Are you missing your favorite TV shows? Can’t access websites from your home country? or even just concerned about your online security in a foreign land?
These are all common issues amongst us expats.
The great news is, which you may already know is the simple answer to all of those issues is to get yourself a VPN service.
But which VPN service? Finding good VPN services can be difficult, never mind finding the best VPN for Expats!
The good news is I’ve done the hard work for you and tested over 20 different leading VPN providers in 2021 to find you the 7 best for expats.
So let’s take a look at my top 7 best VPN for expats and if you want to know a few of the criteria for finding the best VPN service then scroll to the bottom of this article.
Best VPN for Expats
ExpressVPN is the daddy when it comes to server locations. VPN servers are available in 94 countries around the world.
If you travel a lot as an expat or you move from country to country then ExpressVPN have you covered in more than 145 different cities.
One of the best features of ExpressVPN is their 30-day money-back guarantee that allows you to test the ExpressVPN service and if it doesn’t work well in your location then you can get a refund, even if you pay with Bitcoin.
You can use ExpressVPN on up to five different devices at the same time so you could protect your desktop, tablet, and mobile all from one package. You can even protect your data from your Internet Service Provider.
Unlimited bandwidth, a kill switch, unlimited server switching, and unlimited speed are available allowing you to stream TV, access blocked websites, and whatever else you need VPNs for expats for. Also, it is perfect for accessing Netflix.
Our #1 Recommended VPN
30-day money back guarantee
IPVanish offers access to more than 60 countries around the world all in strategic locations.
Having access to a lot of servers is a must because it means no matter where you are in the world you’ll be able to get a local connection giving the best possible speeds.
Having access to a lot of server locations is also great because it means you’ll be able to access services from your home.
IPVanish allows unlimited concurrent connections, meaning you can access the service on as many devices as you want at the same time. If you have lots of devices or a large family one account will cover them all.
IPVanish has software and apps for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS allowing you to connect and protect any major device.
With unlimited bandwidth and zero traffic logs, you really can’t go wrong and IPVanish is one of the best VPN for expats.
Next on our list, we have NordVPN. Now, NordVPN is a great service for all VPN users, including expats. It has servers all over the world, with its server network spanning throughout 59 countries.
Its server locations combined offer around 5493 NordVPN servers, which is perfect for accessing anything, including US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and most other streaming services.
Of course, NordVPN is a top-notch VPN service provider for other reasons, such as its excellent security features. It has 264-bit AES encryption, a variety of security protocols, a kill switch, and more. All of which can keep you safe when living abroad, or unblocking your favorite services from home.
Other things that make NordVPN great for TV streaming are its fast speeds, the ability to establish up to six simultaneous connections, and numerous dedicated apps, which allow you to use it on various systems and devices.
NordVPN apps available include Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and more. And lastly, NordVPN has a 30-days money-back guarantee, which is great for getting a refund if you change your mind about using a VPN. Any plan can be bought with a variety of payment methods, including Bitcoin.
If ease of use is your main focus then VyprVPN should be your first port of call.
Their software and apps are incredibly easy to use and if you’re a first-time VPN user then you should definitely check them out.
Servers are available in over 70 countries around the world which will give you access points anywhere you’re an expat.
If you’re an expat in China, Iran or any other location with a restrictive internet regime then the Chameleon VPN protocol from VyprVPN will allow you to bust through blocks.
The proprietary mode Chameleon is built to break through firewalls. Allowing you to access sites that are blocked such as Netflix, Facebook, Instagram and more.
The service features a 30-day money back guarantee like most other providers.
StrongVPN has fewer server locations than the rest but they are a little bit cheaper.
It’s worth taking a look at their website to check out their server locations. If they have servers in the country you’re an expat in or servers nearby then you can save a bit of money.
Even though they’re cheaper they still have software for PC and Mac and apps for Android and iOS.
There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can check out the service first without the risk of losing money.
If you need access to a selection of VPN protocols then PPTP, L2TP, SSTP and OpenVPN are all available on the service and StrongVPN has different servers for different protocols.
CyberGhost is a great VPN service provider for expats, as this VPN service has one of the largest server networks. Its VPN server count exceeds 6,700 individual VPN servers. Meanwhile, its servers are located in 89 different countries around the world.
With CyberGhost, you can unblock anything, including social media, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, or any TV content and channels that you can think of.
Like other VPNs, CyberGhost also has a money-back guarantee. However, its money-back guarantee lasts for 45 days, giving you a month and a half to decide whether you like it or not.
But, since it is so easy to use on any device, including Amazon Fire Stick, we don’t expect you will have any problems using it. It is located in Romania, which is very privacy-friendly. This means that CyberGhost can deliver on its promise of no-logs policy.
Surfshark is one of the younger VPN providers, but it is still just as capable as other services, with servers located around the world, strong security features, and other features capable of protecting your computer, and other devices.
Like ExpressVPN, Surfshark is a VPN company located in the British Virgin Islands. This puts it outside of the jurisdiction of any nosy government, which is why it can afford to deliver on its promise of not keeping logs. If you want extra privacy, it also accepts Bitcoin.
Another reason why Surfshark is a top VPN company is its server network, which offers over 3,200 servers. It has servers located in 65 different countries, which makes it perfect for avoiding geo-restrictions and unblocking anything you want to watch.
Not only that, but it puts no limit on the number of devices you can use at the same time. While most other services limit you to anywhere between 1 and 10 simultaneous connections, Surfshark offers unlimited connections with a single license.
So, if you need to hide your IP address and ensure internet privacy on every device you own, this is one of the best VPNs for expats to do so.
Why expats need to use a VPN?
You might be wondering why do we claim that you need a VPN, instead of just recommending it as a useful addition to your app arsenal.
There is a number of reasons why VPN services are necessary for expats in particular, and why you need the best VPNs to protect your devices.
For example, with VPNs, you can:
1. Access home TV Services
Being an expat in a distant and strange country can be exciting, but there comes a time when you need something familiar and comforting in your life.
During these moments, many of us tend to turn to our home and local TV. Many service providers are now available online, but in order to access them, you need VPN service providers that will help you avoid geo-restrictions.
This can even include your home country’s Netflix, if you want to watch native movies and shows.
2. Bypass local censorship
Another reason why we believe you should use VPN service providers is to bypass local censorship. If you happen to live in China, or another country like China – you know how much power the government has over internet access.
They can block every single service provider from “outside” and prevent you even from contacting your friends and family.
This is why you need a Virtual Private Network at your back, which can help you bypass such roadblocks with their VPN servers.
The same is true for those who wish to access content that the countries they are in deem undesirable. A good VPN provider can even grant you access to torrent sites, and keep you safe while you share files.
3. Access home banking
Another reason concerns money. Many of us still have our bank accounts in our native countries, while we chose to move out and live somewhere else.
Now, your bank might be available internationally, and so you might be able to access its app or site from abroad and manage your money. But, it will likely detect that someone with a foreign IP address is entering your account, which could lead it to immediately freeze it.
You can, of course, explain the situation, but the procedure for reversing the process is quite lengthy and complicated.
It is best to simply use a good VPN provider to connect to your own country, and then enter the app. The bank will think that you are back home, and all will be well.
4. Stay safe on public Wi-fi
Lastly, we want to talk about using VPNs for staying safe while using public WiFi. Public hotspots can be very convenient, especially if you are an expat and you travel around with no internet connection of your own.
You depend on the WiFi offered in bars, hotels, airports, parks, hospitals, and many other similar locations.
The problem is that you can never know who else is using the same network. Hackers, for example, often visit them to hunt for travelers just like yourself.
But, by connecting to VPN servers, you can encrypt your entire connection and stay safe even in such situations. Stay safe, and protect your computer, phone, or any other device no matter where you are.
How to choose an Expat VPN
There are three main areas to consider when choosing a VPN service as an expat which I look at below.
Choosing a provider that has server locations in the place you’re living in or nearby is essential. It will give you the best possible speeds.
When using public Wi-Fi or even your home connection, speed is critical so make sure you choose a provider with servers nearby.
Accessing TV services or websites from your home country is one of the biggest needs for expats.
You should ensure that the VPN service you sign up to has a VPN server in your home country. This will allow you to watch TV from your home country or access other services from home.
Access Blocked Services
In certain countries like China, Iran, Thailand, and many more, certain websites are blocked from access.
This can range from Facebook to Instagram all the way through to adult sites or other content.
Choosing a VPN service like ExpressVPN will allow you to break through such blocks and access websites that you’re used to accessing at home.
What’s the best free VPN
Lastly, there is a matter of free VPN services.
While being free does have major allure, we recommend that you never go for one such VPN service provider if you can avoid it. Without the money from their users, a free VPN service provider has to get it from somewhere else.
Most of the time, they will allow advertisers to publish their ads in the apps. However, there are many VPNs that will simply log your data and sell it to advertisers, the government, or who knows who else.
If you need good VPNs for expats, then these are not it.
Free VPNs are slow and overcrowded, they have only a few servers, often little to no customer support, and you can never be certain that your data is not being collected and sold.
It is better to pay for a year plan on a premium VPN and stay safe, watch all the Netflix you could ever want, access any TV channels of your choice, and more.
Using a VPN is a must, but which VPN you use matters just as much, if not more.
If you have to use a free VPN, we recommend ProtonVPN – a free version of a Swiss VPN provider that will limit your access to the number of servers (it only lets you access 3), but it will keep you safe and protected.
Conclusion: Top Expat VPN
ExpressVPN is my number one choice for expats.
For the price, they offer a great service, many server locations, and some of the fastest speeds I’ve seen available.
If you don’t have time to be researching about them I definitely recommend you sign up for their service. They’ve got a 30-day money back guarantee so there’s no risk.
If you have a little more time then it’s worth taking a look through the seven available providers above. You may find one of their features more suitable for your needs.
To recap on the available options take a look at the table below.