For anyone who spends any amount of time online and travelling there’s one tool you should never be without – a VPN service. A VPN is short for virtual Private network and although it sounds a little bit technical and geeky, the reality is that it is pretty much essential for life online. There are two main advantages to using a VPN and indeed specifically a Euro VPN service when you use the internet:
- Security: The internet is inherently insecure, it’s just the way that it’s designed. Your traffic flows through hardware owned by all sorts of people, from that router in the coffee shop where you use the free wifi, to a myriad of routers and switches in telecom and ISP companies across the world. At any point that data can be intercepted if someone has access to that device. The risks rise exponentially when you’re accessing the internet from outside a secure trusted network. A VPN helps by establishing a secure, encrypted tunnel for your data which keeps it safe from interception.
- Bypass Internet Filters and Blocks: Arguably the more popular use of a VPN is to bypass the millions of region blocks and filters that exist across the internet. You know, when you try and access the BBC iPlayer from your holiday apartment in Spain and get blocked or why your online banking won’t work from outside your home country. These blocks are implemented by companies for copyright and profit maximisation reasons and by countries for ideological and political reasons. The bottom line though is that a VPN can bypass all these restrictions if you’re able to switch the country that the VPN server is based in. So for example you’ll need a UK server for the BBC, a French server for M3 Replay and a US server for Hulu and NBC and so on……
Whether you use the VPN for security or simply to watch the Blue Planet on the BBC iPlayer, you’ll find it’s an investment that’s well worth making.
Why a Euro VPN Service?
The simple fact is that what sort of VPN service you need is dependent on what you want to do with it. As mentioned if you want to access a region locked website in a specific country you’ll have to ensure that your VPN company has a server available in that country. However if you’re just looking for a way to secure your online banking and email when travelling then you’re best to connect through to a ‘trusted’ country which has strict privacy and data protection laws. The safest option is usually to connect via a Euro based country as they have some of the best privacy laws in the world, obviously a VPN connection routed through Moscow will have much less protection.
Generally most of the big VPN service providers focus on providing servers through Europe and North America as this is where the real demand lies anyway. As you can see from my favorite VPN service Identity Cloaker – it has more servers in UK, US and Europe than anywhere else to cover that same demand.
Of course, if you’re looking to access African or Australian region locked websites you’re better off looking for a service with more servers in those countries. So the basic rule I follow is to connect via the home country when trying to access a specific website, which in my case is normally a UK based one or a US service. However if I’m just looking for security I’ll connect to a Euro VPN service by selecting a European country, usually the one closest to my current location.
It’s worth considering when you connect to a remote VPN server that the distance will likely effect your internet speed. Connecting through a Australian VPN server from France makes no sense unless you want to specifically access an Australian only web site. When you choose a VPN service consider your requirements before signing up to a long subscription and ensure that you have access to the servers you need. For example IDC is the fastest I’ve found for UK/US access because they have more servers in those countries but it doesn’t cover smaller countries which other VPN companies might do.
Whichever VPN service you choose, always ensure you try out the trial before taking out a longer subscription. There’s a lot of choice out there but it’s important to test them out first to see if they work with the websites you need. For example about 95% of VPN services won’t work with Netflix and the BBC now because of blocks that have been implemented.
Here’s the trial account link for Identity Cloaker it works with all major media sites including Netflix and the BBC –