Are VPNs Legal? – Everything You Need to Know
VPNs are undoubtedly very useful, primarily when you want to protect your online identity and ensure that no one can get a hold of your valuable information. And, while these tools are illegal in most countries around the world, this is something you should be certain about before you use a VPN. In this ZoogVPN blog, we’ll take a closer look at the legality of VPN use and go over a list of countries where using a VPN is illegal and can get you in trouble.
Are VPNs Legal To Use?
This is a highly debated topic, as there’s no straight yes or no answer when it comes to the question of “are VPNs legal?”. Naturally, governments and ISP providers don’t want you using a VPN, as doing so masks all of your online activities and hides the data you exchange through your network.
That said, focusing on the illegal side of VPN is a tactic authorities often resort to, but one that misses the essence of VPN services. VPNs can be extremely convenient for many good things. This includes staying safe on public connections, accessing geo-restricted or censored sites, and generally using the Internet in maximum privacy and security.
On the other hand, some of the things you shouldn’t do when using a VPN are to buy or sell on dark web markets, hack or stalk other people, or engage in any other activities that could harm anyone, including yourself. With all of that in mind, the best mantra to stick by when using a VPN is: “If it’s illegal without a VPN, it’s illegal with a VPN”.
Is it Illegal To Use a VPN in the US and the UK?
Arguably the most VPN users come from western countries like the US, the UK, and Canada. In these three countries specifically, using a VPN is completely legal under the law, as long as you’re not using such a service to mask any illegal activities. In fact, even many big businesses use VPNs to secure their networks and protect themselves from accidentally leaking information.
Keep in mind that countries like the US are a part of international surveillance organizations. So, even though VPN use is entirely legal in the country, the local US authorities may still request access and seize your information if they deem it necessary. That’s why it’s best to look at VPNs only as tools for protection and accessing unrestricted Internet.
Where is VPN Use Illegal?
Although the legality of VPNs isn’t a question in most countries worldwide, some of them employ strict bans on these services. Here’s a brief rundown of the countries where VPN use is explicitly illegal:
- North Korea
What Are The Consequences of Using a VPN Illegally?
The answer to this question primarily depends on where you’re using the VPN service. Not all countries have equally strict laws when it comes to this. So, in some countries, you might not experience any punishment at all or only receive a stern warning. In other ones, using a VPN could land you in jail, or you could end up paying a massive fine.
Summing It Up
VPNs are certainly powerful tools. They not only enable you to access every corner of the Internet and protect your data but can also be used for nefarious purposes in the wrong hands. Because of this, some governments around the world have found it necessary to enforce VPN bans and punish people that use these services.
However, this shouldn’t deter you from using a VPN, as long as you live in a region where you can legally download and use one. Luckily, in most parts of the world, VPN use is legal. Still, a quick check can help you make sure you’re in the clear before you sign up with a VPN service.
If you’re certain you’re not violating any laws, you can download the ZoogVPN app for free in just a couple of steps. We offer a limited free plan you can use as long as you want and premium subscription plans with many valuable features that will enable you to take your privacy and security into your hands. Sign up with ZoogVPN right now!