Yesterday Ben wrote about how China’s government may start cracking down on VPN services, which may have caused you to wonder “What the heck is a VPN, and what does it have to do with travel?”
What it boils down to is that no public internet connection is inherently safe or secure. Sure, you might be taking extra precautions on your home network, or using firewalls on your devices, though in my experience most people aren’t.
Whenever you’re using a public connection you’re exposed to flaws in the network, and are a bit at the mercy of anyone using that same network. It doesn’t really matter whether you’re at a coffee shop, a hotel, or on an airplane.
That’s where a VPN (or Virtual Private Network) comes in. It helps protect your data, and is so inexpensive and easy to use that there’s really no reason not to.