VPN is the one point that travel bloggers fail to mention when you travel abroad-espcially Oman. This goes by saying that unless you are travelling to China, no one would think of mentioning VPN to you. Being in a position of realizing that you phone does not work to all its capacities when connected online would put you in hard spot: especially given that it is really hard to access the websites needed to download it after you land!
What Is A VPN Service?
VPN is a Virtual Private Network used to hide your identity from the world wide web. Visitors of this website can be identified only by the respective countries they are accessing their PC’s from. With VPN you can mask your location to make it seem like you are in a different country then where you really are! At the time of writing this post I am physically in China but virtually google recognized located in Germany.
How Does VPN Work?
VPN works by serving you three essential functions. The following are
IP Address: You can choose to use and IP address from anywhere in the world
Encryption: Browse from any Wi-Fi hotpot without being monitored.
Netflix: Watch Netflix from any country, even restricted content available only in the US.
The last has been influential to me personally as a VPN user. I have personally been using VPN to watch Netflix when I lived in China all the time. Despite first using it in Oman, it has been the backbone of my digital life as all western social media were banned! Worst thing is, I would struggle to get my weekly dose of Riverdale.
Why Use A VPN
Simply put, you don’t need VPN till you miss some of your mobile luxuries. Anything that makes online calls possible is blocked within Oman as so you will not be able to make phone calls while abroad. Imagine having landed at Muscat International Airport and you look to make that phone call to your loved ones only to find out that your calls can’t go through! Sucks, huh?
This is the reality in Oman and many countries within the Middle East. Sure, it does not compare with the Great Firewall of China ( you can access all content & social media), however it still rids you of the luxury of making free VoIP phone calls. Facebook calls, Snapchat calls, Facetime, Whatsapp calls, Skype, Google Hangouts, etc.
All of them blocked.
Reasoning behind this may be attributed to the desire of phone companies to not lose on profit made if everyone had access to free internet. Lack of unlimited calls is a factor as you are charged per minute while on the phone in Oman. Whatever the actual reason is, all I know is that I always keep VPN services active on my phone at all times
Fortunately, since you are probably visiting Oman for a short period of time, you can sign up for a 1-month VPN service that will run on your phone when you want it too. Having gone through a ton of VPN provider in my life I have put them all to the ultimate test against China’s Great Firewall. Surprisingly, many would not operate at all, and if they did it would be at turtle crawling speeds. Only one would pass the test and be worthy of the yearly subscription fees. Here are the VPN’s I have on my phone.
The reason behind having to use 2 VPN’s is that while living in China, there was a risk that one VPN would be temporarily down as the firewall protocols changed. that turned out to not really matter as ExpressVPN almost never worked the whole time I was there. Lucky for you this is not the case and you would only need one.
For tourist & long-term visits I recommend using PureVPN.
PureVPN is simple, reliable and offers impeccable VPN service for your virtual calls. I tend to switch to PureVPN while visiting Oman as I personally feel like it served me better. As the company’s HQ is Hong Kong you can tell why I would use this VPN while in China as well.
SPECIAL OFFER: PureVPN has several straightforward plans that offer all of the above features and more. Sign up for a two year subscription and you’ll save an amazing 73% off the base price, which brings the monthly cost down to $2.95!
PureVPN is my #1 pick for surfing the web freely. It offers a cheap and easy way to protecting yourself while you travel. VPN has become an indispensable part of my travels, and I simply won’t travel the across the world without one.
I’d strongly suggest you don’t either.