If you come from a country in the west, like the U.S., Canada, or U.K., and are living in Asia or any country that might be considered an originator of hacking activity, then accessing online resources from your origin country from your new expat home life is going to get difficult.

In my case I moved to Malaysia, from the United States. So here’s what instantly happened:

  • My U.S. bank Chase started to block my requests to log-in. I had advised them I was going to be in Malaysia for several years, even though I was maintaining both personal and business bank accounts in the United States.
  • When I wasn’t blocked I was asked for validation. This is what Paypal started to do. And since my businesses do a fair volume of transactions through PayPal, this became a real headache quickly. (I had dumped my U.S. cell phone which was a mistake as this is one core way of a financial institution easily sending you a validation code.)
  • Access to some video based sites in the U.S. were blocked.

So as an expat, you’re going to want to get yourself a VPN account. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and is an online utility that allows you to securely connect to your home country and surf the web as if you are there.

I recommend you use PureVPN because it is pretty darn easy to setup and. If you need more information on how VPNs work, then read on. If you want to go sign up for a VPN account to get started click here.

A VPN account will run you under US$4 to US$6 per month if you sign up for a year or more. If you want a VPN account for a month then you’re looking at around US$11. There are a lot of services to choose from. I picked PureVPN because it has nice utilities that work on Mac or PC computers, as well as iOS devices (iPhone, iPad) and Android mobile devices (Samsung, LG, Motorola, etc.). Pure VPN also has an AppleTV VPN app in development (as of Oct 2018).