Best VPNs for Travel in 2021 (For Public WiFi & Geoblocking)
You probably know that VPNs are a good investment because they’ll make your online activities secure. So, when traveling to a foreign country, you’ll need to have one. This is because you may have problems accessing some sites, and your passwords, personal data, and files may be vulnerable to attacks when resident in a different country.
The process of getting a VPN for your journeys can be a bit challenging, so that’s why we want to help you out if you are not sure how to go about it. Continue reading to find out the best VPNs for travel, and how they work to protect your online activities while unblocking geo-restricted sites for you.
The five best VPNs for travel are:
- Number of servers: More than 3,000
- Speeds: Unlimited
- Server locations: 160 in 94 countries
- Maximum devices supported: 5
- 24 live chat: Yes
- 30 day money back guarantee: Yes
- Fastest VPN out there
- Strict no logs policy
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Few discounts
Top of the VPNs that travelers should include in their list of must-haves is ExpressVPN, one of the leading VPNs in the industry. It is based in the British Virgin Islands and has quite some features that’ll make browsing easier in any country you go to.
Firstly, ExpressVPN is a widely used VPN around the world. The VPN service has over 3000 servers in 94 countries, which means you’ll not have much trouble using it in any country you travel to. But unlike other VPNs, ExpressVPN focuses on both the quantity and the quality. Its servers are super-fast, and you’ll have unlimited bandwidth to browse as much as you want with it. ExpressVPN is compatible with Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Linux, and iPhone devices, but you can also get the Chrome and Firefox extensions for it.
This VPN service also has impressive security and privacy features for its users. It uses military-grade AES-256 encryption that is impenetrable by any known physical means. Coupled with features like VPN split tunneling, a network kill switch, and zero-knowledge DNS, you’ll feel a greater sense of security when using this VPN.
ExpressVPN provides a 30-day money-back guarantee to its users, so you can use it completely risk-free during this period. If you experience any technical issue while you use the VPN abroad, you can always contact the live chat support platform that the VPN has in place. For its compatibility and ease of use in any country, this VPN is one we’ll recommend to travelers.
- Cryptocurrency accepted? Yes
- Simultaneous connections: 6
- Dedicated IP-addresses? Yes
- Servers: 5342 in 58 countries
- Lots of pricing options
- Netflix support kept up to date
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Slow app
Our second-best VPN for travelers is NordVPN. It is popular because it has not just all the features travelers need, but all of them work well in every country. Looking at our checklist of the criteria we expect in a VPN, NordVPN scores cool points in every box. Here’s why it has made this list.
Privacy and security when browsing is crucial for many users, and finding a VPN that can ensure both these factors is rare. NordVPN is one of such uncommon VPNs, and it uses the best-in-class 256-bit encryption to keep users protected from attacks, malware, and viruses. But that’s not all; the VPN has other features like an automatic kill switch, a DNS leak protection, Onion over VPN, and Double VPN, which sends traffic through two servers. Talk about rock-solid security!
On its compatibility and availability, NordVPN is one of the best you can get. It is available in 59 countries, and the VPN has 5370 servers to select from. These servers are not only fast, but they also run recent VPN protocols, to ensure that your data is sent quickly to its target website.
NordVPN is compatible with almost every device, and you can get browser extensions. It also has a special feature that allows you to get an IP address that only you will have access to, so you don’t have to worry about server congestion. You can enjoy all these services risk-free for 30-days.
- Free trial? Yes
- Simultaneous connections: Unlimited
- Ad blocking? Yes
- Servers: 1000+ in 61 countries
- No footprints
- Allows torrenting
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Not the fastest
A relatively new VPN on this list of the best VPNs for travelers is Surfshark. It is one of the cheapest VPNs to get, and its features will blow your mind. Let’s have a look at why we think it is one of the best VPNs available.
Firstly, Surfshark offers several layers of security to its users. With its headquarters in the British Virgin Islands, the VPN is under no obligation to abide by the retention law of the 14-eyes countries. And as you’ll expect, it uses the 256-bit encryption to provide end-to-end protection of users. The VPN also has exciting features like CleanWeb and Whitelister, which make browsing much easier in any country you visit.
Surfshark is not doing badly on its number of servers, either. With over 1040 servers in 61 countries, accessing this VPN from abroad should be a no brainer. You can also connect as many accounts as you like.
Overall, Surfshark is a decent VPN to get.
- P2P support? Yes
- 30-day money-back guarantee? Yes
- Country of origin? Switzerland
- Servers: 600+ in over 40 countries
- Simultaneous devices: 5
- Professional support
- Modern interface and apps
- AES-256 encryption
- Lesser known provider
Finally, we have ProtonVPN. Founded about a decade ago, this Swiss-based VPN combines amazing features and is available at a low price. But why is it one of the best for travel?
ProtonVPN has over 602 lightning-fast servers across the globe. Many of this VPN’s servers utilize 10Gbps connections which is pretty impressive. The VPN service not only helps to unblock geo-restricted content but also protects your data, files, and traffic. ProtonVPN’s security features are top-notch, with an automatic kill switch, DNS leak protection, and anti-tracking measures available.
If you ever experience a tough time using the VPN, you can be assured that a customer support system is on hand to help you. The VPN also provides a trial version for its users. Connect up to 10 devices with ProtonVPN.
- One click connect? Yes
- Servers: 100+ superfast servers
- Bandwidth cap? No
- Platforms: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android
- Apps for all devices
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Not as many servers as others
Another new kid on the block is UltraVPN. And like Surfshark, the fact that it is new doesn’t mean it can’t provide some of the best features users need. It’s a simple-to-use VPN with lightning-fast server speed that is relatively cheap to get. A deeper dive will show why this VPN has made this list.
To start, UltraVPN is quite popular in many countries. It has 20 South American servers, 9 servers in Africa, 17 in Asia, 20 in Europe, and 57 servers in North America. Such numbers mean that travelers should be able to access its servers from whatever country they go to.
On its security and privacy features, UltraVPN is doing well. It operates a no-logging policy and uses military-grade AES-256 encryption to protect files, data, and traffic from getting into the wrong hands. And you can link all your devices to a single account.
UltraVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for its services.
Why do travelers need VPNs
Here are a couple of reasons why every traveler should have a VPN.
- To unblock sites and bypass censorship
Depending on the country you’re traveling to, you’ll find that the internet may not be unrestricted. Many services that you use daily may be blocked in other countries. For example, in China, the Great Firewall prevents its residents from accessing the content on sites like Netflix, WhatsApp, Instagram and Google Play Store. This is also the case in a couple of countries in the Middle East.
In such countries, a VPN will help you access the content on those blocked sites. All you have to do is pick a server in a country that does not have these restrictions and start browsing.
- To prevent being locked out of your account
If you travel a lot, you’ll know that sometimes, your debit or credit card can get declined. And if you try to forcefully make a withdrawal or perform other transactions on your bank account, it can get locked. This happens because your bank detects that a transaction is taking place in a different country.
Letting your bank know before your journey could work to prevent this issue, but it’s not the best solution. What happens when you have to make an impromptu trip, and there’s no time to get to the bank?
If you have a VPN, you don’t need to stress yourself in always informing your bank of your travel plans. You could connect to a server in your home country, and make the transaction easily.
- To secure your online activity
When in your home country, you can take the risk of browsing without a VPN even though your Internet Service Provider will likely know what you’ve been up to. However, when in a different country, you should not take such risks. The connection there will likely be insecure, and your data and online activity could be exposed to anyone.
Since your ISP may not work in every country of the world, your best bet is to get a VPN that’ll do the job for you.
What to look out for in a VPN for travelers
There are quite a VPN providers out there, and almost all of them claim to be the perfect one for travelers. The features that matter the most when you intend to go on a journey are:
- Availability of app to use: Ensure that the VPN you intend to get supports all the devices you’ll be taking along with you. So, if you use Apple products, make sure that you have the VPN software version for these products. You can also get the browser extension, but this might mean that you can only use a few browsers with the VPN.
- Absence of extra fees for connections: It can be frustrating when VPNs restrict how many devices you can link to an account. Tablets, phones, and laptops are all at risk from the insecure network you may meet at the new country, so you won’t want to disconnect and connect a new device all the time. Make sure you get a VPN that allows you to use several devices at a time.
- Availability in several countries: If the VPN you intend to get has all other features that you need but does not work in many countries, then it’s not going to be of much help to you. So, make sure you do a thorough research on the VPN’s availability before you pick it. All the VPNs listed above are available in several countries.
- Lightning-fast speeds: The ideal situation is to get a VPN that does not slow down your data and browsing speed. The rate at which this speed decreases depends on some factors like whether the network is overloaded or not, the server distance, and bandwidth restrictions. Always look out for the speed of the VPN before you get it. You can carry out a test in both your home country and the country you’ll be traveling to.
- Ease of use and installation: An excellent software isn’t of much use if it’s extremely difficult to install or use. So, make sure that you get a VPN that you can install and use easily. For Android devices, this would mean getting the VPN’s app from Play Store, signing in (or up), and choosing a plan. On Windows and Mac devices, all you have to do is download the app and run its installer.
Nevertheless, if you run into trouble, a good VPN should have a support system to help you out.
Are VPNs Legal?
The question of whether VPNs are legal always pops up. To answer it simply, yes, VPNs are legal to use in many countries. However, there are a few places like China, Japan, and the United Arab Emirates that frown at and make it difficult to use VPNs.
As long as VPNs are not being used for malicious purposes like cyberbullying, cyberstalking, hacking, among others, then it is not illegal to make use of them.
VPNs should be an indispensable part of every traveler’s toolkit. Considering that you’ll likely not meet state-of-the-art security measures in the country you’ll be visiting, they are your best bet for staying secure online.
We’ve helped you in your search by including five of the best VPNs for travel in this article. We’ve also highlighted some things to look out for when choosing a VPN. Now, you can go to any country with the conviction that your online activities will be kept safe, and you won’t have trouble with your bank account.