I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If you’re a traveler, you need a VPN solution. [period]
Here are five great reasons, including: cloaking your IP address, surfing the web anonymously, secure web browsing, malware protection, and public wifi security. Seriously, it’s worth it even if only for the identity theft protection. There are plenty of reasons for the sake of convenience, entertainment, and your own sanity too.
This is especially true in countries where the local government might restrict or altogether ban access to certain websites with location-based restrictions. In some cases, video providers might even restrict access to certain movies and TV shows based on the location from which you’re viewing their site.
Germany, for example, censors:
… much of the content on YouTube citing violations of rules set by GEMA – the authority that controls musicians’ rights in Germany.
According to the German magazine Der Spiegel, of the top 1000 highest-rated videos in the US, 61.5% are not accessible in Germany.
The list goes on:
All of the FIFA World Cup games were broadcast online this year by BBC iPlayer, ITV and UK TV, with English-speaking commentators, but users in other countries were not able to access UK content without the help of a VPN service …
For users in the United States, ESPN also broadcast the games live online, but the content was only available to those who subscribe to popular cable providers like Comcast XFINITY.
… and these countries aren’t even close to the worst offenders. As recently as this year, Mashable compiled a video list of ten countries that have previously blocked and/or continue to block access to Youtube alone. What’s worse is that this list is ever-changing and virtually impossible to predict.
Proper VPN software gets around all of this and unblocks almost any website from anywhere in the world. Travelers facing long layovers and plenty of time to kill while jetsetting abroad will certainly appreciate the ability to watch Netflix, Youtube, Hulu, Pandro, HBO Go, etc. unfettered.
All of this is yet another reason why you should be using a VPN!
One solution I personally love is Hotspot Shield. It’s stupid simple to use, particularly for non-geeks who might feel a little overwhelmed by computers in general and “fancy software” in particular. They offer an easy, affordable, tiered pricing plan and the software is available for desktop (Windows/Mac), iOS, and Android.
It’s a simple solution that takes less than 10 minutes to download, install, and register. What’s more is that you can literally flick it off and on whenever and wherever you need it.