Is a VPN really necessary for travelling overseas?

By Penguin | Jul 10, 2019, 10:59 AM
If you are using a lot of free public WiFi or "open" WiFi then it would be highly recommended to use a VPN to secure your data. My Mum's hotmail account was compromised when she accessed it on her iPhone over free WiFi when travelling through the US. I've since installed NordVPN for her and she's been secure ever since.

China is a different kettle of fish as they are always working to block VPN providers so some providers may or may not work. Best to do a little research and see what other travellers are saying. I've just come back from China and I use NordVPN. It really is hit and miss, but this is more likely due to the internet speeds available at hotels and contention. I'm IHG ambassador so I primarily stay at IHG properties throughout China and found most of the hotel internet connections rather slow. Some were so slow that the VPN couldn't even connect. Those that did work showed maximum speeds that fluctuated from 0.3Mbps - ~5Mbps once VPN connected. Most times I used servers either in Japan or Singapore, didn't need to use the obfuscated server setting. If you use an Australian SIM card roaming in China, it automatically bypasses their firewall and you will be able to access everything as if you were in Australia. The downside is that international data roaming is expensive and you wouldn't want to use your phone as an internet hotspot all the time. In our China office we have a 100Mbps connection so NordVPN works fine. On my most recent trip I wasn't able to connect to any of the HK servers.

Using NordVPN in Australia won't kill your internet speeds either and it's just a habit i've grown into. Just install the VPN and leave it on. I got some awesome deal that was around $100 for 3 years for 3 devices.
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By holden | Jul 10, 2019, 06:24 PM
Just completed a two month tour of the UK and made sure I had a VPN - in this case the already mentioned ExpressVPN. I got it so i could access Foxtel Go which is geoblocked. The VPN became even more important when I found that my Aussie ATM card wouldn't work in UK ATMs (I still don't know why) and I had to transfer funds every couple of weeks to my Qantas Cash card. I had two choices, do it via the wifi of the place I was staying at or using my iPhone as a personal hotspot. Having a VPN gave me peace of mind. I also use Express VPN at home here in Oz.

As a previous poster said, it's like taking out travel insurance. You probably won't need it but would you take the risk?
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By Dredgy | Jul 10, 2019, 06:39 PM
If you are using a lot of free public WiFi or "open" WiFi then it would be highly recommended to use a VPN to secure your data. My Mum's hotmail account was compromised when she accessed it on her iPhone over free WiFi when travelling through the US. I've since installed NordVPN for her and she's been secure ever since.

China is a different kettle of fish as they are always working to block VPN providers so some providers may or may not work. Best to do a little research and see what other travellers are saying. I've just come back from China and I use NordVPN. It really is hit and miss, but this is more likely due to the internet speeds available at hotels and contention. I'm IHG ambassador so I primarily stay at IHG properties throughout China and found most of the hotel internet connections rather slow. Some were so slow that the VPN couldn't even connect. Those that did work showed maximum speeds that fluctuated from 0.3Mbps - ~5Mbps once VPN connected. Most times I used servers either in Japan or Singapore, didn't need to use the obfuscated server setting. If you use an Australian SIM card roaming in China, it automatically bypasses their firewall and you will be able to access everything as if you were in Australia. The downside is that international data roaming is expensive and you wouldn't want to use your phone as an internet hotspot all the time. In our China office we have a 100Mbps connection so NordVPN works fine. On my most recent trip I wasn't able to connect to any of the HK servers.

Using NordVPN in Australia won't kill your internet speeds either and it's just a habit i've grown into. Just install the VPN and leave it on. I got some awesome deal that was around $100 for 3 years for 3 devices.

Flexiroam or even using a Hong Kong sim also works and is cheaper.
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By brettepi | Jul 12, 2019, 08:42 AM
yes everyone is really interested in spying on you reading the smh while your overseas. unless youre on other sites you dont want to talk about ?
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By Vulch | Jul 12, 2019, 07:05 PM
Yes especially for geo blocking. I was even able to watch the footy on Kayo while OS.
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