A carefree tour is nothing short of a blessing these days. It is a leisure that only few can afford in time and in money. It is an escape from the burnouts of noisy cities, polluted lanes, stressful work, social strife and much more. It is a journey to peace.
But then you know it is short lived, so you just want to make the most of it. You get cameras, bookmark places, and make a long list of shopping spree you would like to do on various points of your trip. You want to tell the whole world of your whereabouts time and again. You are not going to miss out on your friends and family back home.
Travel Experiences You Always Wanted to Have – And Share!
Whether it is an exotic massage on a beach in Thailand, a crazy dance with village farmers, or even a long drive with your childhood friend in his Lamborghini, you have an irresistible urge to show it off to the world, just like you have been seeing it long until your own journey.
It is your turn to brag. You have planned to update your entire social world about whatever new comes through each mile you travel. You dream not to miss a single check-in on Foursquare and Facebook, you will be able to make use of Instagram in much of a celebrity way, you will say hi to your WhatsApp contacts from several places. And you would fill all of your random thoughts on those tiny, 160- character Tweets.
Internet Freedom Does Not Travel As Freely As You
Wait… counting on social media and internet is pointless if you are unaware about cyber controls outside your country. Yes, the internet may not be as ‘free’ as it is in your own state. Many countries, like Egypt, Syria, Korea, China and even Turkey, have enacted strict censorship laws which affect things you can (or can’t) do over the internet.
In South Asian countries like Iran, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, you may not be able to stream even YouTube. Yet, there are others who place overly offensive watchful eyes on you online activities.
The bottom line is – you would not have the same level of internet liberty as you have it back at home.
Internet Censorship and Surveillance around the World
Like landscapes and climate, internet censorship takes different forms in different parts of the world. Even Australia, Italy and France have laws which may restrict your online activities.
Indeed, censorship and surveillance hurts everyone from students and businessman, and from travelers to office workers. Here is a map of internet censorship around the world. Keep this in mind as you travel.
The black zones, representing most of the countries I have already pointed, are worst affected by online censorship. Censorship laws in these countries are at the mercy of oppressive, dictatorial and often corrupt regimes.
The red zones, comprising much of Russia and Australia, face high levels of state-sponsored online surveillance. If you live or are on a tour to one of these places, you get to expose a lot of your personal online activities to surveillance monitors.
The yellow zone states are not known to have any brutal internet controls. But yes, passive censorship tactics are applied for certain types of objectionable or controversial content. Yellow zone countries include much of Americas, North Africa and India.
The handful of countries in the blue zone region is safe from active censorship or surveillance, including African countries. In Central Africa, however, internet is a rarity, and so is censorship. It is a good idea to forget good internet while on African land, let alone censorship!
Getting Help from a VPN
A VPN service is a great way to regain any lost internet freedom you would experience in your travel trip. It is an online service you could use to unblock restricted websites and applications online, anywhere in the world. It tops up your internet connection with a native IP so that you can enjoy internet in the same manner as you would have back at home. A VPN just erodes all censorship worries you might have during your trip.
Most VPN services are compatible with almost all internet-enabled devices, including PC, smart phones and lap tops. With a VPN in place, you could easily surf and engage on Facebook, YouTube, Blogger, Netflix, Twitter and any other website or application.
Because online data through VPNs go completely encrypted, you can be safe from hackers and cyber criminals, especially if you are in the habit of using public Wi-Fi and hotspots, the treading grounds of online thieves.
Finally, VPNs help you access geo-restricted streaming websites and services like Netflix, Pandora, Last.fm, Hulu, WWE Player, iPlayer and others. Most of these streaming services are US or UK only, but with a VPN you get a native virtual seal which gets you full access to all of your native content on these channels. You are not going to miss what’s in the latest episode of your local soap operas if you have them online with a VPN.
A restricted internet will spoil all the moments of your trip you wanted to share with your friends and family back at home. Don’t become victims of censorship. And don’t be hurled by surveillance monitors, hackers and cyber crooks outside your country.