For anybody who’s living abroad on a more permanent basis, those challenges can be even more significant. Expats understand just what it means to experience culture shock. Many luxuries found at home are nowhere to be seen or completely different in their temporal home countries.
Communications, internet access, and security are prime concerns for those living overseas. Because of how essential these elements are, you want to ensure there’s a solution that can help improve and safeguard these vital needs.
If you’re living abroad, then the use of a VPN service can be absolutely critical. While you may not have given it much thought before now, let’s look at why every expat should invest in a VPN.
Why every expat needs a VPN
Peace of mind
Far from home, you may not enjoy the same reassurances in a different country. Expats, in particular, are vulnerable when abroad: issues such as identity theft and compromised accounts can be challenging to fix when traveling.
One of the biggest advantages of a VPN is the peace of mind it can offer when using the internet abroad. Most VPN services provide incredibly sophisticated encryption, which ensures your sensitive personal data (passwords, bank account details, etc.) can’t be stolen during transmission. To learn more about how much encryption you need, click here.
Another advantage is that many VPN solutions provide no-logging activity: this means your browsing history and data won’t be recorded at a central location.
Wherever work or business takes you, you’re not always guaranteed to have access to the full internet. This can be a problem in many situations, but a VPN prevents it from being so.
In countries where government censorship of the internet is most common, possessing a VPN allows you to bypass their firewalls. This means that any and all content you need can be accessed – whether it’s allowed or not.
When combining this with the security benefits a VPN provides, you can rest easy knowing that your tracks are covered, and your ability to browse is unhindered.
Protection against Red Flags
In a hyper-connected global world, you’d think that accessing your accounts from anywhere would be fine. However, this very same connectivity makes it very likely that someone will try to hijack your online presence at some point.
Most companies – from banks to your email provider – monitor IP access and behavior strictly. If suddenly you’re accessing a service from an entirely different country or location, then you may be locked out of those services. This creates a wholly new set of challenges to deal with while living abroad.
With a dedicated VPN, you’ll always be accessing your accounts from the same location – and if you choose, from an IP based in your native country. This guarantees that your bank account won’t be suddenly locked and that you can access vital web-based services when needed.
No geolocation restrictions
The internet is a prominent place, but that doesn’t mean everything is available to you – even without government censorship hampering things.
Many websites, businesses and forms of content place geolocation restrictions or locks on their pages. Have you ever tried to watch a video on YouTube, only to be told that it’s not available in your country? Such restrictions can seem silly: thankfully, they’re not unavoidable.
With an excellent VPN service, you can navigate around geolocation restrictions by utilizing an IP from any one of many countries.
Important VPN Features
We’ve already gone over many of the key benefits that a VPN can provide to expats and travelers, but what else is commonly found (or what are the must-haves) with this service?
- Browser and device flexibility. Surfshark provides plenty of customization options. You can easily integrate the service into any device, with browser plugins that work for Chrome, Firefox and on Android mobile devices. You’ll also be able to manually configure any router to work with the VPN if that is your preferred option.
- Unlimited access. Surfshark offers the use of unlimited devices with the service. This makes it easy to configure multiple devices to access the internet from anywhere.
- Fast browsing speeds. Most quality VPN services are also highly sensitive to their users’ needs for speed. Because of this, premium VPN solutions offer high-speed access that’s powerful enough for streaming via Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and other services – all while browsing the web simultaneously.
- Plenty of unique IPs. A variety of different IPs and/or countries through which to access the internet is an important feature. This, in conjunction with robust encryption and masking, helps keep you anonymous and your browsing history undetected.
- Many servers. The more servers a VPN provides, the better the chances are of a reliable and fast connection. Quality VPN services provide access to hundreds or even thousands of servers spread across the world. This helps ensure that you can connect to the best server when balancing location and speed.
- P2P-friendly. Many of us remember the days of Napster and Limewire. While few download music through file-sharing services anymore, torrents are a standard way to download and transfer files. While some VPN services don’t allow this, most reputable VPN providers let you use torrents and peer-to-peer file-sharing services.
- Good customer service. Away from your native home, the last thing you want is to be stuck without a connection to the outside world. As such, it’s important always to verify the level of customer service that comes with your VPN plan. Most provide acceptable service; some even offer 24/7 support.
The permanent expat is used to change and disruption. Adopting a new way in which to use the internet isn’t any more disruptive. Through a VPN service, you can ensure your internet access is never jeopardized, protect your browsing history, get around pesky government censorship and enjoy some fantastic features to boot.