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Imagine yourself on a computer, online shopping for your dream vacation to Iceland. You’re browsing numerous hotels in the area for an affordable and comfortable room. Suddenly, you stumble across a hotel in Reykjavik for $100.00/night. You think to yourself, “This is the cheapest hotel price I’ve seen!” You immediately pull out your credit card and hit Complete Purchase for a 5-day stay. 

Now, I bet you didn’t ask yourself, “Is this the cheapest price I can buy this room at?” or “Is my credit card information safe from cyber threats?”. Each is a valid question to ask with hotels taking advantage of the geographic location of shoppers and online security being threatened by hackers.

The convenience of online shopping is undeniable. So, to ensure you’re getting the best deals and keeping your information safe, we recommend using a secure VPN. After reading this article, you’ll take away how VPNs work, the benefits of online shopping with a VPN, and the best VPNs for making online purchases.

How a VPN Works

In a nutshell, VPNs allow you to access the internet and browse websites through a private network. Meaning, the data you send and receive is encrypted so your internet-connected device is protected from third parties trying to steal your location, interests, and other sensitive information.

4 Benefits of Online Shopping with a VPN

Thanks to VPN services, there are ways to outsmart hackers, identity thieves, and retailers. And now that you know how a VPN works, it’s time to learn how to benefit from utilizing one when you’re shopping online.

1. Ensure Credit Card Protection

E-commerce sales are continuing to climb up as shoppers turn to online shopping portals rather than brick and mortar establishments. Unfortunately, this has led to a rise in credit card fraud cases—in fact, the number of identity theft reports (by credit cards) increased by 44.6% from 2019 to 2020.

To ensure your credit card information is protected from hackers and identity thieves, always use a VPN service. Especially as a first-time shopper on a new site, using a public WiFi connection, or traveling to an unfamiliar location. Turning on a VPN will mask your IP address and give you peace of mind by protecting your credit cards through a secure network.

2. Save Money Buying Flights

Airlines are notorious for adjusting their prices based on a shopper’s location. Luckily, many have found that using a VPN when shopping online for flights will help save money. The trick is to change your virtual location to a lower-income country—such as India or Brazil. Then, you’ll often find cheaper flights compared to what you would in higher-income countries like the U.S. or UK.

3. Save Money Buying Hotel Rooms

Much like buying flights, hotels will also change their accommodation prices based on a shopper’s IP address. For example, booking a room in London from the U.S. will be much higher than if you booked your accommodations from Africa. So, don’t let airlines and hotels use your location to inflate traveling costs. Instead, use a VPN to save money, so you can have extra cash for other activities when you’re vacationing.

4. Access Geo-Restricted Online Stores

If you’re traveling outside the U.S. and attempt to enter popular online stores like Amazon or Target, you’ll most likely find your access has been denied. This is because many American retailers are blocked in certain regions across the world. This is where a VPN becomes your new best friend! Install one to your device so you can bypass geographic restrictions—saving you time to do your online shopping abroad.

Best VPNs for Online Shopping

Most importantly, let’s cover the best VPNs for making online purchases. Our top 3 recommendations offer a wide variety of features but below we highlight the providers who prioritize security and location masking.

VPNLowest PriceCountries# of Devices

1. NordVPN

NordVPN uses a system that encrypts your traffic, so hackers and third parties cannot exploit your credit cards, data, or any pieces of sensitive information. It’s all backed up by AES-256, which is the highest encryption standard in the industry. 

In regards to location masking, NordVPN offers access to private servers across 59 countries worldwide. This will allow you to choose your location, find the best online deals, and save you more money in the long run.

2. Private Internet Access

Like NordVPN, Private Internet Access (PIA) provides maximum data protection with AES-256 encryption. Also, depending on what you prefer, PIA includes a wide selection of other data encryption levels alongside AES-256. These include OpenVPN, WireGuard, IPSEC/l2TP, PPTP, and SOCKS5 (Proxy)—each having unique connection speeds but all guarantee keeping your financial information safe. 

On top of its robust security, PIA has the largest network in the industry with private servers across 78 countries. It’s worth noting this level of access will certainly be useful when shopping for cheaper traveling accommodations and accessing geo-restricted stores online.

3. Surfshark

Last but not least, Surfshark stands as another reliable VPN option for online shoppers. They utilize AES-256-GCM encryption which ranks as the highest cloud encryption standard in the industry—also making them a trustworthy choice for protecting your credit card numbers from hackers and identity thieves. 

As far as their server network, Surfshark is close behind PIA with VPN servers across 63 countries—all within North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. With Surfshark, say goodbye to nosey airlines, hotels, and online stores using your location to inflate purchase costs and denying access to their websites.

Key Takeaways

VPNs give you the power to take control of your online experience. Installing a VPN will not only save you hundreds of dollars on flights and hotels—but also give you the freedom to access geo-restricted sites. And let’s not forget the security blanket VPNs provide is undeniably theft-proof! AlwaysVPN is always here to help educate you in keeping your data safe from hackers, identity thieves, and third parties.

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