Your public IP address is discoverable by browsers, websites, internet service providers, and other devices. This opens the door for your privacy to be compromised. It can also mean that sensitive information falls into malicious hands. When using a VPN, instead of your public IP address, it uses the address of the VPN server that all of your internet activity goes through. This VPN server could be located anywhere in the world, making it impossible to track you for those interested in finding your exact location, let alone get any personal information.
Get the best VPN for travel
- Save up on plane tickets, bookings & rentals
- Bypass geo-blocking and censorship
- Keep your data safe on public Wi-Fi
Why do you need a VPN for travel
Think about how much of your life is on your smartphone. The amount of information we carry in mobile devices increases with technological advancements. For example, we can now have plane boarding passes on our phones. Of course, it’s convenient to have everything in one place, but it’s risky. According to statistics, hacking attempts happen every 39 seconds, not to mention that many cases go unreported.
We can feel detached from cybersecurity threats, but technically they’re more likely than getting injured on a trip. Since we take care of travel insurance before going on a vacation, taking care of online protection should be a no-brainer.
Get better holiday deals
Price discrimination is a common practice in the travel industry. Airlines use different pricing policies for consumers in different countries to increase sales. By using a VPN, you can make a website “think” you’re from another country. Thus, you might come across cheaper holiday deals. You can find some price discrimination examples and money-saving ideas in this post.
Stay safe on public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi can save you when you’re traveling and can’t access mobile data. But unprotected Wi-Fi networks are not secure. A VPN creates a secure tunnel between your device and the internet, thus, making you a difficult hacking target. If you connect to an unprotected Wi-Fi without a VPN, anyone with some IT skills could get a hold of your personal information, including your full name, email address, banking credentials, home address, insurance details, etc.
Access geo-restricted websites
Bypass geo-blocking and censorship with a VPN. A VPN allows you to unblock websites, be it streaming services, social media sites, or news sites, as well as apps. For example, access Facebook while in China or Reddit while in Indonesia. You can also unlock some geo-restricted Youtube videos by connecting to a VPN server.
Bring the entertainment with you
When you’re traveling abroad, you’ll notice that the Netflix library on your account is different. That’s because geographical borders determine the content on Netflix. The same goes for a lot of streaming services - especially local ones. A VPN allows you to keep the content you love beside you even when you're on a different side of the planet.
Safely use online banking apps
Unless you only take cash while traveling, you will have to access your bank account at some point during the trip. Travelers always take extra precautions to make sure they’re not scammed out of their money while on vacation. So, using a VPN is a logical next step to protect your monetary assets.
How does a VPN work?
How to set up a VPN for travel
If you’re traveling to a country where VPNs are monitored or blocked (e.g., China), be sure to download and set up a VPN before you board the plane. There are countries where you cannot access a VPN through an app store, but if it’s already on your phone, you’ll be able to use it.
Create a VPN account by going to the official VPN website.
Download the app. You can get Surfshark on iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, and other platforms.
Once you install the app, connect to any server. Choose it manually or click Connect, and a VPN will pick the fastest server for you.
Surfshark VPN features you’ll appreciate while traveling
Did you know that ads use up a decent amount of mobile data? The CleanWeb feature on Surfshark blocks ads, pop-ups, discards suspicious links, and prevents phishing attempts. You can have a VPN and an ad-blocker in one - and they won’t take up any space in your luggage.
Traveling to a country that has strict rules on what websites you can and cannot access? No worries, because the NoBorders feature takes care of that. You don’t have to do anything - a VPN detects that you’re in a restrictive region, and automatically takes away the hassle of overcoming restrictions.
Sign up for a Surfshark account and use it across multiple devices, as many as you want. Surfshark stays connected and works smoothly on several platforms simultaneously. You can share your Surfshark account with your travel buddies and use it at the same time.
Surfshark works on the following devices, operating systems, and platforms: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux, Chrome, Firefox (as an extension), FireTV, Apple TV, other smart TVs, Xbox, and Playstation. Download a VPN to your device (or multiple devices), and protect yourself online.
Try these additional ways to stay safe while traveling
Getting a VPN for travel is a smart decision, but don’t forget other important measures for keeping your data secure.
Create strong passwords
A strong password goes a long way: a complex passcode is equally difficult to gather for a thief and a hacker. Yes, complex passwords are harder to remember, not to mention that it’s tempting to reuse the same one for multiple accounts. But using and reusing weak passwords is dangerous for many reasons. Forbes has found that this practice can even put your tax information at risk. We recommend using a password manager – it’s a great way to store all passwords in one place without having to memorize them. What’s better than having complete peace of mind while traveling?
Update your device’s software
Software updates help improve your device’s performance, security, and stability by fixing specific issues. While cybercriminals keep looking for ways to exploit your phone’s vulnerabilities, manufacturers invest a lot of money in hacking tests to find loopholes and see which parts need upgrades. So, the next time you get an alert for software updates, don’t brush it off because your device’s security can depend on it. A day before your flight, make sure your device’s operating system is up to date.
Backup your files
Keeping a copy of your documents, photos, and other important files is a good idea for anyone. But it’s especially important when you’re getting ready for a trip. We all tend to be more vulnerable in a foreign country. That’s why scamming tourists is such a cliche. Upload your files to a cloud, an external drive, or keep them wherever you feel is safer. This way, you won’t feel hopeless in case of a hard drive crash, a theft, or a virus.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need a VPN when traveling?
Yes, you should get a VPN for travel to protect your data from hackers, government agencies, advertisers, your internet service provider, and anyone interested in your personal data.
A VPN also helps you get better holiday deals, saves you money on mobile data, protects you on public Wi-Fi, bypasses censorship, gives you access to geo-blocked websites, etc.
Does VPN use roaming?
No, a VPN in itself doesn’t use roaming. You won’t be charged for roaming when you connect to a VPN server in a different location. Roaming charges depend on your physical location, so a VPN doesn’t have an impact on it.
However, some VPNs (e.g., Surfshark) can actually help to save roaming data by blocking ads and banners.
Can I use a VPN to avoid roaming charges?
You cannot avoid roaming charges if you use a VPN because it uses your internet provider’s network to connect. However, a VPN like Surfshark can help improve internet speed and save mobile data when roaming by blocking ads and banners with its CleanWeb feature.