Best VPNs for Traveling in 2020 – What YOU Need to Stay Safe
Lots of premium VPNs claim to be good for traveling, but it’s impossible to know which will work until you try them out.
You don’t have time for that. That’s why I spent several weeks testing 33 premium VPNs to see which actually deliver. I found out that most of them can’t bypass censorship or geoblocks—that’s really inconvenient when you’re away from home.
Of all the VPNs I tested, NordVPN is my top choice because of its powerful security features and huge server network. Keep reading to learn more about it and my other recommendations. They’re all secure, anonymous, and fast—and some even work in China. Ready? Let’s take off!
Short on time? Here are the best VPNs for traveling
- NordVPN – My favorite choice because it has some of the strongest security features and 5,500+ servers in 60 countries.
- ExpressVPN – High-speed servers that are optimized to unblock geo-restricted sites and services.
- CyberGhost – Easy-to-use features make it a great VPN for beginners, and it has optimized servers to bypass censorship.
- Surfshark – NoBorders Mode and military-grade encryption for travel security.
- PrivateVPN – User-friendly interface with a commitment to great customer experience.
Why You Need A VPN For Traveling
When you travel, you probably use public WiFi networks. These networks are unsecure, leaving your personal information vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks. Some hackers may even create fake WiFi hotspots just to steal your information.
The VPNs I’ve suggested encrypt your data to keep your passwords and banking details secure. As encryption makes your data unreadable, it also protects you from snooping eyes, such as ISPs and the government.
Another benefit of these VPNs is that they mask your IP address. In addition to hiding your physical location, this feature can make it look like you are browsing from a different country.
IP masking helps you overcome online censorship. If you’re visiting countries like China or the UAE, you’re likely to experience restrictions on popular sites and services, like Facebook, Skype, and even Twitter.
Connecting to a server in a non-restricted country will grant you access to these important sites because it will seem as if you’re actually in one of those countries.
VPNs also use IP masking and other technologies to bypass tough geoblocks, like the ones Netflix and other streaming services use. If you want to stream your regular shows while you’re out of town, you can connect to a server in your home country to access that library.
An added bonus of IP masking? You may find cheaper flights! Hotel companies and airlines sometimes price differently based on your location, so you can switch servers to look for more affordable prices.
Quick Guide – How To Use A VPN for Traveling
- Before you travel, find and download a VPN with great server coverage and security features, like NordVPN.
- Connect to a server based on what you need to do; stay local for faster speeds, or head abroad to bypass geoblocks.
- Jump online, knowing you’re safe to browse or stream the content you want from around the world.
The Best VPNs for Traveling – Full Analysis (Updated 2020)
I’ve rigorously tested 33 vendors to find the best VPNs for traveling. I’ll continue testing and updating as needed to ensure you have the best protection while you’re browsing and stream away from home.
Tip: Having an issue with a VPN server? Can’t get around a geoblock or access a particular site? Just disconnect and try another.
NordVPN’s Key Features
- Military-grade 256-bit encryption
- Automatic kill switch and no-logging policy
- Ad and malware blocker
- Bypass geoblocks in censored countries
- 5,600+ servers worldwide in 55+ countries
- SmartPlay DNS for streaming
- Incredibly fast speeds
- Connect up to six devices simultaneously
- Works with: Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer
- Compatible with: Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Linux, browsers, and routers
NordVPN has the best security features among all the VPNs on this list. It offers top-grade 256-bit encryption, the same used by most government agencies, to hide your online presence.
It also features an automatic kill switch that disconnects your internet if your VPN connection is disrupted. This means you don’t have to worry about data leaks.
Its no-logging policy is essential for anywhere you travel. You can safely browse or stream in any country, and your activity is never stored or given to third parties.
It’s important that your VPN can protect your identity and bypass geoblocks, especially when you’re visiting a country that censors the internet. We’ve confirmed that NordVPN can overcome censorship in the toughest regions, including Iran, the UAE, and even China.
While accessing the internet in any country, you could run into trouble with pop-up ads or phishing scams. For extra protection, the CyberSec feature blocks ads and stops you from entering websites with malware.
NordVPN operates 5,600+ servers worldwide in 55+ countries. When I was testing it, I noticed there was always a server nearby, so I was able to get fast speeds for anything I wanted to do.
So many servers also means you can always connect to a server in your home country to catch up on missed episodes of your favorite shows. I tested NordVPN’s capabilities and speed during my travels, and it did a great job streaming my favorite show McLeod’s Daughters from back in home Australia, without any lag.
What makes it so easy? The VPN’s SmartPlay DNS optimizes your connection for fast, simple streaming. It automatically adjusts settings so you don’t need to do any manual work. It can unblock 140+ streaming services, including Netflix US.
NordVPN offers unlimited bandwidth and data, so you can browse, download, and stream on the go, without worry of caps and limitations.
You’re also allowed up to six connections at the same time, so you can protect all the devices you bring with you.
If you want to test out NordVPN’s impressive security features for yourself, try its 30-day money-back guarantee. You can also take advantage of its 24/7 live chat for additional help.
Want to know more? Explore our NordVPN review to see the full results of our research and testing.
ExpressVPN’s Key Features
- 3,000+ VPN servers in 90+ countries
- Bypasses the toughest geoblocks
- Incredible speeds
- 256-bit encryption, zero-logging policy, and automatic kill switch
- Split tunneling feature
- Five simultaneous connections
- Works with: Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, HBO GO, SBS on Demand, and Hulu
- Compatible with: Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Chrome, and Firefox
ExpressVPN has 3,000+ servers worldwide in 90+ countries, so you’re sure to find a nearby server, no matter what country you’re visiting.
The most impressive feature for travelers? ExpressVPN regularly refreshes its IP addresses so that they can’t be identified as belonging to a VPN. Thanks to these efforts, I was able to bypass every geoblock I tried, including Netflix, which has powerful anti-VPN software.
More great news is that ExpressVPN works in censored countries like China. This means you can continue to check social media or read the news as you travel the world.
ExpressVPN’s Smart Location feature picks the closest server location so you can enjoy quick download speeds. This made it easy to enjoy a fast connection every time.
You also have unlimited bandwidth so you can browse wherever you are, without worrying about ExpressVPN throttling your speeds. You also get unlimited data.
In terms of security, it offers some of the toughest measures out there, with 256-bit encryption, DNS leak protection, and the OpenVPN protocol.
Thanks to a zero-logging policy and an automatic kill switch, surveillance agencies are further blinded to what you’re doing.
As a seasoned traveler, I found ExpressVPN’s split tunneling feature made browsing more flexible. With just a click, I could choose which websites to access with my local IP and which to access through my VPN. This means I could do my internet banking through my VPN while browsing the latest local news updates on WiFi hotspots.
ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try out with no risk.
Want to know more? Explore our ExpressVPN review to see the full results of our research and testing.
CyberGhost’s Key Features
- 5,700+ servers in nearly 90 countries
- Easy setup with optimized servers
- Military-grade encryption
- Automatic kill switch and zero-logging policy
- Connect up to seven devices simultaneously
- Works with: Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, and BBC iPlayer
- Compatible with: Android, Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux, and some routers
If you’re looking for a simple, intuitive interface for travel, CyberGhost is perfect for you. It’s easy to set up and allows you to configure your own connection features with one click.
This simple setup means there’s no fuss when you’re out and about and want to quickly log in and browse.
With CyberGhost, you have access to 5,700+ VPN servers in over 85 countries. This includes streaming-optimized servers that bypass geoblocks and allow for high-definition streaming.
This VPN can’t bypass China’s Great Firewall, but I still found it to be a reliable service for browsing, streaming, and torrenting in many other countries.
CyberGhost promises that it’s trustworthy and careful with your personal details, but so does every company. We conducted a transparency report and found that it truly is dedicated to protecting your privacy.
In addition to military-grade encryption, it also features an automatic kill switch, DNS leak protection, and a zero-logging policy. This reinforces my trust that the provider will keep all your data and browsing activity locked tight.
With the ability to connect seven devices simultaneously, there’s enough to share your subscription with your travel companions.
If you’re ready to start a plan, check out our current coupons to save some cash. You can also try CyberGhost risk-free by taking advantage of its 45-day money-back guarantee.
Want to know more? Explore our CyberGhost review to see the full results of our research and testing.
Surfshark’s Key Features
- 1,000+ VPN servers in 61 countries
- Fast and reliable speeds
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Military-grade 256-bit encryption
- NoBorders mode for bypassing censorship
- MultiHop feature for double VPN encryption
- Works with: Disney+, Netflix, HBO, ESPN, Hulu, and Showtime
- Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Firefox, Chrome, and Linux
Surfshark has 1,000+ VPN servers in 61 countries. With servers in Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Americas, you’ll always find a speedy nearby server.
You need fast and reliable connections while traveling. Otherwise, you could end up logging into your bank account to transfer money, just to stare at a loading screen.
I rigorously tested Surfshark and found its speeds performed great for accessing the services I needed. I checked ESPN to catch up on the latest sports updates and streamed Netflix to relax before bedtime.
Surfshark is among the most budget-friendly VPNs I’ve ever tested, but it adds even more value by including unlimited simultaneous connections. You can connect to any device—as many as you want—anywhere you are.
The VPN has industry-leading security, including 256-bit encryption, to keep your online identity hidden at all costs. With Surfshark, there’s no chance of hackers or government surveillance extracting your info.
It also offers features like an automatic kill switch and a zero-log policy to ensure your info is never leaked or stored.
My favorite feature? Surfshark’s NoBorders Mode, which uses special servers to overcome restricted sites in even the toughest regions. If you’re in China and want to pass the Great Firewall, turn on NoBorders Mode to instantly connect with family and friends back home.
Surfshark also includes MultiHop, double VPN encryption that routes your traffic through two servers for an added layer of privacy. It’s especially helpful if you want to combat censorship.
If you’re ready to use Surfshark, check out our current coupons to save more on top of already low prices. Or you can try out the service risk-free with its 30-day money-back guarantee.
Want to know more? Explore our Surfshark review to see the full results of our research and testing.
PrivateVPN’s Key Features
- User-friendly interface
- 24/7 live chat and free remote assistance
- 150+ VPN servers in over 60 countries
- Reliable speeds
- Top-grade encryption
- Automatic kill switch and no-logs policy
- Works with: Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and Amazon Prime Video
- Compatible with: macOS, iOS, Android, Windows, browsers, and routers
PrivateVPN is among the best VPNs because of its simple interface and ease of use. It’s quick and easy to get started, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced user who prefers its advanced mode.
The VPN is committed to delivering a user-friendly experience. So if you run into any issues, you can connect to live help through TeamViewer. Get assistance with installation, finding the right server, or anything else you can think of.
PrivateVPN has 150+ VPN servers in 60+ countries. Its server coverage is small, but don’t let that discourage you. I experienced reliable speeds and good performance when I connected to servers in Europe, Asia, and the US.
It even labels servers that are proven to access specific content. This lets you quickly access streaming platforms like Amazon Prime Video or Hulu without having to test multiple servers.
PrivateVPN uses 256-bit AES encryption, the strongest security available. It also includes an automatic kill switch and a no-logs policy.
Although PrivateVPN is located in Sweden, which is part of the 14-Eyes Alliance jurisdiction, you don’t have to worry. This doesn’t affect its no-logs policy—it can’t share any of your info, even if ordered, because it doesn’t keep it to begin with.
Ready to have a user-friendly experience with PrivateVPN? Try it out risk-free: It’s generously offering a 7-day free trial, plus a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Want to know more? Explore our PrivateVPN review to see the full results of our research and testing.
ZenMate’s Key Features
- 3,600+ servers in 70+ worldwide locations
- Fast speeds and easy installation
- Dedicated streaming profiles
- Military-grade encryption, an automatic kill switch, and a no-logs policy
- Works with: Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, Amazon Prime Video, and BBCiPlayer
- Compatible with: Android, Windows, macOS, iOS, Firefox, and Chrome
ZenMate has 3,600+ servers in 70+ locations worldwide, including the UK, Hong Kong, France, and Germany. If you’re touring Europe, you’ll have access to a good number of servers, but you may have limited connections anywhere else.
During my tests, I found it had great speeds, even when connecting from Australia to faraway servers in the US.
What’s really appealing about ZenMate? It’s incredibly easy to set up on all your devices. You only have to follow a few steps to install, and with a click, you’re ready to connect.
Zenmate has dedicated streaming profiles. I found this convenient as I didn’t have to test multiple servers when I wanted to rewatch the best episodes of The Office on Netflix.
It can bypass most geoblocks, too, which is good news for travelers as you can easily access content from back home. However, ZenMate can’t overcome China’s Great Firewall, so it’s not a good option for travel to that country.
ZenMate encrypts your data with the best encryption available, 256-bit AES. It also features an automatic kill switch and a no-logs policy, which guarantees your online safety.
Want to test all of ZenMate’s features with no risk? Check out its free 7-day trial and 30-day money-back guarantee.
Want to know more? Explore our Zenmate review to see the full results of our research and testing.
VyprVPN’s Key Features
- Chameleon protocol to bypass geo-restrictions and censorship
- Military-grade encryption
- 70+ global server locations
- Connect up to five devices simultaneously
- Works with: Disney+, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and BBCiPlayer
- Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and smart TVs
Want to fight censorship and protect yourself with good security protocols on your travels? VyprVPN’s service is great for accessing geo-restricted sites and bypassing censorship with its unique Chameleon protocol.
The Chameleon protocol scrambles your metadata to combat VPN blocks and get around deep packet inspection—no one will know you’re using a VPN.
I can confirm that VyprVPN works in China. So browsing and streaming while you travel across Europe and Asia won’t be a problem.
VyprVPN uses 256-bit AES encryption, an automatic kill switch, and a zero-logs policy to protect your identity.
It also has its own NAT firewall that adds an extra layer of security while you travel. It stops hackers and botnets from logging on to your computer without you knowing.
VyprVPN has 70+ global locations with access to over 200,000 IP addresses. Access to so many IP addresses means you can just connect to a different one if your original encounters a block or other issue.
Need to browse on more than one device? VyprVPN lets you connect up to five simultaneously, so bring them all on your travels.
If you want to give VyprVPN a go without any risk, use its 30-day money-back guarantee. There’s also 24/7 customer support for help getting started or any issues you encounter along the way.
Want to know more? Explore our VyprVPN review to see the full results of our research and testing.
IPVanish’s Key Features
- 1,300+ servers in 75+ locations
- Good speeds
- Unlimited bandwidth
- 256-bit encryption and no-logs policy
- Automatic reconnect
- Connects with: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, CNN, and Amazon Prime
- Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Fire TV, and routers
IPVanish has expansive coverage with 1,300+ servers in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, with over 40,000 shared IPs.
During my thorough tests, I found speeds were quite impressive and there were very few buffering issues.
It can bypass geoblocks to access services like US Netflix and BBC iPlayer in the UK, among others. With unlimited bandwidth, you can browse and stream endlessly without disruptions in speeds.
Can IPVanish offer you the best in security? Yes, it definitely can. It uses the highest-grade security features, such as 256-bit AES encryption and an automatic kill switch.
Want convenience while browsing on the go? IPVanish uses Auto Reconnect to automatically restore a dropped connection—you don’t have to do anything.
IPVanish also keeps a zero-logging policy, so your data will never be stored. This means it can’t be leaked or handed over to ISPs, advertisers, or government agencies.
IPVanish offers a 7-day money-back guarantee, so test it out to see if it’s right for you. Have questions? Use its 24/7 live chat for quick help.
Want to know more? Explore our IPVanish review to see the full results of our research and testing.
SaferVPN’s Key Features
- 700+ VPN servers in 34 countries
- Dedicated streaming profiles
- Top-grade encryption
- Automatic kill switch and a no-logs policy
- Automatic WiFi protection
- Works with: Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, and Amazon Prime Video
- Compatible with: Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, FireTV, routers, and browsers
SaferVPN has 700+ servers in 34 countries, with optimized servers designed to make streaming quicker and more reliable. You can mark your favorite servers, too, so you can reconnect quickly.
You definitely need the best security while traveling, especially in unsecure locations. SaferVPN protects you with 256-bit AES encryption that makes your data unreadable and an automatic kill switch that prevents data leaks.
SaferVPN also offers automatic WiFi protection. As soon as you try to connect to a public WiFi spot, the VPN will activate, connect to a server, and protect your info from hackers and other snoops.
You’re also protected by a no-logs policy—SaferVPN will never store your personal details.
SaferVPN is committed to customer support. It’s got incredibly helpful quick-start guides and offers a 24/7 live chat for any lingering questions. It also has a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can test it risk-free.
Want to know more? Explore our SaferVPN review to see the full results of our research and testing.
UltraVPN’s Key Features
- 100+ VPN servers around the world
- User-friendly with reliable speeds
- Military-grade encryption, an automatic kill switch, and a no-logs policy
- Works with: Netflix, Hulu, SHOWTIME, and Amazon Prime Video
- Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, FireTV, and routers
UltraVPN has just over 100 VPN servers, which is smaller coverage than I usually like to see. This is why I’ve ranked the service 10th on the list. However, it does have good reach with servers in major countries like the US, the UK, Canada, Spain, Germany, and Australia.
The biggest drawback to having such few servers is that you may not be able to access as much content while traveling to some countries. Another issue, which I experienced first-hand during testing, is that its servers often become overcrowded, which decreases your connection speed.
While the server issues are big, the VPN’s other features are in line with what you’d expect from a premium service.
UltraVPN has a super-easy installation and setup process, making it a good choice when you’re in a hurry. There’s no manual configuration—all you have to do is click Connect when you find the server you want.
I tested several servers throughout the day, and I found the speeds to be fast and reliable. I browsed and streamed on multiple devices, including a laptop and a mobile phone.
UltraVPN uses 256-bit AES encryption, meaning your data is virtually unreadable to hackers. For extra security, it also features an automatic kill switch and a no-logs policy. Like most premium VPNs, you can rely that UltraVPN will keep your online identity hidden and secure.
Want to test out its reliable connections for yourself? UltraVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free.
Want to know more? Explore our UltraVPN review to see the full results of our research and testing.
I spent weeks carefully combing over the features and capabilities of over 30 VPNs to see which offered the most consistent performance for travelers. I used several devices during my tests and carefully recorded my results to put together the above list. Here’s what I looked for:
- Strong security measures like 256-bit encryption, automatic kill switches, and no-logging policies to ensure your safety and privacy, especially when you use unsecure networks, like public WiFi.
- Large server coverage so you’ll have easy access to nearby servers, no matter where you’re traveling.
- Fast, reliable speeds and unlimited data so you don’t have to worry about buffering, lagging, or data caps as you browse or stream.
- The ability to bypass geoblocks so you can use popular streaming services and get around censorship, even in countries like China and Iran.
📝 Do these VPN providers keep logs?
All the VPNs on this list maintain no-logs policies. When you use them, your online activity will never be monitored or recorded. If an ISP or government agency requests info, these VPNs will have nothing to hand over.
⚖️ Is it legal to use a VPN everywhere?
In most cases, it’s completely legal to use a VPN. However, there are exceptions in countries like Russia and China.
This is due to the internet censorship that some countries impose. The biggest offenders are China, Russia, Iran, and the UAE. Read more about the legality of VPNs and which countries restrict their use in our detailed guide.
If you’re traveling to a place where VPN use is restricted, remember that you won’t be able to access VPN sites once you enter the country. For this reason, install your preferred VPN prior to traveling. This will ensure you can activate the VPN and bypass the restrictions that keep you from accessing Google, Youtube, Facebook, and other censored sites.
🤝 Are VPNs trustworthy?
As your personal information and identity are on the line when you use a VPN, it’s vital that you choose one that will truly protect you. Not all VPNs are worthy of your trust—some provide mediocre service, while others are outright scams.
All the VPNs on this list have been thoroughly researched and tested to guarantee they’re trustworthy.
🌎 Should I use a free VPN while traveling?
It may be tempting to use a free VPN while you travel, especially if you’ll only be away for a short time. But you should know that many free VPNs can be quite problematic. Some track and sell your personal info, while others impose usage limits so strict that they’re virtually unusable.
Think about it: You’re using a VPN because you want to protect your privacy and secure your devices. Why take a gamble on a free service that may do more harm than good, especially when premium VPNs can be so affordable?
The Bottom Line
I spent countless hours testing and retesting hundreds of features across 33 premium VPNs to determine which offer the best features and performance for travelers. The ones I’ve recommended above are secure, speedy, and reliable.
Among all the VPNs on this list, NordVPN is my top choice for its state-of-the-art security features and incredible server coverage that spans nearly 60 countries.
Have a VPN already, but aren’t sure how it stacks up? Check out our guide on how to test your VPN’s safety features to make sure you’re truly protected.
If you’re ready to sign up for a VPN for your travel, save some money by first checking out our latest VPN coupons and deals.