What if you want to work remotely from somewhere that isn’t your home, but you’re not sure your boss will let you?
Well, the sensible thing is to discuss the possibilities with your company. But if you prefer to just let sleeping dogs lie, then you could choose to work remotely from anywhere while hiding your location.
While I’m not specifically recommending this, I’ll be sharing several ways here to maintain your privacy while working from anywhere, while trusting you to comply with your company regulations.
As a travel blogger, I’m lucky to be able to work for myself. But I’ve shared work trips with friends whose employers with ambiguous remote work policies. Determined not to draw the Eye of Sauron of their corporate head offices, my friends wanted to make sure their IP address would not reveal their true location, so I helped them set up some solutions.
To be clear: yes, it is possible that your boss (or whomever) is watching you. Using your IP address (a series of numbers with dots), someone can easily trace your location while you’re logging in from out of office.
But… there are also ways of making this impossible.
3 solutions to keep your privacy
The three solutions listed here all rely on VPN technology. A VPN lets you access the internet through a secured encrypted connection that can be routed via a server anywhere in the world.
Think of it as making a secret tunnel through the internet from your device to an endpoint somewhere. To anyone looking at your activity online, they won’t see where you’re tunnelling from, they will only see the location where it popped out.
For example, I could be physically in Belgium, but use a VPN connection to make it appear like I’m in the UK.
Public vs private VPNs
The first two solutions below involve using a public VPN. This is by far the easiest to set up, but it’s not always 100% watertight.
While your real location will be hidden, the fact that you’re using a VPN will still be visible. So someone might not be able to ask you, “hey, why are you logging in from Hawaii?”, but they might still ask you, “hey, why are you using a VPN?”.
I believe the chances of getting that question are still pretty slim, but a particularly nosy IT department might be keeping track of public VPN servers.
Only the third solution (using a private VPN) will be completely foolproof in giving you total privacy.
Solution 1: use VPN software
The easiest way to mask your location is to use VPN software.
All this takes is installing an app on your computer (or whatever device you need to use the internet with) and subscribing to a monthly VPN subscription.
The reason that it’s a paid service is that encrypting and rerouting your internet connection takes a lot of resources. While there are a couple of free VPNs out there, they are typically very bad and give you very slow connections.
Personally, I’ve used ExpressVPN, Tunnelbear, and NordVPN. I like NordVPN the most by far as it’s highly affordable while offering high speeds and tons of locations. When using their VPN, I’ve easily had multiple video streams running concurrently (e.g. Zoom and Netflix) without issue.
How to use a public VPN:
- Create an account and subscribe at NordVPN.
- Download the app for your device or browser
- In the app, select a location from which you want to appear
I recommend using the app for your operating system (e.g. Windows or MacOS) and not one of the apps that works with your internet browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.). That way it will take care of your entire internet connection and not just your browser activity.
Using this VPN software will ensure that no one can know your real location by checking your IP address.
Solution 2: get a travel router
There may be situations where you want to use a travel router for your VPN instead.
- If you want to share the same VPN connection across multiple devices (laptop, phone, etc.)
- If you are traveling with other people who also want to use the VPN
- If your work computer doesn’t allow you to install any apps
- If your company already uses a corporate VPN (you can’t have two VPNs at the same time on the same device)
When I went on a remote work trip with some friends, some of whom didn’t want their location known to their employers, I purchased a small travel router that works seamlessly with my NordVPN subscription.
I bought this GL.iNet GL-AR300M Mini Travel Router. It was only 30 Euros (about $35 USD) and yet it did everything it needed to do without a hitch.
You can see how small it is in the picture above, where it’s sitting next to the broadband router of the Airbnb we were staying.
This tiny router can log on to any WiFi signal (or LAN cable connection), encrypt it via VPN, and then make this secured connection available via its own WiFi signal.
Setting it up takes a few more steps, but it’s not too complicated. Here’s how to do it:
- Get the GL.iNet 300M mini router at Amazon (if it’s out of stock, try the GL.iNet Creta)
- Plug it into the charger using the USB cable
- Log onto its WiFi signal (the details are printed on the back)
- Go to the address http://192.168.8.1 in your browser
- Follow these instructions to set up NordVPN
When you’ve completed the setup, you can have any of your devices connected to this travel router. All connections will appear to come from the location you select in NordVPN. If you use this travel router, there is no need for any apps.
Can you use this if your company already has a VPN? Well, it depends. While using this setup my friend, who works at a major multinational corporation, was able to log in just fine to their company VPN and NordVPN at the same time. However, using two VPNs at once isn’t always guaranteed to work, so if this is your situation I do recommend testing this out before you go off to some far-flung destination.
Using a travel router has some additional advantages. For instance, it also acts as a WiFi signal repeater, which can help ensure a solid connection at your remote work location. One vacation apartment I stayed at had good WiFi downstairs but poor WiFi upstairs; by placing the travel router near the stairs, the internet now reached both areas.
The GL.iNet 300M travel router can also connect to 4G or 5G if you plug in a USB SIM card adaptor. That’s nice to have as a fallback option should the WiFi in your remote location let you down.
Solution 3: set up a private VPN
Difficulty: hard (but easy if you get KeepYourHomeIP to do it for you)
If you really want to have maximum privacy while working from anywhere, then this is the ultimate solution.
By using a private VPN, it will actually look like you are logging in from your home. And it won’t be obvious to anyone that you are using a VPN.
Even a very savvy IT department won’t notice anything different from your normal activity.
Setting up a private VPN is honestly quite complicated, which is why I’ve never done it by myself. You’ll need not one but two of those GL.iNet routers (or similar) and you’ll need to know a little about network administration to set up the configurations on your home router.
But there is now a service that does this all for you which I love to recommend. I used them recently and everything just worked perfectly. It allows you to work from anywhere while tunnelling your connections via your home and then back onto the internet. Anyone checking your connection will just see that you’re logging in from home.
First, I received these small GL.iNet routers from KeepYourHomeIP:
I then had a brief support call with them where they remotely set up my home internet router so that it can securely pass through the connection.
You can check out their service packages here, which have the advantage of being just a one-time set-up fee, and not an ongoing subscription. For most users, I believe their cheapest package (Economy Light) will be absolutely fine. Another advantage of this service is that it’s highly likely to work even if your company already has a VPN (though I recommend testing it first).
I wrote a more detailed post with my experiences using KeepYourHomeIP as well as step-by-step instructions on how to use it.
So there you have it, three ways to keep your location hidden while working remotely.
I published the original version of this post during the early days of the pandemic when it went crazily viral. I guess a lot of people were having the same problem that I had. I’ve since updated this post to include the more advanced solution of a private VPN.
Do please keep in mind that I’m just a guy sharing what’s worked for me! I can’t offer any kind of tech support as that’s beyond my level of expertise. I’m just telling you my experiences as a subscriber to NordVPN and having used different travel router setups. If you have any questions you can leave a comment below, though keep in mind I can’t guarantee that I’ll know all the answers, especially if it’s an extremely technical detail. If things are proving a bit too technical for you, I recommend using KeepYourHomeIP as they offer dedicated support.
Some links may be affiliate links, meaning I may earn commission from products or services I recommend. For more, see site policies.
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Do you have a discount code for keepyourhomeip? Would love to support if you get a cut 🙂
Sorry no discount code. Though if you click the link to keepyourhomeip it supports me in a small way.
This is a great and helpful article. Does the keepyourhomeip work when you have to log in to your company’s VPN in order to work?
If it’s just a company VPN (and not some extreme tracking app that checks mobile signals in your environment for example), yes it’ll work fine.
Thank you Marek for this fantastic article you wrote. It is incredibly insightful and informative. It inspired me to purchase the business package from keepyourhomeip, and I must say, it has been a game-changer for me. Thank you so much for sharing this! 🙂
This article is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks so much for the information!
Hi! I work in Germany and I am traveling to my home country. I am feeling insecure about telling my boss since I am the first year of my contract. We just use “normal” work platforms (Microsoft teams, teamwork, gmail/google drive) and I don’t have any company vpn or to set up specific program while working. Do you think Nord VPN is enough for my situation ? Thank you so much.
Thanks for useful information! I want to ask if I already have Cisco VPN on company’s laptop is the router like this will work for me?
Yes it can/should work, but it’s worth testing it first as some VPNs can conflict with each other. But I’ve successfully used NordVPN on top of a corporate VPN.
I tested it and it works, but I had a call from my company with a question about my attempt to log in from on other VPN etc. maybe you know is there is a solution where I can connect to certain network in country where I supposed to be? For then not to see that I’m using VPN
Hi Ira, this is exactly the same issue I had with my employer. When you connect to a NordVPN or any other commercial VPN server, your company IT department can see that you’re connected to an IP owned by a VPN service. I recommend using keepyourhomeip.com with their VPN setup no one can track you as you will be using your home IP adress and will have your private VPN infrastructure! Good luck
Hello Ira , my employers laptop has a Cisco VPN were you able to make it happen I want to go to Mexico (I am in California)
Hi, thanks for the useful guide how does the two-router private vpn method you mentioned compare to using the second method when combined with NordVPNs dedicated IP rather than the public one. Is it an equal level of privacy/security or is the two router method still better for some reason?
It’s equal in terms of privacy and security. The key difference is just that with a private VPN your connection will appear to come from your house (or wherever you install it) rather than a more general location.
Solution 3 solved my issue. I was traveling and working for 2 months with my economy light VPN package from KeepYourHomeIP and it worked great! Their technical stuff is highly skilled and helpful. I can recommend both their products and services.
I’ve got my mini router set up and it’s working fine. The only problem I can see now is my company owned laptop has location turned on and I can not change this as its managed by my organisation. Now when I use chrome and search my IP address it is masked. But on maps my location is where I actually am. I don’t know I’d you know a way around this?
Hmm, I’m not sure, but your Maps location may be cached (kept in memory from earlier). You could test it by going to Google Maps in Incognito Mode in Chrome.
Update: so I have switched the mini router into repeater mode and connected it to my WiFi router. I turned off WiFi on my work laptop and connected the mini router via the ethernet cable. Now when I search my location on Google it shows my fake location not my actual location. So I may have solved my problem
Hello! I have the same problem with gps location. It is turned on and I cannot turn it off. Anyone with the same problem? Did you buy the 2 travel routers for 30 euros each? Is the connection speed quick enough?
Thank you very much in advance.
I just have 1 mini router. I turned it into repeater mode and connected it to my main router via the admin panel. I then turned wifi off on my laptop and connected the mini router to my laptop via ethernet. This way my location on Google maps on my laptop says I am in the place my vpn is connected to
I only have 1 mini router, the other is my main WiFi router. So I went onto the gl.iNet admin panel and turned the mini router into repeater mode and connected it to my WiFi. I then turned off WiFi on my laptop and connected the mini router via ethernet cable. Now when search my location on Google maps it shows my vpn location not my actual location
My work computer is locked down so I am unable to install any software. I am not clear on whether I would have to install anything on my work computer to make Option 1 work? You say “installing an app on your computer or your mobile device”…. Thanks in advance for clarifying!
Hmm I see that sentence is ambiguous so I’ll try to clarify it in the article. You either need to install an app on your computer, or install one on a mobile device and use tethering to let your computer use its WiFi signal. (I’ve only done the former myself btw.)
I really appreciate what you have written! I just checked with Suddenlink (now Optimum?) and was told that my IP address cannot be made public according to policy. That seems to limit my options… Welcome your thoughts!
Hi Marek, I got the GL.iNet GL-MT1300 travel router for my work. I need to mask my location . My company already uses a VPN on the work laptop. How do I connect to this router to achieve what I wanted. Thanks in advance.
Hey Marek, is there a way for the VPN to mask my location for displaying results on Google when searching for “my location”? I’m not sure why but basically when I try to google search “what is my location?” on my PC, it’s as if google knows my actual location? However when searching for my location with the link you provided, it is “showing” me to be to be right destination. I just want to make sure my employer wouldn’t catch on to this in the future when I join the new network on my work computer, thank you for taking the time.
Try logging out of Google and seeing if you get a different result. Your location is likely saved as a user preference rather than determined based on your IP. You can use a site like https://whatismyipaddress.com/ to see if your ‘fake’ location is being recognized.
I have the same problem. My actual location shows on Google maps and my location is switched on in settings. This is controlled by the company. My IP address is fake however my actual laptop location is not
Hi, I was wondering how I am able to get connected to two wifis at once since the mini router doesn’t provide internet?
Not sure what you mean? The router can connect to any WiFi signal that has internet. Your devices in turn will connect to the router. (So yes it can connect to another signal and provide a signal to you at the same time if that’s what you mean.)
I use Thinscale Secure Remote Worker for work. And an AWS VPN Client. This is an app downloaded on my personal laptop and when I open it, it basically takes over my laptop so I can’t access anything outside of work stuff. If I connect to my NordVPN through the router, will it still work with this software?
It’s not guaranteed as two VPNs can still interfere with each other (even if one is on the router and the other on your laptop). I can say though that I’ve gotten it to work a few times so it’s worth a shot.
Amazing Article. I tried it and it worked like magic. Thank you ! You saved me.
Can thus mini router be connected to my laptoo via ethernet cable
Can the mini router be connect to my laptop via ethernet cable?
Yes it can be
Thank you very much- this has been superbly helpful!! Question- if I am moving around different locations/hotels every few days in another country, In order to keep masking my location, do I have to connect the gl creta to connect to wifi always first, then tether work computer with it? aka- will the nord configuration stay there? Hopefully I do not have to download/set up the nord udp server .ovpn file everytime?
Yep exactly like that. I also moved around constantly and it was just a matter of connecting the router to the WiFi of each new apartment/hotel. Then it’s just ready to go with the previous settings.
So I have my vpn set up on mu laptop and on the mini router and it is working great so far. But my employer has noticed I’m using a vpn and has asked not use one. Is there a way I could hide the vpn use or is there a solid reason I could give them?
Nice article, I was wondering could TP Link AC 750 (https://www.tp-link.com/us/home-networking/range-extender/re200/) be used as travel router to hide my location from my company ?
I think so… tutorial here
So I’m in a situation where my company laptop is restricted by IT from downloading software/apps without permission. I want to travel to a different country and I don’t want to use a 3rd party VPN. I also want to set up a travel router to connect to a VPN I set up at home or make it appear as if I’m connecting from a device in the States and not a commercial VPN address. How do I go about accomplishing this ?
Yeah it can be done to set up your own VPN through your home but it’s a bit more complicated than what I’ve talked about here. I don’t know how to set that up sorry! There must be some good tutorials out there 🙂
Great article, quick question I work for financial services and want to work abroad outside UK for 3 months. I have work laptop and using this travel router plus nord vpn will show my location in UK. Are there any other indicators that my employer can pick it or I have to be extra careful. My work laptop has their vpn too on my work laptop. Also i would be taking call from my work laptop. What do you suggest
Hmmmmm, if your company’s IT department is overly zealous they may see that you are using a VPN service, though they won’t know the location you are in. If they ask why you’re using a VPN service, maybe say you are using it for security. Other than that if you use your phone for any work stuff, you might want to connect it via the router’s WiFi too.
Which one would you recommend? GL.iNet mini or GL.iNet Creta for better performance, stability, etc.?
They’re pretty similar but the Creta is slightly better. Here’s a comparison table: https://www.gl-inet.com/products/compare/
As I’m traveling to tunisia and ne wanted to work some days remotely with the company laptop which include VPN but don’t want that they know where I’m working from, I read your article and i order today this mini router but now I note that I need as well nordvpn which doesn’t work in tunisia!!! What can I do in this case? Any other vpn to recommend ?
Why would it specifically not work in Tunesia?
Does this work for specific cities within a state? For example I live in Tampa Fl but I need to show that I live in Miami FL.
It only works if the VPN provider has a server in that city. In this case the answer is yes, because NordVPN offers Miami as an option.
A story with a happy ending: My partner has a work laptop with a work VPN. We’re living in Mexico and needed to hide his location from his job. First we bought the top-of-the-line ASUS RT-AX86U for $300 and uploaded the Nord openVPN tcp file to the router and….nothing. After a lot of chatting with ASUS and Nord, we couldn’t get the VPN to work with it. As a last resort, right before we left the States, we bought the mini router that you suggested, the GL-AR300M by GL-iNet. But we’d been procrastinating installing it these last couple of weeks, and suddenly today my partner couldn’t access important files for his work. So, with a fire lit under our butts, I actually looked at the instructions, chatted for a couple of minutes with someone from Nord, and, Voila! We are now “located” in Dallas, and my partner can access his work files! Woohoo!!! Thank you so, so much, Marek, for this article!!!
Such a happy story indeed! Thanks for sharing this Suzanne and I hope you two will enjoy your time in “Dallas”, Mexico 😀
Suzanne , can u let me know the process of what u did to work with Nord and router . I have a similar situation and I had to go for my wedding and I am in a exact similar situation
I am in a very similar position. My fiancé and I are moving to Mexico in March and I’m hoping to hide my location and make it look to my employer as though I’m still working in the US. I have a work laptop with a corporate VPN so would need to exactly what he did. How has this solution been working for your husband long term? Any hiccups that you’d note? Or instances where his employer became skeptical of location? And did you set it up in the states or once you got there? Thanks so much! I’d appreciate anything you’d be willing to share.
Thank you for sharing and spot on. I was looking for information on this and your article provided an amazing explanation.
Now my question is my company is using a corporate and I want to work remotely during my trip. I didnt want my employer to know. So I have to purchase a small travel router and NordVPN or just tue travel remote only ?
Hey Nash, you’ll need both the travel router and the NordVPN service to mask your location. The advantage of using the router is that the software doesn’t have to run on your company computer and any device you connect to the router will have the location masked (phone, laptop, anything).
Thank you. I will get both than and will set it up accordingly. I will subscribe to NordVPN and will run it on travel router so it wont clash with my corporate / company VPN in my laptop. I will connect my laptop using the travel router so the change of location will not be captured by the employer. I have ordered the travel router. I will check to subscribe NordVPN.
Is there any VPN covering option that you dont need to pay for 1-2 years ahead? Im abroad atm and I use the portable wifi router, but would like to hide my location.
Will appreciate your hint/idea.
The NordVPN I’ve linked has monthly plans. When they show the subscription options there’s a button at the top to change it to monthly
My job wont allow me to work remote in the state that I’m in. The company is providing a PC instead of a laptop.
Which travel router can I use to connect to the company provided micro PC in order to connect to approved location/service? Along with best VPN software?
How does the PC connect to the internet? Via LAN cable or WiFi? The travel router mentioned supports either method.
They said we can connect via Wifi but also provided ethernet cord. Just want to make sure I purchase the correct travel router and VPN program so I can connect to Georgia server (Atlanta area) since that is one of the approved locations
I work remote taking inbound calls from customers using an Amazon connect soft phone system and we us Windows Virtual Desktoo. Will this work to hide my location using these systems while I’m in Turkey?
Not knowing this software it’s hard to say. In principle it should work, but I recommend trying it out from a location near you such as a cafe first.
Hi, excellent article.
Does this router have an internet kill switch? Let’s say I was connected to a server in California while I am in Canada and for some reason the server went down. I am looking for a solution for this problem.
Will the VPN try to connect to another server in California?
Couldd you help?
My work laptop does not allow me to install apps. I don’t want my location known to my employer while I’m traveling outside of the USA. Would I need to buy a travel router and also purchase a VPN account to accomplish that?
Yes that would be the best method
Your article really helps. I’m not a tech savvy so I might ask some dumb-sounding questions.
My company laptop doesn’t allow us to install any app. I can subscribe the service of the VPN that you recommended.
How can I connect the router to the VPN when I can’t have VPN in my company’s laptop?
Shall I install the VPN in my personal laptop and connect router using my personal laptop?
No, you have to tell the router to use the VPN directly. You can usually access the router settings through your browser. In the instructions above that you can do this by going to http://192.168.8.1 in your browser while logged in to the router WiFi signal and then following these steps to enable NordVPN. The router will now run a VPN and your company’s laptop won’t be affected. I do recommend testing this solution first before going away to make sure it works.
What would be a good way of testing this? I.e. how would I know my IP address is showing my selected country? Apologies for the silly question
You can check at https://whatismyipaddress.com/ 🙂
Would this device work if I am using a company laptop ? I am required to have a hard wire connection. I am wanting to travel and work overseas without telling my employer where I am. I will also need a VPN. Please let me know if you think this would work for me. Excellent article!
Yes you can connect to the travel router via a LAN cable and set it up the same way as described in the article
Mark if you work from home from one state and use direct connection is it still possible to hide your IP address and use one of the methods above?
Yes you can select VPN servers in specific states/cities. You can see the available locations here: https://nordvpn.com/servers/
This was so helpful, so I already have a company VPN installed in my phone/computer I have to log into every morning, I would like high speed so if I get the larger vpn router is it used the same as the small travel sized one, I just plug it in and it connects to the wifi and then I connect to that?
Correct, as long as you follow the instructions to set up NordVPN on the router. It will then connect to the WiFi and your device will connect to the router with VPN on it
Hi, I would also need to have 2 VPNs connected at the same time but have not been able to connect the router to VPN. NordVPN customer support told that they do not support this setup and it’s not possible to share their service to the router via WiFi or mobile hotspot/tethering but only via cable. Has it actually worked with WiFi? Thanks
I do it with WiFi! It’s no problem at all so not sure what they mean
Hi! I accepted a new work-from-home position which requires me to connect to the internet via modem…could I still use a portable vpn router to mask my vpn location? Do modems and routers essentially work the same? Thanks!
Hi Mark, I m working from home and have company laptop, using Work VPN. I want to spend few weeks in UK and working there but don’t want my employer know about it. Is there any way that they can’t trace my location?
You can try using your own VPN inside a router on top of the work VPN on your laptop (in the way described here), but it’s best to test it out as using two VPNs isn’t always guaranteed to work.
Company VPN is cisco, what Router and VPN You suggest to buy and test
Hi David, I’m currently in this same situation. Did you find a way to hide location while on Corporate/work VPN?
No still searching for solution. I hope there is something that will work 100% . And is anyone know about it please advise
Hi David same situation, Cisco VPN want to go to Mexico , were you able to connect >?
Marek, read your article. Have been waiting months to implemt it and now that I am overseas it isnt working. Im not sure what is the reason, When I am in the open VPN aspect of setting up nord, it never gives me an IP address. Please help with where im going wrong as I only have a couple days to get it going
I’m sorry to hear that! It’s always a good idea to test at home first. You may wish to ask NordVPN support as it sounds like it has to do with the software rather than the hardware, though it’s hard for me to say not knowing the specifics.
You blog is excellent. I am currently working in the USA remote for a Canadian company and anything plugged to their laptop shuts it down. They use an Aruba tower. The company frowns on installing the RSA app for security reasons. I have a birthday trip that was postponed due to covid19 and cannot be postponed any more . This trip
is to Dubai . I have already downloaded the Nordvpn to my phone as you recommended. I am looking at GL Inet Creta what is your advise?
You are a life saver. I am planning to travel to Africa for 8 weeks and still work remotely. I currently work from home with a company IP phone and a laptop. We also use a VDI.
Which travel router and VPN service, do I need in order to shield my whereabouts and still be able to work and answer my IP phoneas if I was in the USA ?
Also since I cannot set up on the travel router on the company laptop, how would this work?
Thanks for your help
Hey, I haven’t worked with an IP phone or VDI myself, so I may not have the perfect answer. But if the IP phone connects to the internet using a LAN cable then you can simply plug that into a router, and you run the VPN on the router as described. The routers mentioned in the article have LAN ports. Connect the laptop to the router using its WiFi signal.
How did your trip go? Did the VPN work for you? I will be traveling to West Africa and working remote this upcoming month (June) so I’m trying to establish same thing for myself. My company also uses VDI.
Hello Marek, My employer allows me to use my computer for work. They are in the US and I am not but I am supposed to be. Is the Nord VPN enough to hide my location if using my mac or they can still see it? Thank you.
Did you find a solution?
Hi Marek. I have a works laptop. I’m in the UK but want to spend some long weekends in Europe.
I connect via a work VPN on my work laptop. I have my own mobile data plan on my mobile (cell) phone with 80gb data. I sometimes hotspot my phone at home and connect my works laptop via tethering to the mobile data signal. That works fine with no problems
My data plan has a roam like home plan that means I don’t get charged to use mobile data in Europe as long as I don’t go over my 80gb monthly plan limit. If I were to tether my laptop to a 4G signal from my mobile say in Spain, does the laptop get a Spanish IP address or as the SIM data card is a UK plan does it give it a UK IP address ? Thank you
Hey Gary. If you tether to your phone that’s connected to mobile data in Spain, then yes that will lead to a Spanish IP address even if you have a UK plan/sim.
Marek great article and solution. I just want to correct you here as your answer is not correct.
If you roam say with Vodafone $5 dollar per day your IP address is 100% Aussie as the signal tunnel back to your ISP
Hi Marek! I’ve got a question. I purchased a GL-AR750 travel router and configured it to use NordVPN using openvpn as I want to hide my location. I have followed all instructions and when I connected my work laptop to this router and signed into my works VPN (Pulse Secure) I keep getting disconnected from my works VPN and am not able to do any work. Seems like 2 VPN’s can not run at the same time. Any thoughts?
Hmm, I’m not familiar with Pulse Secure, sorry to hear it’s not working! Maybe try sending a support ticket to NordVPN if they have any suggestions.
Did you solve the problem?
I am having the same issue:(
Hi Marek! I followed your steps for setting up the travel router and connecting it to the NordVPN (I even got a dedicated IP address with NordVPN). One concern I have with this approach is that I’m sure my employer can easily identify that my new IP address is commercial and belongs to NordVPN server. This could raise their suspicions that I’m hiding my location intentionally. If the IT department reaches out to me and asks why I’m using NordVPN instead of a regular residential ISP, what do you think could be strong explanation? Could I say that I work in coffee shops often and I use NordVPN to secure the internet before connecting to work VPN? Are there any other strong reasons why someone would have a NordVPN configured in their home router?
Yeah that was the excuse my friends were going to use. Another is just that you use it for internet security – that you’ve had viruses or got hacked before and you got scared. Makes you wonder though if companies don’t have something better to do than checking that deeply! I imagine that as long as you have plausible deniability, there’s little they can do.
My company laptop has the NordVPN site blocked. Do I need to download the NordVPN app on my laptop to be able to use a travel VPN router that will connect me back to the states while overseas? I’m a bit confused how it works even with reading the guide you linked.
And could you please recommend some routers with some of the highest speeds as I need to do a lot of CADD work.
Hi Stella. No, you won’t need NordVPN on your laptop if you use the travel router. You can log in to the router using your browser and then set the router to use NordVPN (with these instructions). As long as the laptop connects to the WiFi signal of the router, and not directly to the WiFi signal of where you’re staying (e.g. the hotel), then it will pass through NordVPN.
I’ll need to do a bit of research on other routers as the GL.iNet 300 is the only one I used. Since I’m getting more questions about this I’ll try to update the article 🙂
Thanks for your response! I’m not sure how blocking sites work but just in case logging into the VPN through my browser is blocked, can I use my phone to connect the router?
That’s really kind of you to research more about it. I do leave this Friday, and unfortunately I’d have to order something today or tomorrow to have it arrive in time (my own fault for not thinking to check this long before now). If you think the Linksys one you linked offers pretty high speeds, I’ll go ahead and get that one as long as I can do the same method of logging into a VPN through the browser/my phone 🙂
I am thinking of getting the linksys router because I do need a hire speed internet for my work. You posted the follow instructions to install Norton vpn for the travel router, are there different instructions to install vpn to the larger router?
Hi Alex. Note that it’s NordVPN, not Norton 🙂 (the antivirus software maker). And yes the setup will be a bit different on a Linksys router.
NordVPN has instructions here and here for various routers. It’s important that your router supports the OpenVPN standard as this is what NordVPN uses. The linksys router I linked to does this, as do several other models.
Hi marek I have a question so my company has a VPN installed in the computer laptop so i can’t install my own vpn i’m trying to avoid getting my IP address to show up
For example each time I log into the companies VPN it tells me to sign in my username and password and then afterwords my company had me install this software on my phone called okta verify so whenever I try logging into the companies VPN it traces my location
I’m going to be going away out of the country for about 3 to 4 months and I’m really trying to avoid getting caught
How can I avoid this I’m trying to make sure that when I log into the companies VPN that I don’t get detected that I’m out of the country I’m a little bit confusing the process
For example many people say that once’s you’re in the VPN even if it’s a companies VPN your location can’t be traced because you’ll be connected to the companies VPN which is located in Los Angeles
However the problem is before connecting to that companies VPN I’m being traced because the when making the connections it verifies your location so my question is how do I go from one VPN to another I know I’ve read several comments here that connecting to a router VPN onto the companies VPN wouldn’t be an issue but how does that work for example I also heard that connected to two VPNs can crash
What I wanna do is just being a void been detected on my location is there a way to please give me some real good insight detail on how to do this I don’t want to use to VPN at the same time because they can crash
Any crashes that might cause alerts for them to try and check what’s going on with my computer
Hi John. Firstly, running a second VPN won’t be a problem. You can have the company VPN on your laptop, but also have your own VPN on the travel router at the same time (like I’ve described in this article). Since the two VPNs don’t run on the same device, it won’t give problems like crashes or the two VPNs interfering with each other.
I’m not familiar with Okta Verify but it seems like a two-factor identification app. It looks like it doesn’t collect geolocation (GPS coordinates) information. If that’s true, then you can connect your phone to the travel router with VPN over WiFi, verify yourself via Okta, and not have your true location be detected.
If you only connect via your company’s VPN (and not also your own), then the company would definitely be able to see your true location. That is, of course, only if the IT department is actively checking or logging this.
Hello John did you end up travelling for 3 – 4 month? Did travel vpn worked for you?
I am also planning to travel next month, any suggestions?
This was exactly the article I was looking for, thank you!
My company gives me a desktop computer, can only be connected via ethernet cable, they do use a business VPN and they require a minimum speed.
My travel router of choice will be the GL.iNet GL-MT1300 (Beryl), since it can convert the WiFi signal to ethernet. It is a bit more pricey but apparently it can also offer the best speed.
My only concern: if I use a VPN server in Canada and I work from Europe, do I still have acceptable speed or will something flag from the employer’s pow?
Thank you! Great article.
Makes sense. Actually, the one I linked also has an ethernet port.
You would have acceptable speed if you do normal work stuff (documents, slack/teams, some video conferencing, all good…). If your job involves uploading 4K video files or something then maybe you’d suffer. 🙂
Hey Mark how did this workout for you. I am try3to do the same and would love an update.
Hi there 🙂
Thanks so much for this!
Can you recommend another GL.iNet 300M mini router from Amazon, since the one mentioned in our article is currently not available.
Thanks again and regards,
It appears the GL.iNet Creta is still in stock. It’s actually a bit better than the mini router I mentioned. 🙂
Just had one question. I am planning to work from different country in coming month for two months. My company has policy to login and connect to company’s VPN only. In that case can my Location be traced?
Yes your company can know your location when you use its own VPN. The only way to prevent this is to connect via your own VPN first through a wifi router, before connecting through their VPN software on your laptop. See the paragraphs after ‘Advanced solution: get a travel router’.
Just so I am understanding correctly. To be able to use the travel router I will still need to have a subscription to a VPN service like ExpressVPN, Tunnelbear, and NordVPN. Then the travel router will connect to the VPN service on my work computer even though it has it’s own VPN. This can all be done without the actually country I’m in being known to my employer. Thanks so much for the information 🙂
Almost exactly correct. The VPN service will run on the travel router itself, then your work computer can connect to its WiFi. But yeah, this is how it works 🙂
This article is amazing. Thank you!! I’m planning on going to Mexico City in February for a few months, but was on the fence on telling my employer in fear of them not allowing for tax reasons. Definitely going to be using a VPN. Thank you!!!!!
I’m glad this could help… good luck and have a great trip!
Hi Christina, did this end up working for you?
Hi thank you for this usefull article. I will give this router a go. I only have a question about the connection. Do I have to connect this router via cables to the broadband router? If I will be staying in a hotel without access to the router can I connect this portable router via WiFi to the hotel broadband and then still change signal via vpn to another location?
Hi Alex. Yes, the router mentioned in this article can connect via WiFi to the broadband router (the hotel WiFi).
My company’ silly policy doesn’t allow to work from abroad. I’m desperate to go around it. I need to work on the company laptop with the company VPN. Will the GL.iNet GL-AR300M Mini Travel Router works in this case when connected to my home broadband
Yes you can have the company VPN running on your laptop, then connect to the WiFi signal of the GL.iNet device which can use your own VPN, which will hide your location.
Just one thing: using two VPNs at the same time can really slow down your connection, so it’s best if you have quite fast broadband.
Hi, so if I use a VPN and then log into my work intranet, will the VPN hide my location there? I have to be logged onto the work intranet to work. I am using my own computer.
Yes, exactly. If the company were to look at your login data for the intranet, they’d see the location you chose in the VPN app, not wherever you were actually located.
Hi! I’m one of the people you recommended the gl.inet e750 to – I have it to block my location and I’m going to the Bahamas today and want to use it Monday..if you could help that would be awesome. How do I set it up? I plugged it into the computer to set up the router but I’m not sure how to get the VPN to connect to this? Is it the same process as rhe GL inet 300? Thank you!
I want to work in my home state for the holidays and I VPN remotely to the company’s site, is there a way to hide my location on the company’s VPN?
No, if you use your company’s VPN then they probably can look up your location if they wanted. The only way then is to use 2 VPNs as described above
Hello, I want to work abroad however our company says no. And also the company provided us nordvpn. Can they able to track me if I work from abroad for a few days? Thanks
If you use their nordvpn service they may be able to track you, as they have access to the account. If you use your own nordvpn subscription, they would not.
I have a question, will i be able to set up my nord VPN to my home address, even if I am not home to do so? I am currently at work and will be working from another state tomorrow but did not set up the NORDVPN at my house. I also bought the router. My computer already has a corporate VPN connected to it. Am i still able to stay connected to add when i add a new VPN?
Hi Sabrina. Yes you should be able to have your corporate VPN on your laptop, while also connect to the WiFi on the router that is running through nordVPN. (Keep in mind having two layers of VPN can slow down your internet.)
With NordVPN you can only show an address that is in your home country (or some other country), but not exactly your home address. For this, you would have to do something else, like connecting to a router that’s inside your house from an external location and routing through it. This is more technical. I haven’t done this so I’m sorry I don’t have tips for this!
I understand now! Sorry, for some reason i thought they can track VPN to the address but its fine, as long as i stay in my state im ok.
Per reading the instruction to connect nordVPN to my router, can i do that off my phone or do i have to to do it off my work laptop? And what os WEBGUI? Sorry if these are stupid questions
When the instructions tell you to go to an internet address (http://192.168.8.1), you can do that on your browser on your phone or laptop, doesn’t matter. Then follow these steps. No idea what webgui is sorry!
Hello. I am planning to travel to South Korea. I am planning to buy a VPN router since I will travel with my company laptop and personal laptop just in case. I will use NordVPN
You mentioned that the GLInet 300 can connect to 4G with a USB SIM card Adaptor. Do you have a brand name for the adaptor so i can buy it. (I do not know nothing about technology). Also you mentioned that the GLinet e750 has a built in SIM card it means that I will not require the adapter no? I will use that router in my airbnb apartment
Lastly, we have to be in quarantine 2 weeks, at a hotel. In case a ethernet wall outlets is not available, is there any routers that do not require ethernet wall connection?
Hi Roxana, all the GLInet routers I’ve mentioned don’t need ethernet, that’s just an option. They also work with any WiFi signal. And regarding the GLinet e750, exactly, you’ll be able to put a SIM card directly into it without the need for an adapter. This is demonstrated in this video
Than you very much Marek!. I just brought the GLNet e750!!
thank you so much for this article. I’m similar to Roxanna – I work remote on a company laptop but my company said I cannot leave the state of Texas (where I live) for more than 2 weeks at a time and only within the U.S. Do you know what the purpose of having the router + SIM card? What does having the SIM card enable you to do compared to the router without the SIM card? Will the router without the SIM card still reliably hide my location? thank you so much you are changing my life!
The router without the SIM card, and with a VPN enabled, will hide your location. The SIM card is only for those who wish to use the router when there is no WiFi available.
If your company’s IT department is particularly zealous then they may ask ‘why were you using a VPN’. To which you can say that you wanted your connection to be secure while you’re out of the house. Not making judgement here about corporate rules breaking of course, just explaining the VPN 🙂
I have to maintain 16mb download and at least 8 mb upload. We want to purchase an rv and travel is this doable through a vpn?
Depends mostly on what source of internet you’re planning to use! A VPN will slow things down a bit, but it’s really all down to the connection speed
Also, which router is the absolute best? I want to buy one of these, but I don’t know what the best option is. I think you mentioned that the Linksys router is the best, but then setting it up is not the same as it would be for GL.inet products, right? I’m just not a very tech savvy guy so I am scared to make a mistake. Please help. Thanks for this blog by the way, very helpful.
I only have personal experience with the GL.inet. Yes the Linksys setup would be different and I might not recommend it for non-technical users. You could consider this other GL.inet router. It’s very similar to what I used but has higher maximum speed and a few extra helpful features. The setup instructions with NordVPN are the same. Good luck!
Yes, but don’t you need two routers? One that acts as the server in the US and the other one you take with you while you travel?
I thought that a company would flag a NordVPN pretty quickly because it’s a commercial VPN.
So what would you do if you had a company laptop? What is the best way for you to have your location appear as the US when you are in another country?
In that case it’s best to use a router, so that you don’t have to install any software on your company laptop.
My employer requires that I have a hardwire internet connection set up with my work laptop and not use wifi. I’m hoping to be in Jamaica for a few months (my first day of work is coming up in a month).
How do I need to go about this? Can I do your suggested set up abd then hardwire to the router? Is this even possible?
Yes, the GL.iNet router I used has two ethernet ports (i.e. hardwire). You can plug the laptop into one and connect the other socket to the internet router of where you’re staying. I haven’t tried this myself but it’s a way to connect without using any WiFi.
Hey Marek. So I am travelling out of the country (US). I use Citrix Workspace On a personal computer and I believe it uses a NetScaler. If I buy the GLI router, enable Nord vpn with a dedicated ip based in the states, there should be no way for my company to see I am out of the country correct?
In principle yes. I’m not familiar with those apps/platforms though so can’t be 100% sure, sorry!
Such good advice thank you! I have a feeling within the next 10 years all these remote rules won’t exist. But in the meantime it’s really nerve wracking.
I have travelled to over 700 places and lived in 8 countries. The most difficult internet I have encountered is in China. I lived in China for 14 years and tried every VPN on the market. I have to testify that Nord connected most often with less connection drops than any other service. All of Nord’s competitors have a solid and timely refund policy so I never lost money yet it was connectivity that I wanted above all else. VPN affords anonymity as well as the ability to get past government firewalls when it works. Nord was the best in China. It did get blocked at times but Nord’s service response is quick and they monitor performance in restricted countries. It’s sort of like whack a mole but Nord get whacked less. When they do get shut down they are fast in recovering. NOTE: Remember to get the service before you enter a restricted country unless you want to spend countless hours looking for a way to download the software which is blocked. I found out the hard way and spent close to 3 days using Shadowsocks to breakthrough with just enough time to download the installation software. Shadowsocks works and is free but it is easily detected by firewall algos and is usually shutdown in seconds to a few minutes. Be proactive and download Nord before you go. I do not want to appear as a Nord fanboy yet the service is reliable and has a good selection of other safety measures you can enable for no additional cost.
Great tips! I once had a 36hr layover in Beijing and had forgotten all about the restrictions there. It was fine to be offline for this short time but if I’d stayed any longer I would have really wished for a VPN.
Hello Ray! You sound super knowledgeable about this stuff and was wondering if you had a email or social media handle I can ask you more questions about VPNs and travel routers. I travel often and I am trying to start doing it 100% remote but I need help with the technical side of things with my computer. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to reach me this way. Also I am willing to pay you for your time. Thankyou!
Thank you for taking the time to compose this blog. I have taken the consideration of using the tips you gave in the past but then I read somewhere that there a possibility location can be seen using triangulation of nearby Wi-Fi resources (those that you are not connected to). There is a global Wi-Fi locations database which is updated regularly and using 2 or 3 of the modems nearby your location can be revealed or estimated. In my case I can’t download any software on my machine so VPN router was the BEST option for me. But this triangulation stuff hindered me. I wanted to provide care for my mother and I wish to continue working instead of taking an FMLA. Any tips to workaround this control ? I can’t make privacy settings changes as well. Thanks again and happy travels !