary services and websites whilst staying safe and secure when traveling.
Best VPNs for Travel in 2021 Quick Guide
- NordVPN – Best overall VPN for security, speed, and privacy.
- SurfShark – Perfect for those on a budget but still want excellent security features.
- ExpressVPN – A great choice for those who regularly stream content.
Why do I need a VPN when traveling?
Depending on where you’re traveling to, you may find that certain countries have strict censorship laws that block specific apps, services, or websites. For instance, some countries such as Turkey have blocked VoIP services including Whatsapp and Skype. Others have laws regarding online content which can be geo-blocked, so you wouldn’t have access to certain social media platforms or websites. Or if you’re planning to finish your favorite TV show on Netflix in your hotel, you might find it is only available to watch in select countries. Issues such as these can be very frustrating for travelers and may seem completely unavoidable, but with a VPN you’ll be able to access all of the same content and services as you would back home.
Whilst not having access to certain services or websites can be frustrating, other issues can arise for travelers that are much more serious. Cyber attacks are a real threat if you don’t take the proper precautions to protect your information online. When you use public WiFi your encrypted data such as passwords, usernames, addresses, cookies, banking details, and any other sensitive information is completely exposed to potential criminals.
Additionally, hackers can easily slip malware into your devices or intercept your network connection to redirect you to a website where you can be tricked into entering your credentials. A VPN will encrypt all your data so it’s completely unreadable and any attempted attack on you will be rendered useless.
What makes a good VPN for travel?
One of the main features you want from a VPN is reliable and fast servers. Since a VPN reroutes your connection, you will notice a slight drop in speed. The amount it drops depends on factors such as the server location, bandwidth capacity, and server overload.
A good VPN will have a fast server connection so you’ll be able to quickly load websites or stream content in the highest quality available. Some VPNs such as NordVPN have a Quick Connect feature which automatically connects to a user’s nearest and fastest server. VPNs with more servers in a wider array of locations will more likely guarantee faster server speeds. Keep in mind though, that no matter how quick a VPN server is, they are still limited by the speed of the ISP you’re connecting from.
For traveling especially, security is a feature where you want the best protocols possible. A good VPN will not only have 256-bit AES encryption, but it will also hold a range of other security features that ensure your data is completely secure. A kill switch, split tunneling, multi-hop, and obfuscated servers will all help make sure that under no circumstances will your personal information be visible to hackers or third parties.
On a lighter note, if you’re planning to use any streaming services when traveling, then you’ll want a VPN that supports multiple devices as well as having servers in a wide variety of locations. The best VPNs for travel will also have 24/7 customer support so you can receive help with any issues no matter what timezone you’re in.
Our Top Recommended VPNs for Travel in 2021
The best VPNs for travel will offer tight security features, a wide range of server locations, and swift server speeds, so you can stay both safe and entertained throughout your journey.
- NordVPN – This VPN never fails to impress when it comes to security and privacy. They not only provide users with military-grade encryption, but users also have the option of choosing Double Encryption, meaning that their traffic is run through two separate servers rather than just one. They also have both an internet and app kill switch which helps users stay secure even in the event of an unexpected drop in connection.
NordVPN offers lightning-fast server connections, so you can stream movies and TV in the highest possible quality without any interruptions. They also have thousands of servers across 59 countries, including obfuscated servers, so you’ll be able to access any services or websites you want without revealing the fact you’re using a VPN.
NordVPN’s independently-audited no-logs policy guarantees that they won’t monitor, track or share any of your private data or internet activity. Overall, their robust security features, strict privacy policies, and rapid server speeds make NordVPN an outstanding competitor that is perfect for protecting users who are traveling aboard.
- Surfshark – This VPN is perfect for those who are on a budget but still want to stay protected when traveling. They have a selection of reliable security features such as multihop connections and P2P networks that gives users an extra layer of protection on top of their military-grade encryption.
Surfshark also has a feature called Cleanweb which prevents your data from being tracked and blocks any malware threats from being slipped into your devices. Even better, their NoBorders feature automatically detects if a user is located in a heavily restricted country and then switches their server list to one that performs best under these restrictions.
This provider also works well with accessing geo-blocked content so you’ll be able to freely access streaming services and their zero-logs policy guarantees that your data is never recorded or shared. All in all, Surfshark is a budget VPN that doesn’t cut any corners when offering its users complete security and privacy.
- ExpressVPN – This provider offers the standard military-grade encryption alongside other important security features such as a kill switch and DNS leak protection. ExpressVPN has some of the fastest server speeds of all top VPNs, making it the perfect choice for those that intend to regularly use streaming services while traveling. They also offer unlimited bandwidth and data so you can stream as much content as you’d like.
ExpressVPN has working servers in highly censored countries such as China and the United Arab Emirates so you’ll have no problem accessing geo-blocked content. This provider has a no-log policy so your data is kept safe and sound. Additionally, they have 24/7 customer support so you can quickly address and fix any issues.
ExpressVPN is a great, well-rounded provider that offers all the necessary features needed to protect your privacy when traveling.
When traveling abroad it’s always nice to have peace of mind when it comes to your online privacy and safety. A reputable VPN not only guarantees this, but also allows you to access any content or services you want, whether that is streaming services such as Netflix, VoIP apps such as WhatsApp, or social media websites such as Facebook. With a VPN, you’ll know that even when using public networks, your personal data is hidden and protected from any cyber threats so you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy your time abroad without any worries about your privacy.