5 Best VPNs for Hotels in 2021 | Protect Yourself on Public WiFi Networks

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Using hotel Wi-Fi exposes you to corporate tracking, privacy concerns, and potentially hackers. If you want to protect your personal data and avoid letting criminals into your personal or business data, you must use a hotel Wi-Fi VPN. A VPN encrypts your data to ensure it is completely secure as it passes over the hotel's network. 

In this article, we list the best hotel Wi-Fi VPNs and give you some tips on how to stay safe on hotel Wi-Fi. 

What are the best VPNs for Hotels?

In a hurry? No problem! Simply check out the table below to see which VPNs we think work best with hotel Wi-Fi – and don't forget to scroll down for our in-depth summaries of each provider.

  1. ExpressVPN - The best VPN for hotel Wi-Fi. It has super-fast servers, great apps, great security features, and it unblocks everything.
  2. NordVPN - An industry-leading VPN that doesn't break the bank.
  3. Private Internet Access - The most secure VPN for hotel Wi-Fi. It has a proven no logs policy, has great apps for popular platforms, and it's fast.
  4. PrivateVPN - PrivateVPN has apps for just about all platforms, and easily unblocks in-demand services like Netflix.
  5. Surfshark - The cheapest hotel Wi-Fi VPN. It's packed with features including an ad blocker, stealth servers, and split tunneling.

Exploits exist that can allow cybercriminals to access your data when you connect to public Wi-Fi. And, every time you use public Wi-Fi, it is possible for the company that provides the Wi-Fi to monitor what you do online. 

Everyone is a target of electronic espionage – it is, after all, a multi-billion dollar industry. However, by using one of the VPNs listed in this guide, you can ensure that your data is securely encrypted and safe from snoopers anytime you stay in a hotel.

The Best Hotel VPN services to use | In-depth analysis

Nowadays, there are hundreds of VPNs on the market all vying for your attention, and picking the perfect provider isn't always straightforward. We've put together detailed summaries of five of the best VPNs to help you make your choice, however, and you can count on each of the services below to keep you safe from snoopers whilst staying in a hotel. If you need more information about any of the services, check out our VPN reviews.

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for hotel Wi-Fi. It has A well-known service that is a fantastic for laptop and mobile users staying in a hotel

  • Pricing

    From  $6.67 - $12.95
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

ExpressVPN Demo

ExpressVPN Demo
ExpressVPN Demo


ExpressVPN is a trustworthy and reliable VPN with servers in 94 countries. This ensures that you can always bypass any local censorship imposed by the government in the country you are visiting, or access content blocked by the hotel. Plus, this VPN will allow you to access geo-restricted content from around the world.


With ExpressVPN you can watch TV from back home on your computer or mobile device. This VPN will unblock all geo-restricted TV channels from the UK, the US, and anywhere else you can think of. And this VPN works to unblock Netflix US, YouTube TV, hulu, and any other services that you want to stream.


The vital security features you need for using hotel Wi-Fi securely are baked natively into all the ExpressVPN apps. And those apps are available for all platforms. This includes automatic Wi-Fi protection with auto-connect, a kill-switch to prevent unprotected internet access, and the ability to specify that the VPN turns on when the computer boots up. Plus, this VPN has obfuscation to conceal VPN use in places where they are frowned upon.


In addition, Express has 24/7 live chat support - and it permits users to install the VPN on up to 5 devices - which is great if you are traveling in a party or carrying a number of different devices. Plus, there are no data throughput limits with ExpressVPN; so you can leave it running all the time. Finally, you can test the service for free thanks to its no-quibbles 30-day money-back guarantee. A great all rounder that will give you freedom, privacy and security while using hotel Wi-Fi.

Tested by Ray Walsh

Tested by Ray Walsh

A super-fast VPN with servers around the globe – perfect for travelling and accessing your favorite services from around the world.

  • Pricing

    From  $4.13 - $11.95
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

Nord Demo

Nord Demo
Nord Demo


NordVPN is a budget-friendly provider that regularly competes for the #1 spot as one of the best VPNs in the industry. With a wealth of security features, users get total control over their VPN experience and can take advantage of a kill-switch, obfuscated (stealth) servers, TOR over VPN, and you can even change your encryption protocol.


With that in mind, Nord's new proprietary encryption protocol (NordLynx) offers faster, more secure VPN connections, making it perfect for streaming your favorite shows on Hotel Wi-Fi. Thanks to Nord's 30-day money-back guarantee, you can put the service through its paces, and see how it compares to its competition on the list.

Tested by Andreas Theodorou

Tested by Andreas Theodorou

Private Internet Access is the most secure VPN for hotel Wi-Fi. It has highly customizable security settings, fast servers, and great apps for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.00 - $12.00
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

PIA Demo

PIA Demo
PIA Demo


Private Internet Access (PIA) is a VPN that is often praised by consumers. It is a long established VPN that has excellent apps for all platforms that come with many advanced privacy and security features. This makes the VPN perfect for gaining complete privacy both at home and when staying in hotels. The apps have a kill-switch, DNS leak protection, obfuscation, port forwarding, and split tunneling. This makes the VPN great for bypassing government censorship without being monitored - or to torrent without being tracked. 


PIA has a smaller server network than the other VPNs in this list, with locations in 46 countries. On the plus side, that geographical limitation is reflected in the price. And, this VPN is excellent for unblocking regional content such as Netflix catalogs, BBC iPlayer, and other TV streams from around the globe.


This VPN includes ad, tracker, and malware blockers. This helps to amp up your defenses as you use hotel Wi-Fi. And this VPN has automatic start up to ensure you are never forget to switch on the VPN. A solid VPN that has a lot of advanced features, well worth comparing to our other recommendations using its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Tested by Hannah Hart

Tested by Hannah Hart

Stay secured wherever you travel, thanks to PrivateVPN's robust OpenVPN encryption and no-logs policy.

  • Pricing

    From  $1.89 - $7.12
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

PrivateVPN Demo

PrivateVPN Demo
PrivateVPN Demo


PrivateVPN ticks all the right boxes when it comes to a provider perfect for hotel Wi-Fi. You'll be able to secure your browsing sessions and personal data with strong AES 256-bit encryption and take your pick of protocols, though if it's ultimate security you're after, we'd recommend sticking with OpenVPN. I think PrivateVPN is a great contender, partially due to the fact it comes with its very own kill-switch (which you can set to affect your internet connection entirely or just cut off specific apps) and auto-connect feature, which will get you back up and connected to your VPN once it's ready.


I'm not so keen about the fact that PrivateVPN is based in Sweden, a country that does have data retention laws, but the provider has explained to us that it remains in the country because they have full access over its data centre, and even controls the router. It's also reassuring to see that PrivateVPN abides by a no-logs policy that means there's simply nothing to hand over to any nosey authorities, anyway.


Servers in 63 countries make geo-hopping a breeze, so no matter where you are, you'll be able to tune in to the content you love. Plus, PrivateVPN is fully compatible with most devices and operating systems – and you'll even get 6 simultaneous connections!

Tested by Aaron Drapkin

Tested by Aaron Drapkin

Surfshark is the cheapest hotel Wi-Fi VPN. It's jam-packed with features including stealth servers, it unblocks almost everything, and has a clean web feature that blocks ads, trackers, and malware.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.49 - $12.95
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

Surfshark Demo

Surfshark Demo
Surfshark Demo


Surfshark is a no-logs VPN service with great technical security, and servers in over 60 countries. It is very cheap considering the level of security you get. It has apps for all platforms that come with vital VPN features such as a kill-switch, DNS leak protection, OpenVPN encryption, and obfuscation. This makes it a great all rounder and perfect for getting privacy both at home and when using public Wi-Fi in a hotel.


Surfshark provides lightning fast connections, which makes it good for video conferencing. And it is able to unblock more international Netflix catalogs than just about any other service we have ever reviewed. It also unblocks BBC iPlayer, hulu, and countless other geo-restricted TV channels and streaming services from around the world. We love that this VPN lets users install and use it on an unlimited number of devices. And that it has live chat support.


A highly reliable VPN that comes at a very affordable price. You can test it yourself in any hotel using its 30-day money-back guarantee. 


 

Tested by Attila Tomaschek

Tested by Attila Tomaschek

Is hotel Wi-Fi safe?

When you connect to the internet using a free public Wi-Fi hotspot - or even Wi-Fi provided for at a cost by the hotel - it is possible for the provider to monitor everything you do online.

Every website you visit, every contact you email, and every bit of plain text data that passes over the network can be analyzed by the Wi-Fi hotspot provider. This can allow the Wi-Fi provider to create a database about what you did online - next to your name and any other information used to make the hotel booking.

The hotel can use this for its own purposes to market to you in the future, but it can also attempt to profit from that data by selling it onto third parties. This is how data winds up in the hands of data brokers, marketing firms, and other dubious third parties.

With that said, as long as you use HTTPS websites, any information you provide to those websites will be securely encrypted. This limits the amount of sensitive personal data that Wi-Fi hotspot providers can harvest from you - but it is still better to protect yourself with a VPN, to ensure that they can't track anything (because even your web searches can reveal a lot about you).

Hackers?

The Wi-Fi offered by hotels, coffee shops, and airports is handy in a pinch, but you open yourself up to the risk of accidentally joining a fake hotspot created by a hacker if you choose to use it.

These 'evil twin' hotspots look legit, but they allow the hacker to snoop on your data, and potentially to attack your devices and piggyback on your personal sessions, potentially to steal your credentials and passwords, or your financial information. 

This can make connecting to public Wi-Fi a constant danger, particularly if your device is set up to automatically connect to any available free network. This is why it is much safer to always use a VPN whenever you connect to public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Why you should use a VPN for hotel Wi-Fi

Stay Secure on the Hotel Wi-Fi Network

It used to be that criminals needed physical access to your equipment to hack into it. Today, they can do it via the internet, or even using radio waves if they are nearby (KRACK vulnerability). If unprotected, hackers can potentially use your shared connection to the hotel's free Wi-Fi connection to get malicious exploits onto your phone or computer.

From then on, they can steal your data and potentially even gain access to secondary networks - such as your work to steal intellectual property, or perform other digital crimes.

To prevent this nightmare, it is vital to use a powerful, secure VPN. This will protect you in your hotel as well as at any other Wi-Fi hotspot you encounter.

By getting a VPN that is capable of maximum security - including automatic Wi-Fi protection and a kill switch - you make it virtually impossible for hackers to get into your devices while using public Wi-Fi; even if you accidentally connect to a malicious hotspot.

Unblock Content Abroad

Hotel networks don't always allow you to have access to all the content you want. The local government might force them to block certain content for political or religious reasons. Or the hotel management may not want you to use up all their bandwidth playing online games.

In these cases, a VPN will let you get around those restrictions. The VPN encrypts everything going to or from your devices to stop the hotel knowing what you are doing, and by connecting to a server in a different country you can bypass all the local government, or hotel imposed blocks.

If you are in a hotel in a foreign country, you will also encounter geo-restrictions. Streaming services usually limit where viewers are allowed to stream their content due to licensing contracts. Even if you have a paid subscription to a service in your home country, the service may block you from viewing your favorite show while abroad.

A VPN can help with this problem by tricking the streaming service into thinking that you are back home. Not all VPNs unblock everything, but by choosing one that can outsmart the streaming services you use, you'll be able to access all manner of foreign service - from all over the world!

What makes a good VPN for hotel Wi-Fi?

Consumers have their pick of countless VPNs, but the vast majority of these services are inferior, lacking the features you need to get real value for money. We'd recommend sticking to one of the reliable and versatile VPNs we've highlighted in this guide, especially if security is one of your primary concerns!

To explain how we settled on the best VPNs for hotels, we have detailed the features and attributes our experts looked for when curating the list below:

Will a free VPN secure me on hotel Wi-Fi?

There are many free VPNs available on the market and they are primarily dodgy services that you need to stay away from. Studies have revealed that free VPNs have unreliable apps, critical leaks, concerning privacy policies, and even adware and spyware hidden in their software. Those free VPNs create a revenue stream from your data, which makes them a huge risk to use.

The good news is that that there are some free VPNs available that are not a risk. Some premium VPN providers offer a limited free VPN plan to let people trial their service. Those trustworthy VPNs do not skimp on security, which means they are completely safe to use. However, they are highly restrictive because they are only meant as a way to show people what the full, premium VPN can do. For this reason they will have the following restrictions:

  • Fewer server locations to choose from
  • Slower than the paid VPN (bandwidth restrictions)
  • Monthly download limits

It is also worth noting that free VPNs do not work with popular services like Netflix US or BBC iPlayer, either. So if you want to stream in your hotel, you will need a proper VPN subscription.

However, a secure free VPN will encrypt your data and keep it protected while on public Wi-Fi, so if you can't afford a premium VPN it is worth considering one of our recommended free providers.

FAQs

VPN for Hotels: Conclusion

Using hotel Wi-Fi opens you up to all kinds of risks. Hackers make fake hotspots that you could connect to by accident, and Wi-Fi providers constantly snoop on users to collect their data. Leaving your devices unprotected when staying in a hotel has become extremely dangerous, and could lead to all kinds of problems that would ruin your stay.

We recommend that you don't take any risks when you stay in a hotel - by getting one of the five best VPNs for hotels today! Our recommendations even have a money-back guarantee, which means you can use the full, unrestricted VPN service without actually risking your cash.

  1. ExpressVPN - The best VPN for hotel Wi-Fi. It has super-fast servers, great apps, great security features, and it unblocks everything.
  2. NordVPN - An industry-leading VPN that doesn't break the bank.
  3. Private Internet Access - The most secure VPN for hotel Wi-Fi. It has a proven no logs policy, has great apps for popular platforms, and it's fast.
  4. PrivateVPN - PrivateVPN has apps for just about all platforms, and easily unblocks in-demand services like Netflix.
  5. Surfshark - The cheapest hotel Wi-Fi VPN. It's packed with features including an ad blocker, stealth servers, and split tunneling.

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. 

1 Comment

Anthony
on September 14, 2017
Reply
ExpressVPN is an excellent choice. I have it installed on my Mac and Android phone.
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