While the Internet as we know it today might be dying, the VPN industry is showing no signs of slowing down. As more people join and use VPNs, governments and ISPs around the world are enacting laws to try and catch up to the technology. These laws are often loosely written and open to interpretation, leaving VPN providers to grapple with the most pressing question: Can they be used safely in a country?

Many of us are a citizen of more than one country, but not all of us have the technical knowledge or means to set up a VPN for every one of our multiple locations. Even if you do, there are numerous other factors to consider. For example, what country do you live in? How is your internet access provided? What are your security concerns? Does your VPN provider have a good reputation? What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a VPN?

The number of Internet users is increasing exponentially, as is the risk of coming across a phishing site or an unsecured domain. The consequences of unsafe internet surfing are so severe that you can also become a victim of identity theft by simply giving your name, e-mail address, age and phone number! So any site that asks for such data must be trustworthy, but how do you know? The virtual world is full of traps and pitfalls, and there is no absolute certainty about what is safe and what is not. You can upload an innocent viral video or the latest season of a well-known show and open the doors to vulnerability. Anyone who has been online for any length of time knows that a VPN is probably the safest way to send data across the internet anonymously. But even the best of us have wondered: Are VPNs legal? And most importantly: Is a VPN as secure as we think?

We’ll find out.

What is a VPN?

Before we get to the question, are VPNs secure? Let’s try to better understand what a VPN actually is. Simply put, a VPN (or virtual private network) is software used to maintain anonymity on the Internet. It is particularly useful for protecting a user from their ISP or even the government. These tunneling programs connect your network through a number of servers around the world, so the hosting site knows nothing about your real and exact location. Your IP address is a unique identifier of your virtual presence, and the VPN masks your IP address so that you can essentially assume a new and unknown identity.

Some websites apply geo-blocking, restricting access to web content to people in a particular continent, country or location. With a VPN, you can bypass this limitation and access any geographical location. For example, if certain content is only available to US residents and is blocked in India, you can use a VPN to make the website think you are using an internet connection in the US.

Both paid and free VPN services are available online. They have several servers in most countries, so users can trick their network by redirecting to local Internet connections through these available servers. Paid VPN providers charge a small fee that can range from an hourly rate to an annual rate. Free VPNs can cost much more than paid VPN services. Of course there are reliable service providers, but there are also scammers who use and compromise your personal information in exchange for their free services. We will discuss this in the following points.

Are VPNs illegal?

So, as we mentioned above, VPNs can be used to avoid being tracked by the government, which of course raises the question: are VPNs legal? The answer to this question depends on the country, but the most general answer is yes. VPNs are not illegal. However, this is not the case worldwide, as VPNs have been declared illegal in some countries (we’ll come back to this). Although VPNs are legal in most countries, it goes without saying that engaging in illegal activities through a VPN, such as. B. the distribution of viruses, the sale of drugs and/or copyrighted material, may lead to prosecution.

In countries like the UK, US and Canada, the use of VPNs is allowed. However, VPN service providers must comply with the rules established by the competent authorities of the country where their organization is registered.

Most countries recognize the legal use of a VPN because it has a number of undeniable benefits, such as. B. :

VPNs provide security

This security applies not only to ordinary Internet users, but also to large companies and government organizations. VPNs are used as a line of defense to protect sensitive data and intellectual property. Even in the banking industry, VPNs are used to allow an employee to access his or her workstation when working from home.

VPNs provide anonymity

Nowadays, anonymity and confidentiality are everyone’s main concern. Whether they think they’re being watched by the government or just want to escape the clutches of targeted ads, more and more people are using VPNs to secure their connections. With a VPN, even your VoIP calls cannot be tracked or traced.

These advantages outweigh the major disadvantages of using a VPN and make it legal in most countries. Here are some more reasons why you need a VPN.

Is it illegal to use a VPN for Netflix?

The mention of geo-blocking of web content raises an initial doubt: Isn’t using a VPN for Netflix illegal? Netflix may be the largest and most popular online streaming service, but users outside the US will find a limited library there that pales in comparison to the rich content of Netflix US. Using a VPN to access this resource may violate Netflix’s terms of service, which state that the company has the right to restrict content based on a user’s geographic location. Yet there would be no copyright infringement, as the user would still use Netflix to access its services.

Apart from this violation of the terms of use, no other laws seem to be violated if VPNs are legal in your country. This goes without saying, unless your country also has laws against circumventing geological or continental content restrictions. Accessing Netflix information through a VPN to use their content for commercial purposes can also get you into legal trouble. Also, keep in mind that if Netflix catches you using its services through a VPN, it has every right to ban you from using its services. In short, you can use a VPN for Netflix legally without fear of civil or criminal penalties, as long as you don’t abuse the access you get. While some VPNs can be painfully slow, making it nearly impossible to stream video content, it’s probably not worth the time and effort.

Is it illegal to use a VPN in schools?

Schools have rules, not laws. If a country allows the use of a VPN, it automatically becomes legal in schools. The internal rules and policies that schools follow vary from school to school. It also depends on the content being accessed through the VPN. If the school finds the use of a VPN unacceptable, then you have a problem with the school administration. Visiting an innocent site can result in a light slap on the wrist, but using a VPN to access the dark side of the internet can result in deportation or detention. The penalty shall correspond to the gravity of the rule. But from a more general perspective, using a VPN at a school may not result in legal action as long as VPNs are legal across the country.

Countries where VPNs are illegal

As mentioned earlier, most countries allow the use of VPNs, but some countries impose strict laws in this regard. So here are the countries that have banned or regulated VPN services.

Russia

It is well known that the Russian government has a powerful surveillance system. Needless to say, any technology that allows anonymity, such as VPNs, proxies, Tor, etc. is banned by the government and considered illegal. It also ensures that citizens do not have access to web content that the government does not want them to have access to.

China

Using a VPN is illegal in China. The Chinese government essentially oversees all online activity and monitors, censors and regulates the web content that citizens have access to. Although VPN providers are nominally registered in the country, in practice they have to follow strict guidelines imposed by the government. This defeats the purpose of using a VPN. Moreover, some areas in China completely block the use of VPNs, regardless of the provider.

Belarus

Following the lead of countries where VPNs are banned, Russia and China, Belarus has also banned VPNs and Tor services that allow anonymity. Internet service providers in Belarus have to check the list of prohibited services on a daily basis. This list is published by a government agency.

Iraq

Iraq has become a hotbed of terrorist activity since the resurgence of ISIS. Thus, in order to track every activity on the Internet and monitor every Internet user, VPNs are completely prohibited. While these measures seem necessary to intercept terrorists, citizens must compromise on security and privacy. Interestingly, the government and public agencies are not shy about using VPNs either.

Oman

The Sultanate of Oman actively enforces censorship, so it is not surprising that access to the Internet is regulated, alongside conventional media. Therefore, to protect the fortress, VPN is prohibited in Oman.

Turkey

Turkey is trying to ban all social media platforms and all means of accessing them. For example, the Turkish government has blocked several other websites, including VPN providers.

United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates is imposing a heavy fine on people caught using a VPN. The fine could be increased to $575,800. The reason is that the government wants to support the telecommunications industry. These industries are suffering huge losses due to VoIP services depressing their profits.

Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, there is a particular scenario where the use of VPNs is legal, but the authorities have blocked nearly 4,00,000 websites. Like the United Arab Emirates, this country has also blocked VoIP services to strengthen its telecommunications sector. Saudis have since started using VPNs to access these services. Fortunately, once the VoIP ban is lifted, using a VPN will no longer be necessary.

Countries like North Korea, Iran and Turkmenistan restrict the use of VPNs as part of general internet censorship and to limit internet access, but they also have several licensed VPN service providers that can offer the service. Moreover, this list of countries is not exhaustive, as the laws of a given country are very dynamic and may change constantly. Users are therefore advised to familiarise themselves with the local safety regulations.

Is using a VPN secure?

VPNs are definitely more secure than using proxy servers because they include data encryption that can protect your information. At first glance, the idea of using a VPN to improve security, anonymity and privacy seems ideal, but it has its pitfalls.

When it comes to accessing free VPNs, it’s important to understand that nothing is ever completely free. VPN providers that offer free services may actually allow malicious third parties to collect your personal information. They can even provide access to your Internet connection through which fraudulent organizations can conduct illegal activities. Some VPN providers who sell their products for free may track and store your IP address and internet usage history. These personal files with all your information can be sold on the dark side of the internet. In comparison, paid VPNs seem to be a more attractive option for obtaining these services.

Before you choose the best VPN, you need to consider several factors: Connection speed, number of servers, protocols, privacy policy and customer support. Your overall experience of using their services will depend on these factors. That way, you can make an informed decision by looking at these parameters. You can even test the VPN provider with a 30-day trial with money-back guarantee before purchasing one of the larger packages. Choose a VPN with a switch that blocks all access to the internet unless the connection is encrypted. Just because you have to pay for the service doesn’t mean you’re fully protected. VPNs can fall victim to bugs and hacks that can leave your data vulnerable. While these violations are rare, it is better to be prepared than to regret it.

While it may seem comforting to know that VPN service providers have a list of policies they must adhere to and strict guidelines they must follow, the problem is that these laws are determined by the country in which the company is based. As a result, dubious VPN providers operate in countries where such regulations do not exist or are too lax. Thus, they may appear to be complying with a weak or non-existent law while appearing to be a legitimate business. Therefore, it is important to take into account the location of your VPN provider to assess how strictly they adhere to their privacy policy.

Which VPN should I buy?

Now that you know the legal status of VPNs in your country, you may be wondering which VPN is best in terms of speed and security. To answer your question: I tried over 10 VPN providers and found ExpressVPN to be the fastest VPN in the industry. It’s a little pricey compared to other sellers, but worth every penny. Below is a table of the top 5 VPN providers to consider for hiding your online activities.

Most popular1

ExpressVPN

Our score is 9.8

Prices start at $6.67/month

Visit the page

Area of responsibility

Virgin Islands

Server

3000+

Money Back Guarantee

30 days

Supported Applications

Works with

Kodi, Torrenting, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO

Special offer: 49% off a 15-month plan

For

  • VPN servers in 94 countries
  • Very high speed – ideal for streaming
  • Strict ban on journalism
  • Very strong 256-bit encryption
  • No restrictions on streaming
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Network lock (killswitch)
  • Unlocks Netflix and BBC iPlayer
  • Secure use of P2P and torrents
  • Special applications and easy configuration on all devices
  • 5 simultaneous connections
  • Excellent 24/7 chat/email support
  • Bitcoin is accepted
  • 30 days money back guarantee

Cons

  • No free test

Visit ExpressVPN

2

IPVanish

Our score is 9.2

Prices start at $6.49/month

Visit the page

Area of responsibility

United States

Server

1200+

Money Back Guarantee

7 days

Supported Applications

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Special offer: 46% discount on the annual plan

For

  • VPN server in 60 countries
  • Good speed
  • 256-bit encryption
  • No restrictions on streaming
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Killswitch
  • Unlocks Netflix and BBC iPlayer
  • 10 simultaneous connections
  • Special applications for all devices
  • 7 days money back guarantee

Cons

  • Unresponsive customer service
  • Unfriendly design and location
  • No free test

Visit IPVanish

3

NordVPN

Our score is 9.1

Prices start at $2.99/month

Visit the page

Area of responsibility

Panama

Server

3300

Money Back Guarantee

30 days

Supported Applications

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Special offer: 75% discount on a 3-year tariff plan

For

  • VPN server in 60 countries
  • Good speed
  • 256-bit encryption
  • No restrictions on streaming
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Killswitch
  • Unlocks Netflix and BBC iPlayer
  • 6 simultaneous connections
  • Special applications for most devices
  • 30 days money back guarantee

Cons

  • IPv6 vulnerability in the IKEv2 application for macOS
  • No dedicated Fire TV app
  • No free test

Visit NordVPN

4

CyberGhost

Our score is 9.0

Prices start at $2.75/month

Visit the page

Area of responsibility

Romania

Server

3600

Money Back Guarantee

45 days

Supported Applications

Works with

Kodi, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting

Special offer 81% discount on the 3 year plan

For

  • VPN servers in 55 countries
  • Average speed
  • Anti-malware and non-tracking
  • 256-bit encryption
  • No restrictions on streaming
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • 7 simultaneous connections
  • Special applications for all devices
  • 45 days money back guarantee

Cons

  • No free test
  • Problems with torrents on US servers
  • Lack of 24/7 support

Visit CyberGhost

5

VyprVPN

Our score is 8.9

Prices start at $6.67/month

Visit the page

Area of responsibility

Switzerland

Server

700+

Money Back Guarantee

30 days

Supported Applications

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Kodi

The special offer is

For

  • Average speed
  • 256-bit encryption
  • No restrictions on streaming
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • 5 simultaneous connections
  • Special applications for most devices
  • 3 day free trial or 30 day money back guarantee

Cons

  • Some recording of your data
  • Slow technical support
  • Not suitable for torrents

Visit VyprVPN

Supplement

Overall, a VPN is a useful and convenient way to connect to the Internet. You can stay safe from prying eyes or possible cyber attacks when you are protected by a reliable and stable VPN. We recommend choosing a reliable VPN provider so you can get the most out of your online experience. The major VPN providers have a large user base that can vouch for the effectiveness of their services. Moreover, the stakes are high if their networks are hacked, so they will certainly go the extra mile to provide strong protection. Please read the terms of use and privacy policy before registering. It is wiser to be well informed than to be surprised.

Related:

Is jailbreaking the FireStick illegal?
Is Kodi legal and safe to use?
Is Terrarium TV legal and safe to use?

We do not check the legality or safety of any add-ons, applications or services mentioned on this website. Furthermore, we do not promote, publish or link to copyrighted feeds. We strongly condemn piracy and urge our readers to avoid it at all costs. Any mention of free streaming on our website refers only to non-copyrighted public domain content. Read our full disclaimer.

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Filed under: VPN

 

About Patrick

Hello! I’m Patrick, an experienced IT and cyber security professional. I’m an avid streamer myself and founded FireStickTricks.com to help others access great content on any platform. On this blog, I do service reviews, write how-to articles, and talk about the latest Fire Stick news and streaming trends.

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30 days money back guarantee

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Contents of reservation

  • 1 What is a VPN?
  • 2 Are VPNs illegal?
    • 2.1 VPNs offer security
    • 2.2 VPNs offer anonymity
  • 3 Is it illegal to use a VPN for Netflix?
  • 4 Is it illegal to use a VPN in schools?
  • 5 countries where VPNs are illegal
    • 5.1 Russia
    • 5.2 China
    • 5.3 Belarus
    • 5.4 Iraq
    • 5.5 Oman
    • 5.6 Turkey
    • 5,7 United Arab Emirates
    • 5,8 Saudi Arabia
  • 6 Is using a VPN safe?
  • 7 Which VPN should I buy?
  • 8 Conclusion

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can you go to jail for using a VPN?

No, you cannot go to jail for using a VPN.

Is it illegal to use a VPN for Netflix?

No, it is not illegal to use a VPN for Netflix.

VPNs are legal in most countries. However, some countries have laws that restrict the use of VPNs. For example, China has a law that bans the use of VPNs to access websites and content blocked by the government. What is a VPN? A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a technology that creates an encrypted connection between your computer and the internet. This encrypted connection allows you to browse the internet privately, without being tracked or monitored by your ISP.

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