While you’re traveling, it might be inevitable that you need to access your online banking at some point during your trip. Because you’re away from home, you could well be forced to use public wifi to do so. It’s recommended that you don’t disclose personal information over such networks, but in the case of online banking, it might be necessary. This is why a VPN for Bank of America is an important tool to have.
Even if you’re just using wifi for browsing, we always recommend protecting yourself by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). This encrypts your traffic and tunnels it through an intermediary server in a location of your choice. This means no one can snoop on your activity and your information is safe from ISP monitoring and criminals. What’s more, VPNs provide other perks such as access to geo-locked content including US Netflix and other streaming libraries.
We get into some details on each of the VPNs we chose for using with BofA, but if you are short of time, here is a summary:
- NordVPN Our top choice VPN for Bank of America. Speedy VPN that can unblock almost anything you throw at it. Has the highest levels of encryption available and servers around the world. Includes 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark Great budget VPN for Bank of America. Highly versatile VPN with a strong focus on security. Allows unlimited simultaneous connections.
- ExpressVPN Vast server network included numerous servers in the US, perfect for BofA. Super-fast provider that delivers on security and privacy.
- CyberGhost Budget provider with reliable servers in the US. Score well on privacy and security.
- IPVanish Allows the user to switch servers in case one becomes unresponsive with BofA. Private, anonymous payments accepted and no activity logs.
- PrivateVPN Smaller up-and-coming network that withstood all of our BofA test. Impressive speeds and dependable.
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Unfortunately, Bank of America and some other institutions, such as Wells Fargo, appear to be actively blocking traffic that is routed from certain VPN servers. Even trying to access the main BofA site through some VPN servers might result in a nasty error message:
“This site can’t be reached www.bankofamerica.com took too long to respond.”
Some users might find that certain features are disabled while abroad such as transferring funds to different banks. All of this can be seriously frustrating as it could mean having to disconnect from your VPN application and conducting your online banking over an unsecured connection.
Thankfully, there is a way around this as some VPN providers still enable access to the Bank of America website. Even so, among those that work, there are some providers that are not worth your money. Aside from BofA access, you’ll want to look at factors such as speed, security, server location choice, and ability to unblock streaming sites.
Best VPNs for Bank of America – at a glance
We’ve compared the most important features for the top VPNs here. Prefer to read the in-depth reviews? Start with NordVPN – our #1 choice for Bank of America.
|Website||www.NordVPN.com||www.Surfshark.com||www.ExpressVPN.com||www.Cyberghost.com||www.IPVanish.com||www.PrivateVPN.com||Ranking for Bank of America:||1||2||3||4||5||6||Avg Speed (Mbps)||100+ Mbps||323.6 Mbps||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||71 Mbps||Server countries||60||65||94||88+||75||63||Devices Supported||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Smart TVs, Routers||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux||Windows, MacOS, Linux (command line), iOS, Android||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android||Activity logs||None||Some||No identifying data||No identifying data||No logs stored||No logs stored|
|Best deal (per month)||$2.99|
SAVE up to 68% + GET 3 months FREE
Get 2 Months FREE with a 2-year plan
SAVE: 49% on the annual plan
SAVE 84% on the 2 year plan + 4 months FREE
SAVE 77% on the 2 year plan
SAVE 85% on the three year plan
The best VPNs to access Bank of America abroad
We’ve put together a list of the best VPNs for Bank of America based on the following criteria:
- Has plenty of servers that aren’t blocked by BofA
- Offers a large selection of server locations (particularly US)
- Uses strong encryption along with other security features
- Has prompt and knowledgeable customer support
- Provides a fast, reliable service
- Maintains a no logs policy
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN is our top recommendation for accessing BofA abroad. It operates over 5,000 servers in 60 countries, making it one of the largest providers around. Not all servers will allow access to the main Bank of America site, but the 24/7 customer support team keeps an up-to-date list of servers that will work.
While you’re abroad, if you want to stream, NordVPN will no doubt deliver. With incredibly fast speeds and access to sites like US Netflix, HBO, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, this provider is determined to deliver content where and when users want it.
A high level of security is provided in the form of 256-bit AES military-grade encryption coupled with perfect forward secrecy. Automatic wifi protection means you’ll never have to worry about unsecured networks. A kill switch and DNS leak protection are included and no logs are kept whatsoever. An additional bonus with NordVPN is you can connect up to six devices simultaneously, instead of the usual five.
Desktop apps are available for Windows, Linux and MacOS, plus mobile apps are available for iOS, and Android.
- Excellent speeds and reliable connections
- Support staff keep an updated list of servers that can unblock BoA
- Fantastic security and privacy features
- Works with most popular streaming sites, e.g. Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video
- Apps for all major operating systems
- Has 24/7 live chat support
- Desktop app can take some getting used to
BEST VPN TO ACCESS BOA ABROAD:NordVPN is our first choice. It’s super fast and a great option for accessing geo-restricted sites and content. Connects up to 6 devices simultaneously. Strict no-logs policy. 30-day money-back guarantee for a risk-free deal.
Read our in-depth review of NordVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark is a budget-friendly, privacy-first service with over 3,200 servers in 65 countries including the US. This VPN is fast enough for most purposes and has no problems accessing the BofA website. In fact, it even has the ability to securely access notoriously difficult services like Netflix. Further, Surfshark doesn’t restrict the number of devices you can have connected at once.
This VPN includes all sorts of security features. To begin with, there’s 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks. These keep your traffic hidden from snoopers while Surfshark’s no-logs policy ensures your online activities can’t be traced back to you. Support staff are on-hand around the clock over live chat.
Surfshark users can install apps for iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows, or Linux. It’s also possible to manually configure this service for use with some wireless routers.
- Easily unblocks Bank of America and many other services
- Top-notch security and privacy features
- Fast speeds and no connection limits
- Works with Netflix US
- Has 24/7 support available
- Settings menu could be better organized
BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark puts your privacy first and comes packed with powerful security tools. It’s generally speedy too, with some of the strongest unblocking ability around. Best of all, Surfshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of Surfshark.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands and operates a more than ample network of 3,000+ servers spanning 94 countries. As with most VPN providers, it can’t guarantee that all servers will work with BofA all of the time. But when we tested this service, we found that it was simple to find a US server that worked, and we had no issues with Europe and Asia locations.
ExpressVPN is known for its prompt and knowledgeable customer support. Should you run into any issues, you can simply ask and a representative will be able to point you to a working server.
Another ExpressVPN perk, while you’re traveling, is its ability to securely access sites like US Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Disney Plus. Again, if you run into any issues, a quick live chat with a customer support representative should have you well on your way.
ExpressVPN offers top-notch security which of course is especially important when abroad. It uses 256-bit encryption and perfect forward secrecy and includes DNS leak protection and a kill switch. You won’t have to worry about any information leaks with this provider as there are no connection logs that can be traced to an individual.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and some wifi routers.
- Operates a network of more than 3,000 servers
- Easy connections to BoA
- Best-in-class encryption makes for solid security and privacy
- Apps for all devices
- Support staff can assist with connections, available 24/7 via chat
- A little more expensive than some rivals
- Streaming servers are not labeled
SECURITY FOCUSED:ExpressVPN is a fast and secure VPN. Great for accessing geo-restricted content and services. Top privacy features and keeps no logs. Plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our in-depth review of ExpressVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost gives you access to a growing number of servers, currently over 7,000 in 90+ countries. While testing its services, we had no issues accessing the BofA site using multiple servers in the US, Europe, and Asia. If you do run into problems, CyberGhost suggests using a geographically close server to connect.
When it comes to accessing geo-locked content while abroad, CyberGhost won’t disappoint. It has been placing a heavy focus on ensuring it can deliver restricted content from sites like Hulu, Amazon Prime, and BBC iPlayer, wherever you happen to be.
Another strong player on the security and privacy front, CyberGhost uses 256-bit AES encryption and perfect forward secrecy and comes with a built-in kill switch and DNS leak protection. An automatic wifi protection feature means the app will remember specific networks so you don’t have to manually connect to the VPN each time. With the option to connect up to seven devices simultaneously with one plan, you won’t have to worry about switching devices.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Linux, and Android.
- No issues connecting to BoA from various test locations
- Very good and unblocking geo-restricted sites and content
- Apps are easy to install and use – a good option for beginners
- Solid privacy features including kill-switch
- Could provide more control over advanced functionality
- Does not work in China or the UAE
BEGINNERS' CHOICE:CyberGhost is easy to set up. Works well for accessing the BoA website. Good option if you are looking for a fast, reliable connection and an easy-to-use interface. Great at unblocking popular streaming sites. 45-day money back guarantee.
Read our full review of CyberGhost.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish is a US-based provider with more than 1,900 servers in over 60 countries. This provider has had reports of BofA problems with some servers, although all the ones we tested worked fine. If there are issues, switching to a US server should do the trick or you can contact customer support for a specific country server.
This VPN lets you secure an unlimited number of devices simultaneously, so you’ll be covered for traveling. This provider isn’t the best for streaming, but it is very popular with Kodi users and torrenters.
IPVanish performs well on the security front with 256-bit encryption and perfect forward secrecy. This privacy-focused provider has a strict zero-logs policy with no traffic or connection logs kept. A kill switch and DNS leak protection work to further secure your IP address.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
- Minimal fuss to connect to BoA via multiple test locations.
- Keep no logs on user activities and have solid security settings
- Very fast speeds
- Apps for all devices
- Claims 24/7 chat support, but technical questions can take up to 2 days to resolve via email
PRIVATE SERVICE:IPVanish is a secure and private VPN that offers a solid network of servers. Enables access to BoA and has good privacy and security. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of IPVanish.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN is a Sweden-based provider and is the newest one on this list. Its relatively small network size doesn’t seem to affect its performance. And it may actually work to its favor in the case of BofA and other banks that might be more interested in blocking larger providers. Indeed, we had no issues with any of the servers we tested. We checked with customer support and there were no known problems, but they were happy to test out specific servers quickly and on-the-spot on our behalf.
PrivateVPN boasts some fast speeds and enables secure access to sites like US Netflix, HBO, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. So you can stream to your heart’s content while traveling. A basic plan enables you to connect up to 10 devices simultaneously.
You’ll be happy from a security and privacy standpoint with PrivateVPN, which holds true to its name. It uses strong encryption (126-bit or 256-bit depending on which protocol you’re using) along with perfect forward secrecy. This is again supported by a kill switch (which kills the internet connection if the VPN connection is lost) and DNS leak protection. A strict no logs policy, with no traffic or connection logs, adds an extra layer of protection.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
- Connected to BoA seamlessly during our testing
- Smaller, more obscure network to be targeted for geo-blocking
- Fast servers, also great for streaming securely and privately
- Support staff only operate during European business hours
- Fewer servers to choose from
GREAT FOR SPEED:PrivateVPN is consistently reliable. Good for general purpose use and streaming. Speeds were surprisingly good at this end of the market. Could do with having more servers and lacks 24/7 support. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our in-depth review of PrivateVPN.
How to use a VPN for Bank of America remote access
Once you’ve chosen a VPN provider from the list above it’s easy to access Bank of America from anywhere in the world. We’ll walk you through the simple steps below.
Here’s how to access Bank of America from abroad:
- Sign up for your choice of VPN provider. We recommend NordVPN.
- Download and install the desktop app, following the on-screen instructions.
- After logging in, choose a server located in the US. This will give you a US IP address.
- Try logging into your Bank of America account, you should now be able to complete transactions as if you were still in the US.
- Having problems? Try clearing your browser’s cache and cookies and reloading your browser.
Methodology: How we found the best VPNs for Bank of America
There’s no such thing as too much caution where online banking is concerned. However, it pays to think carefully about which VPN you’d like to use since there can be a huge difference in the security offering of rival services. Below, you’ll find the key areas we looked at when choosing the best VPNs for Bank of America, and why each is so important:
- Security: Whether you’re looking to use the Bank of America app on hotel wi-fi, a public hotspot, or anywhere else, you need to know that your data can’t be seen by snoopers. Most banks will already encrypt this, but to be extra safe, we look for VPNs with 256-bit encryption, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and a kill switch.
- Privacy: It’s no use encrypting your traffic if your activities can be traced back to you in other ways (such as by contacting the sites you visit and asking for logs). That’s why we strongly favor VPNs with proven no-logs policies, and those that accept anonymous payment methods.
- Server locations: Trying to log into your banking app abroad can see your account temporarily locked in a mistaken attempt to protect you from fraud. However, if you use a server in your home country, you should be able to avoid this and save a call to customer support. As such, it’s important to have a server presence in lots of countries.
- Connection stability: Slow speeds or an inconsistent connection can lead to failed payments, or worse, having your payment processed multiple times. Don’t worry: we’ve speed tested dozens of VPNs and only recommended those with impressive speeds.
Believe it or not, this is only the first step in our testing. To find out more, check out our full explanation of how we test VPNs at Comparitech.
Why banks block VPNs
It’s not entirely clear why some banks block VPNs and it’s difficult to get a straight answer from the banks themselves. The practice seems counter-intuitive because by using a VPN, you are actually helping to reduce the chance of cybercrimes such as fraud and identity theft.
However, there are a couple of theories as to why BofA and other banks block traffic from VPN servers:
- One is because banks use your IP address to detect potential fraud. VPNs could be perceived to compromise the effectiveness of this technique.
- Another thought is that VPNs might be used by criminals to carry out cybercrimes more anonymously. Banks may take the stance that it is, therefore, better to block all VPN traffic than to risk some criminals getting through.
- Finally, since it’s often certain servers that are blocked, it could be the case that individual IP addresses have been flagged for misuse by criminals, effectively blocking all traffic from those addresses.
While the reasons behind the practice may not be clear or make total sense, the fact is that banks do this, so users are going to need to know how to work around it.
Tips for accessing BofA from abroad
Using a VPN on the list above should ensure you don’t run into issues using BofA abroad. Here are some additional tips to ensure smooth sailing.
Don’t forgo the VPN
A VPN offers increased privacy and security which is especially important while you’re traveling. If you’re accessing you BofA account while abroad, chances are you’re connected to a public wifi network such as at a hotel or cafe. These are prime spots for hackers to get their hands on your information, so it’s important you protect yourself with a VPN.
Some VPN providers will actually advise you to simply turn off the app when you access a particular site that is being blocked. They likely do this because they can’t or aren’t willing to address the problem and don’t want you to switch to another provider. However, this should be a last resort as you will no longer be protected.
Connect to a US server if possible
Based on our testing and from what we’ve learned from various VPN providers, connecting through a US server should give you the best chance of accessing the BofA site. On the other hand, there are theories that banks might block you based on you having logged in from a location that’s far from where your card was last used. So in this case, it might actually be better to try logging in using a server that’s geographically close to you.
We had mixed results. In some cases, US servers represented the best options. Other times, it was the US servers being blocked. Undoubtedly, there could be a bit of trial and error involved in finding a server that works.
Let Bank of America know you’re traveling
If you’re going to be using a non-US server while traveling (or at home for that matter), you could give BofA a heads up before you go. This doesn’t stop the bank blocking VPN IP addresses that it would normally, but it may prevent your account being flagged.
Don’t change server locations frequently
Banks have various measures in place to try to prevent fraud. If you’re connecting from Thailand one minute, and Germany the next, this is probably going to raise some red flags. Consequences might include a frozen account and cards which isn’t ideal anytime, but especially while traveling. If you’re signing into your account from abroad, try to at least connect from a similar location each time.
Bank of America Remote Access Abroad FAQ
Can I use a free VPN to access BofA from abroad?
You may notice that all our recommended services are paid ones, and you’ve probably come across some free offerings during your search. The latter could be okay in certain cases, but there is usually some other price to pay for forgoing a monetary fee.
One of the biggest issues with free providers is they often offer a sluggish and unreliable service compared to the paid options. Queueing for a server and then dealing with a slow intermittent connection is probably the last thing you want while trying to bank online on your travels.
There is security to consider, too, and free services don’t always have the best reputation in this department. These providers need to make money somehow and this often means you giving up some privacy. Business models might include storing user activity logs, tracking cookies, and even the sale of idle bandwidth. Some free VPN services have even been known to carry malware!
Whether you decide to go with a free or paid provider, it’s always worth checking forums to see if other BofA users are having problems with that particular service. You’ll find that even some paid services have issues. For example, Private Internet Access users have been fairly vocal in online forums about this providers’ IP addresses being blocked by BofA on a regular basis.
Do I need to use a dedicated IP address to access online banking?
No, you don’t, although depending on your bank’s login system and your account settings, you may need to take additional steps when signing in from a new IP address. For example, some banks will only ask security questions when they detect a new device or IP address. Some two-factor authentication systems are set up such that you need to send a verification code or other confirmation when signing in from a new location (as determined by your IP address). If you do want to use this option there are a number of VPNs that offer dedicated IP addresses.
What is split tunneling and should I be using it?
Split tunneling is a handy VPN feature that enables you to only send traffic from specific applications through the VPN. Traffic from other apps continues to travel through your regular internet connection. This can be useful in a variety of scenarios. For example, if you’re in the US, you could connect to a UK server to stream British content, but use your local connection to access your BofA online banking. In other cases, you might want to use your regular connection to stream local content while sending torrent traffic through the VPN.
Using split tunneling is really a matter of preference. Any traffic that flows outside of the VPN won’t be encrypted and is therefore not secure. However, there are times when the practicality outweighs the security concern, for example, when you’re trying to access sites or applications that block VPN traffic or you want to search local content.
Is it safe to use a VPN to access online banking?
Yes, it's actually far safer to access your online banking account with a VPN than without. That's because your internet traffic is encrypted so that even if data was intercepted (such as while using public wifi), it will be uncrackable. Combine this encryption with a true no-logs policy and not even your VPN will know what you're doing online, allowing for anonymous online banking activity.