How to bypass censorship on the internet when traveling?

Abroad, you can’t access your favorite sites because of censorship? Here is why and primarily how to circumvent censorship on the Internet.

When traveling abroad, you may not be able to access your favorite websites or specific social networks. Several reasons for this:

Countries practicing censorship on the Internet

The country practices some censorship on the Internet. This is the case in countries such as China, Iran, and Cuba. For example, in Iran, it is impossible to access Facebook and many other websites. However, we can also talk about Vietnam or Turkey.

The extent of this censorship varies from country to country. Here is a map showing the extent of this practice around the world. It was established by RSF a few years ago:

In short, it is painful if you want to keep in touch with your loved ones. Sometimes even your email can be blocked. The same goes for Skype.

Sites blocked by a local provider.

Not to mention censorship, it is possible that your site is inaccessible from the country where you are. This has happened to me several times during my travels. I remember Guatemala in particular, where I could not access my blog. Which was annoying, because it was impossible for me to work on.

In this case, it was the local provider that had blocked my server IP, for some obscure reason. Indeed, I was probably not targeted because you should know that if your site is hosted on a shared server, which is usually the case, your IP address is similar to hundreds of others. However, it is enough for one host to block the IP of a particular site for all the others to be as inaccessible.

What can be done against Internet censorship abroad?

Simple, the most practical solution is to use a VPN when traveling.

What is a VPN?

In general, it is a small program to download and which, once activated, will offer you an encrypted connection between your computer or smartphone and a server located in a censor-free area.

If you are in Iran for example, by activating your VPN, you will connect to an IP in France for example. It’s like surfing while you’re in France, so no problem!

The advantages of using a VPN are not limited to Internet censorship:

You can surf anonymously.
Your data is encrypted. So you can surf safely.
Without necessarily being in a country practicing censorship on the Internet, a VPN allows several things when traveling:

You are at the airport and need to check your bank accounts? As you know, in general, the wifi offered by airports is public. A hacker or a fraudster can, therefore, intercept your data. Risky. With a VPN, no problem!

You can also save money by finding cheaper hotels and plane tickets. Indeed, prices vary according to location.

Which VPN to choose?

There are a large number of free VPNs. The problem is that these VPNs have advertising and are limited in connection time and speed.

With a paid VPN, no time and data limitation. The comfort is there and the quick connection. For a fee, it is only a few euros per month.

 

Air travel: how light on board affects our comfort

In an airplane, space is scarce and constrained. Especially when trying to make travel affordable, airliners tend to maximize the number of seats available on board. To remedy the discomfort that this implies for passengers, airlines and aircraft manufacturers are multiplying initiatives. In addition to ergonomic seats, the initial focus was on in-flight entertainment.

No more screens common to all, now the individual screen prevails with an ever more extensive choice of content. Another factor, less visible and yet essential, has recently been the object of all the attention of airlines: that of light on board.

No more neon that you turn on or off with no other choice than “on” or “off.” Now, thanks to the LEDs, the crew can choose among a wide range of atmospheres and thus modulate the lighting according to the phases of dinner, sleep, and awakening. To understand how these variations of light are elaborated, we went to Hamburg to the center of “Cab Definition.”

Give the impression of space.

In this 4,500 m² space set up by Airbus in a former aircraft factory, customers, in this case, airlines, select what they need for their onboard facilities. There is furniture specially adapted for kitchens, or new luggage boxes with a departure for a tripcapacity increased by 40%. And of course the lighting equipment. In a “mock-up”, hear a life-size cabin model, tests are performed with a choice of millions of colors.

Companies quickly understood that lighting environments would be a distinctive asset that would enable them to strengthen their brand image. Because as soon as they enter the cabin, passengers are marked by the atmosphere produced by the light composition. “Light is a big part of the feeling,” explains Paul Edwards, our guide during this visit. The goal is, therefore, to give the impression of space while differentiating itself from other companies. Finnair will choose a sober atmosphere when Qatar Airways is more luxurious and colorful.

However, this choice is not without constraints, as it is essential to take into account the materials used for the walls and seats of the aircraft if bad associations are to be avoided. Depending on the tones chosen, a metal piece, for example, will look very chic or completely fake. There is a golden rule of mood lighting on which all companies align themselves: no direct light.

Because beyond aesthetics, luminance – that is, the perceived light intensity of a material – also helps passengers to respect the rhythms of sleep. A light that dims gently at bedtime and imitates sunrise a few hours later will help fight jet lag. We even study the variations of the lights depending on where we are on the plane. Nothing is left to chance.

Top 5 Destination Spots in Europe

Europe is chock-full of incredible vacation spots, and narrowing down your choices to just a few can be incredibly daunting. Europe has everything, from huge cities full of culture, history, and nightlife, to breathtaking mountains, to beautiful and relaxing beaches and countryside. To help you decide where to head next, we’ve compiled a list. Here are our top 5 destination spots in Europe.

amsterdam5. Amsterdam

The culture in Amsterdam is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. You can spend all day biking through the city’s tree-lined cobblestone streets, or just take a gondola down one of its many waterways. There is a thriving art scene in Amsterdam, with plenty of museums and galleries, as well as an eclectic food scene that takes its influences from all around the world. There’s something for everyone here, from newlyweds to families to young groups of friends.

florence4. Florence

Choosing just one Italian city to visit is difficult, but Florence provides an incredible combination of historical and modern Italian culture. All you have to do is wander the streets and you’ll be hooked – the architecture here is stunning, and much of it dates back centuries. However, there’s also plenty of Italy’s world-renowned cuisine and trendy fashion here, so you won’t just be stuck in the past.

reykjavik3. Reykjavik

Iceland’s capital is a great European destination for both trendsetters and bargain hunters. The city projects an effortless cool that hipsters around the world love, and if you’re looking for a relaxing vacation, you can enjoy one of Iceland’s famous steam baths and see the Northern Lights. WOW Air also offers some of the cheapest international flights around to help you get there.

london2. London

There’s so much to do and see in London, you may need to make a return trip. From historical attractions like the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace, to musicals on the West End, to the incredible nightlife, you’ll fall in love with London’s charms instantly.

paris_380x2441. Paris

There’s just nothing else like the City of Love. There are so many iconic landmarks to visit, like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc De Triomphe, plus some of the best museums you’ll ever visit. Paris is also the perfect place to relax with a cup of coffee and a great book at a charming sidewalk cafe. Wander through any of the arrondissements, and you’ll find some of the world’s best food in small, hidden-gem restaurants.

5 Solo Traveling Tips for Women

As a woman, it is both thrilling and slightly terrifying to take off on an adventure by yourself. Traveling alone is a great way to truly take in the world’s amazing beauty and assert your independence, but it can also be filled with potential dangers if you aren’t careful. Here are some travel tips for women, so you can make the most of your travels while still staying safe.

1. Be aware of the culture you are visiting. 

While there are many places around the world that have fully embraced gender equality, there are also many that still place certain restrictions on women (both legal and cultural). Read up on cultural norms in the countries you will be traveling to before you go, so you won’t be caught off guard when you get there. Yes, things can be unfair, but blending in with the locals will help you stay safe from criminals who like to target tourists.

2. Plan, plan, plan.

When it comes to traveling by yourself, there’s no such thing as planning too much. Create a detailed binder containing all of your flight/train/car rental information, hotel information, locations of attractions you plan on visiting, and hospitals and embassies in case something happens. Planning ahead will not only help you see more of your destination, but it will also provide you with important resources in the event of an emergency.

3. Minimize the number of valuables you bring. 

Try to leave any valuable items you don’t absolutely need behind at home. This means only traveling with identification documents you know you can replace, and maybe eschewing your laptop for your tablet (or just using your smartphone) for a while. Valuables make you a target for thieves, especially in busy cities. However, the valuables you do bring with you should be kept on your person in a safe location at all times, like in a hidden compartment in your bag. This way, you’ll have control over them and won’t have to worry about what happens if someone breaks into your hotel room.

4. Use travel insurance for long trips.

Travel insurance may seem like an unnecessary expense, but if you are heading halfway around the world for a few weeks (or months!), there are so many things that could potentially go wrong. There are many travel insurance providers that offer affordable plans, and having it can provide you with peace of mind so you can enjoy your trip.

5. Trust your instincts when meeting new people. 

Traveling can be a great way to make new friends, but you also might run into some seriously shady people. Take it slow when you are meeting new friends, and don’t head off alone with someone you’ve just met, no matter how cool they seem. Also, be careful with how much you drink – you don’t want your reactions or judgment to be compromised if someone tries to take advantage of you. Pace yourself, and make sure to eat and have water with your alcohol.

Remember ladies, always keep yourself alerted of any potential dangers and stay out of trouble. Stay safe!