(Pocket-lint) - Whether your travel consists of going to the local coffee shop for a meeting or circumnavigating the world, if you aren't using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) when you connect to the internet from unknown or untrusted Wi-Fi hotspots, then say goodbye to your privacy, data, and sensitive information.
Here we look at the benefits and risks of using Wi-Fi on the go and how you can go about making your travels safer well beyond just keeping an eye on your passport and luggage.
What's a VPN?
A VPN essentially acts as a middle man when you try to access a website or web service via VPN. It takes your data, wraps it with encryption, and routes it through its own servers. So, when the data finally reaches the website, it doesn’t know that you are the person who had sent the request, which is otherwise known as anonymity.
What's really handy though is that you can pretend that your connection is originating from another country. It means you can be travelling in the UK but act as if you are in the US, or be in Germany, but pretend you're in France.
That small change allows you to not only bypass internet filters and overcome geo-restrictions but also hides your presence on the network and therefore stops people from snooping.
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Staying Safe on Public Wi-Fi
If you are traveling, the chances are you will take your smartphone, tablet, or laptop with you. Every time you connect to an unknown Wi-Fi network you are opening yourself up to potential risks.
Whether that's the free Wi-Fi at your local café, shopping center, or airport, anyone on the same network can intercept your unencrypted data as it flies through the air. Whether that's credit card numbers, browser cookies, usernames or passwords, unless you are on a VPN (Virtual Private Network), put simply, you're at risk.
Turn on a VPN, on your phone, tablet, and laptop, and those fears and concerns will disappear.
Accessing Geo-Restricted Content
It is not just about protecting your browser history when you travel. VPNs also allow you to get around internet filtering issues. These restrictions block you from accessing content and accessing specific versions of your favorite websites. With a VPN, you can easily take advantage of your streaming subscription services while away from home.
Now that boring hotel room after work is actually a time to let you catch up on your favorite TV shows, movies, and everything else in between.
Cheaper Hotels and Flights
A VPN can also help you get cheaper flights and hotels. It turns out that many travel sites offer flights at different prices to people that purchase them from different locations. A VPN allows you to change your IP address. Now you can be in a different location to see if, in some cases, the flights are cheaper.
While the UK and the US are open in allowing you to connect to your favorite social network, some countries aren't so open. Places like China, Cuba, Egypt and Mexico all block various services. Using a VPN in most cases will allow you to bypass this censorship and allow you to still share your travel exploits.
A big name in the VPN world, PureVPN is aimed at people who want some of the fastest connections around, as well as a wealth of connection options and PureVPN leads the industry with its 2,000+ servers and 300,000+ IPs.
The service boasts compatible applications for all the leading operating systems, internet-enabled devices, and consoles. Moreover, its smart user-interface along with intuitive functionality provides users a seamless user experience across screens.
PureVPN employs 256-bit AES encryption to secure users’ data against prying eyes. It uses Split Tunneling to give users the ability to work with a local network and the VPN simultaneously. The IKS ensures that the users’ VPN activities remain anonymous in the event of a connection drop.
PureVPN’s dynamic features can be unlocked at a price of $10.95 a month, $4.08/month for a 1-year planand $1.32/month for a 5-year plan. Apart from a 3-day paid trial account, the service assures users the safety of their money with a 31-day, no-questions-asked refund policy.