Virtual Private Network or commonly known as VPN has become one of the preferred applications if you want to surf the Internet safely. A VPN will help you stream a show or movie that is not available in your region. When you use unsecured Wi-Fi, a VPN protects your connection with encryption, so you can sign in to your accounts, make bank transfers, and shop online without worry. But lately, there has been a lot of misinformation about VPNs and its legality. While in most countries using a VPN is completely legal, there are many countries where using a VPN could even land you in jail. Typically, these have been authoritarian states with high levels of censorship. Some of these countries not only consider VPNs to be illegal, instead, they take steps to completely block any VPN connection. Therefore, if you are planning to travel to the following countries, make sure to avoid using a VPN.
Countries where VPNs are illegal or restricted:
Illegal or partially illegal in:
- Turkiye: Partially illegal, some VPN providers are inaccessible due to government restrictions.
- Russia: Most VPNs are blocked. VPN providers were forced to share their users’ information or stop their services in the country, as they allowed access to “prohibited content.”
- China: “The Great Firewall of China” blocks most VPNs, as part of the Chinese government’s initiative to restrict access to various websites and social networking websites, such as YouTube or Facebook.
- North Korea: Internet is not available in the country, as the North Korean government aims to prevent “foreign propaganda” in the country and wants to have its own internal network. Trying to use the internet or a VPN in the country can end up in jail.
- Belarus: VPNs and the Tor network are illegal after 2015. It can be dangerous to use both at this time.
- Iraq: VPNs are strictly illegal and users can face punishment if caught.
Now, the countries where VPN may be legal, but other services are not:
- Turkey – VPNs are legal, but the Turkish government blocks many other online services.
- United Arab Emirates – VPNs are legal, however if a VPN has been used to commit illegal activity, it may result in higher fines or imprisonment. For example, voice over IP (VoIP) services, such as WhatsApp or FaceTime, are illegal.
- Egypt – VoIP services and anti-government content are illegal, and while VPNs are not, using them to access restricted content or apps is.
- Venezuela – The government blocks some major VPNs, but VPN services are not illegal.
- Uganda – VPNs are legal, but the government aims to limit them as they have been used to circumvent the social media tax.
Why VPN illegal?
VPNs are not necessarily illegal, but their use may be restricted or regulated in some countries. Depending on the location, using a VPN could be considered illegal if it is used to bypass censorship or broke other laws, such as copyright infringements. Many countries have strict regulations in place surrounding the use of VPNs and may impose fines or other punishments for using them where they are prohibited.
Why you should choose a secure VPN
its features are meant to add an extra layer of security. However, they cannot guarantee complete anonymity online. There are other ways to intercept Internet users: browser fingerprinting, cookies, malware, and others.
Some of the added features of a VPN might include Double VPN or Onion over VPN, which route traffic through a second VPN server or the Tor network, encrypting the traffic twice and making it much harder to trace the user. Other features are:
- Obfuscated servers: Using an obfuscated server hides the fact that you are using a VPN. This allows you to bypass VPN restrictions in some cases.
- No Log: No Logs VPN service providers do not save any information about user activity while the VPN is active: bandwidth usage, connection timestamp, etc. Some providers not only adopt the “No Logs” policy, but also have proof of it.
- leaks: VPNs with information leaks can lead to user identification (due to IP or DNS leaks). To check for IP or DNS leaks, visit IPv6-test.com AND dnsleaktest.com with the VPN active.
- Customer Support: 24/7 chat support is important as they will be ready to answer any questions that may arise.
Choose a VPN Provider
There are many great VPN providers, but hardly any can match the services offered by ExpressVPN. It not only efficiently bypasses geo-restrictions, but also offers specialized servers that further increase user security. Services like Onion over VPN, Double VPN, Obfuscated Servers, and P2P can all be found with ExpressVPN.
Additionally, ExpressVPN has a built-in Kill Switch, which automatically blocks Internet access if the connection between the user and the VPN server is lost.
With just one ExpressVPN account, you can protect 5 devices and it’s compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Android TV, and more. In fact, there are browser extensions available for Chrome and Firefox.
ExpressVPN has its own Lightway Protocol, which make users experience speedier, more reliable, and more secure. With over 3,000 servers in 90 countries, you always have a fast server to choose from.