Best VPNs for traveling in 2023
Whether you’re traveling abroad for work or leisure, you might need to use public wifi networks in airports, hotels, and cafes. Often, these networks are unsafe and can be used to hack your device and steal your data. But a VPN for travel can help.
A solid international traveling VPN will secure your data when connecting to public networks like airports and cafes. Additionally, it will allow you to bypass geo-blocking and make it possible to log into your favorite websites and streaming services from anywhere in the world.
In this guide, we’ll talk you through the best VPNs for traveling in 2023, as well as how to use a VPN while you’re away from home. So read on for everything you need to know.
Top 5 best VPNs for international travel
- NordVPN – best VPN for traveling abroad
- Surfshark – budget travel VPN for multiple devices
- PureVPN – secure VPN for traveling
- ExpressVPN – fast and safe travel VPN
- CyberGhost – a private VPN with servers in 91 countries
What to look for in the best travel VPN?
There are loads of factors to consider when choosing a VPN for traveling. Therefore, it’s important to know a few key points that can instantly show whether the service is worth it. Consequently, we made sure to look at the following most crucial criteria:
- Security and privacy: A VPN is a vital tool for improving your online security. But this is especially important if you’re traveling, as you’re more likely to have to connect to public Wi-Fi and other unsecured networks. Each of the VPNs on our list has many excellent security features, such as leak protection, obfuscated servers, or military-grade encryption, to protect your data, no matter what network you’re using.
- Speed: Whatever you’re doing online, having fast internet speeds is always helpful, particularly if you’re traveling. A large server fleet and top-notch tunneling protocol, WireGuard, are those selling points that you should consider. Thus, all the VPNs on our list offer speeds that should support lag-free streaming and comfortable browsing.
- If it’s good for streaming: When you’re away, you might want to catch up on your favorite shows and movies from back home. Therefore, we chose VPNs that can unblock content on all the major streaming services.
- Additional features: With so many VPNs to choose from, we looked out for ones that offer extra features, like an ad blocker, to make them better value for money.
- Price: Whatever you’re buying, price is always an important factor. That’s why we made sure we recommended VPNs for a range of different budgets.
The best VPNs for traveling – our detailed list:
We tested out loads of international VPNs and compiled a list of our favorite ones. Let's take a look at them one by one – this will help you pick the VPN that's best for you.
1. NordVPN – overall best VPN for traveling
|Servers/countries:||5500+ servers in 60 countries|
|Platforms:||Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox|
|Current deal:||🔥Get NordVPN with 63% OFF + 3 months FREE!🔥|
NordVPN is the best VPN for international travel abroad because it offers excellent security features, great unblocking capabilities, servers all over the world, and affordable pricing.
Streaming: NordVPN is perfect for unblocking geo-restricted content on every streaming service we’ve tested it on, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, and BBC iPlayer. So you can use it to keep up with all your favorite TV shows from wherever you are.
Security and speed: NordVPN is very secure. It employs AES-256 encryption and also supports tunneling protocols such as OpenVPN and IKEv2. This VPN provider also has excellent speeds, thanks to its signature NordLynx protocol, which is a modified version of the cutting-edge WireGuard.
Features: with NordVPN, you’ll get access to a wide range of security features. The essentials include Threat Protection and a kill switch. There are also features such as SmartDNS, split tunneling, and obfuscated servers. And in case you run into any issues, there’s live chat support available 24/7.
Servers and apps: In total, NordVPN has over 5500 servers in 60 countries, so you should be able to connect to a server back home. You can also download the app for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, several browsers, and more.
Pricing: NordVPN is very affordable, with prices starting at just $3.29 a month. There is also a 7-day free trial, and a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try out the service without any risks.
To find out more, read our full NordVPN review.
- Great at unblocking international content
- Incredibly secure
- NordLynx delivers fast speeds
- Lots of features for a low monthly cost
- Works in China
- Customizable kill switch
- Impressive fleet of servers
- No free version
2. Surfshark – best VPN for family vacations
|Based in:||The Netherlands|
|Servers/countries:||3200+ servers in 100 countries|
|Platforms:||Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox|
|Current deal:||🔥Get 82% OFF Surfshark + 2 months FREE🔥|
Surfshark is an ideal option for traveling and using several devices at once because it comes with unlimited simultaneous connections. It also performs really well regarding speed and site unblocking, as well as offers an extensive selection of extra features.
Streaming: Surfshark VPN can easily unblock geo-restrictions on international streaming services, including Hulu, Disney Plus, and Netflix. So, some people in your household can use it to watch their favorite shows – while others can use it to access work portals.
Security and speed: Surfshark uses sophisticated encryption ciphers for maximum protection and has a functional kill switch and split tunneling for maximum security. It is also one of the fastest VPNs on our list thanks to the WireGuard protocol. You shouldn’t have to deal with buffering or slow download speeds.
Features: Even more importantly, it comes with many impressive security features, including obfuscation mode, CleanWeb for safe browsing, GPS spoofing, and more. This should give you real peace of mind: no matter where you travel, your online activity will remain private.
Servers and apps: Surfshark gives you access to more than 3200 servers in over 100 countries worldwide, so you should be able to access the content you want from wherever you are. You can also get Surfshark for any iOS, macOS, Android, Windows, and other devices.
Pricing: Surfshark’s plans are very affordable. The pricing starts at just $2.30 a month, with a 7-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
For everything you need to know, check out our in-depth Surshark VPN review.
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Fantastic value for money
- Can unblock any content you want to watch
- Fastest VPN we tested
- Good range of security features
- GPS spoofing
- Good customer support
- No free version
3. PureVPN – budget-conscious travel VPN
|Based in:||British Virgin Islands|
|Servers/countries:||6500+ servers in 78 countries|
|Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS|
|Current deal:||🔥Get PureVPN, now 81% OFF + 3 months FREE!🔥|
PureVPN is a great VPN option for those traveling on a budget, and not wanting to spend any more on online security. Together with extremely affordable pricing, PureVPN also offers an incredible amount of servers and some neat additional features.
Streaming: PureVPN is a pretty good choice if you’re looking to unblock the most popular streaming services. During our tests, this VPN successfully unblocked such platforms as Netflix, Hulu, and others.
Security and speed: this VPN does not cut corners when it comes to security. It uses the latest encryption technologies and is the only VPN in the market with an always-on security audit. This means that PureVPN’s no-log policy is continuously being checked. Additionally, the WireGuard protocol also gives it an extra edge on speed, which is always appreciated in a VPN.
Servers and apps: with 6500 servers in 78 countries, you’ll be able to access a wide variety of libraries, wherever you are. PureVPN also allows up to 10 simultaneous connections, so you can connect it to just about any device your travel with.
Features: all of the premium VPN features are here, including a functional kill switch, split tunneling, and port forwarding.
Pricing: PureVPN prices start at $2.08/month and this is great overall value. There’s also a generous 31-day money-back guarantee you can use in the unlikely event you won’t like the services.
Want to know more? Check out our in-depth PureVPN review.
- Solid value for money
- Always-on security audit
- All the main premium VPN features
- Supports torrenting
- Solid streaming capabilities
- 31-day money-back guarantee
- Limited Linux app
- Some features might not work with WireGuard
4. ExpressVPN – security-first VPN for traveling
|Based in:||British Virgin Islands|
|Servers/countries:||3000+ servers in 94 countries|
|Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS|
|Current deal:||🔥Get ExpressVPN, now 49% OFF the 1-year plan!🔥|
ExpressVPN is a great travel companion that provides all-around security online while on the road. It keeps your connection speeds fast while offering top safety and complete anonymity on the Internet.
Streaming: With ExpressVPN, you can access many streaming platforms without sacrificing security. Whether it’s movies or sports channels, you can download and stream preferred content from your travel location. This VPN bypasses throttling and censorship, so there are no limits to the content you can watch.
Security and speed: Top-notch AES encryption protects your data from malicious activities and cyberattacks so that you can travel light-heartedly without any online risk. Moreover, Threat Manager stops your apps and websites from communicating with third parties known to partake in malicious activities or track online behavior.
Servers and apps: If you travel to places with strictly controlled media or content, you should consider ExpressVPN. It offers 3000+ servers in 91 countries and can connect up to 7 simultaneous connections. You can download ExpressVPN on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Chromebook, and Kindle.
Features: ExpressVPN comes with unlimited bandwidth that can boost your connectivity significantly, also – minimize ping and lag. The split tunneling feature helps you choose which traffic you would like to protect. And if you end up in a place with a poor connection, Network Lock will shut down your Internet connection if the VPN connection gets interrupted.
Pricing: You can get wide-reaching ExpressVPN service for $6.67/month for a 1-year plan. If you want to test this VPN provider before a long-term commitment, you can try it for 30 days with a money-back guarantee.
Learn more in ExpressVPN review.
- AES encryption
- Includes WireGuard protocol
- Bypasses throttling
- 3000+ servers fleet in 94 countries
- Unblocks many streaming services
- Excellent speed
- Slightly pricier than other providers
- Kill switch not supported on iOS
5. CyberGhost – all-rounded travel VPN with exciting features
|Locations:||9700+ servers in 91 countries|
|Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox|
|Current deal:||🔥Get CyberGhost VPN, now 83% OFF + 2 months FREE🔥|
CyberGhost is one of the best VPNs for traveling. It has a fleet of features that can help you access location-specific content. CyberGhost offers specialized servers for torrenting, gaming, and streaming so you can bypass all geo-blocks and torrent freely, especially in places where it's restricted.
Streaming: CyberGhost VPN contains specialized servers for streaming. CyberGhost unblocks every platform, including Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer. It also goes around geo-blocked YouTube videos, and this feature will let you stay unaffected by changes in the streaming library while you’re abroad.
Security and speed: CyberGhost tunneling protocols, such as WireGuard, IKEv2, and OpenVPN, enable a fast and secure browsing experience. Top-grade AES-256 encryption secures your data, despite the country you’re traveling to.
Servers and apps: An excellent fleet of 9700+ servers in 91 countries means accessing various content worldwide. CyberGhost also offers up to 7 simultaneous connections and is available on the most popular operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.
Features: When you travel and connect to various public networks, you are at a higher risk of third parties invading your privacy. NoSpy servers block all third parties monitoring or accessing your data. In addition, the kill switch shuts down the Internet whenever the VPN connection is interrupted. It ensures your online identity is completely protected at all times.
Pricing: CyberGhost starts at $2.19/month and offers a 45-day money-back guarantee. With various pricing options, this VPN is a flexible provider for safe browsing while traveling.
To learn more, dive into the CyberGhost review.
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Dedicated servers for streaming, torrenting
- Anonymous payment options
- Free trial
- NoSpy servers
- VPN with the most countries
- Outdated Linux version
- WireGuard interruptions on Mac
Why use a VPN for traveling abroad?
If you’re traveling overseas, there are loads of reasons why getting a VPN is as important as packing your sunglasses or swimming costume. By using a VPN, you will be able to:
- Access content from back home: Whether you need to access work systems or you want to catch up on your favorite TV shows while away, a VPN will let you keep connected to all your sites and services from anywhere. By using a VPN to connect to a server in your home country, you can avoid being locked out of your accounts due to your location change.
- Secure yourself on public wifi networks: Often while traveling, you may need to connect to public Wi-Fi in airports, cafes, or hotels. But public Wi-Fi networks can be a real security risk, so using a VPN will help protect your data.
- Encrypt your data: One of the most important reasons for using a VPN is security. And it can be especially helpful when you’re in a foreign country. By encrypting your internet traffic, a VPN will keep your online activity hidden from hackers, government bodies, and other third parties.
- Bypass online censorship: If you’re traveling to a country that has strict censorship laws, you can use a VPN to help you bypass these restrictions. All you need to do is use one to connect to a server in a country that doesn’t restrict your content, and you’ll be able to access whatever you want.
- Find cheaper flights: This may sound too good to be true, but a VPN can actually help you save money on your travel. After all, some websites that sell flights and hotel accommodation change their pricing depending on how wealthy the location you’re in is perceived to be. But with a VPN, you can connect to a server in a different region to unlock lower prices.
Best VPNs for traveling compared
|Free trial||Yes, 7-day||Yes, 7-day||Yes, 7-day||No||Yes, up to 7 days|
|Price (lowest price per month)||3.29/month||2.30/month||2.08/month||$6.67/month||$2.19/month|
|Streaming||Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more||Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and more||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube||Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+||Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+|
|Servers||5500+ servers in 60 countries||3200+ servers in 100 countries||6500+ servers in 78 countries||3000+ servers in 94 countries||9700+ servers in 91 countries|
|Country||Panama||The Netherlands (part of 9 Eyes)||British Virgin Islands||British Virgin Islands||Romania|
|Review||NordVPN review||Surfshark VPN review||PureVPN review||ExpressVPN review||CyberGhost review|
How to set up a VPN for traveling abroad
Here, we’ll show you how to set up a VPN on your device. In most cases, these step-by-step instructions should be enough to get your VPN up and running on your device without any additional setup.
To install a VPN, follow these steps:
- Choose a VPN that works best – NordVPN worked great for us. Now 63%% OFF!
- Go to your device’s app store or the official website of a VPN and download the VPN app.
- Open the app, and sign up for the service.
- Connect to your preferred server, and start surfing!
- If you can’t access geo-blocked content straight away, clear your cache and cookies.
It’s a good idea to check whether or not the country you’re visiting has good internet connectivity. If you’re going somewhere with strict laws, you may need to change your VPN application’s settings accordingly.
Keep in mind that it’s possible to get a VPN in different ways. These include downloading the app from your provider’s official website, from the app store, or using a VPN as a browser extension on your computer.
Can I get cheap airfares and hotels with a VPN?
Yes, believe it or not, you can actually access cheaper flights and hotels using a VPN. Prices can vary depending on where you are in the world and how wealthy that location is considered to be.
For example, prices shown to users with a US IP address are likely to be a lot higher than those you’d see if you used an IP address in India. Therefore, using a VPN can help you access lower prices for international purchases, such as hotels, flights, and hostels by disguising your real location.
If you want to save money on your next trip abroad, we recommend choosing one of the VPNs from our list and connecting to servers in a few different regions, and running a price comparison on the flights and hotels you want. Just don’t forget to clear your cookies and cache each time you re-enter the site so that it can’t tell you’ve visited the site before.
In which countries are VPNs illegal?
Not every country has the same rules around VPNs or even general browsing. There are places that have strictly banned VPN usage or highly restrict the freedom of the internet. And going against those restrictions results in unflattering consequences.
Here are the countries that might restrict VPN usage:
|Countries where a VPN is banned||Countries with strict internet censorship|
|China, Belarus, Iraq, Russia, and Oman.||Bahrain, Cuba, Egypt, Myanmar, North Korea, Turkmenistan, Vietnam, Iran, UAE, and Turkey.|
Despite the fact that VPNs are illegal or discouraged in certain regions, you can still connect to servers there if you use the right VPN. Equally, you can connect to a VPN with obfuscated servers in countries that ban VPNs without being detected. Just be sure you check that your chosen VPN works in the country you’re visiting before you set off.
Can I use a free VPN for travel abroad?
Although some free VPNs may work in the country you’re visiting, we wouldn’t recommend using a free VPN for traveling. They tend to have very poor usability, and they’re quite slow and unreliable. What’s worse, free VPNs aren’t very secure, and they usually make money by collecting data from users and selling it to third parties.
Even if these are compromises you’re willing to make, you probably won’t be able to enjoy your favorite shows. Most free VPNs are blocked by major streaming services, and they struggle to bypass geo-restrictions.
Frankly, premium VPNs also offer options to use their services for free. Find them below:
- NordVPN. This VPN will make your travel abroad fully protected without a whole month of paying for the service and with an additional NordVPN 7-day free trial on mobile devices.
- Surfshark. Another trustworthy VPN with a next-gen suite of security features allows you to use its service for free for a month. Add Surfshark’s 7-day free trial and receive even 37 days of a free VPN
Getting a reliable VPN is an essential step for traveling abroad. It will keep your data secure while you’re away, even if you have to connect to public Wi-Fi in your hotel or at the airport. You’ll also find a VPN a vital tool if you want to access anything from back home, such as streaming services, work portals, or region-restricted online systems.
However, there are many VPNs on the market, and not all of them will be helpful when you’re traveling abroad. Therefore, to choose the best option, it’s essential that a VPN would fit the criteria we have based on.
Our favorite VPN for traveling is NordVPN. With it, no corner of the world will be left out as it offers an extraordinary server fleet, you won’t skip your favorite shows wherever you go, and next-generation protection is guaranteed.
More guides from Cybernews:
Best business VPNs: best VPN solutions for small and corporate business
Best VPNs for Canada: access blocked websites and apps in Canada
Best VPNs for USA: unblock Netflix's US library in the US or anywhere
Best VPNs for Banking: ensure that your banking activities are secure with a VPN
Which VPN is the best for international travel?
The best VPN for travel is NordVPN. It has 5500 servers, which are located in 60 countries. NordVPN also offers a top-notch suite of features that allow you to have a fast and reliable network connection all around the world (even in heavily-censored countries such as China or Iraq).
Do VPNs work without Wi-Fi?
Yes, you can use a VPN with your mobile data, so you don’t need to be connected to Wi-Fi to get it to work. All you need is an internet connection. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that mobile data can be very expensive while you’re roaming abroad, so we’d recommend using Wi-Fi wherever possible.
Can I use a VPN to avoid roaming charges?
Unfortunately, you will still have to pay for the same amount of data whether you use a VPN or not. There’s no way a VPN can hide your roaming charges from your ISP.
Can I use VPN internationally?
Yes, most good VPNs can work pretty much anywhere in the world. However, not all of them can bypass government censorship in countries where VPNs are blocked, such as China. If you’re traveling to a country that doesn’t allow VPNs, be sure to check if your VPN will work there before you set off.
Which VPN has all countries?
No VPN has servers in all the countries but Surfshark covers a pretty extensive number of countries around the world. With this country VPN, you get to choose from more than 3200 servers in 100 countries and the number is constantly increasing. Thanks to this, you can enjoy great connection speeds as servers don’t get overcrowded.
Will a VPN make my connection slow while traveling?
Naturally, all VPNs slow down your connection, but it shouldn't be visible to the eye. That's why you should choose VPNs with vast server fleets and speedy tunneling protocols, such as WireGuard. NordVPN, for instance, uses the ultra fast NordLynx protocol, making it one of the fastest VPNs on the market.
Can I use a VPN for different states?
Yes, you can use a VPN when traveling in different states, but only if your VPN offers servers in more than one state. For example, NordVPN has server locations in 15 cities in the US, and 3 cities in Canada.
How do I make my Wi-Fi secure when traveling?
To keep your connection to public Wi-Fi secure when traveling, you should use a reliable and secure VPN such as NordVPN. It will encrypt your internet traffic and hide your online activities from anyone interested in snooping around. A good VPN will also block ads and protect you from malicious websites.
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