Is a VPN really necessary for travelling overseas?

By homeister | Jul 08, 2019, 11:12 AM
I'm travelling to London and New York for about a month in total. Is a subscription VPN service worth it for online safety and security?

Here is my situation:
-Purpose of trip - leisure only
-Personal data accessed will be minimal -No banking or financial websites, only the travel and flight itinerary information already residing on my Gmail and Google Travel etc
-Web browsing will be basic general stuff
-Mainly in hotel WiFi. When roaming I plan to use Telstra Global Roaming add-on.
-I will use two devices, 1x Huawei Mate 20 Pro and a basic Chromebook. One paid VPN account will cover both, yes?

Any advice appreciated thank you
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By MRYJDrake | Jul 08, 2019, 11:37 AM
Necessary? No. You can access the internet without it, but:
Recommended? Yes, Strongly.
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By Ourmanin | Jul 08, 2019, 11:43 AM
I can only echo what MRYJDrake says, personally I wouldn't risk not having it, but do you need it? especially for London and New York, no you don't. Maybe not the best analogy, but you don't NEED travel insurance, but you probably would think you should have had it if you ended up with a bill for a stay in a New York hospital. I'm not a techie (so you may get different views) but I use NORD VPN, its good for 3 computers, 3 tablets and 3 phones and from memory I signed up on an introductory offer of something like $45 USD a year. For the price I would say well worth it, although I do use it for work as well.
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By Mal | Jul 08, 2019, 11:49 AM
I don't really think it's a must-have, especially not for London and New York. The main reasons you'd want a VPN would be
a) privacy, and
b) access to geoblocked content

I don't have the big privacy concerns that some people do, especially the 'techies'. I find a VPN is better for overcoming content that is geoblocked based on what country you are in, which could be watching ABC News 24 streaming while outside of Australia or say UK or US streaming channels when you are in Australia.

If you were going to China I would suggest a VPN to help overcome The Great Firewall of China for social media and anything else China chooses to block, but for visiting London and New York, no, I really don't see the need. Just my non-techie 2 cents!
Last edited by David at Jul 08, 2019, 12.24 PM.
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By Metoo | Jul 08, 2019, 12:22 PM
Absolutely, plenty of scammers with scanners. Free airport wifi probably the most vulnerable. I use Nord. Lots of articles now on how your information is being collected and sold especially from social media. Better to be safe.
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By johnaboxall | Jul 08, 2019, 12:23 PM
Use it everywhere, even at home. NordVPN. There's a first time for everything.
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By sim86on | Jul 08, 2019, 12:28 PM
Echo others. Better safe than sorry.
I use ExpressVPN. Just as good as NordVPN.
In Australia, I only lose about 3-5mbit/s speed going through their VPN’s in BNE, SYD or MEL.
They have a 30 day money back guarantee, so if you REALLY wanted to be stingy, cancel the first year’s subscription (nothing your trip is also about a month long).
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By Rufus1 | Jul 08, 2019, 12:36 PM
You're using a Huawei phone? In that case I wouldn't bother, mate. You might as well just give PLA Unit 61398 remote access administrator rights! ;-)
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John Harley

By CityRail | Jul 08, 2019, 01:32 PM
How to access VPN from overseas?
I think it is useful to keep track of news at home whilst overseas.
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By jch | Jul 08, 2019, 04:33 PM
I just moved back from China and the most commonly ones used there were Astril and Express VPN, both of which have mutliple servers in various countries. Astril definetly has AU servers, but can't remember if Express ended up getting some.

You can swap between using either device, but will probably need to upgrade from the basic plan if you want to connect both simultaneously.
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By PCHammond | Jul 08, 2019, 04:49 PM
I use Private Internet Access and thoroughly recommend them. Definitely a must have for China.

For the USA and Europe, it really depends where you go but better safe than sorry
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By Rigs | Jul 08, 2019, 09:46 PM
I’m an IT Security Exec:
Hotel WiFi is generally lacks security. I would recommend doing something to obscure your traffic if you are planning on using hotel networks.

I would also encourage you to seriously reconsider the Huawei phone, its likely to be unsupported if the ban is sustained. This will mean its hard to get patches for vulnerabilities. It’s also just a bad call on human rights grounds.
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By moa999 | Jul 09, 2019, 01:35 AM
Almost everything is https these days and any good browser checks certificates.

Makes a man-in-the-middle attack pretty difficult even on hotel wifi.

If you have a high end home router you may also be able to create an OpenVPN point on it and use that.
Last edited by moa999 at Jul 09, 2019, 01.37 AM.
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By Dredgy | Jul 09, 2019, 01:52 AM
I use Private Internet Access and thoroughly recommend them. Definitely a must have for China.

For the USA and Europe, it really depends where you go but better safe than sorry

PIA doesn’t work in China. Or didn’t when I was there earlier this year, had to get ExpressVPN
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D.P (Paul) Tibbetts

By kwcm | Jul 10, 2019, 06:06 AM
PIA does not get around geo blocking for Australian sites
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By Steve987 | Jul 10, 2019, 06:52 AM
The risks you face in the places you are going to are no greater than the risks you face in Australia. If you don’t bother here then you don’t need to bother over there.
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