What Students Who Study Abroad Forget to Bring with Them and Accompanying Security Threats

Updated: 8/2/16

Needs for Students Traveling Abroad

In the next few months, as colleges and universities begin to fill with activity again, millions of students and educators will be traveling worldwide to study or teach abroad.

Students from the United States may be visiting to Spain for a semester, UK collegians could be spending a term in Australia, or Japanese students may be moving to the USA to gain from the American education system. Students could also be going backpacking for a few months after graduating college. So many students these days seem to spend some part of the educational career in another, exotic locale.

While traveling abroad may be an exciting time full of dreams and plans, properly preparing for internet connectivity and securing personal information should be on top of the to-do checklist.

A DD-WRT router configured with a VPN service provider from FlashRouters can be the perfect travel companion to properly secure your internet while providing continuity of Internet connectivity and service no matter what your location.

A small, compact but powerful router like the Asus AC56U with DD-WRT firmware modifications and VPN connectivity is very popular for this type of situation due to it’s compact size and powerful processor.

 The Loss of Online Streaming Video & Music While Studying Abroad

Excitement can quickly lead to frustration when the ease of access to various online US based-services students and travelers use daily are lost in translation during their voyage.

Take Netflix with you worldwide with an iPad and a VPN Router allowing you to access Netfllix anytime from any country.

Using video with an iPad on the go is simple and very useful. Whether students are showcasing projects, presentations or just want to watch movies with a friend, this is usually a quick and easy setup. However, streaming video services that American students traveling abroad are accustomed to will quickly disappear when they cross any border, ocean, or sea including:

  • No More Netflix: Netflix is only available in a few countries, and the availability of titles is based on regions. Currently, Netflix is available in North and South America, Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and Norway. If you are outside of these locations, Netflix will be unavailable. Even if you are in one of these countries, you may have a list of titles you are unfamiliar with.
  • Limited, restricted YouTube Videos: Many music videos and other viral videos only give YouTube rights to users utilizing US IP addresses even if they are logged in under a Google account that they have previously used when they were in the US.
  • Geo-Restricted Hulu: Most Hulu content is only available to US viewers.
  • NBC.com, ABC.com and various other network online TV streaming services.

Not just those services but many others that teens and twenty-somethings have come to know and rely on. Some more restrictive regions of the world have restrictions on Twitter and even Facebook. How happy do you think a traveling student will be if they are unable to post updates to their friends on social media?

Students traveling outside of their home country or continent can easily lose access to music services, subscription services, and libraries from Apple iTunes, Spotify, Grooveshark, Rhapsody, as well as ringtone websites. Restrictions are based on licensing agreements for individual areas. Yet if you visit a country but are not “living there,” it is unnecessary to be restricted in what content you can get.

Spending a semester overseas should be an exciting experience. Exploring a new world while gaining a lifetime of memories in a matter of months. However, just because you are in India for a year doesn’t mean you only have to enjoy Bollywood flix and outdated, dubbed TV episodes.

Overseas Internet Security/ Preventing Identity Theft While Studying Abroad

Having a VPN Router can help deflect security worries of parents and the stealing of their children’s private information by identity thieves. Using A VPN connection adds layers of encryption technology to the sites, passwords, and communications of the person connected.

VPN Security is a necessary when connecting to open Wifi networks when traveling overseas.It is not uncommon for users to have to utilize Internet cafes in unfamiliar locales to check important messages and communications but Wi-Fi can be a hotbed of security flaws, leaks and if a user connects to the wrong site at the wrong time they could quickly become the latest victim for identity theft.

If you are not familiar with the security issues with Wifi connections, read about the Dangers of the Wifi Pineapple and Using a Public Wifi Connection.

Instilling a good habit of encrypting private data at all times when traveling is a valuable lesson that can save people time and endless headaches. Imagine a traveler trying to spend days dealing with lost and stolen credit cards, losing all of their identification.

Virtual Pickpockets and Identity Thief work just as much at Internet cafes as actual thief and pickpockets work the streets since it is harder to trace and easier to gather loads of information. They also won’t have to get chased through the streets by police if they caught. Cyber criminals are smarter, more stealth, and can cause an infinite amount of damage with the click of  a mouse, so make sure all the proper Internet safety precautions are taken.

For more information on the advantages of VPN, take a look at our VPN Benefits page.

Students Save Money on International Skype Video/Phone Calls

Students may be able to send e-mails but Skype costs can add up quickly. Parents desiring unlimited access to face-to-face video chat just should use a US based VPN connection in order to keep those calls from costing more than the flight.

Utilizing a US based VPN connection built-in to a DD-WRT Router from FlashRouters can solve of these issues with a few clicks of the button. Connecting through a US server and gaining an encrypted US IP address will make the calls. Travelers might be more likely to Skype video chat with you if it costs them nothing.

Using a DD-WRT for Xbox 360 & Playstation 3

DD-WRT is an open-source advanced firmware for routers and have specific advanced capabilities in regards to opening NAT ports for gaming. Utilizing a VPN will allow you to play games on Xbox Live and streaming Netflix and Xbox video content just as if you were at home.

The Perfect Gift for Students Studying Abroad

For portability, many FlashRouters weigh less then 2.5 pounds when taken out of the box with the average smaller ones weighing close to one pound like the Netgear WNDR3700 with DD-WRT. They are durable enough for traveling and arrive securely packaged. Students and travelers can easily pack them in their backpacks of suitcases when moving from hotel to hostel to university dorm.

Depending with which VPN service a user connects, the amount of connections can be limited to a single device or can be shared. Even increase the student’s ability to bond with others in their group or school by allowing them to split and share this connection to other semester long expats looking to reconnect with the free reign of American media content.

The setup at each location is simple and we are always here to assist via FlashRouters’ knowledgeable and fast responding Support.

Specials and Deals change constantly so check out FlashRouters.com for the latest.

For the more news on DD-WRT routers, first notice of future specials, network security news and more, follow us on Twitter @flashrouters or become “Like Us” on Facebook.

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