Best VPNs to Work Remotely Abroad Without Employer Knowing (Digital Nomad Survey)

In the digital age, the nature of working is changing and with it comes more opportunities to work from anywhere.

We wouldn’t blame you for feeling the call to work from a beautiful beach in Mexico, or if you can handle the time change, maybe even a historic city in Croatia.

We’re not advocating for lying to your boss about where you’re working, but we are advocating for you to live your best life as a digital nomad.

With this in mind, here are the best VPNs, straight from a forum of digital nomads, that will mask your location to your US-based employer.

But first, some nomads had a little advice about the process of using a VPN, and whether it would actually work:

“Astrill and Express VPN do work. But if you have a real IT department, they can still figure it out, especially on a company laptop. The VPNs we recommend here will not stump an IT professional who is actively checking your location.”

Don’t even use a commercial VPN for this. The company will trace this and infer your setup. Why would you connect from within the US to a commercial VPN provider? Set up a local VPN server at your US residence and use this connection. Then, get a dedicated VPN hardware client to connect to this server which in turns provide an already tunneled network to your devices.”
Use a dedicated IP. So you have a unique IP!”
Buy a VPS which is actually located in the US and remote desktop into that, then you really are in the US and the IP will be a real US ip and not part of the easy recognized ip from the VPN pool of ip’s.”
“Foolproof it by using Amazon Workspace (virtual desk).”

But aside from this advice, the nomads had plenty of VPNs to recommend (40 responses):

ExpressVPN (12 responses)

“I use and like ExpressVPN.”

“I personally use ExpressVPN and it’s never let me down.”

“I use express VPN which is pretty good.”

“Express VPN is super trusty.”

“Express vpn. Works like a charm.”

“I used ExpressVPN. Went to 5 countries (lived in one of them for 6 months) and no one was the wiser.
I since have an employer and contract gigs that don’t care where I am. Waaaaay less stressful!”
“ExpressVPN is the best one, I switched from Nord after getting too many connection issues on my mobile, no problems on Express.”
“I use Express Vpn and it’s very good. Speed Test with or without it’s almost the same. Surfshark instead often slows the connection.”
“I use ExpressVPN as well and my speed tests are usually 50-60% slower when connected.”
“I’m an ExpressVPN user but I wouldn’t use it to try to fool my employers.”

Nord VPN (11 responses)

“I’ve been using NordVPN for years. Express is good too.”     group study and work

“Agreed with NordVPN.”

“We use NordVPN and like it… (also, I hope your employer isn’t in this group – haha).”
“If your job is 100% remote there’s no problem being abroad. Re your question, I use NordVPN.”
“NordVPN works great. Tell them you’ll be on the road for a bit due to ___.”

Surfshark (3 responses)

“Surfshark 80% discount. Works great.”

“I use Surfshark.”
“I use Surfshark! No complaints.”

Astrill VPN (3 responses) A Person using a Laptop MacBook Pro in a desk next to a monitor

“Astrill VPN.”
“Astrill VPN with a dedicated IP.”
“Astrill.”

Windscribe (2 responses)

“Windscribe works well.”

“Second Windscribe, but only because it lets me watch anything anywhere in the world.”

Proton VPN (2 responses)

“I’ve used Proton VPN without issues.”
“Proton VPN.”

Hotspot Shield (2 responses)

“HotspotShield is the best by far. Maybe consider getting a beryl. Also change the time zone on your computer since it’ll sign emails with local time otherwise.”

Tunnel bear (1 response)     Man in gray hoodie using laptop while looking to the outside

“Tunnel bear.”

Freedome (1 response)

“Freedome is cheap and very good.”

Mullvad (1 response)

“I use Mullvad, I’ve been abroad for 6 months and haven’t had any issues.”

Google Fi (1 response)

“Google Fi.”

VPN unlimited (1 response)

“VPN unlimited has served me well all over the world for many years. They have a lifetime option that is really a value long term.”

Final thoughts:

If you’re looking for a safe bet for VPNs, Express and Nord seem like the way to go, according to these digital nomads.

Madison Schulz
Madison Schulz is an American freelance writer living in Paris, France.