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THE BEST VPN SERVICE FOR TRAVELERS
How many of you travelers out there wish you could figure out a way to watch movies and tv series online while traveling?
How many of you travelers out there are Netflix subscribers?
I’m guessing quite a few of you are because the last time I checked, Netflix had a hefty 40 million global subscribers. Yes, you read that correctly. 40M subscribers! That’s a lot of subs, my friends. And, chances are, you’re one of them.
How many of you want to be able to stream music online when you’re abroad without having to pay for a premium membership?
Well, I’ve got you covered!
Today, I’m going to drop a little knowledge, expertise and a bit of geekiness on your asses. I’m going to tell you why every traveler needs a VPN and why you’ll find these tools to be incredibly useful when you’re abroad.
Have you ever been traveling abroad and wanted to:
- watch your favorite tv show
- watch a movie or documentary
- watch a live event such as the Oscars, VMA’s, or a PPV Event
- stream music online, etc?
But, you can’t because you can’t because you get an error message saying:
“Sorry this content can only be viewed from within the United States.” — or a similar message?
Trust me, I feel your pain!
I’ve been in your shoes, but unlike most, I’ve figured out a sneaky little way around it!
And, the best part?
I’ve done all of the research the dirty work for you so that you don’t have to go through the frustrating process of downloading and installing a VPN that promises great results yet turns out to be a resource consuming hog running at turtle-like speeds. Screw that!
WHAT IS A VPN?
Okay, so without getting all techy on you, I’m going to try my best to explain what a VPN is and what it can be used for. In layman’s terms, of course.
Note: If you already know what a VPN is, please skip to the next section.
VPN is the acronym for Virtual Private Network. A Virtual Private Network enables you to send and receive data across your own personal private network, all while connected to a public network.
Using a virtual private network allows you to connect to datacenters across the globe, which in turn gives you access to things you might have trouble accessing from abroad like TV, Movies, Music, Downloads, and more.
But, that’s not all.
More importantly, a VPN locks down your internet connection and makes sure that all of the data that is sent and received between your computer and the Internet is both private and secure.
Reasons why you might want to install a VPN on your computer:
- You want to stream a tv show, watch a movie, or catch the latest PPV event online.
- You want to be able to use Spotify to stream music when you’re abroad.
- You want to login to your bank account online without worrying that your credentials will get stolen.
- You’re connected to the free Wi-Fi hotspot at the airport or local cafe and you want to be sure that your private information isn’t susceptible to thieves.
- And, that’s just a few of the many reasons why should install a virtual private network on your computer right now.
So, let’s talk about your options, shall we?
THE BEST FREE AND PREMIUM VPN’S
I’ve got a variety of solutions for you below, both free and premium. All you’ll need to do after reading this article is choose which VPN software suits your needs best and get down to business. By business, I mean to start loading up all of those epsiodes you’ve been missing out on from your favorite tv series back home.
Spotflux is a somewhat decent VPN that used to be amazing when it first came out (YMMV). I loved it so much back when I first found out about it that I actually created a video about it. Is it still the best free vpn client? The answer is no, not anymore. The ultra slow speeds and the annoying ad that sits at the bottom of your browser window will likely turn you off as soon as you install it.
- Does Spotflux have ads? Yes, and they’re incredibly annoying.
- Is it fast? No, but it works in a pinch.
- Is it worth downloading? Debateable. Then again, having a VPN on your computer is better than having no VPN.
Note: When I say Spotflux is half way decent, what I really mean is that there are very few, if any, free VPN downloads that are advertisement-free and offer high quality connection speeds.
The best part about Spotflux is that it’s easy to use and it’s even easier to setup. The worst part is the annoying advertisements that pop up at random.
Price: Spotflux Free (Ad Supported) / Spotflux Premium ($29.95/year)
Spotflux is available for download on Windows, MAC, iOS and Android.
Founded in 2011, TunnelBear is yet another up and coming VPN provider that is becoming increasingly popular. They offer up three different VPN plans, the “Little Bear” plan (Free!), “Giant Bear” ($4.99/mo) and the Grizzly Bear at $49.99/yr which ends up saving you a whopping 17% on your annual membership.
While the Little Bear plan is ad-free and completely free to use, please note that you are only allotted 500 MB of data usage per month.
Need more data? Take advantage of the TunnelBear Twitter promo!
TunnelBear has an ongoing social media promotion called the Twitter Promo, which allows you to score an extra 1GB of data each month. All you need to do to get your extra gig is to send them a tweet asking for your bonus data each month and within minutes your account will be 1 gig richer. Cha-ching!
- Does TunnelBear have ads? No, suprisingly enough, it does not.
- Is it fast? Not blazing, but fast enough for average usage.
- Is it worth downloading? Yes, if you’re going to pick up a free VPN, this will be your best bet.
In my opinion, the best part about TunnelBear is that its seriously minimalistic design and the fact that it’s super user friendly. Oh, and having to ask for 1GB of promo data each month really isn’t so bad after all considering all that it takes is a simply tweet. If you find yourself needing more than 1.5 GB of data each month, upgrading to the Grizzly Bear plan is still a damn good deal at $50/yr.
Price: Little Bear (Free), Giant Bear ($4.99/mo), Grizzly Bear ($49.99/yr)
Tunnel Bear is available for download on Windows, MAC, iOS and Android.
CyberGhost VPN is yet another popular VPN service with both free and premium options. The free version has some serious annoyances and you’re probably going to want to upgrade as soon as you install the free version.
- Does CyberGhost Free Edition have ads? No.
- Is it fast? On the free version, your speed depends on how many people are currently logged on to your server and there are only 37 servers available. With Premium, you’ve got 287 servers to choose from which means your speeds will be infinitely faster.
- Is it worth it? Yes. but if you don’t mind a 1.5GB monthly cap, TunnelBear would be a better choice.
The worst part about Cyber Ghost VPN is the inconvenient timed countdown when connecting. Example: CyberGhost sometimes decides it’s going to make you wait 60+ seconds for no reason other than to make you want to upgrade for instant access. C’mon!
Note: CyberGhost has a promotion going on right now for a special edition of their premium VPN service and concidentally, it’s called the Snowden Edition. If the promo pops up on your screen, I’d say go for it. At $14.99/year, it’s a cheap VPN and it’s probably the best deal you’ll find for a paid VPN service.
CyberGhost is available for download on Windows, MAC, iOS and Android.
Anchorfree’s Hotspot Shield Elite is one of the better premium VPNs that I’ve come across. At $29.99/year, it’s one of the more reasonably priced premium VPN’s on the market. At the end of the day, a premium quality virutal private network for less than $30/year is a great deal.
- Does Hotspot Shield Elite have ads? No.
- Is it fast? Yes.
- Is it worth downloading and installing? Yes.
Price: Hotspot Shield Elite ($29.95/yr)
DO I NEED A VPN?
I don’t know about you but making sure that I’ve got a secured Internet connection and keeping my sensitive information protected is a top priority when I’m traveling. In all honesty, it should be one of your top priorities as well.
As you can see from the VPN reviews above, you really get what you pay for when you take the free route. I guess it’s like most things in life. A lot of the time you end up wasting so much time and effort that you wish you paid for the service right straight from the get go. Many of the free VPN’s out there are just slow and frustrating.
Do yourself a favor and invest in your sanity by going premium. The worst case scenario is that you spend $30 bucks for a year of VPN service at a measly $2.50/month.
If you’re new to the whole VPN scene in general and you just want to learn the ropes and see how it all works at first, feel free to snatch up a free version of one of the programs listed above.
As always, if you have any questions regarding VPN’s or anything else found on this site, feel free to reach out.
Now, it’s your turn. Leave a comment below and let me know what your favorite VPN is!