If you have a VPN, you will be able to secure your privacy, side-step location-gated content, work around filtered networks, and so much more. VPNs are legal in the US, UK, and various other countries. That said, there are many people who illegally steal copyrighted content and commit other crimes.
In the US, it’s perfectly legal to use a VPN. Under the law, you can use a virtual private network to protect and secure your internet activities. There are some sites like Netflix or Hulu that will attempt to block a VPN connection. Keep in mind, that you can face consequences if you try to interfere with other people’s safety when using a VPN. Click here for a VPN Download.
Even though using a VPN in the US is legal, there are activities that are considered illegal even if not by law. Here are some activities you shouldn’t get involved in while using a VPN:
Stealing copyrighted content – is just wrong even if copyright law is not enforced. Should you choose to do so, there could be consequences from your internet service provider.
Buying or selling stuff on the black marketplace – VPNs can get you around any restrictions for gaining access, but it’s still illegal to buy weapons, drugs, or other illegal purchases.
Stalking, bullying or hacking – Even though VPNs can give you a level of anonymity, do not abuse other people by bullying, hacking, or stalking, you will not get away with it.
There are countries where it’s illegal or restricted to use a VPN:
China – Restricted
North Korea – Illegal
Russia – Illegal
Iraq – Illegal
Belarus – Illegal
UAE – legal but there are restrictions
Egypt – legal but there are restrictions
Turkey – legal but there are restrictions
Restricted – Accessing content is very difficult due to filtering and strong government control. 304
Illegal – Most people in these countries do not have access to the internet. If you visit them and try to use a VPN, you could land in jail.
Legal but there are restrictions – Many of the Arab nations restrict Internet freedom in order to protect moral standards. You’ll be fined if you are caught using a VPN while there are other penalties in some countries including being blocked.
Using a VPN illegally, you might end up in jail. It’s a good idea not to break a country’s laws even if you think the law is unethical. If a VPN is blocked, you can assume the country has a way to enforce its laws. Even in countries where VPNs are not definitely banned, the police can demand that visitors, as well as citizens, remove their VPN applications from their devices. By rule of thumb, best practice is abiding by a country’s laws.
Is It Legal To Gain Access To Blocked Content?
It depends on the laws but in most countries blocked content falls under one of two categories:
Geo-blocked content, blocked by the providers including Netflix.
Illegal content blocked by the government by technical means.
Accessing content that is blocked under the first category is somewhat permissible unless it’s obviously illegal content. The bottom line, there can be consequences including having your subscription canceled.
Is Streaming Illegal?
Probably the most common use for a VPN is accessing content that might be locked in another country. A VPN can bypass these restrictions so you can watch your favorite show or other shows from anywhere in the world.
What VPNs Are Legal To Use?
The legality of a VPN has nothing to do with the products but everything to do with how they are being used. As a tool, it allows you to pass your connection through an intermediary which is not illegal. Chances are if your activity is illegal without a VPN, it’s probably illegal with it such as downloading copyrighted materials.
A VPN is an amazing tool that can be used for both good and evil. Every country has its own regulations when using a VPN so check before proceeding.