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Best VPN for travel in 2024


A VPN is crucial for safe and unrestricted internet use while traveling abroad. It protects your devices from malicious hackers on public Wi-Fi and lets you access services geo-blocked in your travel destination. For example, if you travel to Europe, you won't be able to access US-exclusive streaming platforms like Hulu. Unless you use a VPN for travel to change your IP address and virtual location. Additionally, a VPN can ensure you’re not bothered by other geographical restrictions or online threats.

Together with a team of experts, we tested 42 VPNs, evaluating their security, performance, and unblocking abilities. Keep reading to find the top 5 fastest and feature-rich travel VPNs for 2024.

Best VPN for travel – shortlist

The best VPNs for travel in 2024 – detailed list

Together with a team of experts, we tested 42 potential VPN services for travelers abroad and I compiled a list of 5 VPNs that have successfully passed all assessments. The key testing metrics were server location count, connection speed, security feature reliability, app usability, price-to-value ratio, and more.

1. NordVPN – best VPN for travel overall

NordVPN banner
Servers/countries:6400+ servers in 111 countries
Platforms:Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS
Current deal:Get NordVPN, now up to 72% OFF + free travel data!

NordVPN is the best VPN for travel in 2024 due to its massive server fleet and excellent security arsenal. During in-house tests, the provider quickly connected me to selected servers and retained ultra-fast speeds with its in-house NordLynx protocol.

Security and privacy. Like all travel VPNs I recommend, NordVPN employs strong AES-256 encryption to secure user connections. Another feature common among all reputable VPNs is the kill switch, which prevents IP leaks by cutting your internet connection if the VPN tunnel disconnects unexpectedly. Threat Protection, Meshnet, Dark Web Monitor, and numerous other security features are in place to guarantee that you can use the web safely while traveling.

Speed and streaming. During in-house NordVPN tests, I was particularly interested to see how fast this VPN is connecting to servers in different locations. I was impressed by 90% speed retention, which means that you can barely feel the difference from the original internet speed. In fact, NordVPN is the fastest VPN in 2024. And because the provider has 6400+ servers across 111 countries, overcrowding isn’t really an issue. Hence, I had no problem finding a nearby server or a server in a country whose streaming content I wanted to access. I unblocked Netflix, Hulu, Max, Disney+, and other popular streaming platforms with ease.

Bypassing geo-restrictions. NordVPN excelled at unblocking geo-restricted content on various streaming services as well as sites normally prohibited abroad. For example, NordVPN worked great at unblocking adult sites in the US.

Pricing. NordVPN is very affordable, with prices starting at just $3.39/month for up to 10 simultaneous connections. There is also a 7-day free trial available on the Google Play Store, making it ideal if you’re planning to travel with an Android device. Alternatively, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try out the service without any risks.

2. Surfshark – best budget-friendly travel VPN

Surfshark banner
Servers/countries:3200+ servers in 100 countries
Platforms:
Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS
Current deal:Get 83% OFF Surfshark + 3 months FREE

Surfshark is the top travel VPN for cost-conscious users, and it has a vast server fleet of 3200+ servers across 100 countries. While Surfshark has fewer servers than NordVPN, with pricing starting at just $2.19/month, it is one of the cheapest options on the market. Plus, Surfshark offers support for unlimited simultaneous connections, something that no other VPN on this list can provide.

Security and privacy. Surfshark VPN includes numerous safety features besides the expected top-tier encryption and kill switch. CleanWeb is similar to NordVPN’s Threat Protection and blocks ads and malware. My favorite addition to the features’ arsenal is the Rotating IP, which periodically alters your IP address for improved anonymity.

Speed and streaming. Although not as fast as NordVPN, Surfshark is also one of the fastest VPNs on this list. It employs the modern and open-source WireGuard protocol, and it managed to maintain 86% speed retention on average during in-house Surfshark VPN tests. That combined with a global server fleet ensures you will have no problem connecting to servers and streaming Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Paramount+, YouTube TV, and other popular platforms buffer-free and in HD.

Bypassing geo-restrictions. While Surfshark VPN can easily unblock geo-restrictions on international streaming services, it can do more than that. With the special NoBorders mode, it can bypass online censorship and restrictions by automatically connecting to a VPN server when the provider detects you are connecting from a location known for censorship. Overall, Surfshark guarantees you’ll have no trouble accessing far-away foreign content while traveling the world.

Pricing. Surfshark’s plans are very affordable. The pricing starts at just $2.19/month and includes a 30-day money-back guarantee. Before that, you can utilize its 7-day free trial, which is available for Android, iOS, and macOS users.

3. Norton Secure VPN – travel VPN with many international servers

norton vpn banner
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 VPN while traveling to Europe or America due to its servers being concentrated on those continents. It effectively unblocks popular streaming platforms like BBC iPlayer, Max, and YouTube TV, enabling access to foreign content from a single location.

Security and privacy. Norton VPN offers comprehensive security, employing AES-256 encryption, a strict no-logs policy, and the secure OpenVPN tunneling protocol. While Norton doesn’t offer the industry-standard WireGuard protocol or a proprietary protocol like NordVPN’s NordLynx or ExpressVPN’s Lightway, OpenVPN can still ensure secure and fast connections. A few other features I think are worth mentioning include Ad-Tracker Blocking and Wi-Fi Security.

Speed and streaming. Norton Secure VPN has around 1000 servers in 29 countries, making it less than ideal for unblocking far-away foreign content. Thankfully, it worked well with European and American content when I tested the VPN. For example, I could easily unblock BBC iPlayer, YouTube TV, and Max. On the other hand, I had no luck with Hulu and some Netflix libraries. During Norton Secure VPN tests, this VPN retained around 74% of the original connection speed.

Bypassing geo-restrictions. According to the latest information available to me, besides servers in Europe and North America, Norton Secure VPN also has 3 servers in Asia. Since VPNs are blocked in China, North Korea, Iraq, Iran, and several other countries on the continent, Norton VPN may offer servers near these heavily restricted regions. Nonetheless, if you’re traveling to Asia, I recommend choosing NordVPN as it can offer numerous P2P, Obfuscated, Double VPN, and Dedicated IP servers across 10 Asian countries.

Pricing. While its prices start at $2.49/month with 10 simultaneous connections, you can also buy it together with the Norton 360 antivirus. The VPN is included in Deluxe and Select plans, with prices starting from $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 – best cheap VPN for travel

TotalVPN banner
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 traveling for those who value security and budget-friendly pricing. It offers solid security features and decent server location distribution at the lowest price among our selected VPN services. On the downside, the VPN’s server fleet is the smallest among the providers on this list.

Security and privacy. TotalVPN uses the standard AES-256 encryption to secure your data. It also has a no-logs policy and a functional kill switch if the secure connection drops. Additional TotalVPN security features include Total Adblock and Total Password. There’s also DNS leak protection that ensures your connection details will always remain private while connected to the VPN. Of course, the biggest security perk is that TotalVPN comes integrated into TotalAV’s Internet Security and Total Security packages.

Speed and streaming. TotalVPN is the slowest VPN on this list. Nonetheless, during tests, it maintained around 70% of the baseline speed with the OpenVPN tunneling protocol. This is a decent result; however, it won’t help much with streaming. When I tested TotalVPN, I couldn’t access Netflix, Hulu, Max, or any other popular streaming provider. All it could unlock was YouTube. In short, TotalVPN is not a streaming VPN.

Bypassing geo-restrictions. The TotalVPN service doesn’t have a lot of servers. However, they are well distributed worldwide across over 30 countries, so you might be able to find a local server during some of your travels, especially in Europe and the US. Ultimately, whether or not you can trust TotalVPN to bypass geo-restricted content depends on where you are traveling to. If you want fewer restrictions, pick NordVPN or another provider with a more diverse server fleet.

Pricing. TotalVPN is one of the cheapest VPNs on the market, with the starting price of just $1.59/month for 6 separate devices simultaneously. It is also available as part of the TotalAV Internet Security and Total Security plans, with prices starting at $39.00/year. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee.

5. ExpressVPN – best secure international travel VPN

ExpressVPN banner
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 an excellent travel VPN for people prioritizing digital security and privacy. It offers superb protection features and privacy assurances while providing solid connection speeds. Sadly, its top-tier performance comes with an above-average price tag.

Security and privacy. ExpressVPN is almost on par with NordVPN in terms of security and privacy. It covers the basics with strong AES-256 encryption and a reliable kill switch on all apps. Besides that, the unique Threat Manager blocks data-sharing and tracking between various apps and websites. Additionally, the service includes a password manager (ExpressVPN Keys) at no extra cost, making it a well-rounded cybersecurity service while traveling.

Speed and streaming. In-house ExpressVPN tests confirmed that this service is one of the best at unlocking restricted foreign content. It works great with streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Max, Disney Plus, and more. Just like NordVPN, ExpressVPN uses a proprietary tunneling protocol (Lightway), and it delivers excellent connection speeds suitable for high-quality video streaming anywhere. The service retained around 77% of original internet speeds during tests.

Bypassing geo-restrictions. ExpressVPN offers an undisclosed number of servers across 105 countries for bypassing geographical restrictions. According to the latest available data, the VPN had X+ servers globally. This should be enough to find servers in the countries whose content you want to access as well as servers in nearby locations. This should ensure that you can easily unblock any content despite your current location.

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

Best VPN for travel comparison

BrandRatingServer fleet
Free trial and money-back guarantee
Starting price
Device support
Kill switchStreaming services unblocked
NordVPN
4.9
6400+ servers in 111 countries
Yes, 7-day trial on Android and a 30-day money-back guaranteeFrom $3.39/month
10✅YesNetflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more
Surfshark
4.7
3200+ servers in 100 countries
Yes, 7-day trial on Android, iOS, and macOS and a 30-day money-back guaranteeFrom $2.19/monthUnlimited✅YesNetflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and more
Norton Secure VPN
4.2
1000+ servers in 29 countries
Yes, 7-day trial on Android and iOS and a 60-day money-back guaranteeFrom $2.49/month10✅YesBBC iPlayer, Max
Total VPN
4.2
50+ servers in 30 countries
No free trial, but a 30 day money-back guaranteeFrom $1.59/month6✅YesYouTube
ExpressVPN
4.3
Servers in 105 countries
Yes, 7-day trial on Android and iOS and a 30-day money-back guaranteeFrom $6.67/month8✅YesNetflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more

How we tested VPNs for international travel: considered factors

We, at Cybernews, take VPN testing very seriously. Together with experienced researchers on our team, I took the time to research and assess each provider and their features. I've also referenced in-house test results to determine the best VPN for travel. Here are the main criteria I used to identify and rank the best travel VPNs for 2024:

  1. Performance. To pick the best VPNs for travel, it was crucial to analyze how each provider performs. Together with our researchers, I connected to servers in multiple different locations to determine the VPNs’ average speeds. Only providers that could retain no less than 70% of original internet speeds on average were included on this list.
  2. Server fleet. Since this guide is meant to assist international travelers, it was crucial to pick providers with global servers fleets. While, generally, VPNs with more servers are considered more efficient, it is just as important to assess where they are located. For example, NordVPN not only offers 6400+ servers but also has them dispersed across 111 countries, which makes it a truly global VPN.
  3. Security features. Besides assessing performance and servers, I also dedicated time to reviewing and testing different VPNs’ security features. It was important for me to only include VPNs that employ strong encryption (e.g., AES-256 and ChaCha20), include ad and tracker blockers, have reliable kill switches, and introduce extra security features to ensure complete security (e.g., Threat Protection, IP Rotator, Wi-Fi Security, and others).
  4. Privacy. Everyone values anonymity and privacy while traveling. Especially because many travelers are stuck using public Wi-Fi networks, which are not always safe and may expose private information to snoopers. Fortunately, a good VPN can mask your own IP address, encrypt your traffic, and help you stay private regardless of what network you use. I made sure to consider anonymity while testing the top VPNs for travel.
  5. Streaming. Since many travelers employ VPNs because they want to continue streaming their favorite shows and sports broadcasts while abroad, I assessed each VPN’s ability to stream content internationally. For this test, I connected to VPNs’ servers and tried to access different Netflix libraries, Hulu, Max, Disney+, ESPN+, YouTube TV, BBC iPlayer, and other popular streaming platforms. The providers that could help bypass geo-restrictions while streaming went to the top.
  6. Compatibility and ease of use. Since travelers often carry more than one type of device – think smartphones, tablets, laptops, and others – the top VPNs on my list are all compatible with different operating systems. They are also all (more or less) easy to set up, navigate, configure, and use. I tested both desktop and mobile apps to determine which providers were in the lead.
  7. Customer support abroad. I also contacted the support agents of each VPN on this list to assess how easily and quickly I could get professional assistance. The providers on this list did not disappoint, although I must warn that your experience may depend on your issue and time zone. Note that even if the provider offers 24/7 support, you might have a harder time connecting to support agents during peak hours.
  8. Free trials. It’s normal that users want to test products before they commit to them full-time. Therefore, when selecting the top VPNs for travel, I also tested free trial versions. Most of them offered premium services and could present a genuine trial run.
Expert comment
Content editor and security expert

Why should I use a VPN for travel?

First and foremost, a VPN can unblock geographic restrictions. When you travel, you may want to keep up with the movies, TV shows, or sports broadcasts that are available in your home country. Unfortunately, when abroad, access to this content may become unavailable simply because it’s geographically restricted.

With a VPN, you can spoof your IP address, making it seem as if you are connecting from a different location. This can help you regain access to your favorite streaming platforms or simply your own country’s content library. For example, if you’re traveling to Europe from the US, a VPN enables you to access Hulu and the US Netflix library.

Second, a travel VPN encrypts your traffic, making it secure and private. This is especially important if you connect to public Wi-Fi in airports, hotels, restaurants, and other locations while traveling. Unfortunately, public Wi-Fi is not safe, and malicious parties could use vulnerabilities to spy on users connecting to it. A VPN can ensure protection.

Finally, depending on where you destination, a VPN may also help you bypass censorship. For example, platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or X (Twitter) are blocked in China. So, if you plan to visit the country, a VPN with servers nearby (e.g., Hong Kong or Macau) can help you stay connected even when you’re in a heavily-restricted region. Of course, keep in mind that VPNs aren’t legal everywhere.

It’s crucial to note that some countries restrict or outlaw VPN services, including China, North Korea, Iraq, Belarus, Russia, Turkmenistan, Oman, the UAE, Egypt, Turkey, Iran, and India. Therefore, you should check whether VPNs are legal in the country you plan to visit before your travels.

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.

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

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. Free VPN providers commonly resort to unsavory practices (e.g., data logging, adware) to monetize unpaying users. In short, free VPNs don’t give any benefit and instead put your privacy at risk.
  • 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 travel VPN isn’t the only step to improve your cybersecurity posture while traveling. It’s also useful to look at other security measures to prevent any dangers in cyberspace.

Here are a few extra cybersecurity tips for travelers:

  • Back up your information. If you lose your device abroad, 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 the most essential accounts with two-factor authentication to make it more difficult for anyone to access your data in a foreign country.
  • Use a password manager. Download a reputable password manager, even if it’s free, to generate and use unbreakable passwords without needing to remember them.
  • Be aware of what you click. Ensure you don’t click suspicious email attachments or links or download any untrustworthy apps. You may infect your device with various types of malware, resulting in financial loss, identity theft, and more.
  • Use an antivirus. Malware removal tools keep your devices protected against malicious threats. There are loads of scammers worldwide trying to take advantage of unsuspecting travelers, but an antivirus with real-time protection helps prevent some of the virtual dangers.

Conclusion on best travel VPNs

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 to access anything from home, such as streaming services, work portals, or region-restricted online systems.

I concluded that the best VPN for international travel is NordVPN as it can unlock geo-blocked movies, provide virtual security and privacy, guarantee fast speeds anywhere with its massive server network. Most importantly, with affordable subscription plans, it 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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