Using Virtual Private Networks to save money
Claudia Krusch loves going to Brazil, and likes it even more when she scores a great airfare deal. She recently saved several hundred dollars on a flight, simply by changing the browser for her computer to another country’s.
“I was actually super surprised, really, really surprised, when I looked at how different the rates were and I was getting options in Brazilian airlines with brand new planes that I wasn’t getting with my regular Google browser,” she explains.
She just tricked her computer into thinking she was in another country while looking. Claudia says, “If I booked the flight without changing my browser, I would actually pay at least two times more than what I paid.”
This trick is pretty simple to do if you use a VPN or Virtual Private Network. It can be easily downloaded. Many offer free services and some are a couple dollars a month.
“When you connect to a VPN server, you are able to mask your IP address and location. It does this by routing you through a server using the VPN provider. They have servers located all over the world,” explains Drew Page of Siege Media.
He says you can actually choose the location you want to connect to. So, if you select a VPN in Portugal, your location will show up as Portugal. Then, when you open a search for flights, you’ll see rates you wouldn’t otherwise be offered.
Claudia explains, “Airport codes are international. The amount of money is placed in numbers so you have your answer right there without having to speak, for example, Portuguese.”
We found rates on flights to Brazil for 17-hundred dollars when logged in from the US. But, after masking our location as Brazil, we found flights for around 700 dollars, on airlines that didn’t even appear in our search before.
And it doesn’t just work with travel.
Page explains, “You can save on software subscriptions, streaming services, monthly music software. So, it’s not just travel, but you can save money on dynamic pricing across websites.”
Claudia says she plans to keep applying it to flights she makes in the future, saying, “I can definitely see using this to get better deals.”
Page recommends not using the free services, since they often have the right to sell your data to third parties. He says it’s better to pay a couple dollars a month. And the bonus: the point of a VPN is to keep you secure online, so you’re not just saving money, but also protecting yourself in the process, by encrypting your information.