Of all the countries in Latin America, Mexico has one of the freest internets. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need a VPN in Mexico — in fact, it’s one of the best things you can do to ensure your continued online freedom.
Whether you’re a casual web surfer or a hardcore internet user, a VPN can improve both your experience and your security. Here are the top 10 reasons why a VPN is so valuable.
Top 10 Reasons Why You Need a VPN While in Mexico
1. The Mexican Government Spies on the Internet
Mexico may not be one of the biggest perpetrators of invasive internet monitoring. But it’s not totally innocent, either.
In fact, Mexico has purchased digital surveillance software from multiple countries, including Israel, Italy, Finland and Switzerland.
This software can be used for everything from intercepting text messages to metadata collection to real-time internet traffic monitoring.
If you don’t want the government invading your privacy, use a VPN. Its encryption and IP masking capabilities will ensure that what you do online remains for your eyes only.
2. Mexico’s Data Retention Laws Could Put Your Personal Info at Risk
Mexico’s mandatory data retention laws require telecom companies to retain all user data for at least two years. During this time, it can be accessed by law enforcement without a warrant.
This means that your IP addresses, browsing history and other data can be viewed by the government at any time.
Though you can’t do anything about the data retention itself, you can make that data useless by using a VPN. Since VPNs encrypt your data and hide the URLs you visit, nothing useful will be retained by your ISP.
3. Web Censorship May Be on the Horizon in Mexico
The same bill that brought mandatory data retention to Mexico originally had another worrying clause. That clause would have allowed the government to block websites, apps, content and services as it saw fit.
Pressure from online freedom activists caused the government to back down on this particular clause — for now.
But its original inclusion signals that Mexican authorities want that power, and they may try again in the future.
Should this happen, a VPN will be necessary to view any blocked websites. Change can come on very suddenly, so it’s best to be prepared and get the hang of a VPN before it becomes absolutely critical.
4. Mexico Cooperates with International Law Enforcement
Though Mexico isn’t a member of any global surveillance groups like Five Eyes, that doesn’t mean you’re safe from international threats.
Mexico and the US, for instance, have a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty in place. The treaty requires that the two countries cooperate with one another when investigating crimes or collecting evidence.
This means that if you’re a person of interest to US law enforcement, your web activity in Mexico could be obtained and used against you. And even if you’re not, the US’s appetite for surveillance could jeopardize your privacy anyway.
Using a VPN to encrypt your web traffic is your best line of protection against surveillance, whether domestic or international.
5. VPNs Let You Unblock Websites at Work
Chances are, your workplace has a WiFi network that you’re allowed to use.
But even so, you’re probably not able to access any so-called unproductive websites, including social media, games or streaming sites.
If you’re sick of the restrictions and just want to have a little fun on your lunch break, get a VPN. It’ll hide the URLs you visit, preventing your company’s web filters from affecting you.
6. With a VPN, You Can Unlock New Streaming Content
Netflix and other streaming sites limit their content libraries to specific countries. A movie that’s available in the US, for instance, may become unavailable the minute you enter Mexico and get a Mexican IP address.
The solution? Use a VPN to change your IP address to one from the country of your choice.
You’ll then be able to access any streaming library you want, even if you’re not in the right region.
7. VPNs Keep Your Torrenting Activity Secure
In Mexico, there are currently no laws against torrenting for personal use, even if you’re downloading copyrighted material.
However, Mexican lawmakers have considered implementing fines for anyone caught downloading torrents that violate copyright. And copyright trolls can still snag your IP address from peerlists and try to extort “damages” from you.
Take precautions against these possibilities by using a VPN. It hides your real IP address so your torrenting activity can’t be traced back to you.
8. You Can Reduce the Effectiveness of Web Trackers with a VPN
Web trackers use many different tricks to follow you around the web, collect your data and sell it to the highest bidder. But one of the most ubiquitous is also one of the most simple: logging your IP address.
Don’t want your personal browsing data becoming a product for some faceless company? Then use a VPN to mask your IP address and switch it up regularly — it takes just a few clicks.
9. A VPN Lets You Get the Best Price on Hotels and Plane Tickets
Many online retailers use some sneaky tactics to take as much of your money as they can. Hotels and airlines in particular use your IP address to obtain your location and alter their prices accordingly.
In some cases, prices for the same ticket or room could be hundreds of dollars higher than they would be if you were in another country.
If you don’t want to play these money games with greedy companies, change your location with a VPN. Try a few servers and see which one gives you the best price — a little time can save you lots of dough.
10. You Can Safeguard Your Data on Public WiFi with a VPN
With so many distracted people coming and going every day, public WiFi is a goldmine for hackers in search of passwords, banking info and private data.
But you don’t have to stop using public WiFi to stay safe from these hackers. Just use a VPN to encrypt your data — the hacker may still get it, but its encryption will make it utterly useless.