When traveling to other countries, it is better for you to learn about the local laws regarding the internet. In some restrictive countries, you can’t really use a VPN connection because it is considered illegal to do so. You have to be extra careful when using the private connection on your device since not all countries appreciate travelers who are trying to bypass their government restrictions. However, even though a country is restrictive, it doesn’t always mean that you are completely not allowed to use any private connection there.
Most of the time, restrictive countries only apply their internet restrictions toward their citizens. For travelers, most of these countries are very forgiving because they know that travelers won’t be happy to be restricted from accessing Facebook or any other regular services that are available for them before coming there. Thus, many restrictive countries, such as China and even North Korea, will not mind to allow travelers use their private connection while staying there. Here are some tips to keep your internet freedom while traveling to restrictive countries:
1. Install Your Private Network Before Coming To These Countries
Remember that these restrictive countries don’t allow regular use of VPN connection except for certain activities. Thus, most of the time, VPN websites are blocked and VPN apps are not available on the local app store. This can be detrimental for you because you can’t obtain the VPN installation file while you are staying there. The only solution is to ensure that you have your private connection software or apps installed on your devices before coming to these countries. Also, make sure that you have a backup installation of these apps or software because you will be in trouble if you lose your installation since you can’t download it from the official website.
2. Having A Backup Private Connection Is Preferable
Prepare at least two private network connections. The first one is your primary connection, and the second one is the secondary connection that you can use whenever you have any problem with the primary connection. Make sure that your chosen VPN services are available for these restrictive countries because not all VPN services can bypass the government restrictions in these countries. For the backup connection, you don’t need to subscribe to it for a full year and you don’t need to renew the subscription as well. If it has a weekly subscription just for your vacation trip, it will be better.
3. Use Spare Devices That Have Very Little Information About You
Prepare a mobile device and a laptop that you use only when traveling to other countries. Don’t use your primary devices because you never know what will happen at the destination airport. The officials can check your devices and ask a lot of things about your personal and private information. They can also go through and examine your devices and what files that you store there. This is why you shouldn’t bring the primary devices that you have on your travel because when this authority checks happen, you can lose lots of personal and private data to the authorities in the destination country. Make sure that your traveling devices only store little information about you.
4. Don’t Use Any Available Free Hotspots
In your home country, you might be able to use the free hotspots that are available in public places without much problem. But, in the restrictive countries, the free hotspots can mean a potential privacy breach for you. The risk is multiple times higher than using hotspots in your home country. Thus, it is better you not to use any free hotspots that are available in these countries, and instead, use your own carrier’s roaming network, or if possible, purchase a Wi-Fi network connection from the local internet stores. Remember to always use a VPN connection when you surf the web.
5. Keep In Touch With Your VPN Service Provider
Not all service providers will give you the step-by-step information about how to connect to their VPN service in restrictive countries. Therefore, if you are in doubt that your VPN service provider might not be available in your destination country, you can always contact their support. Most of the time, the support will help you to set up their VPN service in certain countries, such as China and Russia. You just need to follow their instructions and let them know about the problems that you might have.
Those are the tips to keep your internet freedom while traveling to restrictive countries. Not all VPN providers are good in bypassing the restrictions in these countries, especially if the said countries have an advanced protection system to filter private connections, such as the Chinese great firewall. Be sure to inform yourself about the local laws regarding the use of VPN in these countries.