One of the best parts about getting to travel together is learning from each other’s strong suits. I’m the planner when we travel, as Jacob can attest. I have a mental checklist of all the spots I want to check off on our trips. On the other hand, I’m terrible when it comes to organizing our photography gear and anything tech-related. Jacob is always the one figuring out how we’re going to stay connected while abroad (he typically finds us SIM cards when we travel internationally) or how to safely use the internet on shared WiFi networks (by signing us up for a shared VPN account).
When we first moved abroad we spent 3 months in hotels and Airbnbs, so I learned about the importance of always using a VPN while we travel. I’m completely guilty of never using one before! A VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and you can set one up on your phone and computer to protect your personal information when using public Wifi. Subscribing to a service like Encrypt.me is the easiest way to set one up for use on all your devices. Using a VPN is essential while traveling and anytime you’re not using your own WiFi network.
This post breaks down how and when to use a VPN, courtesy of Jacob’s insight. Read on for our tips so you can be informed before your next trip.
How a VPN Works
A VPN directs all your web traffic through a different server, making it nearly impossible for others to track the data you’re sending and receiving. Basically, it protects your information from getting compromised when you’re sending emails, checking bank accounts, and filling out your credit card information or address online.
Why Using a VPN is Important
Without a VPN, using public wifi puts your personal information at risk. Whether that’s credit card information, emails, or personal login credentials. A VPN encrypts and protects your connection so no one else can see this private information.
When You Need a VPN
– In any situation where you are on a shared and untrusted wifi network, you need a VPN.
– This includes while at an airport or hotel, while on an airplane or train, at a local coffee shop (read: Starbucks!), from your Airbnb, at a conference, etc.
– I would recommend using a VPN anytime you are on an “untrusted network”. Sometimes that can be impractical if the internet is already slow, as a VPN can contribute to that. In those situations, if you aren’t able to connect using your VPN, you should always avoid logging into personal accounts or inputting any sensitive information through apps or web browsers.
Our Tips for Using a VPN
– Once you have a VPN account, you should set it up on your phone, tablet, computer. Encrypt.me makes this easy since you just have one main account to sign into from all your devices. Make it common practice to turn on your VPN before you open your web browser. You can even set up your computer to automatically open the app anytime you restart it, like we do.
– If you’re frequently traveling with your partner, you can often set up a team plan. Again, Encrypt.me is great for this since they offer a shared ‘team plan’. Like all their plans, you can subscribe or unsubscribe at any time, or even get a ‘mini plan’ if you don’t travel is frequently as us. Here is a breakdown of Encrypt.me plans — you receive 20% off for subscribing through our link.
– Like any service, VPNs are never 100% fool proof. But, they add an important measure of protection against someone with bad intentions from viewing your data or stealing your bank login. Using a VPN that locks your internet access if the VPN connection fails will help protect your information.
When Do We Use a VPN?
We have our VPN on basically anytime we’re using our devices while traveling. It’s always on anytime when we’re logging into an account or having to access sensitive information while abroad.
I hope this post helped clear up why it’s important to use a VPN while traveling! Leave us a message below if you have additional questions about using a VPN.
Thank you to Encrypt.me for sponsoring this post. You can receive 20% off Encrypt.me plans through my referral link, here.