5 Best VPN Services for Traveling 2020 - Stay Safe Online While Overseas

If you are traveling abroad and are likely to use WiFi hotspots, it is essential that you use a VPN. VPNs, or virtual private networks, encrypt all your data going to and from your device which is incredibly effective at stopping hackers from accessing your data. Another great benefit of using a VPN is that they allow you to access services from back home that are currently blocked in your location. In this guide, we list the best Travel VPN Services and give you some top tips for staying secure online abroad.

 

There are two major benefits for using a VPN for Travel:

  1. To access websites from back home - While you are away on business or on vacation, it becomes impossible to access many important online services - such as your online banking and streaming services. With a VPN you can get an IP address from your home country and access those sites with ease.
  2. Staying Secure Online when Traveling - When we travel, we often connect to public WiFi hotspots. When we connect to a public WiFi hotspot, we have no way of knowing whether the router has been configured securely. A VPN protects your data if you connect to a badly configured router or a fake WiFi hotspot belonging to a cybercriminal! Since the VPN securely scrambles all your data, it is impossible for hackers to steal your data, credentials, passwords, and credit card details.

New to VPNs?

If you are new to the world of VPNs and you would like to learn more, check out the guides below:

  • What is a VPN - A beginner's guide to VPNs, what they are, and how they work
  • VPN Encryption - An in-depth guide to VPN encryption protocols and which one is the most secure.

List of the Best 5 VPNs for Traveling

Now we know the benefits of using a travel VPN, we have listed the five best VPNs for traveling. For more information about any of the services in our list, click the links listed below to see the VPN provider's website or scroll below for a summary of each service.

  1. ExpressVPN - Super Fast|Servers in 94 countries|Secure and Reliable
  2. NordVPN - Fast connections |Private and Secure |Unblock Netflix
  3. CyberGhost VPN - Amazing value | Easy to use | Perfect for WiFi protection
  4. VPNArea
  5. PrivateVPN - No logs | Unblock Netflix US | Strong encryption

Best VPN for Travel - Summaries

Below we have summarized everything you need to know about the five best travel VPN services. If you still want more information, click through to the providers or check out our detailed VPN reviews.

Setting up a VPN for travel

When you purchase a VPN for traveling, you will be permitted to install the software on more than one device (usually between three and five). This means that one VPN subscription can be used to protect all of your family’s devices while you are away.

Unless you get a travel router with a VPN, you will need to install the travel VPN on each individual device. The good news is that the VPNs in this guide have software for all devices so you can install the VPN on a laptop or a smartphone. 

Here is a quick guide to help you out:

  1. Select a VPN for traveling from our list and click through to get a subscription. If you only want your VPN while on vacation, then you can opt for a monthly plan. However, VPNs are insanely useful all year round - even when you go back home!
  2. Download the VPN to your laptop, smartphone, or tablet. Remember to get the right VPN for your platform. You can install the VPN on all your family’s devices if you wish, or even share it with friends that you are traveling with.
  3. Follow the installation prompts. The VPN will install easily and with no fuss.
  4. Now that it is installed, all you need to do is connect to a server. Remember, your VPN will keep you secure when you are in your own country as well as abroad, so use it every time you are on public WiFi.
  5. Now that you are overseas, remember to connect to a server from back home! That way you can watch TV streams and use internet services from where you come from. No need to watch foreign TV shows anymore!

Using a VPN Travel Router

No matter whether you are traveling on your own, for business or with friends and family, a travel router can be a massive advantage. These nifty gadgets allow you to connect multiple devices to a public WiFi hotspot without needing to connect all your devices individually. As soon as the mini router is connected to the internet, all of your and your family's devices automatically connect to that Internet connection via the travel router.

This is awesome in of itself. However, it is even better if you get a travel router that has been pre-configured with a VPN! When a VPN is installed on a travel router, all the devices that connect to the internet via that travel router are automatically protected with the VPNs encryption. This means you don’t need to worry about each individual device: or making sure your kids, parents - or anybody else in your party - is opening themselves up to the risk of being hacked (which could ruin everyone’s vacation).

How to set up your travel router

If you want a travel router with a VPN we strongly recommend visiting the experts at FlashRouters for some advice.

Whatever you do, please be sure to update the default admin credentials on the travel router. If you don’t update the username and password, the router could get hacked itself!

In addition, you will want to ensure that WPS (an older router feature) is turned off, as it does pose a security risk. Luckily, FlashRouters can help you set up all of those features correctly .

International Travel Security Checklist

With a VPN sorted, you only need to think about a few other travel security concerns. To help you out, I have created this quick list of what I consider the most important things to consider for digital security while traveling:

  1. Passwords - It might seem obvious but making sure your devices are password protected and set to lock-up quickly is much more important when you travel, so please use stronger settings when you are away. If you leave a phone or a tablet at the beach bar or in a taxi, having it locked up almost instantly could stop the device from getting into someone’s hands while still unlocked. Password managers are fantastic tools for ensuring you have strong passwords.
  2. Updates - Remembering to update your devices regularly can ensure you aren’t suffering from vulnerabilities that give cybercriminals an easy way in, so please update often.
  3. Backup regularly - If you take a thousand photos and lose your device on the last day of the holiday, you will never see those photos again. As a general rule, if something is important then make sure it is backed up to the cloud. This applies even if you have never lost a device before - remember that there is always a first time. Cloud backup services are fantastic and they will back up your data automatically.
  4. Buy a local SIM -  If you are traveling for longer periods of time, you may want to buy a local SIM with cheap local data. That way you can use the internet on the go without relying on public WiFi (although the risks of doing so are mitigated by using a VPN).

Travel VPN Conclusion

When it comes to keeping your devices secure while on holiday, there is a pretty small checklist of things you must do. The best thing to do is to sit down and explain the points in this guide to all of your fellow travelers. Nobody wants a holiday to be spoiled by hackers, so be sure that the whole group takes the time to protect their devices accordingly.

A VPN is by far the best form of digital protection you can get for when you travel. So please consider one carefully: the instances of people being hacked on public WiFi are at an all-time high. This is because hackers understand how easy it is to fleece people while they are sunning themselves by the pool, or lounging in an Airport.

All the VPN services in this guide offer the very best way to protect devices while on the move. There are hundreds of VPNs to choose from, which can make choosing one a bit of a nightmare.

That’s why we have created this VPN for traveling guide to help you pinpoint the very best options - without having to worry about stumbling onto a rip-off service. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments section below.

Written by: Ray Walsh

Digital privacy expert with 5 years experience testing and reviewing VPNs. He's been quoted in The Express, The Times, The Washington Post, The Register, CNET & many more. Ray is currently rated #7 VPN and #8 internet privacy authority by Agilience.com.

4 Comments

  1. Calvin

    on November 19, 2019
    Reply

    Hello Douglas, I own a small business and want to invest in a VPN. I have a small traveling agency and a few tour guides that travel often, for that reason I would like to provide them with a VPN service, I'm just not sure if I should be choosing a business VPN or a regular VPN. As mentioned, I am thinking about going with NordVPN, but see that they also have a business solution NordVPN Teams, so you have any additional information regarding business travel and business VPNs?

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to Calvin

      on November 19, 2019
      Reply

      Hi Calvon, I have not yet reviewed NordVPN's Teams, but I have reviewed similar products (such as Permiter 81). The main advantage of such products for business users such as yourself is that they provide a centralized web console from where you can distribute and manage VPN accounts for team members, assign permissions, and suchlike. This is last is particularly important for plans that allow access to team resources through the VPN (thus acting in many was like more traditional corporate VPN intranets).

  2. Jim

    on April 22, 2018
    Reply

    Why do you say IPVanish con is that it is based in the US ? You state they have servers all over the world. Appreciate any details you can provide.

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to Jim

      on April 23, 2018
      Reply

      Hi Jim, Edward Snowden revealed the shocking scale of mass governmnet surveillance in the United States. The NSA and its ilk have compromised all major and a huge number of minor technology companies, so it seems inconceivable that US companies which specifically promise their users "anonymity" on the internet will not have also have been compromised. That said, Private Internet Access is a US company, and is one of the very few VPNs to have proven its no logs claims in court. So go figure!

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