The ultimate guide to finding the best VPN for expats & digital nomads

Expat life
07 Jul 2023
13 mins read
Written by Team Instarem

Navigating the cyber world is hard work—especially when you’re an expat or digital nomad. With country-specific walls, cultural differences in censorship laws and a whole list of other security hazards to consider, it’s almost impossible to keep yourself safe unless you’ve got the right tools to do so.

Enter the Virtual Private Network (VPN), your new best friend for working abroad! Not sure where to start? Don’t worry – we’ve rounded up all our knowledge about VPNs into this ultimate guide for expats & digital nomads looking for top-notch online protection. So sit back, relax and let us show you how easy it is to find the perfect VPN fit!

What is a VPN?

VPN, the magical three-letter word that keeps popping up everywhere. Do you know what else pops up everywhere? Ads telling you to use a VPN, promising to solve all of your internet problems.

So, what is VPN and what does VPN stand for?

VPN stands for “Virtual Private Network”. It helps to keep your identity secret when you are online. It helps you stay anonymous.

What does a VPN do?

Public Wi-Fi, the ultimate convenience.

Who needs a personal hotspot when you can just mooch off the local coffee shop’s Wi-Fi? But there’s always a catch, isn’t there? While you’re busy checking your emails and scrolling through social media, someone could be spying on you. And no, it’s not your ex who just so happens to be sipping on a latte a few tables away (although, let’s be real, that would be a nightmare as well). It’s hackers who are after your precious data.

And let’s not forget the advertisers who are just waiting to get their grubby little hands on your information.

But fear not, my fellow internet dwellers, for there is a shining knight in this digital wasteland – VPN.

It helps protect your internet connection when you use public networks. It also hides what you do online from other people so they can’t track or steal data. VPNs work in real-time to keep you safe.

How does VPN work?

Think of it as a secret tunnel that helps protect your computer and personal information when you use the internet.

When you use a VPN, your computer talks to the VPN instead of the regular internet, so no one can spy on what you’re doing. It also makes it look like you’re in a different place, which can be helpful for some things. Overall, VPNs make your internet safer and help protect your privacy.

How to get a VPN?

First things first, choose a VPN provider. Then, download and install the VPN software. Finally, connect to a server and voila! You’re officially in the VPN club. Just don’t forget to renew your membership every year, or else you’ll be kicked out faster than you can say “virtual private network.”

What is the best VPN?

Okay, let’s talk about the ‘best’ VPNs out there. Sure, there’s probably one out there that’s constantly rated number one, but is it really the ‘best’ for you? It’s like asking what the best pizza is – it’s all subjective, my friends. Instead, let’s focus on how to choose a good VPN service.

Security is kind of a big deal here. I mean, we don’t want your cat videos getting into the wrong hands, do we? So, look for a VPN that’s got your back with strong encryption. And while we’re at it, let’s make sure it doesn’t crawl at a snail’s pace. The reality is no one likes buffering. And lastly, let’s check if your chosen VPN will work on all your devices or operating systems.

Best VPN to consider

With so many options out there, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. Check out our list of top VPN picks, because ain’t nobody got time for slow connections and unreliable service.
And let’s be real, we know you’re also wondering “How much does a VPN cost?”

Don’t worry, we’ve got that covered too. So, sit back, relax, and let us help you take the first step to a secure online experience.

Nord VPN

Are you being spied on through your webcam?

Don’t worry, the childhood friends behind NordVPN have your back! They noticed the rise of internet censorship, content control, and intrusive government surveillance, and decided to take action.

Introducing NordVPN – your online bodyguard for all your web activities. Say goodbye to Big Brother sneaking a peek at your browsing history and hello to online peace of mind.

And the cherry on top? Students, apprentices, and those aged 18-26 can get a discounted price.

With monthly, annual, and 2-year plan options split into 3 tiers, there’s a perfect plan for everyone. Stay safe online with NordVPN – because no one likes an internet creeper.

VPN apps available on: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS: iPhone / iPad, Chrome,  Firefox, Edge

Express VPN

So you’re telling me that there’s an app that speaks 17 languages? Does it also cook me breakfast and do my laundry? Because that would be pretty impressive. But in all seriousness, if you’re looking for a VPN that can speak your language and connect all your devices, ExpressVPN is the way to go. And they’re not just multi-lingual, they’re also fast as lightning with servers in 94 countries. Plus, if you sign up for a year, you get a 35% discount. So, you can protect your internet privacy and save money at the same time. That’s what I call a win-win-win situation.

Offers 1-month, 6-month and 12-month plans.

Ultra-fast servers in 94 countries

VPN apps are available on: Mac, Windows PC, iOS (iPhone), Android, Linux, Router, Chrome extension


Get ready to surf the web like a pro with Surfshark!

This cybersecurity company not only offers a VPN to keep your online activity secure, but also an antivirus, data leak detection system, private search tool, and even a personal data removal system.

And if you’re thinking, “Wow, that sounds expensive,” think again! Surfshark offers flexible pricing plans for all budgets, from a one-month plan to a two-year commitment. Plus, with unlimited device support and availability in over 100 countries, you’ll be able to surf the internet from anywhere, on any device, without a care in the world (well, except for that cat video addiction, but we can’t help you with that).

VPN apps available on: macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, Fire TV, Chrome, Firefox, Edge

Hola VPN

Did someone say free VPN? Well, if you are looking for that, you are in the right spot.

Hola VPN offers two versions – free and premium. If you’re on a budget, the free version is perfect for you. Sure, you’ll have to take a short break from time to time, but who doesn’t need a bathroom break every now and then? And let’s be real, we could all use a break from our screens every once in a while.

But, if you’re looking for uninterrupted access to all your favourite websites (Netflix, we’re looking at you), the premium version is the way to go. Not only do you get access to more websites, but you can also connect up to 10 devices.

That should cover all of your tech gadgets unless you’re secretly Iron Man. And with super-fast servers and unlimited usage, you can binge-watch to your heart’s content without buffering. So, whether you opt for the free version or want to go premium, Hola VPN has you covered.

Atlas VPN

Looking for a VPN that can keep your internet surfing safe and secure? Look no further than Atlas VPN, the freemium VPN service that’s got your back!

With monthly, annual, and even three-year plans starting at just USD$1.99 per month, you can be sure to stay connected to over 750 premium servers, including ultra-secure Privacy Pro and streaming servers.
And if you’re not quite ready to commit, why not try out the free version of Atlas VPN to see if it’s right for you?

And are you a student in the US or UK? Or maybe you work in healthcare or military services? You can enjoy even MORE discounts and perks with Atlas VPN. And who doesn’t love saving some cash? It’s like finding money in your pocket that you forgot about.

Apps available on: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Android TV, Fire TV Stick

Turbo VPN

Who knew that a rabbit could be so good at VPN services? Turbo VPN’s logo might be a cute little bunny, but don’t let that fool you. This service means business. With their free plan, you can access the internet securely, quickly, and without spending a single penny.

And the best part? Turbo VPN works on pretty much every electronic device you can think of- Windows PC, Mac, Android, iOS, and even Chrome. Sure, the free version may limit your server options and only allow for one device, but if you upgrade to their premium plan you can protect up to five devices all while having your pick from over 21,000 servers in 50+ countries. Who knew that bunny could pack such a punch?

VPN is available on: Windows PC, Mac, Android, iOS and Chrome


Have you heard about Jack? No, not the one who climbed the beanstalk. We’re talking about HMA’s loveable mascot, Jack the donkey. Now, it may seem odd that a VPN company would have an ass as a mascot, but Jack has a mission – to hide your asset!

And trust us, he’s not out to make fun of your own behind, he just wants to help you hide your identity online. Turning on your VPN with HMA is as easy as pie (or a carrot for Jack).

With a simple and user-friendly interface, you’ll be protected in no time. Plus, with servers in over 290 countries and 163 optimized for streaming, you’ll be able to watch your favorite shows from anywhere in the world. And, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can install HMA VPN on multiple devices and even set it up on your router – because why not have your whole home covered, right? And with flexible pricing plans, including a family plan with up to 10 connections, HMA is the perfect solution for all your VPN needs.

VPN is available on: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Android TV

Mozilla VPN

Have you ever heard the phrase “sly as a fox?” Well, Mozilla’s online privacy game is “like a fox”! For over 20 years, they’ve been putting people first and fighting for our right to privacy on the internet. And with their commitment to building a better and healthier internet for all, they’re pretty much the superhero of the online world.

With the option to connect up to five devices and a choice between a 12-month or monthly plan, you won’t find a better deal to protect your digital self.

Plus, with over 500 servers in 30 countries, you can stay “like a fox” – quick and nimble – as you hop from one location to another. Mozilla’s got your back!

Touch VPN

Are you tired of feeling like you need a degree in computer science just to use a VPN? Look no further, my dear laymen, because TouchVPN has got your back!

You won’t need to sacrifice three hours of your life just to follow a 10-step tutorial on how to secure your online activity anymore. In fact, all you need is three minutes and three simple steps!

With over 5900 servers in 90+ countries, you can “travel” the world without leaving your couch!

It also doesn’t matter if you’re an Apple enthusiast or a die-hard Windows fan, because TouchVPN is available for all devices. So, sign up, install and hit connect to experience the freedom of being safe and limitless online.

VPN app available on: Mac ios, microsoft, MSI, MS Edge, Google Playstore, Firefox, Chrome

Why do you need a VPN as an expat?

Picture this: you’re an expat living the dream in the bustling city of Dubai. You sit down with your morning cup of joe and open your laptop, ready to check the latest news and catch up on social media. But wait! Suddenly you’re hit with a warning screen about forbidden content. Say what?

Without a VPN, you’re stuck with limited access to websites – it’s like trying to watch a movie with your parents when all the good scenes are censored. And let’s not forget about China, where a VPN is practically mandatory for getting online.

Do you know what’s worse than the lack of entertainment in your host country? Having to deal with banking and tax filing in a foreign country without a VPN. Trust me, we’ve been there, and it is the definition of a headache. Websites will constantly redirect you to the wrong country page, making you want to pull your hair out.

So fellow expats, get yourself a VPN – your internet-surfing experience will thank you.

Why do you need a VPN as a digital nomad?

As a digital nomad, you’re probably spending more time in cafes, hotels, and airports than in your own bed. You’re constantly on the hunt for the perfect latte and the best Wi-Fi connection. But let’s face it, those public Wi-Fi networks can be sketchy as heck. Security? What’s that?

If you want to keep your digital life a secret from hackers, getting a VPN is a must. It’s like putting a cloak of invisibility on yourself, except it is for your internet connection. Not only will it encrypt all of your personal data, but it’ll also let you access all that juicy content that may be restricted in some areas. So, next time you’re sipping on that latte, do yourself a favour and protect your online privacy with a trusty VPN.

Before you go…

You know what they say, protect your privacy like it’s your most prized possession! And while you’re at it, why not consider Instarem as your go-to remittance service to send money back home? Not only does it offer awesome exchange rates, but it’s also ISO 27001 certified, meaning your information is secure as Fort Knox!

Say goodbye to those pesky banks and money transfer kiosks and hello to a user-friendly platform that makes sending money overseas a breeze.

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*Rates displayed are for illustration purposes.

Download the app or sign up on the web and see how easy it is to send money with Instarem. 

**Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only. All details are accurate at the time of publishing. Instarem has no affiliation or relationship with products or vendors mentioned. 



About Instarem

Instarem stands at the forefront of international money transfer services, facilitating fast and secure transactions for both individuals and businesses. Our platform offers competitive exchange rates for popular currency pairs like USD to INR, SGD to INR, and AUD to INR. If you're looking to send money to India or transfer funds to any of 60+ global destinations, Instarem makes it easy for you. We are dedicated to simplifying cross-border payments, providing cutting-edge technology that support individuals and businesses alike in overcoming traditional fiscal barriers normally associated with banks. As a trusted and regulated brand under the umbrella of the Fintech Unicorn Nium Pte. Ltd., and its international subsidiaries, Instarem is your go-to for reliable global financial exchanges. Learn more about Instarem.

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