VPN adoption is on the rise. Approximately 1 in 4 now use them mostly from unlocking streaming content and enhanced privacy. However, many people still wonder whether or not VPNs are even legal and whether they are safe to use.
The answer to the question is yes and yes. But does get a little more complicated. Here’s everything you need to know to ensure you never put yourself at risk.
Introduction to VPNs
What is a VPN? Let’s begin with a quick refresher. A VPN or virtual private network is a private network extended across a public one. How it does this is a complicated and technical process.
Essentially, you connect to a third-party server, which then connects to your target web destination. In the process, your IP address is concealed while your connection is encrypted.
This makes everything you do online, not only much more private but secure. Here you can find more information: https://nordvpn.com/what-is-a-vpn/
Are VPNs Legal?
In most countries, VPNs are legal. There are generally no restrictions on their use, provided what you’re doing is legal. For example, if you use a VPN to access Facebook, then that is fine.
But if you use a VPN for torrenting copyrighted files, that may be illegal depending on where you are.
VPNs Aren’t Legal Everywhere
However, there are several countries that either ban VPNs or significantly limit their use. Currently, China, Russia, the U.A.E, Iraq, and North Korea all flat-out ban VPNs.
Countries restrict VPNs generally because they want more control over digital data, or they want to enforce censorship and morality laws. That’s why there is a strong correlation between countries with closed internet policies and VPN prohibition.
It’s A Whole Lot Grayer in Reality
This is where it can get a little complicated, though. Take the most populous country in the world and a favorite tourist destination, China. While China may officially ban VPNs, it has a list of government-approved VPNs you can use. As you might imagine, many of these may share your data with the Chinese government.
Here’s the thing—nobody has ever been tried for using a non-approved VPN in China. If you go there, you’ll find many people using both approved and non-approved VPNs. The whole point of a VPN deals is that a good one conceals your traffic making it pretty hard to track you specifically.
What does all this mean? Even in countries where VPN use is illegal or restricted, the chances of the government or police doing anything to you for using one is incredibly small. Trust your judgment and decide for yourself whether you feel it okay to use a VPN or not.
How Safe Are VPNs?
Whether you use a VPN where it’s legal or not, reputable VPN providers are generally extremely safe. That’s because they include not only military-grade encryption like AES-256 but also other security technologies and policies like kill switches and no-logs.
Effectively, this makes it nearly impossible for hackers or other privacy threats to break into your connection and access your data. When you connect to a VPN server, it creates a private tunnel deeply protected against all threats.
Every site you visit and file you download passes through this tunnel. Your ISP will be able to see how much data goes through, but none of the specific elements of what you’re accessing.
Can I Use a Free VPN?
No. Free VPNs sound great, but they always come with a trade-off. To start, most of them offer terrible performance. While you might be able to send an email to our two, doing anything like streaming will be nearly impossible.
You don’t want to use them to send anything sensitive anyway since free VPNs are notoriously unsafe, with many selling your data to third parties.
On the other hand, you don’t have to pay too much for a reliable VPN service. Some of the best VPN providers offer plans for as cheap as $3-5 if you sign up for longer-term plans.
Do I Need to Use a VPN?
One of the most pervasive myths that people believe is that they don’t need a VPN tool since they “have nothing to hide.” This is flat-out untrue. Even if you don’t plan to use a VPN for streaming or to bypass the Chinese Great Firewall, we all have data that we don’t want to fall into the wrong hands.
Whether it’s personal photos and videos, credit card information for online shopping, social media accounts, or anything else, your data deserves to be safe.
That’s why VPNs are so essential. They were never built to protect criminals but protect everyday users like you who don’t want governments to spy on them or hackers to steal their identity.
Safeguard your data and your privacy and use the information here to find the perfect VPN for your needs.