(Last updated on: 12/12/2020)
You need a VPN- I’m not going to beat around the bush! We live in a time when people won’t think twice about stealing your data. And when you travel you never know if the connection that you are using is secure or not. Fortunately, a VPN will keep you safe, and it only costs a few pence/cent per day!
You can avoid fraud and identity theft by having a VPN. You can also access all of your favourite website from anywhere in the world. Want to watch a BBC drama from a beach in Thailand? No problem. Want to update your Facebook status from China? Easy. A VPN gives you more FREEDOM and more SAFETY, which are two pretty important things in today’s world.
Why did I get a VPN?
OK, so I will start off by telling you a bit about me and why I started using a VPN…
In 2019 I moved to China. I was excited about the move- we would have more money, my kids would get a better education action and it would be a new adventure for all of us. But I was also apprehensive. Would I be able to get good quality wine at a reasonable price? Would the chocolate taste the same? How would I be able to update my social media and watch Disney+?
These were all genuine concerns. Fortunately, I have managed to overcome each issue. Yes, the selection of wine and chocolate isn’t as varied as at home, but my access to the Internet and TV is just the same as it ever was, and that is all down to having a working VPN.
Before 2019 I didn’t even know what a VPN was. I was naively connecting to public wifi all over the world and putting my data (and therefore my money!) at risk. I first got a VPN because I was moving to China, where many things are blocked. At the time I didn’t realise that having a VPN has far more (arguably important!) benefits to it, but now I understand why you need a VPN.
What is a VPN and how does it work?
If you have read this far then you are probably interested to learn a bit more., so here goes…
VPN stands for virtual private network. A VPN gives you online privacy and anonymity. It does this by creating a private network from a public internet connection. A VPN basically masks your identity, making your online activities untraceable. Nobody can tell where you are located or what you have been doing online.
To put it simply, A VPN creates a data tunnel between your local network and an exit terminal based in another location (which could be on the other side of the world!). Your data is encrypted, meaning that it is scrambled in a way that makes it unreadable.
Using a VPN keeps your data secure and enables you to keep your browsing history private. It protects you from potential fraud and identity theft, amongst other things.
Why do you need a VPN?
Nowadays, I never leave home without having a VPN set up, and quite honestly, nobody should. In fact, I wish someone had told me all of this sooner! Here are the four main reasons why you need a VPN in today’s world:
#1 Enhanced security
First and foremost, security is paramount. Nobody wants to open up their online banking app to see that some online fraudster has taken their money. Nobody wants to have their credit rating destroyed by a criminal. Sadly, this type of crime is on the rise, and we must protect ourselves!
There are hundreds of thousands of hackers out there and you never know if your connection is secure or not when you are travelling. Having a VPN keeps your data safe from potential hackers.
Having a VPN also protects you from the many companies online who might be trying to exploit you. Did you know that companies often rise prices when you return to their website because they can see you that are a keen customer? This is completely unethical and unfair! Fortunately, hiding your IP address by using a VPN can stop this from happening.
#2 Access the websites you want to
There have been soooo many times when I haven’t been able to catch up on the latest BBC drama or Netflix show when travelling.
Many of your favourite websites cannot be accessed in certain countries, it’s not just limited to China.
Whilst China is undoubtedly the world’s biggest culprit of blocking internet access, I actually encounter this issue to some extent on most of my travels around the world. Websites that people have the most trouble accessing includes:
- Sports channels
- News channels
- Country-specific channels (such as the BBC our channel 4 in the UK)
#3 Get faster Internet
A good VPN can improve bandwidth and efficiency. This helps to give you a more reliable and faster Internet connection. Nobody is going to argue with that, right?
#4 Get cheaper flights and rentals
I knew this last reason would get your attention!
One thing that I have learnt is that the same retailer might not be selling the same product for the same price around the world.
In fact, it is common for reservation centres to offer different prices and deals for different states and countries. If you can find a state or country where things like airline tickets and rental prices are cheaper, you can connect through a VPN and then buy the ticket at a lower price-winning!
The best VPN on the market
So, lets summarise this. With a VPN, you will never miss a sports fixture again, you can update your social media from anywhere in the world and your risks of bank fraud are dramatically reduced. What are you waiting for?
There are lots of VPNs on the market of varying quality and effectiveness. Yes, there are some ‘free’ VPNs, but I have tried a few and none of them have worked!
Personally, I can recommend Express VPN. They are the most popular VPN provider in the world, and for good reason! Their prices are low, you can use one subscription for several devices and they even offer free trials. You can take a look at their current offers and prices here.