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Why use a VPN as an Expat?

Moving to another country is exciting. Moving introduces you to new life experiences and a new culture. It is an adventure waiting to happen. However, after shaking off the jet lag, you may also be left with some serious homesickness. A natural way to combat this is to get on WhatsApp or Skype to chat with family and friends. You might even get the urge to watch TV from back home.

Unfortunately, when you go to do those things, you might experience some problems. Many countries block apps like WhatsApp and Skype. In addition to this, home-based TV stations are likely to be geo-restricted due to copyright reasons. Luckily, a VPN can allow you to pretend to be back home - by changing your IP address - so that you can use the internet like you usually would.

How a VPN can help Expats

Sadly, living life abroad as if you were at home is not always easy. One of the biggest things is dealing with website blocks and geo-restricted content. While foods and traditions are usually simple to recreate, accessing certain TV shows and websites are another story. Fortunately, it is possible with the use of an expat VPN.

A VPN can enable expats from all over the world to unblock streaming service. With the right VPN, Netflix subscribers can gain access to the US version of the services, which has thousands more movies and TV shows than any other Netflix regions. You can also get access to other services, for example, you can watch BBC iPlayer outside the UK and more!

An expat VPN lets you access geo-restricted content and blocked websites by spoofing your location. By using an expat VPN, you’re able to access TV shows from your home country in a secure and private way. In addition to this, an expat VPN can also help you access websites like WhatsApp and Facebook that are blocked in some countries.

VPN for Expats in Spain 

Despite Spain being an open and democratic country with strong data privacy laws, the Spanish government does participate in some intense anti-piracy policies that limit your TV options. Furthermore, TV streaming services restrict access to content of other countries – meaning you’re stuck with whatever Spain has to offer.

Fortunately, an expat VPN can solve this problem. In addition to accessing the TV shows you couldn’t access before, an expat VPN will also help protect your digital footprints and connections – even through public WiFi hotspots. Furthermore, if you wish to torrent something while residing in Spain, an expat VPN can help you do so securely.

For more information on the best expat VPNs for Spain, visit our 5 Best VPNs for Spain guide.

VPN for Expats in Mexico 

If Spanish is a language you can speak, Mexico has endless entertainment options for you to access. If you’re an expat living in Mexico, however, you might find it difficult to keep up with the intense attributes of Mexican soap-operas. In addition to this, Mexico is a country that offers very expensive broadband options. This means, if you’re an expat living in Mexico, you might frequent free public WiFi hotspots as opposed to paying for your own internet service.

While this is definitely convenient, it is also dangerous. Public WiFi hotspots are ideal places for hackers to compromise your passwords, credit card data, logins, and other sensitive information: not to mention the surveillance of Mexican authorities. On the bright side, the solution to these issues is simple: use an expat VPN. By using an expat VPN in Mexico, you’re able to protect your online activities from surveillance and hackers, all while accessing your favorite TV shows from back home.

For more information on the best expat VPNs for Mexico, visit our 5 Best VPNs for Mexico guide.

VPN for Expats in Colombia

If you’re an expat living abroad in Colombia, you might find it difficult to access the TV shows you want to watch from back home. In addition to this, Colombia’s online privacy laws are a bit hazy. While there are no special punishments for libel, defamation, irresponsible journalism or rumormongering online, there are several high profile cases with conflicting conclusions.

For example, in 2014, Gonzalo Lopez was sent to trial for insulting a public officer in the comment section of an online newspaper. Despite Lopez doing so anonymously, his IP address was traced back to him and he was sentenced to 18 months in prison with a fine of $5,200. While this isn’t the case for every Colombia citizen, it’s enough to make you want the solution: an expat VPN.

By using an expat VPN in Colombia, you’re able to keep your data private and your online activities safe from prying eyes. In addition, you can access geo-restricted content from TV streaming services - by pretending to be in a country that has a better catalog.

For more information on the best expat VPNs for Colombia, visit our Top 5 VPNs for Colombia guide.

VPN for Expats in United Kingdom 

If you’re an expat living in the UK, you might be unaware of the intense government surveillance that is implemented by UK authorities. In addition to granting the government permission to hack into the computers of its citizens, the UK also forces some companies to weaken the security of their encrypted products by uploading backdoors into the servers. What’s worse? Those companies are bound by law to keep quiet if instructed to do so (gag order).

By using an expat VPN in the UK, you’re exercising your right to online privacy and security. When you use the right VPN, you’re preventing government surveillance opportunities, all while accessing the geographically restricted content of TV streaming services. In addition, using an expat VPN will help keep you safe from the prying eyes of third parties like hackers and cyber criminals on public WiFi.

For more information on the best expat VPN for the UK, visit our Best UK VPN  guide.

VPN for Expats in United States 

For expats living in the US, an expat VPN is necessary. To start, using an expat VPN will keep you safe from the prying eyes of the NSA. Furthermore, as the US is a member of the Five Eyes surveillance alliance. It also enforces warrants and gag orders that force firms to hand over all consumer data while keeping it secret. In addition, ISPs are permitted to retain and sell consumers web browsing habits indefinitely, yikes.

By using an expat VPN, you can browse the internet in a secure, private setting while accessing your favorite TV shows from country-specific libraries on TV streaming services. In addition, you can participate in P2P activities without concerns about being monitored.

That’s only the beginning. Using an expat VPN can also help you get around blocks put in place by a school, landlord, or workplace. In today’s world, especially in the US, there’s only one way to truly stay as private as possible: use a VPN.

Expat VPN Considerations 

There are a variety of things to consider when choosing an expat VPN – from the speed and security of the servers to the number of locations on offer. As such, it’s important to consider all factors before settling on one VPN. After all, what good is using a VPN to access country-specific libraries if their server locations don’t include the country whose library you want to access? Some things to look for include:

  • Performance (speed/leaks/etc)
  • Number of servers
  • Server locations
  • Logs policy (no logs is preferred)
  • Country VPN is based in
  • Level of encryption/ protocols offered
  • Additional security features

Expat Guide: Conclusion 

If you’re an expat living abroad, an expat VPN can help you feel more at home in a place that is unfamiliar. What's more, an expat VPN can help you access your favorite home-based TV shows while protecting your online privacy. Regardless of what country you reside in, practicing security and privacy online is extremely important.

A VPN will help protect you from government surveillance and WiFi hacking attempts. To find a VPN for a specific location please look here. Most importantly, an expat VPN can help you exercise your right to a free internet.

Image Credit: Shutterstock, Alex Brylov, ID: 254895751

Image Credit: Shutterstock, BlueBoeing, ID: 651570313

Image Credit: Shutterstock, Gokhan Bozkaya, ID: 583977184

Written by: Attila Tomaschek

Attila is a Hungarian-American currently living in Budapest. Being in the VPN game for over 5 years, along with his acute understanding of the digital privacy space enables him to share his expertise with ProPrivacy readers. Attila has been featured as a privacy expert in press outlets such as Security Week, Silicon Angle, Fox News, Reader’s Digest, The Washington Examiner, Techopedia, Disruptor Daily, DZone, and more. He has also contributed bylines for several online publications like SC Magazine UK, Legal Reader, ITProPortal, BetaNews, and Verdict.


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