ExpressVPN

Summary

ExpressVPN is the cleanest, simplest VPN service I’ve used on any device.

Details

Every traveler should use a VPN (virtual private network) service. Seriously. If you are thinking about traveling internationally in particular, stop everything and snag one of these before you sink dollars into a new dop kit or whatever. Even non-international travelers will find these things useful, and I’ll tell you why.

Public WiFi is not secure. If you’re on the road, you’ll be using a lot of public WiFi. A VPN service encodes your online activity, so it’s far more secure. Nothing is entirely secure, but a VPN makes it immensely unlikely that you’ll be ripped off as a result of your public WiFi activity.

A VPN routes your internet activity through another city somewhere in the world, so it looks like you’re there. This means that I can be in Phuket, Thailand and through the magic of my VPN, seem like I’m in New York. This allows me to bypass firewalls put up by paranoid nation states, and to trick region-specific websites and apps so that I can use them from anywhere (Amazon Prime Movies and Netflix, I’m looking at you).

I was using another VPN before this one, and it worked just fine. Most of these services are very similar: you sign up, are given a download link for the software, install it on your machine, and you turn it on anytime you go online.

The folks at ExpressVPN gave me a year of their service free to try out, so I switched over, and I kept using it after that year ran out (paying about $100/year). I stuck with them because 1. their service is a little bit more intuitive than others I’ve used, 2. it worked seamlessly across my Macbook Pro, my iPhone, my iPad Mini, and my Android phone, and 3. it’s cheap for those conveniences. It’s also a little bit better designed, aesthetically, than a lot of the others I’ve used, which is a small detail, but can be an important one when you spend a lot of time with their app open on your screen.

Procure It

Via Express VPN

Also Consider

VPNBook (free VPN)

Private Tunnel (price based on bandwidth not set monthly rate, could be cheaper for infrequent users)

Tor (not actually a VPN, but similar and worth considering)