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Best VPN for Digital Nomads & Expats in 2024

Last updated: November 24, 2023

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Best VPN for digital nomads & expats

In this day and age, there has never been a better time to be a digital nomad, and one of the priorities for all digital nomads is to have a secure and unrestricted internet connection. But when you’re traveling all over the world, you might come to realize that this can be difficult, and public WiFi networks are known for being unsafe and easy to hack.

The best way to secure your data and make sure you don’t get blocked by your location is to use a VPN service, also known as a virtual private network. Using a VPN service could open up your digital nomad experience, allowing you to bypass any geo-blocks with a new IP address and encrypt your data for security purposes.

There are many VPN services to choose from, and experts have tested which ones will be the best VPN for digital nomads and the needs you may have as you travel. These VPNs are the best for ensuring your online security no matter where you find yourself in the world. Keep reading to learn more about the best VPNs for digital nomads.

In a hurry? Here are the 5 Best VPNs for Digital Nomads

5 best VPNs for digital nomads and expats

Devices compatible with ExpressVPN

If security is your top priority, then ExpressVPN is ideal for your digital nomad needs. This reliable VPN service has 3000+ server locations in 105 countries and is compatible with Windows, Linux, iOS, macOS, and Android, so it should be suitable for almost any device you have.

Features: All of the features available from ExpressVPN ensure first-class protection. It includes a kill switch and split tunneling, as well as a MediaStreamer that helps you use streaming services on devices that might not support VPNs. It also features a Threat Manager to protect you from infected websites and obfuscated servers to hide your VPN connection.

Speed: This VPN service offers great speed using their tunneling protocol, Lightway. With this, you can expect a connection free of interruptions no matter if you’re gaming, streaming, or working from anywhere in the world. It also has other supported protocols, OpenVPN and IKEv2.

Privacy and Security: ExpressVPN’s security is practically unbreakable. It uses an AES 256-GCM cipher to ensure your data is inaccessible no matter who is trying to break in. If you’re using their Lightway protocol, then it uses ChaCha20/Poly1305, which is also very strong. It also has security features such as RAM-only servers and a verified no-logs policy.

Streaming: ExpressVPN works on many streaming services, including Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more.

Pricing: Prices for this VPN service start at $6.67 per month. However, if you’re unsure if you’re ready to commit, they do offer a free 7-day trial on certain mobile devices to try the VPN risk-free, and the VPN providers offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.


  • Large network of server locations
  • Works with many streaming services
  • Great connection speeds
  • Advanced encryption and excellent security protocols
  • RAM-only servers
  • Propriety Lightway tunneling protocol available


  • A more expensive option
  • Kill switch is not available on iOS

2. NordVPN

Devices compatible with NordVPN

NordVPN is considered the best VPN for digital nomads by many experts because of its large server fleet that includes 5800+ servers in 60 countries. It also boasts advanced security features and strong connection speed and is compatible with Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, and Mac.

Features: This VPN promises a next-generation features suite and generally user-friendly apps. You get a kill switch that consistently protects your IP. It features a Threat Protection perk, which also functions as an ad blocker. Your VPN connection will be masked by Obfuscated servers, in addition to other tools available to you.

Speed: NordVPN’s propriety NordLynx protocol ensures that your speeds will stay as fast as can be, which has been upgraded from their already fast WireGaurd protocol. Additionally, OpenVPN and IKEv2 tunneling protocols are also available.

Privacy and Security: NordVPN has strong security features to keep your data safe and secure. It includes RAM-only servers and AES-256 encryption, which wipe your data after every system reboot. It also features a no-log policy that is independently audited which guarantees you full security.

Streaming: NordVPN works with many streaming sites, including Disney+, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, ESPN, and more.

Pricing: This is one of the more affordable VPNs for digital nomads, especially for the quality you receive. Prices start at $2.99 per month and come with a 30-day money-back guarantee and offer a 7-day free trial.


  • Multiple high-speed servers worldwide
  • Ublocks international content easily
  • Obfuscated servers
  • Excellent NordLynx tunneling protocol
  • Strong security features
  • Offers 24/7 live chat support


  • Can take a bit of time to switch servers
  • No free version

Devices compatible with Surfshark

Surfshark is a trustworthy VPN for digital nomads who are looking to get the most bang for their buck. It’s affordable and secure, has 3200+ servers in 100 countries, and is compatible with Android, Mac, Linux, Windows, and iOS.

Features: SurfShark includes all the essentials, such as split tunneling and a kill switch. They also feature a top-notch ad blocker and obfuscated servers to bypass VPN blocks. Additionally, the SurfShark One antivirus suite could be added for an additional cost.

Speed: This is one of the fastest VPNs on the market, using next-generation WireGaurd protocols to prevent any problems you could have with poor speed. They also offer OpenVPN and IKEv2.

Privacy and Security: Surfshark uses one of the strongest encryptions on the market, AES-256. It also has an independently audited no-logs policy and RAM-only servers.

Streaming: This VPN works great on some of the popular streaming services, including Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.

Pricing: Surfshark has very attractive prices, starting at just $1.99, and includes unlimited simultaneous connections so you can protect multiple devices without paying a lot for them. It also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 7-day free trial.


  • Unlimited device connections
  • Great speeds
  • WireGaurd protocol available
  • Good for streaming
  • Affordable


  • No split tunneling on iOS
  • Occasionally slow server


IPVanish has unlimited connections, good speed, and is excellent at bypassing geo-blocks. It has 2200+ servers in 52 countries and owns and operates its own servers instead of using a third party, making it even more secure. It is compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.

Features: IPVanish is compatible with multiple devices and has robust security that includes a kill switch, obfuscation, versatile SOCKS5 proxy, and split tunneling. It also offers you encrypted file storage that can protect up to 500 GB of data.

Speed: This VPN has decent speed, using WireGaurd protocols to help. It also uses other tunneling protocols like IKEv2, OpenVPN, and L2TP.

Privacy and Security: IPVanish uses an independently verified no-logs policy, as well as its own servers, to help you stay anonymous and protect from cyber threats. It also uses market-leading 256-bit AES encryption.

Streaming: This VPN can help you access streaming services such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+. However, some users have complained that it struggled with Amazon Prime Video.

Pricing: All of IPVanish’s plans support unlimited devices and start at a price of just $2.49 per month. It also includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.


  • WireGaurd protocol available
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • SOCKS5 proxy included
  • Self-owned servers


  • Prices increase after a year
  • Doesn’t work in China
  • Struggles with some streaming sites

Devices compatible with CyberGhost

For digital nomads who are looking for the best VPN services that include an enormous server fleet, then CyberGhost is the one for you. This VPN has 10,200+ servers in 100 countries and is compatible with Android, iOS, Linux, Windows, and MacOS.

Features: CyberGhost has important security features such as an automatic kill switch, IP leak protection, and DNS to ensure a secure connection. It also features special servers for gaming, torrenting, and streaming.

Speed: This VPN has super fast WireGaurd tunneling protocol and supports OpenVPN and IKEv2, all of which lend to ideal internet speed for digital nomads around the world.

Privacy and Security: CyberGhost has a strict audited no-logs policy. It also uses RAM-only servers to remove data from your system after a reboot and encrypts your data with AES-256.

Streaming: CyberGhost is an ideal VPN to unblock streaming channels and works well with Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video.

Pricing: Prices for this VPN start at $2.19 a month, and they give you the option to pay in cryptocurrency. As an added bonus, they have a 45-day money-back guarantee.


  • Large server network
  • Audited no-logs policy
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Good for streaming


  • Weaker Apple apps
  • Works poorly in China and UAE

How we selected and tested VPNs on the list 

When choosing a VPN, there are several factors that you should keep in mind. These are the main criteria we use when testing and selecting the best of the best VPNs for this list:

  • Speed. Fast-speed internet is of crucial importance to a digital nomad, whether you’re using it to stream your favorite Netflix show or touching base with your work on Zoom, but most public WiFi networks are usually very slow. The last thing you need is a lagging VPN to affect your internet speed, which is why the top VPNs all feature top-notch tunneling protocols like WireGaurd.
  • Security. While on a public WiFi network, you are particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks and having your data hacked. Therefore, it is vitally important that your VPN has comprehensive security protection. This includes features such as IP leak protection, kill switch, high-quality encryption, and RAM-only servers.
  • Servers. Because of digital nomads’ frequent travel and lifestyle that varies by location, many will find themselves running into problems with local regulations and varying internet infrastructure. That’s why our picks for the best VPNs have a vast server network that allows you to access a wide variety of sites and content.
  • Pricing. It’s always important to make sure you are getting your money’s worth, and the VPNs we selected are some of the best that are still available for affordable prices.

Why you need a VPN as a digital nomad

If you are a digital nomad living your best life with adventures all around the world, there are plenty of reasons why a VPN should be on your “must-have” list. These reasons include:

  • Bypass geographical restrictions: Geographical restrictions, also known as geo-blocks, could easily stand in your way when it comes to accessing necessary sites, work platforms, or even your favorite streaming services. A VPN service can help change your IP address so that it will look like you are in an approved location and unblock websites from anywhere in the world.
  • Banking access: When banks see a foreign IP address trying to access an account, they will usually flag it and sometimes even block the account for safety. It’s an important precaution but could make things difficult when you’re abroad and trying to access your bank account. Using a good VPN for banking banking solves this issue by changing your IP address to your home country.
  • Online security: One of the risks that comes with using public Wi-Fi, is that you are putting your security and privacy in jeopardy. A VPN can help protect your online activities by encrypting your data so that any sensitive information or personal things are kept safe.
  • Bypass censorship: The laws of censorship vary by country, and it’s possible that you could find yourself in a country with strict censorship that has banned some websites from public use. For example, if you want to watch YouTube in China, you will see that the site is blocked. In order to access those sites, you’ll need to use a VPN to change your server to a country that has access to that content.
  • Better prices on flights and accommodations: There are many travel websites for flights and hotels that are known for price discrimination, meaning that they might charge you more for your flight based on the location you are currently in. By using a VPN, you can connect to a server in a different country to try and grab the lowest prices possible.

How to set up a VPN for digital nomads

Don’t be intimidated by all the technical terminology, setting up a VPN as a digital nomad is fairly simple and straightforward. Just follow these easy steps:

  1. Choose the VPN service that best fits your needs. Sign up with the VPN and download the app to your device. (Make sure your chosen VPN service has an app that is compatible with all your devices.)
  2. Install the app and follow the instructions to log in when prompted.
  3. Once the app is all set up, and your login details are taken care of, select a server to connect to. For faster speeds, you could choose a location closer to where you are, or choose a location like the United Kingdom or United States that has the geo-location that will work for your internet needs.
  4. Turn on your kill switch as a precaution in case the connection unexpectedly cuts out.
  5. You should now see that you’ve been assigned an IP address that matches the location you’ve chosen, which can now be used to access all blocked services and sites from anywhere you go.
  6. Activate the VPN connection by clicking the “connect” button, or whichever option the app has. Verify your VPN is connected and then you’re ready to go!

Essential cybersecurity tips for digital nomads

While using a VPN service will take care of a lot of your cybersecurity needs as a digital nomad, it should just be one part of a strong digital security strategy.

It is crucial to ensure that all of your accounts have strong passwords and that your devices have been updated with the latest firmware. Additionally, you should enable your firewall, as well as two-factor authentication. It is also strongly advised that you regularly back up all of your data onto a cloud storage system, so as to protect your work just in case you run into any issues or lose your device.

When you activate your VPN, make sure your kill switch is always on. You could also consider adding in additional software, such as a password manager and antivirus programs, to help secure your data even more.

Can I use a free VPN as a digital nomad?

While you could use a free VPN service as a digital nomad, it is not recommended to do so. Free VPN services often have very slow speeds, largely in part because they will regularly have thousands of users using them at one time. Additionally, they are usually limited in what is available to you, particularly with streaming sites and the access you have.

Another risk is that many do not provide proper encryption levels, meaning your data and privacy are usually not safe with these services. Whereas a paid VPN could better protect you.

Is it safe to use a VPN on public Wi-Fi?

If you have a good VPN service with robust security features, then yes, a VPN is not only safe to use on public Wi-Fi but recommended. Public WiFi networks in places like a coffee shop, an airport, or co-working spaces are typically not secure and vulnerable to cyber attacks, but using a good-quality VPN can help protect your data and privacy.

VPNs to avoid 

Not all VPNs are created equal, and these ones are the VPN services you should consider staying away from if you value your online privacy.


In the past, Hola was discovered to have leaked their users’ data to a third party, causing a lot of concerns to come forward in the VPN world. And has put this product firmly on the do-not-use list.

Hot Spot Shield

This VPN has also come under fire for violating its users’ privacy, with groups claiming they were logging the connection details of their users. Using a VPN service like this is certainly a risk and not a reliable VPN.

Super VPN

This is a very popular free VPN, but it is important to know that it does contain malware. While it might help you unblock a site like Netflix, it is unreliable enough to not be able to keep your personal information safe.

Touch VPN

Touch VPN might be popular, but when it comes to the importance of security for a digital nomad, this one does not deliver, in addition to its technical flaws.

Betternet VPN

One of the dangers of Betternet VPN is that it logs’ users’ data quite frequently. It also has speed issues, no kill switch, and leaks your DNS IP address, and can’t even access your favorite streaming sites, so this one is particularly not worth the risk.


What is the best VPN to use internationally?

Digital nomads often love to travel the world, and that means you probably want the best VPN services possible for international travel that are also user-friendly. ExpressVPN is ideal for this, considering that it has many servers in around 100 countries, do this VPN could go all around the world with you while keeping you safe and secure.

Which VPN is best for remote work?

Any of the VPNs on our list would be great options for digital nomads looking to work remotely. NordVPN is a favorite among many digital nomads, but any of these could work for you, depending on what your priorities are.


If you’re a digital nomad then being able to work securely, without slow servers or connection drops, is something that is important, which is why you should consider purchasing a VPN. Particularly if you’re someone who finds themselves frequently on a public WiFi network, the last thing you want is for a hacker to be able to gain access to your private information or your mobile data. Using a top-notch VPN provider could help you protect your data and bypass any geo-blocks you come across no matter where in the world you may end up, and is an essential tool for all digital nomads.

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