Moving abroad, getting used to a new culture and striking out on your own in an unknown world can be almost as daunting as it is exciting. To help you stay prepared and protected, here are four things that every expat should have in their tech toolkit.
Before you even think of accessing the internet abroad, you should have a Virtual Private Network (VPN). These are perfect regardless of which country you are visiting, as well as for any stops you take along the way, as they keep all of your personal information safe. When accessing the internet without a VPN, any request you make to open a website is bounced all over the place before eventually being returned to you. A VPN creates a private server that all requests are taken to immediately before being encrypted and sent to you.
Another valuable asset about VPNs is that many of them actually enable you to access sites that may be blocked in the country you will be traveling to. For example, you can use a VPN for American Netflix, thereby unlocking all the shows you’re used to seeing that may not be available where you are. Some VPNs such as CyberGhost also do this for other websites including Hulu, Amazon, Twitter, HBO, and BBC iPlayer.
As an expat in the modern world, chances are you have a wide variety of electronics that need power from time to time. A laptop, a smartwatch, a mobile phone (we’ll get to that later); these are all things that must be connected to a power supply in order to charge. Of course, since you’re moving to a new country, you’ll need one of the most obvious and yet often forgotten tool of all: adaptors. If you turn up to your new home without the right plugs, then you’ll have to suffer through an electronic blackout until you get the right tool, and no one wants that.
A Pay-As-You-Go Mobile Phone
Whether you already have a handset or you’d like to buy a new one when you arrive at your destination, it’s always handy to have a pay-as-you-go SIM card at the ready. There’s a very likely chance that the mobile you used at home will no longer function on the same network, especially without any extra charges. Instead, by purchasing a pay-as-you-go SIM, you can make and receive calls on a local charge without making any long-term commitments.
A Skype Account
Finally, we recommend that you download some sort of software that allows you to contact family and friends that haven’t been able to accompany you on your adventure. It’s incredibly common for expats to become homesick during the first few weeks, and it’s always nice to have an easy, free way to make contact. Skype is by far the most famous of these programs and is easy for everyone to use – even your grandma will surely be able to figure it out.
With these tools, we’re sure you’ll be able to enter this new phase of your life confidently, knowing that you are prepared for any technical issue and protected from any possible nasty internet bugs.