If you’re often on the go, using a VPN can provide secure and reliable internet access – especially when you visit an international destination. Websites you rely on, including social media, could be restricted in other countries. And counting on public Wi-Fi can lead to unexpected downtime or insecure connections.
Digital nomads often use a VPN to stay online. Not only does a VPN hide your IP address for security, but it tunnels your data through a private encrypted channel that allows you to access otherwise blocked sites.
Finding the best 4 VPNs for travel is a lot easier now that we’ve done the research for you. Check out four of the best VPN services, including VPNs for Europe and international travel.
Best for overall security: Express VPN (Best 4 VPNs For Travel )
Express VPN is routinely complimented for its commitment to security, which includes VPN split tunneling, network lock kill switch, AES-256 encryption, private DNS on every server and no activity logs. While there is no free version, the price breaks down to just over $8/mo.
if you pay for an annual plan at the same time. On the downside, this VPN is a bit more expensive than other options. If you’re not using it for international travel you may feel like you’re paying for advanced features you don’t utilize.
On the upside, you have the extra security on hand if you ever decide to go abroad.
Express VPN has a 4.6/5 star customer rating on Trustpilot.
Best for budget-friendly service: Vypr VPN
If you’re willing to lock into a multi-year contract, you can get this VPN at a monthly rate that’s less than the cost of a cup of coffee. Even if you pay per month, the cost comes in at under $7.
Despite the low price, the company still has servers in more than 70 countries and you can choose the country you want to route your activity through. The dynamic server switch means you’ll automatically be moved to a new server if yours becomes overloaded.
The VPN has download speeds of over 56 Mbps using U.S. servers.
Best for free service: Proton VPN
Proton VPN has both paid and free options. If you’re a traveler dipping your toe into VPN service, this option is a good place to start. Free customers are promised one VPN connection, access to servers in three countries, medium speeds and a strict no-logs policy for data privacy. You can use unlimited data per month, too.
Proton VPN uses more than 1,200 servers total across 55 countries, so you always have the option to increase your server access with a paid account.
On the downside to free service, you can only access using multiple devices at once with a paid account, and free customers don’t have P2P/BitTorrent support or guaranteed access to blocked content.
Best for data control: Tunnel Bear
Tunnel Bear also has a free option with unlimited data use. Plus, they have servers in 23 countries. Where this VPN really stands out is in security transparency and giving users control over their own data.
The company performs annual security audits and publishes the results for consumers to read. Tunnel Bear also allows customers to review and delete their own account data from the company website.
What are the limitations of virtual private networks?
While a VPN hides your location and activity from your internet provider and other outside sources, you can’t be completely hidden. Your VPN provider has access to your data. And some may even sell your data to other sources. And you’re still vulnerable to ransomware and other online threats, even with the best VPN to use for travel. Finally, because your data is bouncing from a server that is often far away, you always lose some speed.
How to set up your VPN
Most VPN companies provide step-by-step instructions when you sign up. For some general instructions about how to get started with a VPN on your device (such as a laptop or phone), consider the following:
- Sign up for a VPN to create a login and password.
- Download the company’s app, either from a mobile app store or the company website.
- Enter your login information on the app.
- Wait for the service to locate the VPN server closest to you.
- If it’s allowed, choose the server location you want the company to use.
- Go online. Your data is now being funneled through the VPN pipeline.