If you like to travel — and we here at Cloudwards.net do — then you need to make sure you use the best VPN for travelers while you’re on the road. Even if it is just to spoof your location so you can watch Netflix or do online banking without being confronted by a million security questions, a VPN will allow you to use your laptop like you’re sitting in your own office or living room.
Besides smoothing out any location-related wrinkles while you’re abroad, a VPN will also protect you while you’re away. While we’re assuming that many of our readership comes from democratic, privacy-friendly countries, the place you may be traveling to could very well be on our list of countries that censor the internet.
Note that if you’re traveling to the Middle Kingdom, you’re better off going straight to our article on the best VPN for China as that country’s censors require tougher precautions than most to make sure you don’t end up in serious trouble. For the what, why and where of that, read our article on censorship in China.
This article is then about traveling everywhere except the People’s Republic or the handful of countries that don’t have the internet (looking at you, North Korea). Let’s take a look at the criteria we maintained while selecting this list.
Best VPN for Travelers 2018
What Makes a VPN Best for Travelers?
There isn’t a single criterion that makes a VPN best for travelers, rather it’s a combination of factors that bundled together make a good international VPN. As avid travelers ourselves, the Cloudwards.net editorial team messed around with several of our best VPN providers while staying in countries as diverse as Portugal, the Netherlands, Thailand, Kenya and Brazil.
First off, we looked at some of our fastest VPN providers to make sure that you get good speeds. After all, if you need to fake your location as being on the other side of the world, you need to be able to do so without looking at a loading circle spinning indefinitely.
Secondly, server network is important: great if you get a fast VPN, but if it doesn’t have a server in your country, it’s pretty much pointless. On top of that, life should also be made easier if you can jump around between locations and you can really get the very most out of your subscription.
Security isn’t exactly unimportant, either, as you’ll likely be sending out some confidential information out over the ether. Though not all VPNs here will be as ironclad as our China picks, each does offer good VPN security, meaning you can rest easy in the knowledge that your private information is safe.
These three are the main considerations, we’ve also kept a few minor ones in mind, as well. Seeing as many people that are starting out their career read our site, never mind the fact that backpackers will need a VPN, too, most of the providers below are relatively cost effective.
Ease of use is also a factor, as is support, because you don’t want to be in a foreign country only to find out you can’t solve a particular problem with your VPN, leaving you high and dry until you somehow figure it out. 24/7 support is therefore pretty important, or otherwise a solid knowledgebase.
With those particular ducks in a row, let’s see who made the cut.
Best VPN for Travelers: ExpressVPN
It’s safe to say ExpressVPN is Cloudwards.net’s favorite provider: it’s consistently ranked number one among our VPN reviews, as well as the oft-times winner of these top five articles, including the best VPN for Netflix and the best VPN for manual entertainment. You can read all about its features and benefits in our ExpressVPN review.
For travelers, as well, ExpressVPN gets you where you need to be: the service is fast, has plenty of servers to choose from and has great, configurable security. The Cloudwards.net editorial staff isn’t just making it up, either: during our many travels we have messed with plenty of VPNs and though ExpressVPN may not be perfect, it’s near enough.
No matter whether you’re hooking up to a U.S.-based server to watch Netflix from Malta or accessing a European bank’s two-factor authentication portal from Thailand, the service, quite simply, never fails to impress. Couple that to an intuitive interface, and we doubt you’ll ever want or need another provider.
Other Reasons We Like ExpressVPN
Besides being fast and having a massive server spread, ExpressVPN is also one of the most secure providers out there, offering 4096-bit encryption for those who want it (you may want to opt for lighter encryption as there is a noticeable slowdown when you go that heavy).
There is, however, one massive downside to ExpressVPN as it is by far the most expensive provider on the market.
Our more budget-conscious readers may want to give ExpressVPN a miss and maybe look elsewhere on this list. If you have a few dollars in your pocket, though, you’ll definitely want to give the 30-day money-back guarantee a go and see for yourself.
- Very fast
- Highly secure
- Great server selection
- Only 3 connections
We’re big fans of TorGuard at Cloudwards.net, but there’s usually some reason why the service doesn’t break into the top three on these lists. However, as an all-purpose travel-worthy VPN, we feel it deserves second place here thanks to its speed and stupendous server network.
It’s also cheap, as long as you don’t bother with dedicated servers (which are a necessity if you want to avoid Netflix proxy errors) and just use the virtual servers you’re provided with. As a bonus, TorGuard is also highly secure.
Its security, like everything else, is configurable by the user, meaning you get to tweak it as you go. This works out surprisingly well for people on the go, as you’ll be able to, say, downgrade encryption while you’re on a slow connection, while ramping it up again when you’re using the public WiFi in a coffee shop.
Other Reasons We Like TorGuard
TorGuard is without a doubt a tinkerer’s dream and generally pairs well with people who like to make their computers just so (which is probably why it’s popular with Team Penguin, see our best VPN for Linux article for more on this).
For a full list of TorGuard’s features, check out our TorGuard review.
Though messing around with settings isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time (Cloudwards.net editors usually stand alone in corners at parties), the power it gives you is nothing to sneeze at. TorGuard offers a seven-day money-back guarantee, so check it out for yourself.
- Several connections
- Dedicated servers for Netflix
NordVPN is without a doubt the most secure provider out there as it not only offers similar encryption to ExpressVPN, it doubles down and improves on it, as well. Add to that six simultaneous connections — basically how many phones and laptops you can hook up, read our article on the best VPN for multiple devices article to learn more — and you’ve got a good deal, to boot.
Speeds are also decent, though you’re definitely trading in compared to ExpressVPN. NordVPN has plenty of servers scattered across the globe as well, meaning that circumventing geoblocks is pretty easy.
Other Reasons We Like NordVPN
Besides being secure, NordVPN is also easy to use as well as being perfectly affordable. In fact, among the very best VPN providers, you’re not likely to find a better deal than NordVPN, so people who don’t want to invest too much into a VPN may want to go with it over ExpressVPN.
To know more, check out our NordVPN review for more info, or if you’re the impulsive type you can always try out the service for 30 days. Though it’s not a trial, NordVPN’s money-back guarantee is as good as gold.
- Very secure
- Easy to use
- Bit slow
- No split tunneling
On number four we have CyberGhost, a service that until recently was decidedly mediocre but has really surged ahead over the last year or so. Rocking a massive and thorough European network, it is definitely a service that merits your attention if you’re traveling around the Old World.
The downside, and the reason it didn’t crack the top three, is that outside of Europe the network suffers in quality. In North America it’s still passable, but in Asia and Africa it’s rather underwhelming. On the upside, however, it’s great for people unfamiliar with VPNs as it allows you to select online behavioral “profiles” that do a lot of the work for you behind the scenes.
It’s one of our best VPN for streaming picks because of this and also offers the kind of security the others do, in some cases even more easily configurable than ExpressVPN’s options.
Other Reasons We Like CyberGhost
Between the easy-to-use interface and the great European network, what is also great about CyberGhost is the price. Though going month-to-month costs as much as any other top provider, multi-year are downright cheap.
If you’d like to try out CyberGhost, we have some good news: not only does it offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, but it also rocks a free seven-day trial, so taking it for a test drive is as easy as clicking a button.
- Pretty fast
- Good network in Europe
- Meh network outside Europe
- Only triannual plan is cheap
We close this list off with VyprVPN, a good service that gets you there, but loses several spots in this list because of its limited server network and less-than-stellar speeds. That said, it may be a good pick for certain people looking for a service that’s very easy to use and has a massive amount of servers in the U.S. and UK.
For people that need to spoof their locations in several parts of those two countries specifically, there may not be a better VPN provider out there. As a bonus, most of those servers will get you through to Netflix as well, meaning you’re spoiled when choosing the best connection to watch a U.S.-only movie.
Besides that, VyprVPN has good security, a friendly interface and great support, making it a good all-round provider for British or American users. Read more on the service in our VyprVPN review.
Other Reasons We Like VyprVPN
Globally, however, Vypr’s network is a little disappointing and transatlantic connections are a bit meh speed-wise, it has to be said. Though trying out several to find a good fit for you is always an option, it can get annoying.
However, the price is right and VyprVPN is the only entry on this list offering a free trial, so that may make it interesting for VPN skeptics. Though it is only three days and requires your credit card info, trials are always a good thing and we always feel confident in recommending VyprVPN.
- Great for U.S. & UK
- Highly secure
- A little hard to use
- Bad long-range speeds
Hopefully this list of the best VPNs for people who like to spend time on the road will help you as you make your own travel arrangements. Though ExpressVPN is the winner here, any of the other four may suit you better in your particular situation.
Do you travel much and have a preferred VPN not on this list? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for reading.