When relocating abroad there are plenty of things that can make you feel homesick; the humour is different, the TV is weird and nobody knows how to make a decent cup of tea. Even logging on to the internet is a reminder that you are not at home due to different languages and blocked content. Luckily there is a solution to the latter. With over 5 million Brits living abroad, here’s 5 reasons all British expats need a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
1. A VPN allows you to watch UK TV abroad
British expats know far too well that the BBC iPlayer (as well as the ITV Player and 4od) is blocked to people attempting to view from outwith the UK. This can be pretty frustrating when all your Facebook friends are talking about what happened on the latest episode of Broadchurch and you can’t join in on the action because the content is blocked. A VPN can help with this problem by allowing you to change the geographical location from which you are accessing the web. With ZenMate it’s as simple as one click and the iPlayer will think you are in the UK.
2. A VPN for the linguistically challenged
If you live in a country where English isn’t the first language you’ll be aware that companies tend to use your current location to redirect you to their local site. This can be tricky if you’re knowledge of the local language is limited to ordering a cup of coffee and apologising that you haven’t learned more yet. While you embark on your journey towards bilingualism, it’s a good idea to use a VPN to access websites as if you are in the UK. This way you can receive your content in English, save yourself hours of Google translating and avoid making any terrible mistakes with your online shopping order.
3. A VPN for the Freelancer
It’s many people’s dream life; living as an expat in an exciting European city, working as a freelancer and spending your days hopping from coffee shop to coffee shop as you work from your computer. Yet danger lurks around the corner! Public wifi networks such as those in hotels and coffee shops are extremely easy for cybercriminals to hack into and steal your information. In fact if you’ve ever had your bank details stolen, chances are it happened while you were using public wifi. With a VPN, however, your data is always encrypted. This means that nobody on the same network can access your info and you can continue to live your freelance dream in peace.
4. A VPN to avoid online banking disasters
Getting a bank account abroad can be a nightmare and even after you manage to secure that foreign account, you’re likely to still need access to your British online banking while living as an expat. It’s very annoying, therefore, if your bank locks access to your account because they’ve detected that you’re accessing from abroad. Even more annoying is that you will have to spend hours on hold to your bank sorting out the problem (at international rates!). This is yet another time when it makes sense to use a VPN to make it look like you are accessing a site from the UK. Unless you enjoy hold music, that is.
5. 5. A VPN for privacy, no matter where you are
While some places may be worse than others, there is no country on earth where the internet is completely private and free. We all know about China’s ‘Great Firewall’ but did you know that Australia, the most popular country for British expats, has some pretty extensive surveillance laws which force Australian telecommunication companies to store information regarding your phone, email and internet use. You wouldn’t let governments and businesses come and snoop around your house, so why let them spy on you online? ZenMate’s encryption means you can surf the web privately, no matter which country you are accessing the web from.