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Connectivity for me while traveling is very important. I value high wifi speeds and good reception a lot. I’ve talked in length about the using Project Fi which is one of the best wireless services for travel (even if it isn’t intended to be used that way).One thing that I recommend everyone get is a travel VPN.
It’s useful to not trigger security alerts when you log into websites for your credit cards, bank accounts, etc. This is also important if you have US bank accounts and credit cards, as I find accessing the site from a domestic connection trips fewer systems. Some people like VPNs even at home, but I don’t fall into that crowd. I mostly use my VPNs during trips.
VPNs are also great for insecure public wifi connections. If you go to China, it’s also a must to reach Facebook, Google, and other western websites. There are three services I recommend and use: ExpressVPN, TunnelBear, and a corporate VPN from college. There are plenty of other options out there, but it’s important to consider whether those services are trustworthy, since they essentially can monitor your traffic when you connect. Both VPNs were recommended by friends who’ve used them for quite a while.
Lowest Price Available: $8.32 per month
ExpressVPN is my top choice for a paid travel VPN. It works in China consistently, and it works on pretty much every operating system and platform, including browser extensions. The countries they have available is pretty incredible and covers most major countries in the world – even really random ones like Kyrgyzstan and Bhutan.
This is also one of the few VPNs that lets you access Netflix content in the US. They allow three simultaneous connections as well, so you could split the plan with a friend for even more savings. It roughly costs as much as the US Mobile Wifi Plan which I pay out of pocket for, and is just as valuable.
Lowest Price Available: $4.99 per month
TunnelBear was one of the first VPNs I had. I like that this company is Canadian (based in Toronto).
You can download the app on most devices. The free option gives you 500mb, which resets at the end of each month. There are a variety of countries available, but a lot of them are limited for free users. This doesn’t work as well in China, but for a free plan, that’s to be expected. The premium option is a lot cheaper than others, so is worth considering if you don’t need US Netflix access.