Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ve probably heard of virtual private networks. The technology has seen a surge in popularity in recent times, with millions of people worldwide now utilizing VPNs for personal and professional use.
In particular, VPNs have become popular with those who travel frequently and can considered an essential piece of tech for anyone who spends a significant amount of time on the move these days. But just what do VPNs do, and what makes them so valuable when traveling? Let’s discuss.
What do VPNs do?
VPNs are software applications that provide access to vast networks of servers in different parts of the world, each of which can be used as intermediaries for users’ internet connections. This means that when a user utilizes a VPN, their connection is diverted through a VPN server. This process achieves two important things.
First, by giving users the ability to browse under the IP of their chosen server, VPNs enable them to conceal their device IP and location for greater anonymity. Secondly, by rerouting user traffic, VPNs send their data through secure tunnels, encrypting and protecting it. As such, we can say that VPNs are two-in-one privacy and security solutions.
Conveniently, VPNs are available as desktop clients, browser extensions, and mobile apps, with providers like Urban VPN offering premium services for free, so the technology is now highly accessible to all kinds of users.
Why are VPNs Essential when Traveling?
If you are someone who spends a lot of time traveling between countries, then a VPN will be indispensable to you, benefitting you in the following ways:
Secure Remote Work
In the age of digital nomadism, work and travel need not be mutually exclusive. However, while the Internet does allow considerable flexibility as regards remote work, there are some risks involved. If you work while you travel, there’s a good chance that you will need to rely on public Wi-Fi networks at some point, and this can put you in the line of fire of cyber criminals who are seeking to prey upon unsuspecting users. With a VPN, however, this is much less of a concern.
Since VPNs use strong encryption on user data, they make it impossible for cybercriminals to exploit your data if they try to intercept it. This means that you can work remotely with complete peace of mind, no matter where you are, safe in the knowledge that your sensitive data is safeguarded against cyber threats.
Increased Digital Freedom
You may love exploring new places in different parts of the world, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t still enjoy some home comforts from time to time. If you’re from the UK, for instance, you may want to watch your favorite shows on BBC iPlayer during your downtime, but geo-blocking makes this impossible from abroad. You may be able to deal with such issues in the short term, but it can quickly become extremely frustrating if you spend a considerable amount of time overseas. VPNs are a convenient workaround for this problem, however.
When you use a VPN to go online, your IP address is concealed, meaning that you will appear as an authentic user in the region of your selected VPN server. As such, by simply selecting a server in a specific country, you will be able to access all sites and services that are otherwise restricted to users in other regions.
One of the best things about the Internet is how it has opened up opportunities for cheap travel, but in recent times, it has become increasingly difficult to avail of cheap deals. This is, in large part, down to the application of dynamic pricing practices, which enable companies like airlines, hotel chains, and rental firms to charge you extra based on where you’re searching from. If this sounds like price discrimination, that’s because it is, but thankfully you won’t have to put up with it if you have access to a VPN.
By using a VPN to change locations, you can carry out thorough price checks on flights, accommodation options, and vehicle rentals by searching from different regions. As such, you will be able to circumvent discriminatory pricing practices and get cheaper deals. That means better value for money, which will allow you to travel further in greater comfort.
The Internet has made the world a much smaller place, allowing us to travel without compromise, but the unfortunate reality is the modern digital landscape is becoming more restrictive. With cybercrime, geographical restrictions, and price discrimination becoming more and more prevalent online, you need to take matters into your own hands if you are to get the most out of your travel experience. A VPN can empower you to do just that.