You may wonder, “Why do I even need a VPN?” but think about how much of your life is on the smart device in your pocket. While it’s convenient to have banking, boarding passes, smart IDs, and other stuff in one place, it’s also risky. According to statistics, hacking attempts happen every 39 seconds. Technically they’re more likely to happen than getting injured on a trip. Since we take care of travel insurance before going on a vacation, protecting our internet traffic should be a no-brainer. And a virtual private network can do that for you!
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Why do you need a VPN for travel?
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. You can make a website “think” you’re from another country by using a VPN, and get cheaper flights. Thus, you might come across cheaper holiday deals. Read our article on price discrimination examples and money-saving ideas with a VPN.
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 restrictions and censorship with a VPN. A VPN allows you to unblock websites, be it social media sites, news sites, or apps. Use Instagram and Facebook wherever it’s blocked. Access WhatsApp in Azerbaijan or Yemen. Or finally, get to post on Reddit while in Indonesia.
Stream buffer-free on the road
You may want to relax with a bit of Netflix during your travels. If you do, it’s always a good idea to use a VPN because you’ll probably be on public Wi-Fi. Our VPN will keep you safe and our servers will ensure that your streaming experience is smooth and buffer-free.
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.
Keep your accounts unblocked
Hey, so companies are increasingly anxious about account security these days. That’s why some of them can get really spooked if you login from an unusual location - for example, [insert your foreign holiday location]. To prevent the bank freezing your account, use a VPN to appear to connect from your usual country.
Disclaimer: We prohibit using Surfshark services for any unlawful purposes as it is against our Terms of Service. Please be sure to act in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations of streaming service providers.
How does a VPN work?
Your public IP (Internet Protocol) address is discoverable by browsers, websites, internet service providers, and other devices. This can put your personal information in danger. When you use a VPN app all of your internet activity goes through a VPN server, thus using its IP address instead of your own. This VPN server could be located anywhere in the world, making tracking you very hard for those interested in finding your exact location, let alone get any personal information.
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 app 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 the VPN will pick the fastest server for you.
How to choose a VPN for travel
Apps for your devices
No use in getting a VPN that won’t work on the devices you take with you. For example, Surfshark has apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android - anything portable.
Servers in many countries
More servers mean not only an increase in speed but also a greater chance that one of them is in your country. If they have servers in your country, you could use the VPN to make it appear that you’re still in your home country. Fool people at work and connect to your banking without raising suspicion.
The old boogeyman is that VPNs slow down your connection speed. And yes, some slowdown is unavoidable, but it doesn’t have to be severe. A quality VPN will provide the best speeds via plenty of servers, advanced server infrastructure, and the best VPN protocols in the market.
Premium and reputable
A free VPN will not protect you - they aren’t trustworthy even when traveling from one room to another at home. Better look for premium VPN providers as they offer servers, service quality, the latest security, and other things vital to a VPN. Plus, check the reputation of those premium VPN companies online (try TrustPilot) and see whether they have run independent audits!
If you have time before the trip, why not give that premium VPN a trial ride before you hop in with both feet? For example, Surfshark has a free 7-day trial with a 30-day money-back guarantee to ensure that this is the VPN you want to trust your online security with.
Kill Switch and split tunneling
There is more to a VPN than servers, you know! For example, the Kill Switch function is helpful if your VPN connection drops unexpectedly as it automatically disconnects you from the internet. Meanwhile, split tunneling is great for preventing some websites or apps from routing via VPN.
Surfshark VPN features you’ll appreciate while traveling
Block ads & save mobile data
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.
Stay free in restrictive regions
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.
Use an unlimited number of devices
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.
Use it on any platform & device
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. For this, 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.
Back up 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, 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 doesn’t use any more roaming data than the device it’s installed on. 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 by using a VPN because you’re still using 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.
Does a VPN work abroad?
Very few countries seriously block VPNs, so a VPN should work wonderfully no matter where you go. If you have an internet connection, you can use a VPN.
Can I use a VPN while traveling?
If you have an internet connection available on your travels, you can use a VPN. Be aware that some countries have banned or blocked VPN use, though there aren’t that many of those. So if you’re going to a super-popular tourist destination, it’s more likely to be VPN-friendly than pet-friendly.