VPNs are highly useful tools no matter where you are. However, they become an essential tool when you’re on holiday or living abroad as an expat, for reasons we’ll be discussing soon. First things first, though – which providers are worth your time? Well, there are some free trial VPNs that are highly recommended by expats.
Just follow the link for some solid recommendations, some of which don’t even require a credit card to sign up. See how they can be of use down below.
Circumvent Internet Blackouts and Censorship
Visiting (or currently live in) a country like China, Russia, Turkey, and similar restrictive regimes? Then you know what a pain it can be to have all your favorite services stop working all of a sudden.
One moment you’re chatting with your friends, browsing Instagram, or tweeting about your night out. The next, oops, the Turkish government decides to block social media again. Or worse, most online services are permanently locked thanks to the Great Firewall of China.
Thankfully, you can just switch your virtual location with a VPN and ignore all that jazz. If you only need a temporary solution for a short holiday, a couple of VPN free trials should tide you over. You can always commit to a subscription after you’ve had the chance to test out all the different providers out there.
Get More Content On Netflix (and Others)
Streaming platforms like Netflix impose geo-restrictions on a lot of content, meaning you only ever see a fraction of their library. We can’t put the whole blame on them, though. TV and movie studios are the ones that license content to streaming sites, and they’re the ones calling the shots. If NBCUniversal doesn’t want The Office streaming outside the UK or Ireland, it’s their call to make.
It’s an outdated practice, and leaves users in some countries paying more for less content. For instance, Denmark only has around 3,800+ titles available, as opposed countries like Canada and Ireland. Users in each of those regions have over 6,000+ TV shows and movies to choose from. Pretty unfair, right?
Fortunately, we’ve already established that you can change your online location with a VPN. Simply connect to a server in a different region, and you automatically gain access to the Netflix library in the area. Not only that, but you can also stream content from region-exclusive services like BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and so on.
Bypass EU Age Restriction on YouTube
While we’re on the topic of restrictions, we need to take a look at the EU’s new Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD). Thanks to this “helpful” new regulation, YouTube is now age-gating videos using AI moderation tools. Want to watch them? Then you’ll need to provide Google with your ID or credit card information.
If that sounds like a load of barnacles to you, then we’re on the same page. People that already make purchases on the Google Play Store should have nothing to worry about, as the company already has your payment info. But those that don’t want to provide even more personal details to Google are stuck behind pesky age verification screens.
To top it all off, many videos are flagged incorrectly due to the fact that AI is terrible at content moderation. Luckily, you can just connect to a VPN server outside the EU to regain access to that one meme compilation flagged by YouTube.
Unblock Websites on Public Wi-Fi
Free Wi-Fi is cool and all, but it’s not always convenient. For instance, airports, restaurants, coffee shops, and hotels might restrict access to certain websites to conserve bandwidth. Kind of a bummer, but nothing a VPN can’t fix.
VPNs allow you to bypass firewalls and gain access to previously blocked content. You can even use them at work or at school to get around pesky firewall rules set by the network admins. No need to waste your precious mobile data when the university hotspot works just fine.
Secure Your Data Anywhere
Speaking of public Wi-Fi, we can’t forget about the ever-looming threat of hackers. Hotel Wi-Fi in particular is known as a hotbed for cyber crime. Since VPNs encrypt your data (i.e. use complex algorithms to garble it), hackers can no longer eavesdrop on your connection to extract valuable info.
What’s more, your ISP can no longer monitor your browsing activity. Pretty useful in countries like China or Russia where even looking up the wrong things can get you in trouble. Or in the United States, where ISPs regularly sell user data to advertising networks.
All in all, you can get a lot of things done with a VPN free trial. Check out the link right at the start of the article and test out several excellent options. Might as well, considering these problems aren’t going away any time soon.