When you’re traveling or working from home, avoiding sensitive information in your browser history can be tricky. You want to be sure that your employer, financial institutions, and other web servers don’t see your browsing habits, but you also don’t want to sacrifice speed for privacy.
If you use a public WiFI connection at an airport or coffee shop, other users on the network could see any websites you visit. Similarly, your ISP could potentially see which websites you visit. If you’re using an unencrypted Wi-Fi connection at home, all of those details could end up in the hands of someone, some where. Avoiding this kind of exposure doesn’t have to be difficult–you can use a VPN to ensure that your internet connection and all of your online activity is secure and private. In this article, we’ll discuss the various issues you might encounter if you decide to use a VPN and how you can overcome them.
One of the major draws of using a VPN is that it can speed up your internet connection. The best VPNs can restore your internet connection to its original state, which is usually very fast. When you’re connected to VPN, your IP address changes, making you appear as though you’re using a different location. This in turn affects the sites you visit–since the VPN is protecting you, your ISP doesn’t have to worry about censoring the sites you visit. Of course, this also means that you could be accessing content from regions or platforms that your ISP doesn’t approve of. In general, using VPN can speed up your internet connection by 10 to 30%.
There is, however, one important thing to keep in mind. The increased speed of your internet connection will only be effective while you’re connected to a VPN. Once you disconnect from the VPN, your speed will return to its original state. So, while you might experience a marked improvement in speed while using the VPN, you’ll soon find that things have returned to the way they were before you connected. This can be a pain if you’re using an internet connection that isn’t as fast as it could be, especially if you’re a heavy user. If you’re on a limited data plan, you might find that the restrictions apply, regardless of whether you’re on a public or private connection. Always make sure that you’re on a VPN when you need that speed boost.
Another issue that can arise from using a public WiFI connection is data restrictions. Most nations’ data caps are quite low, with countries like Canada and the UK often having limits as low as 500 gigabytes per month. While this might not seem like a lot, once you start getting bills from your ISP for going over your data cap, it can become quite a pain. Data caps change from region to region and ISP to ISP, so you can’t always expect that you’ll be able to use as much data as you could when you’re traveling.
If you’re on a mobile device and connect to a public Wi-Fi connection while abroad, you might run into data restrictions as well. Most mobile data plans have a global limit, so you’ll likely find that you don’t have unlimited data even when you’re outside your home country. Most mobile data plans also have a usage-based billing system, which can make things complicated if you go over your limit while abroad. Be sure to check the data restrictions and limits when you’re traveling so that you don’t get surprised by unexpected bills from your mobile phone company.
Still another issue that you might encounter if you use a public Wi-Fi connection is location-based blocks. In some countries, internet users can be legally required to identify themselves when they’re online. This can mean that certain websites, forums, or other online platforms can be blocked based on your location. Sometimes these blocks can be quite severe–in one instance, The Economistwas blocked from being read in China because it was considered a sensitive news source. Even though they’re arguably one of the most respected news agencies in the world, trying to read The Economist in China is like trying to watch TV with the volume turned up and no signal. While this might not seem like a big issue, if you’re a digital content producer or author who wants to reach an international audience, location-based blocking can become problematic. If you’re in one of these countries and try to visit a website that’s been blocked, you’ll likely see a message that the site is restricted to certain regions.
Certainty of connectivity is another major issue that you need to keep in mind if you decide to use a VPN. Many VPNs provide a no-logs policy and have various measures in place to prevent downtime. However, sometimes these apps or servers are susceptible to attack and become unresponsive, which can cause you serious stress. In some instances, your data could be at risk and you could even expose yourself to legal liability. When traveling, you can’t always be assured that you’ll have a stable and continuous internet connection, which is why it’s important to use a VPN that you can trust.
Still another issue that you need to be aware of if you decide to use a VPN is secure browsing. Some VPNs don’t maintain any logs of your activity, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t store data. When you use a VPN, all of your internet traffic is encrypted, which means that your ISP, the government, and other parties can’t see what you’re doing online. Your personal data is safe, and since your internet connection is private and secure, your speed will increase as a result.
The best VPNs also protect you from sites that you might visit from potentially harmful content–whether that’s malicious software (malware), adult content, or other potentially sensitive or criminal material. Some VPNs will also remove all of the web content you’ve blocked, which can become quite useful if you want to visit certain websites that you’ve blocked due to your country’s restrictions. Many VPNs also work with various third-party tools like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox to block known websites that you might visit that are against the rules of the country you’re traveling in. In some instances, your personal data could be exposed if you visit a site that’s been blocked due to your country’s restrictions. For this reason, it’s important to use a VPN that uses strong encryption and has a no-logs policy. Strong encryption ensures that your online activity is secure and cannot be decrypted by anyone (which is why you should use a VPN with a no-logs policy). Keep in mind that while strong encryption is extremely useful in protecting your safety and privacy online, it also makes decoding much more difficult. This is why many people prefer to use a VPN with a no-logs policy instead of a VPN that uses weak encryption–strong encryption ensures you’re always protected, but it also makes logging virtually impossible (hence the name no-logs policy). Using a VPN with a strong encryption algorithm also greatly increases your speed, since your internet traffic is secure and can’t be decrypted by potential internet censors.
Surfing While Travelling
Travelling is usually seen as a glamorous lifestyle, but it isn’t without its problems. One of the major problems that you might encounter while traveling is getting your internet connection to work effectively while abroad. If you use a VPN while traveling, you will appear as though you’re using a different location, making your internet connection more difficult to detect and block. This could lead to you getting a different IP address, which can cause all kinds of problems with your online accounts and bills. The best thing to do, as a traveler, is to use a VPN that offers a free trial–this way, you’ll be sure to discover whether or not it’s effective before you leave for your journey’s end.