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Best VPNs for Travel in 2024


When you travel abroad for work or holiday, online security and privacy should be a high priority. Open hotspots are easy gateways for bad actors to steal your personal information. Luckily, a VPN for travel can protect your devices and personal information when you connect to Wi-Fi at airports, hotels, or cafes. The best travel VPNs establish secure tunnels to safeguard internet traffic, minimizing the risk of exposing your online data. They also incorporate additional security features, such as a kill switch, to maintain IP protection in the event of a VPN connection dropout. Moreover, a VPN can help you enjoy your homeland streaming content overseas by spoofing your location to the country you need.

We tested over 42 VPNs, evaluating their security, performance, and unblocking abilities. Keep reading to find the top 5 secure and feature-rich travel VPNs for 2024 boasting a wide range of servers.

5 best VPNs for Travel in 2024 – shortlist

How to choose a travel VPN?

The best VPN for traveling abroad depends on various factors, such as your destination and intended activities. However, some features are universally necessary for every travel VPN if you want the most secure and carefree experience. Here’s a brief rundown of the essentials.

Security features:Kill switch, DNS leak protection, malware protection
Server locations:As many as possible (ideally in your destination and home countries)
Privacy:Independently-audited no-logs policy, privacy-friendly jurisdiction
Compatibility:
Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
Simultaneous connections:Minimum 5

Reliable security is vital when traveling because you’ll be connecting to airports, cafes, hotel Wi-Fi networks, and other public hotspots, many of which won’t be completely trustworthy. The Center for Internet Security advises using a VPN whenever you have to connect to such insecure networks.

Its wide array of server options ensures easy access to geo-blocked services from abroad or your home region. Plus, VPN servers in the country you’re visiting will guarantee the best possible speed and connection quality.

Don’t forget to opt for travel VPNs compatible with the devices you plan to take with you. Bonus points if the service supports multiple simultaneous connections and can protect your companions, too.

The best travel VPNs of 2024 – detailed list

We tested 42 potential VPN services for travelers abroad and compiled a list of the 5 VPNs that have successfully passed our given assessment. Our key testing metrics were server location count, connection speed, security feature reliability, app usability, price-to-performance ratio, and more.

1. NordVPN – best VPN for travel in 2024

NordVPN banner
Based in:Panama
Servers/countries:6100+ servers in 61 countries
Platforms:Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS
Current deal:Get NordVPN, now up to 67% OFF + gift!

NordVPN is the best VPN for international travel. During our tests, the provider managed to quickly connect us to selected servers, retaining fast speeds.

Server fleet. In total, NordVPN has over 6100 servers in 61 countries, so you should be able to connect to a server back home. There are also obfuscated servers, which can help you mask your VPN connection to continue using the service during your trip in countries where a VPN is banned.

Security. This VPN ensures total online protection with AES-256 encryption, a kill switch for public Wi-Fi safety, and a verified no-logs policy. Extras include an ad blocker, split tunneling, and a Meshnet feature for remote file sharing on the go.

Streaming. In our NordVPN tests, it excelled at unblocking geo-restricted content on various streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Max, and BBC iPlayer. Enjoy your favorite TV shows from anywhere in the world with ease.

Speed. This VPN provider also has excellent speeds, thanks to its signature NordLynx protocol, which is a modified version of the cutting-edge WireGuard. With it, you get around 90% of your initial connection speed.

Pricing. NordVPN is very affordable, with prices starting at just $3.39/month for up to 6simultaneous connections. 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.

2. Surfshark – advanced and budget-friendly VPN for traveling

Surfshark banner
Based in:The Netherlands
Servers/countries:3200+ servers in 100 countries
Platforms:
Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS
Current deal:Get 79% OFF Surfshark + 2 months FREE

Surfshark is an ideal option for travelers who aren't willing to spend much on VPN service. During our Surfshark evaluation, the provider didn't leak our IP address at all, there were no noticeable speed drops, and our researchers could even use the VPN in a heavily restricted region – Turkey.

Server fleet. Surfshark offers 3200 servers in 100 countries for global content access and a strong overall connection. It provides specialized servers, including obfuscated (Camouflage mode) ones, ensuring enhanced privacy.

Security. Surfshark ensures top-tier protection with advanced encryption, a reliable kill switch, GPS spoofing, and split tunneling. Its NoBorders mode bypasses restrictions in heavily regulated countries, and the Surfshark One antivirus suite adds an extra layer of security. The VPN's no-logs policy is independently audited for reliability.

Streaming. Surfshark VPN can easily unblock geo-restrictions on international streaming services, including Hulu, Disney Plus, and Netflix. So, with unlimited simultaneous connections, some people in your household can use it to watch their favorite shows – while others can use it to access work portals.

Speed. This VPN is also one of the fastest VPNs on our list. You shouldn’t have to deal with buffering or slow download speeds while on the road, as the provider maintains 86% of your actual connection speed.

Pricing. Surfshark’s plans are very affordable. The pricing starts at just $2.29/month, with a 7-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

3. Norton VPN – travel VPN with servers in many Europe countries

norton vpn banner
Based in:United States
Servers/countries:1000+ servers in 29 countries
Platforms:
Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS
Current deal:Get up to 58% OFF Norton VPN!

Norton VPN is an excellent choice for European travelers with servers in 19 European regions. It effectively unblocks popular streaming platforms like BBC iPlayer, Max, and YouTube TV, enabling access to foreign content from a single location..

Server fleet. With 1000 servers in 29 countries, this VPN might not have the largest server fleet, but it offers great global coverage. The most servers you’ll find in Europe, allowing you to connect and unblock various geographically restricted sites and content platforms.

Security. Norton VPN offers comprehensive security, employing AES-256 encryption, a strict no-logs policy, and the secure OpenVPN tunneling protocol. macOS and iOS users have access to the L2TP/IPSec protocol, while Windows and Android devices benefit from a system-wide kill switch to prevent accidental data leaks.

Streaming. Norton VPN unblocks BBC iPlayer, YouTube TV, and Max, making it useful for users outside the US. However, it may cause lag during video playback, unlike NordVPN or Surfshark, which offer smoother streaming experiences.

Speed. Norton VPN uses OpenVPN tunneling protocol, which is a reliable and secure choice. Based on our Norton VPN tests, this VPN retains around 74% of the original connection speed.

Pricing. While its prices start at $2.49/month with 10 simultaneous connections, you can also buy it together with the Norton antivirus, starting at $49.99/year. There’s also a generous 60-day money-back guarantee you can use in the unlikely event you won’t like the services.

4. TotalVPN – functional and secure travel VPN

TotalVPN banner
Based in:United Kingdom
Servers/countries:50+ servers in 30 countries
Platforms:Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
Current deal:Get 85% OFF TotalVPN!

Coming from one of the best antivirus providers, TotalVPN is a good quality VPN for travel. It offers solid security features, good server location distribution, and can come as part of the TotalAV device security suite to protect your devices while traveling.

Server fleet. TotalVPN service doesn’t have a lot of servers. However, they are very well distributed all over the world across 30 countries. Wherever you travel, you will find a good location to connect to, especially when it comes to Europe.

Security. TotalVPN uses the standard AES-256 encryption to secure your data. It also has a no-logs policy, and a functional kill switch in case the secure connection drops. Additional TotalVPN security features are available as other Total services, such as Total Adblock, TotalAV, and Total Password.

Streaming. Unfortunately, TotalVPN is not great at providing access to streaming services. If you’re looking for a streaming VPN that unblocks anything anywhere, NordVPN or Surfshark might be a better choice.

Speed. In terms of how fast TotalVPN is, we can confidently say that with the IKEv2 protocol, the provider retains over 70% of the baseline speed. This is a decent result, and such speeds are perfect for browsing, streaming, and any other casual online activities.

Pricing. With our special deal, you can get TotalVPN now for just $1.59/month on 6 separate devices simultaneously. It is also available as part of the TotalAV Internet Security and Total Security plans. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.

5. ExpressVPN – international VPN best for mobiles and streaming

ExpressVPN banner
Based in:British Virgin Islands
Servers/countries:3000+ servers in 105 countries
Platforms:Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS
Current deal:Get ExpressVPN, now 49% OFF + 3 months FREE!

ExpressVPN is a great travel companion that's mobile-friendly. It will fill up your evenings at the hotel with loads of unblocked streaming content, offering even x connections at a time. When testing ExpressVPN, not only did it give us access to all popular streaming services, but it also retained great speeds without leaking our IP.

Server fleet. There are over 3000 of ExpressVPN servers distributed across 105 countries. Hence, using it for trips is a good choice. It also has Stealth servers, also known as obfuscated servers, that hide your VPN connection.

Security. ExpressVPN provides top-notch AES encryption for worry-free travel, safeguarding your data from cyber threats. The Threat Manager blocks interactions with known malicious entities, and the court-approved no-logs policy emphasizes data respect. Additionally, a password manager enhances security by creating strong passwords.

Streaming. With ExpressVPN, securely access various streaming platforms from your travel location. Bypassing throttling and censorship, it ensures unrestricted streaming of your preferred content.

Speed. This VPN offers several tunneling protocol options, including its in-house- built Lightway tunnel. The latter ensures you receive good connection speeds without compromising your safety. However, ExpressVPN retains only 77% of your real connection speed on average.

Pricing. You can get wide-reaching ExpressVPN service for $6.67/month for a 1-year plan – it's pretty expensive compared to other market leaders like NordVPN. 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, too.

How we tested and selected travel VPNs

Our team of Cybernews experts and researchers went through a detailed testing process to select the best VPNs for international travel. Therefore, we've analyzed and selected the best travel VPNs for 2024 based on specific criteria:

  • Security tools. You’ll encounter countless public Wi-Fi networks while traveling or working abroad, which means exposure to an unprecedented number of cyber threats. Thus, you’ll need exceptional protection against malware and unwelcome hacking attempts.
  • Confidentiality. A privacy-centered VPN with a no-logs policy ensures that no one will know where you’re traveling unless you explicitly tell them.
  • Server variety. A worldwide server network is vital for bypassing geo-blocking and guaranteeing optimal connectivity in every part of the world.
  • Overall speed and tunneling protocols. Another crucial aspect of overall speed is tunneling protocol availability. Specifically, only cutting-edge options like WireGuard or its modern moderations can guarantee mind-blowing speeds in remote areas while connecting to far-away regions.
  • App variety and ease of use. Travelers need a VPN with apps for every device they plan to pack. This list can include laptops, mobile phones, streaming sticks, e-readers, and various other gadgets. At the same time, these applications must be easy to use and filled with the most powerful features.
  • Subscription price. It shouldn’t surprise you that the best VPNs for travelers aren’t free. Thankfully, the most worthwhile options are affordable and even include free trials and money-back guarantees for testing.
  • Customer service. You’ll likely require customer support assistance to get a VPN up and running in a foreign environment. Thus, we picked VPN services with 24/7 help for minimal downtime while abroad.
Get the best VPN for international travel
Go on holiday around the globe securely and privately without performance issues using NordVPN. The service offers thousands of worldwide servers to ensure ironclad protection and access to geo-blocked content in any travel destination. You can even use it for free using the 7-day trial and 30-day money-back guarantee.
cybernews® score
4.9 /5

Best VPN for travel comparison

We tested and compared the key features of our top VPNs, looking at their server fleet, pricing, device compatibility, and unblocking capabilities. Explore the specifics of the best VPNs for international travel below.

BrandNordVPNSurfsharkVPN comparison table logo NEWNorton VPN logo for tablesTotalVPNlogo
Server fleet6100+ servers in 61 countries3200+ servers in 100 countries1000+ servers in 29 countries50+ servers in 30 countries3000+ servers in 105 countries
Free trial7-day7-dayNoNoNo
Starting price$3.39/month$2.29/month$2.49/month$1.59/month$6.67/month
Max. devices supported6Unlimited1068
Kill switch✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes✅Yes
Streaming services unblockedNetflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and moreNetflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and moreBBC iPlayer, MaxYouTubeNetflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more
Based inPanamaThe Netherlands (part of 9 Eyes)
United StatesUnited KingdomBritish Virgin Islands
ReviewNordVPN reviewSurfshark VPN reviewNorton review
TotalVPN reviewExpressVPN review

Why you should use a VPN for travel

A VPN is an excellent travel companion because it enhances privacy and allows access to content from different regions. By encrypting your internet traffic, it safeguards your data on public Wi-Fi networks. The websites you visit won't see your actual IP address but one provided by your VPN, making it challenging to track your location or online activity. It's important to note, though, that a VPN doesn't replace antivirus software, so stay vigilant against malware and phishing.

Moreover, VPNs can trick apps and services into thinking you're in a different location. For instance, if you're on vacation in Canada and want to stream a movie available only on US Netflix, a VPN can make it seem like you're in a different city or country. Whether for entertainment or bypassing location restrictions, VPNs are versatile tools.

How to use VPN when traveling

Setting up a travel VPN doesn’t take long nor adds extra stress to your trip. VPN providers, like NordVPN, make it easy to set up and use applications so that online security can be easily accessed anywhere and at any time.

Here’s how to set up a VPN on your device for traveling abroad:

  1. Choose a travel VPN that fits your needs. NordVPN is one of the best and now 67% OFF!
  2. Download the app and sign up for the service
  3. Set up the VPN and connect to your preferred server
  4. Enhance security by enabling the kill switch feature
  5. Test your connection abroad and you're good to go!

Yes, travel VPNs are legal in most countries. They enhance online privacy and security, and their use for legitimate purposes is not typically prohibited by law.

However, it's essential to use VPNs responsibly and comply with the specific laws and regulations of the country you are visiting, as some nations may have restrictions on VPN usage, particularly in countries with strict censorship or surveillance policies. Always ensure you are aware of local laws while using a VPN abroad.

Travel VPN troubleshooting guide

VPN apps aren’t immune to occasional software hiccups. Crucially, these could prove frustrating if they occur while traveling and you’re unsure what to do. Hence, we suggest getting to know the quick fixes if your VPN is not working while traveling.

  1. Switch servers. VPN server IP addresses can be blocked if too many customers frequently use them. Naturally, they can also underperform due to maintenance or excess traffic.
  2. Enable traffic obfuscation. Some services can detect the fact that you’re using a VPN. Traffic obfuscation helps conceal the fact.
  3. Check for leaks. Your VPN won’t bypass online blockades if your information is peeking through. Use third-party tools like dnsleaktest.com to ensure you’re not suffering from IP or DNS leaks.
  4. Try a different protocol. Many network limitations are enforced by blocking specific web traffic. This can affect popular VPN tunneling protocols like OpenVPN. Consider opting for security-centered protocols if your provider has such options.
  5. Update your software. Sometimes issues can arise from a missing critical update on your VPN app. Ensure you’re using the latest version before boarding your plane.
  6. Try another provider. Perhaps you’re using a VPN service unoptimized for travel. Thankfully, it’s easy to try the best VPN for traveling because NordVPN offers a 7-day free trial and a follow-up 30-day money-back guarantee.

Free VPN for travel: should I use it?

No, using a free VPN for international travel is not recommended because it often has limited features, slower speeds, privacy concerns, and inconsistent performance, which can compromise your online experience and data security while traveling.

  • Completely free VPNs put your security in danger. These providers commonly resort to unsavory practices (data logging, adware) to monetize unpaying users. In short, free VPNs don’t give any benefit and instead put you in greater danger.
  • Freemium VPNs grant severely limited features. Some premium VPNs offer free plans with minimal features, making them ill-equipped to protect you on your travels.

A more worthwhile strategy is utilizing free trials of well-renowned premium VPNs. Typically, these risk-free trials last around a week, making them perfect for a week-long getaway. On the other hand, money-back guarantees last even longer if you’re planning a lengthier holiday.

  • NordVPN. The 7-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee are an ideal combo for testing the #1 provider during an extended vacation abroad.
  • Surfshark. A worthwhile option if you need to protect an unlimited number of devices while traveling. Utilize the 7-day free trial or the 30-day money-back guarantee to gain this service’s benefits.

Extra cybersecurity tips for travelers

Using a VPN isn’t the only step you should take to improve your cybersecurity posture while traveling. It’s also useful to take a look at other security measures to prevent any dangers in cyberspace.

Here are some extra cybersecurity tips for travelers:

  • Make a backup of your information. In case you lose your device, it’s better to be safe than sorry and make backups of your most important files.
  • Set up biometric and two-factor authentication. Secure your device and most important accounts with two-factor authentication to make it more difficult for anyone to gain access to your data.
  • Use a password manager. Download a reputable password manager, even if it’s a free one, to generate and use unbreakable passwords without the need to remember them. This encrypts your login credentials,
  • Be aware of what you click. Make sure you don’t click suspicious email attachments, links, or download any untrustworthy apps. You may end up infecting your device with various types of malware, resulting in financial loss, identity theft, and more.
  • Use an antivirus. Malware removal tools are a great way to make sure your device doesn’t get infected with threats. There are loads of scammers around the world trying to take advantage of unsuspecting travelers, but an antivirus with real-time protection helps prevent the dangers.

Conclusion

Getting a reliable VPN is essential for traveling abroad. It will keep your data secure while you’re away, even if you have to use public Wi-Fi in your hotel or the airport. You’ll also find an international VPN a vital tool if you want to access anything from back home, such as streaming services, work portals, or region-restricted online systems.

We concluded that the best travel VPN is NordVPN due to its abundance of exceptional perks. It can easily thwart malware, unlock geo-blocked movies, and guarantee blazing-fast speeds anywhere with its massive high-quality server network. Most importantly, its affordability won’t leave a huge dent in your travel budget and the software won’t take up any space in your luggage.



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