So you’re off trekking around the world making a living while the rest of us slave away at the 9-5 in suits and gloomy weather.
You’re the smart one that’s for sure.
An army of what are known as Digital Nomads now circumvent the globe working from remote locations and enjoy making the South American rain forest or the secluded beaches of Thailand their office all while wearing bloody flip flops and hippy pants just to give us office slaves another kick in the teeth.
But if you’re a Digital Nomad or you’re thinking of setting off to become one then there are a number of tools you’ll need to make a success of it and it’s what separates those playing at being a Digital Nomad from those who succeed as being a Digital Nomad.
Sure we all know you need a laptop and maybe even some portable hard drives for backing up but one thing often overlooked is the humble VPN service.
What’s a VPN I hear you exclaim!
A VPN is a system that encrypts your internet connection and allows you to browse the web remotely while giving the impression you’re located elsewhere and there are a number of benefits of a VPN service that will really enhance your Digital Nomad experience, so let’s find out what they are.
Being a Digital Nomad you’re going to be connecting to all sorts of free and fabulous Wi-Fi connections but a little known fact is public Wi-Fi is not secure and anyone on the same connection or even running the free service could potentially steal your personal information.
This could range from hacking into your social media accounts to stealing important or critical data that you transmit.
A VPN allows you to encrypt your internet connection from your laptop, tablet, phone or other device and send it off to a third party secure location before it’s passed onto the wider internet. This stops hackers in their tracks and any information you pass over the previously insecure Wi-Fi network is now secure thanks to a simple VPN service.
Spoof your location
If you’ve ever tried logging into your bank or another financial institution while carrying out your Digital Nomadness then you’ll know like me that those sites don’t take kindly to you logging in one minute from Chang Mai in Thailand and the next from Manila in the Philippines especially when you’re from the UK or elsewhere and your financial institute is expecting to see you logging in from home.
Something called your IP Address gives away your location and when your bank, Paypal or other numerous financial sites see a login from a foreign location they rightly get suspicious and can block or limit your account leaving you with a massive headache.
A VPN allows you to firstly connect to your origin country so when you log in to any financial sites they see a UK user (or wherever you’re from) even though you’re probably sunning yourself somewhere south of Bangkok.
Access blocked content
If you’re doing your Digital Nomad business in countries such as China then internet access can be somewhat of a challenge. In a lot of countries like China and even more regularly visited ones such as Thailand there are handfuls of websites that are just completely blocked from access.
If you rely on social media for your business or to get you noticed then it’s not much use when you can’t access Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many other sites. A VPN allows you to bypass these blocks and access the internet from a country other than the one you’re in.
This allows you to skip past the blocks and access any site in any country allowing you to be a Digital Nomad in pretty much any country.
All that travel and culture is all well and good but even the most well travelled Digital Nomad needs to kick back and relax now and again. If you’re missing out on the latest blockbuster shows like Game of Thrones or you just want to find out what’s going on in the latest talent show then trying to access streaming services from abroad can result in disappointment.
If you’ve ever tried to access BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Foxtel Go or any of the other major world streaming services from your remote location then you’ll find them blocked.
A VPN allows you to connect to the country of the streaming service and pretend you’re there thus letting you stream any classy or tacky show regardless of location.
Hey, even you Digital Nomads need an entertainment break now and again!
and plenty more…
Above are just some of the best uses for a VPN service but there are a ton more from accessing content to keeping you safe online. If you’re handling sensitive customer data then protecting your connection is essential so it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands but even just the basics of being able to access certain sites can be enabled by VPN use.
So now that you’re a smart Digital Nomad let’s take a look at a few VPN services that are likely to be suitable for your needs.
ExpressVPN is one of the largest VPN providers. They’re not only fast but they have connection points in more than 94 countries so they’re even more likely to cover where you are or nearby.
They cost from $8.32 (approx £5.83) a month but they do have a 30-day money back guarantee allowing you to test the service for a good period of time. They’ve also got a promotion on their 1-year package which will save you even more money.
All devices are covered so you can ‘Digital Nomad’ without an issue.
IPVanish is one of the most well known providers, with over 1000 servers in over 60 different countries you’ll be able to connect at top speeds regardless of your location.
At just $6.49 (approx £4.55) per month when taking an annual package they’re not only cheap but they’re also one of the fastest. With apps for Android and iOS and software for Windows and Mac they have all systems covered.
NordVPN have VPN servers dotted all over the world and with nearly 5000 servers they have plenty of connection space for you.
Their apps are really easy to use allowing you to concentrate on doing your Digital Nomad gig without getting bogged down with the technical side of things.
On top of all that they’ve got a 30-day money back guarantee to give you plenty of time to test the service.
If you’re still unsure and want to compare more options check out our VPN Comparison Guide.