Are VPNs illegal?

In most cases, VPNs are not illegal. However, there are some countries where the use of VPNs is restricted or banned. In some cases, using a VPN in these countries may be illegal, and you could face penalties for doing so.

Some examples of countries where the use of VPNs is restricted or banned include China, Russia, and Iran. In these countries, using a VPN to access restricted content or to hide your internet activity from the government may be illegal.

It’s important to note that the legality of VPNs can vary depending on the specific laws of the country you are in. If you are unsure about the legality of VPNs in your country, it’s a good idea to research the laws and regulations in your area before using a VPN.

Overall, while VPNs are not typically illegal, it’s important to be aware of any potential restrictions or bans in your country before using one.

Other considerations

While using a VPN may not be illegal in your country, it certainly may be suspicious. See, our IP addresses are like our phone numbers on the internet. Someone can see what IP address I am using when accessing their website, and if they feel so inclined, they can look up that IP and see it’s associated with a residential Internet company. When you are using a VPN on the other hand, you are essentially using a 1-800 number for personal use. Imagine how odd your friends and family would think it would be if you started calling them from 1-800-WHO-ISVPN registered in a completely different state. Further, because computers are, at the end of the day, just 1s and 0s – it’s incredibly easy for any sysdamin to block entire subnets and ranges of IPs that are associated with VPNs or the Tor network. If your website is proxied behind Cloudflare, it takes all of 5 seconds to enable or disable this feature.

An example of a screen you may get used to seeing if you’re behind a VPN or Tor network.

Self hosting is the solution

This is why time and time I again I advocate hosting your own VPN through a reputable provider. Cheap, low end hosting companies are like burner phones. People using them know they’ll be doing nefarious activities and know they’ll be banned sooner or later. Is that the IP address you want to be associated with? Stick with a company that has zero tolerance for spam and abuse and your web surfing will be much, much smoother.

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