If you are expatriated abroad, you may need a VPN to unblock some sites or services in your new country or to enjoy the same browsing experience as when you are in the US. We discuss the 6 main reasons to use a VPN when you are an expatriate.
You are about to expatriate or already living abroad and you realize that the internet in the country where you live is different from the one in your home country. Some websites geolocate their users, sometimes block their access to certain countries or vary the prices of their services for example.
To remedy this and avoid these sometimes restrictive geolocation systems, it may be interesting or even necessary to use a VPN. We take 7 examples of uses of a VPN for expatriates in this article.
1) Unblock geo-restricted services abroad:
The main interest of having a VPN when you are expatriate or living abroad is to be able to unblock some websites, services or applications that are blocked in the country where you are.
This is very often the case for TV channels, communication applications, social networks or even sometimes government sites that geo-block their access to various countries in the world.
For example, if you have decided to expatriate to Russia, you will quickly notice that no application running under the VoIP protocol works in the country. This means no Whatsapp, Skype, Facetime or Snapchat unless you use a VPN.
Same thing if you are closer, expatriate in Switzerland, Belgium or UK, you won’t be able to access US TV channels online or even some VOD platforms unless you use a VPN.
In these multiple cases, the VPN, once launched, will simulate your presence in the country of your choice (for example the United States) and thus make as if you were really in France while you are expatriated abroad. The software will recreate your browsing experience as it was when you were in America.
2) Watch American TV channels:
The second reason to use a VPN when you are an expatriate or abroad: to be able to unblock all the American TV channels and avoid their geo-restriction.
Indeed, as we have already mentioned in this article, the vast majority of American channels restrict their access to the territory, thus preventing foreign nationals to watch them, whether streaming, live or even in a replay.
The big disadvantage is that a US citizen who goes abroad will not be able to watch his shows on channels such as NBC, CBS, Fox, ABC…
By using a VPN and simulating his presence in the United States, it is possible to unblock all these channels and enjoy them as if we were still in the country.
3) Take advantage of American rates on the Internet:
A very large number of sites of all kinds, whether they are e-commerce, online services, flight, hotel or train ticket reservation sites, vary their rates from one country to another, which can be very restrictive when you live in a country where the purchasing power is higher than in the United States and where prices are generally more expensive. On the other hand, it can be very interesting when you live in a country where incomes are low and prices are also low.
For example, the price of a plane ticket will be completely different whether you book it from London, Paris or New York. We saw in the article on how to pay less for a plane ticket that the price could vary up to 50% from one country to another.
The same goes for subscriptions to various online services such as VOD, music or streaming platforms. The price in India or Turkey will be much more interesting than the price in Canada or the UK for a Netflix, Amazon or Youtube Premium subscription. We had highlighted the variation of Netflix prices by country in a detailed article on this subject, which is summarized below:
4) Watch Netflix US abroad:
The same thing for VOD services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Disney+, video catalogs offered by these different platforms are completely different from one country to another, which can sometimes prevent you from watching certain American movies or series.
Using a VPN will allow you to access any Netflix library, whether you want to watch the series available on the French, English, American, Canadian or Japanese catalog. All you need to do is to geolocate yourself in the country in question and Netflix will show you the movies and series available there. This also allows you to considerably widen your choice of movies to watch on Netflix.
5) Secure your browsing on sensitive networks:
When you travel or live abroad, you may have to connect to wifi networks (public and private) that are not or not very secure, such as those in airports, hotels, bars or even Airbnb and apartments.
Using a VPN allows you to encrypt all the data circulating between your devices (smartphone and PC) and the network you are on to protect your personal data and especially to keep them confidential.
Your personal IP address will also be masked to guarantee your anonymity on shared networks that are sometimes sensitive or dangerous.
6) Browse as if you were in the United States:
Generally speaking, your Internet browsing from your expatriate country will certainly be different from the one you had in your home country, and for good reason, the change of your IP address.
All the sites you will visit will detect that you are abroad and will act accordingly on prices, services offered, or even access to certain pages as we have seen above in the previous points.
Finally, it can be very convenient and even obvious to use a VPN when you are expatriated abroad, not only to avoid being geo-blocked, but also to avoid price differences and guarantee your security on sometimes dangerous networks.
The cost of a VPN being very accessible today and for these 7 reasons, it is advised for a US expatriate to subscribe to one once installed in his expatriation country.