Are VPNs legal? Answering your urgent questions
We do a lot every day to protect our privacy: lock the doors of our homes and cars, and put passwords on our computers, phones, and other devices. This little ritual is a no-brainer.
So why does protecting our online privacy with a VPN raise so many questions? Are VPNs legal? Why are they illegal in some parts of the world? Could you get stuck using one? In this article, I will explore the legality of a VPN in more detail.
In short: are VPNs legal?
Yes, VPNs are legal in the US, UK and pretty much everywhere else in the world, with many exceptions. However, committing illegal acts with a VPN is still prohibited. You must not download copyrighted material and participate in unethical hacking and other cybercrime.
Is it legal to use a VPN in the US?
currently, There are no laws restricting VPN use in the US. And if you scroll down to the table, you’ll see that none of the Western countries are on that list – the really short list -.
Obviously, a VPN is not a gateway to illegal activities simply because it protects one’s privacy. None of the VPN service providers encourage committing crimes while connected to the VPN service. Besides, one tool will not protect criminal VPN users from legal problems, as law enforcement has many tools to track down and catch the perpetrators.
VPN Legality Around the World: Censorship and Restrictions
While most of the world has easy access to VPNs, few countries have made VPNs illegal or at least restricted.
I have provided a table of the countries mentioned and their current VPN status below. It is quite clear that when it comes to the question of “are VPNs legal”, it is authoritarian political regimes that all impose similar restrictions on VPNs.
Restricting freedom of expression is not new for some countries. They demonstrate this by banning popular social media and news outlets (usually associated with Western media). Since VPN services protect a basic human right to privacy, authoritarian regimes waste no time jumping on that either.
Could you get stuck in a VPN usage issue?
Unless you are in a country where VPNs are considered illegal, you can use a VPN without problems.
hover, you should not expect a VPN service to protect you from legal troubles if you engage in illegal activity while using it. Downloading copyrighted material is one example of such crimes.
Simply put, as long as you stay within the legal framework of your country, you will have no problem using a VPN.
Is Using a VPN for Netflix Illegal?
It is legal to use a VPN with Netflix As long as you keep an eye on your country’s library. However, using it to access libraries outside your country is against the Terms and Conditions of Service.
Netflix blacklists a lot of IP addresses (Internet Protocol) used by VPN services. This is why the Netflix proxy error page is so common. One way to avoid this is by not using free VPNs – apart from delays, bypassing ads, and insecurity, a lot of the IP addresses that free VPNs use are already on the Netflix blacklist.
Disclaimer: Surfshark discourages the use of a VPN in ways that are likely to violate the terms of service of other providers.
Why are people questioning privacy protection tools?
There are a lot of VPN myths on the Internet. why? It comes down to the intricacies of technology. Using a VPN is easy, but understanding its inner workings is not. We understand why we lock doors at the exit, but why do we need VPNs? Most of the time, the danger that comes from going online without using a VPN is not so obvious.
This lack of tangible nature of Internet security appears to be a possible cause.
Another reason could be related to VPN uses. While the purpose of a VPN is to secure your internet traffic (and hide it from ISPs), there are many other ways people use this tool, from bypassing censorship to accessing blocked websites.
Let’s explore all of these VPN benefits in the next section.
Why use a VPN?
Initially, VPNs were not created for individual users. It was a digital security tool for large corporations, intended to secure their assets and data.
However, these days, a VPN is useful for the everyday Internet user. In times of digital profiling, targeted advertising, government tracking, and ever-increasing hacking attempts, Protecting one’s privacy is a critical decision.
Why do we use VPNs?
- To protect our identity online.
- To stay safe on public Wi-Fi.
- To block trackers and malware.
- to bypass censorship.
- To unblock websites.
- To save money online.
Disclaimer: If you need legal advice regarding VPN use or the laws of a particular country, please consult legal professionals as we cannot be held responsible for your potentially illegal activities.
Are VPNs legal? Yes, almost everywhere
While there are countries that restrict or ban VPNs, in most parts of the world they are perfectly legal. VPNs play an essential role in ensuring digital security and privacy, as well as protecting users from abusers who bypass their legitimacy. So, if using a VPN is legal in your country, but you don’t already, why not give Surfshark a try?