Anyone who hasn’t been to Mexico probably has similar thoughts when seeing that country’s name in an advert for a vacation destination. You might be forgiven for thinking that Mexico is a lawless country full of organized crime drug cartels, where most of the population, when they’re not shooting at each other or the police, exist on burritos, tequila, Dos Equis beer and very hot chili sauce.
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Mexico’s Hidden Charms and Technological Progress
But nothing could be further from the truth. Mexico is in fact a very civilized nation. For sure it has its organized crime problems; probably because it is on a land border with the USA with its huge market for illegal drugs coming from South America. But despite being a relatively poor country, Mexico has a wealth of culture and history. It’s also fast catching up as a technological nation with its embrace of internet technology infrastructure.
Mexico also has the world’s largest pyramid, the Great Pyramid of Cholula, built by the Mayans in ancient times. It’s not as high as the Egyptian pyramids but sits much greater in area. The country also has one of the most bio-diverse ecologies in the world, with no fewer than 707 species of reptiles, some of which are big enough to bite off your leg and drag it away to eat as an appetizer!
Secure Surfing in Acapulco: Why Using a Mexican VPN is Essential for Travelers
Most importantly, if you plan to go on a holiday in Acapulco, you’ll find it reassuring to know that the internet functions seamlessly there. You can still employ online security measures like using a Mexican VPN to watch your favorite Netflix movie (perhaps El Mariachi) and to prevent any online ‘banditos’ from hacking your computer or phone.
Using a virtual private network (VPN) is essential when you’re travelling, even more so than when you’re at home or in your regular office with a business laptop. That’s because a VPN places an encrypted server between you and your destination website. This means that both your location and identity are invisible to any analytics or hacking software, so governments, hackers and internet service providers don’t know who you are, or where you’re located.
Reasons To Use VPN
Most people use VPNs when travelling for two main reasons, to circumvent geographic content restrictions when streaming movies or shows, and to avoid falling victim to hackers when using free Wi-Fi networks. Let’s take a quick look at the reasons for this:
Imagine that you’re normally resident in India, the UK or the USA. If you are a Netflix account holder, each country resident will have access to different content, there’s no ‘international blanket coverage’. This is mainly due to copyright restrictions; if someone owned a bar in Chennai and was showing US-based Netflix movies to the public, to increase footfall in the establishment, the movie’s production company would almost certainly be unable to prosecute the bar owner for copyright theft if he lived on the opposite side of the world.
However, if that same content were being shown to bar patrons in any of the 50 US states, the film’s lawyers would be on the bar owner with a million-dollar lawsuit before you could say ‘Salud’! That’s why you can’t watch certain content on streaming platforms from geographically restricted regions. But if you use a VPN, you can simply choose from hundreds of international servers worldwide, so if you’re sitting in a bar in Playa Del Carmen, you can choose a server from your VPN to appear to be accessing the internet from California. Problem solved.
The other major advantage to using a VPN is online security. Imagine sitting on a beautiful sandy beach in Mexico, at a shady bar constructed from palm leaves and bamboo poles. You’re sipping an ice-cold Margherita and needing to check your emails to see if your employer has sent your return flight tickets. You access the free Wi-Fi network named ‘El Hacienda’ and enter the password displayed on a chalkboard above the bar: ‘Hacienda_123’.
Half a dozen emails arrive immediately, one from your employer with your flight ticket itinerary attached, and another unexpected one – a ‘Welcome to Mexico’ email from the Mexican tourist authority. You open the email and download the ‘Best Bars in Yucatan’ marketing app. All good. Or so you thought.
In a beaten-up old camper van, with a surfboard on the roof rack, parked just outside the bar, there’s a young American in an unfeasibly large Sombrero hat concealing his face. Guess what – he’s a hacker who set up a hotspot with the same name and password as the bar’s Wi-Fi – you just logged onto his network and the app you just downloaded is now recording your keystrokes as you enter your American Airlines account to check in to your flight home. Your device has been compromised, and someone could clone your credit card details very soon. You might already have purchased $1000 worth of cryptocurrency! That’s got to be a bad end to your holiday.
Using a VPN extension could have prevented this situation because reputable VPN providers have intelligent anti-hacker detection software. The VPN would have automatically disconnected the hotspot you connected to as soon as it detected any incoming malware traffic. You would simply have cursed the bar’s unreliable Wi-Fi and moved on down the beach to another establishment.
There are many other advantages to using VPNs – too many to examine here, but one thing is for sure, if you’re online and travelling, make sure you stay safe out there!