Are VPNs Legal in Your Country? List of countries where VPNs are illegal or restricted!


Virtual private network or commonly known as VPN has become one of the must-have applications if you want to browse the internet safely. A VPN will help you stream a show or movie that is not available in your area. When using an unprotected Wi-Fi network, a VPN will protect your connection with encryption, so you can log into your accounts, make bank transfers, and shop online without worry. But lately there has been a lot of misinformation about VPN and its legality. While in most countries using a VPN is completely legal, there are many countries where using a VPN could even lead to jail time. These are generally authoritarian states with high levels of censorship. Some of these countries not only consider VPNs illegal, but take steps to completely block all VPN connections. So, 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:

  • Turkey: Partly illegal, some VPN providers are inaccessible due to government restrictions.
  • Russia: Most VPNs are blocked. VPN providers were forced to either share their users’ information or shut down their services in the country because 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 media sites, 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 website. Trying to use the internet or a VPN in the country can end in jail time.
  • Belarus: VPNs and the Tor network are illegal after 2015. It can be dangerous to use either at this time.
  • Iraq: VPNs are strictly illegal and users can be punished if caught.

Now, countries where VPN may be legal, but other services not:

  • Turkey: VPNs are legal, but the Turkish government blocks many other online services.
  • UAE: VPNs are legal, however, if a VPN has been used to commit illegal activity it can result in larger fines or jail time. For example, voice over IP (VoIP) services, such as WhatsApp or FaceTime are illegal.
  • Egypt: VoIP services, anti-government content are illegal and although VPNs are not illegal, using them to access restricted content or applications is.
  • Venezuela: The government blocks some major VPNs, but VPN services are not illegal.
  • Uganda: VPNs are legal, but government aims to restrict them because they have been used to bypass the social media tax.

Why VPNs illegal?
VPNs are exclusively illegal in authoritarian countries or countries that lean towards authoritarianism. The main reason that can be attributed to blocking VPNs is that they allow people to access prohibited content in a country. However, if someone is using a VPN for illegal activities in a democratic country, like downloading copyrighted content, it is still against the law and can be apprehended.

Why you should choose a safe VPN
The VPN and its features are meant to add an extra layer of security. However, they cannot guarantee complete anonymity online. There are other ways to spy on internet users: browser fingerprints, cookies, malware, and more.

Some of the additional features of a VPN can include Double VPN or Onion over VPN which routes traffic through a second VPN server or the Tor network, encrypting the traffic twice and making it much harder to track the user. The other features are:

Obfuscated servers: Using an obscured server obscures the fact of using a VPN. This helps bypass VPN restrictions in some cases.

No log: VPN service providers do not keep any information about user activity when VPN is enabled: bandwidth usage, connection timestamps, etc. Some vendors are not only adopting the “no logs” policy, but have proof of it.

Leaks: VPNs that leak information can lead to user identification (due to IP or DNS leaks). To test for IP or DNS leaks, visit IPv6-test.com and dnsleaktest.com with the VPN enabled.

Customer service: 24/7 chat support is important as they will be ready to answer any questions that may arise.

Immobilizer: It shuts down internet access, preventing an IP leak, in case the connection between the user and the VPN server is interrupted.

Choose a VPN provider
There are many great VPN providers out there, but hardly anyone can match the services that NordVPN offers. Not only does it effectively bypass geo-restrictions, but it also offers specialized servers which further increase user security. Services like Onion over VPN, Double VPN, Obfuscated Servers, and P2P can be found with NordVPN.

In addition, NordVPN has a built-in kill switch, which automatically blocks internet access if the connection between the user and the VPN server is interrupted.
With a single NordVPN account, you can secure 6 devices and is compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Android TV and others. In fact, there are browser extensions available for Chrome and Firefox.

NordVPN has its own WireGuard-based protocol called NordLynx, which allows users to take advantage of WireGuard speeds, without compromising on privacy risks. With over 5,200 servers in 60 countries, you always have the choice of a fast server. To give the user a comprehensive knowledge of VPN protocols, servers, VPN speed increase procedures, and other useful reading material, NordVPN has a database.

On top of all this, NordVPN is a log-free service that is twice audited to ensure that your online activities are kept private, so that your activities will be private and your devices risk-free. With updates continuously rolling out every few months with security updates crucial to ensuring online safety, NordVPN is one of the preferred options for users. To learn more about NordVPN, Click here.

Disclaimer: This article was produced on behalf of NordVPN by the Times Internet Spotlight team.

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