Maybe at some point in your life, you’re asking are VPNs legal? Perhaps, this is your first time using a VPN or perhaps you’ve been using VPN for a very long time and just now start asking whether VPNs are legal or not. If you’ve been using VPN for a very long time and don’t know whether using VPNs can land you in prison or not, you might get scared and start looking for the answer before you can continue using VPN. Before we go into the main topic, we’re going to explain many aspects about VPN.
Are VPNs Legal? Everything You Need To Know About Using A VPN
What is VPN?
To answer the question are VPNs legal? And understand where VPNs currently stand in the eyes of the law, you need to know what is VPN and how it works. A VPN is a service that you can use whether for free or a certain amount of payment. Once you have an account, your VPN service should be working when you’re connected to the internet. A VPN takes your internet connection and makes it more secure, by helping you to stay anonymous and getting around blocks and access censored sites, because you know, some countries decided to block certain websites among them are film and adult websites. The key to how VPN works is by lending you a temporary IP address and hides your true IP address from every website or email you connect with.
It’s virtual because VPN makes it as if you have a private connection directly to any website or computer you connect to. It’s also private because all the websites that you visit and any only activities you do is between you and the websites you visit. Lastly, it’s a network because by using a VPN, you’re also using a special network of VPN servers that covers the entire world.
The Main Focus is Your IP Address
Your IP Address is the main problem of your internet connection. Your ISP assigns your computer a certain IP address that allows you to go anywhere on the internet. while at the same time, they can also track your location through your IP address, whether you’re at home or on the road, they can always know. And, by using their IP address, you’ll have no choice but to follow their rules on which websites you can access (which is also imposed by the government). Maybe people should start questioning is spying legal? Instead of just are VPNs legal?
Governments all around the world are tracking their people down using their IP addresses, with the help of ISPs. Not just the governments, but also online businesses of all kinds monitor activity coming from IP addresses. They may not know your name directly, but they know you like their websites.
That’s not all, hackers can also break into networks and sometimes take over devices through its IP address. Nothing in this world can be free from risks online, not even ISPs and any technology companies. If all of these worry you so much, you might not have a question like are VPNs legal? And just go straight ahead to get a VPN.
The Benefits of Using a VPN
Here are some of the benefits you can get when you’re using a VPN:
- Your connections can’t be linked to your computer and you as the user. You can visit any websites and your ISP will never know where you’ve been. This makes your connection to be more private then before.
- VPN connections are super secure, that’s why they exist in the first place. The network is hack proof and your internet activity is encrypted to prevent anyone from snooping around.
- No more blocks and censorship, no one in this world likes to be told what to do. The governments and ISPs can’t block your connection to visit any websites if you’re using a VPN.
- Since your IP address is hidden, you can achieve true or more anonymity. You’re unidentifiable online because you’re constantly changing your IP address, and never using your own. If other people or companies are trying to track you, you’ll look like as if you’re in a different part of the world.
- Open ISP blocking websites
- Other than that, your internet experience stays the same. There is no downside in using a VPN.
Is it Wrong to Use a VPN?
Now going back to the question, are VPNs legal? The short answer is yes. The long answer is yes, it’s legal to use a VPN in many countries. There are some things are legal and illegal about using a VPN.
VPNs encrypt your connection and stop you from being tracked or hacked while you’re online and that is a perfectly legal reason to start using a VPN. VPNs do a great job at protecting people’s online privacy. With it enabled, you can mask your IP address and prevent anyone, including governments and ISP or any third-parties from monitoring what you’re up to online.
While it sounds great and all, unfortunately, there are people who use VPNs to hide their illegal activities online, for example: using the darknet. Also, you have to remember that not all VPNs are the same. You need to do your own research before you choose a VPN to use.
Now we know that it’s perfectly legal to use VPNs, but are there certain conditions that make it illegal? Here are some pointers:
- In the US for example, using a VPN is legal, but anything that is illegal will stay illegal when you’re using a VPN. There are no laws in the US that are prohibiting the use of VPNs, despite the bad reputation VPNs have received in the past due to negative activities.
- Are VPNs legal? Not in these countries: China, Russia, Iraq, UAE, Turkey, Belarus, Oman, and North Korea. In China for example, it’s illegal to use VPNs. VPNs can still operate but the terms and conditions which they force upon the users, kind of defeat the purpose of using it. Meanwhile, VPNs are straight banned in Russia, and using a VPN in UAE can get you fined for up to $400.
- Law enforcement can demand your information. Though some VPNs promise to keep no logs of your online activity, VPNs have to share their users’ information when it’s requested by the authorities.
Which VPNs Are Legal to Use?
As long as your government doesn’t ban certain or all VPNs, that it’s legal to use one. however, some VPNs are deemed as suspicious by a lot of people because of their shady business practice. Using this kind of VPN will put you at more risks instead of minimizing it. Always stick to the most well-known VPNs, it’s not worth it at all to gamble your security by using suspicious VPNs.
This warning is for free VPNs in particular. Free VPNs may look very appealing since they’re free, but they might and could sell your details to any third parties who are willing to buy it from them, or sharing your bandwidth with other users which is the case to some popular free VPNs in the past. So, are VPNs legal? Yes, in some countries and yes if you use a legal VPN.