If you regularly travel overseas for business, you probably have a travel bag with all of your essentials ready to go. Your business attire, dopp kit, portable chargers, your passport. But there’s one more thing that you might not have thought about that’s essential to your travel plans that may not be on your packing list just yet—a VPN.

For the uninitiated, a VPN (or virtual private network) is a type of cyber security software that allows users to transmit data to and from their computer using a private network. A VPN works using a remote server to send and receive data while also scrambling your computer’s IP address, location, and data so that it can be sent without being traced back to you. A VPN is a great tool for businesses, merchants, and even private citizens to protect their personal and financial data. Want to learn more? Check out these 4 reasons a VPN could come in handy while traveling overseas.

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1) Watching foreign TV

Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, chances are you might experience at least one moment when you just want to unwind from the day and kick back and watch some American television. You pull out your 2 in 1 laptop ready to enjoy your favorite streaming show in tablet mode and to your surprise, you realize you can’t access U.S. shows when you’re traveling outside of the states.

Why the interruption? Each country has its own restrictions on media that prevent users from accessing certain shows, movies, and even websites. With a VPN, you can bypass these restrictions since your server and IP address can’t be directly pinpointed to a specific location. So feel free to watch all of the American, British, or Japanese TV as you want, as long as you have a VPN installed on your computer.

2) Making transactions

Even if you aren’t traveling outside of the country, you likely know the dangers of data hacking, especially when it comes to your financial information. As a general rule, when you’re making purchases online you should look for “https” not “http” to make sure that the data on the purchase site is being encrypted. With a VPN, you’re essentially adding an extra layer of security in order to protect your financial and personal information on the web.

When you’re traveling abroad, you might experience even greater hacking risks that you will definitely want to beware of if whether you’re shopping on your home country’s website or foreign ones.

3) Finalizing business deals

If you travel overseas primarily for business purposes, you might encounter some scenarios where you’re closing deals, exchanging sensitive company information, or your own information. These circumstances all call for added security to ensure that you and your business is safe when doing business abroad. Using data encryption and remote servers, a VPN setup is a low-cost and necessary preventative measure to take in order to protect your business’ assets.

4) Using public WiFi

One of the biggest challenges about traveling in another country is being able to find WiFi to get in touch with family, friends, connect to work, or what have you. And it seems that anytime you are able to find an internet connection, it seems like a less-than-trustworthy source. Whether you’re doing business or just scrolling through your Facebook feed, you probably don’t want to be using a public connection to transmit conversation or data across the internet.

A private WiFi connection allows you to access the internet using a secure connection so that you don’t need to worry about emailing, scrolling through social media, or making online payments. Whether you’re at a coffee shop or a remote hotel, you can be sure that you’re able to access the internet securely!

How to get a VPN

If you’re ready to take action to protect your life online, you can simply search for a VPN service provider to get started. Most run from about $5-10 per month, so it’s a pretty inexpensive commitment to make when you consider the worth of your personal data and financial information. Before you sign up, be sure to do some review comparison to make sure you’re choosing the best provider for your needs. Once you’ve selected a VPN, just go through the manufacturer’s setup instructions and you’re ready to browse!

If you were considering investing in a VPN, hopefully this helped you get the information you need!