The Virtual Private Network (VPN) is one of the popular terms among the Internet technologies and networking concepts. It allows us to send or receive data in a secure and anonymous manner. On the other hand, it ensures our privacy of data besides allowing us to access even the restricted web pages, all around the world. Then why so many people are scared of taking up the VPN services? Well, they probably have the question in their mind – Is using a VPN legal or illegal? Do you also have the same question? Alright, you have landed on the correct page! You can use the VPN services in any country and is perfectly legal to use. But yes there are few exemptions such as Iran and Afghanistan, where the use of VPN is prohibited. Leaving those countries, it is legal and safe to transmit your data with the help of Virtual Private Networks (see this VPN Buying Guide to know how you can get the best VPN services).
How is VPN Legal?
VPN is completely legal except in few countries where its use is prohibited. It is just adding extra security to your data in the form of encryption and nothing more than that. Even most government agencies, law firms, and other IT companies use their own private networks to ensure privacy in their transactions. Can we say that as an illegal one? Absolutely, not! If such private networks are legal, then VPN is also legal as it is nothing but a private encrypted channel to send or receive data safely. From now, you need not have the confusion that using a VPN legal or illegal? We would explore more about it in the below paragraphs. Read here to know the most secure VPN services.
What is Log Keeping?
The VPN providers maintain the connection information such as login ID, login time, connection duration, etc of every user. This is referred to as log keeping. In some countries such as USA, Canada, Australia, etc, the VPN provider needs to submit the logs to the respective government. It is to ensure the country’s safety and as a measure to protect their IT infrastructure. Anyhow, these details are going to be stored for a short period of time and it is not going to reveal any of our private information to anybody. There are also countries where this log keeping is not essential and if you belong to any of those countries, then you escaped that as well! Using a VPN legal or illegal is no more a question irrespective of whether it keeps a log or not.
Is VPN Safe to Use?
Virtual Private networks are absolutely safe to use as it just protects you from various online attacks such eavesdropping, hacking, Trojans, etc. By no way, the VPN affects your security of transactions and in fact, it guards it. The safety of the transmission depends on the level of encryption used by the VPN provider. It also depends on the key used and other authentication schemes. But when you opt for free VPN providers, then nobody can guarantee your safety (see these secure and best cheap VPN services). Well, there are few exceptions to it as few free VPNs are concerned of their user safety too. As a general rule, paid VPNs are better in providing safer transmissions and the level of safety depends on the level of encryption used by the VPN provider. So using a VPN legal or illegal is not only answered but whether it is safe to use is also answered here. Read this VPN Guide to know How VPNs work – Encryption & Security Protocols in a VPN.
What Happens Inside a Virtual Private Network?
How Does a VPN Works?
A VPN is an encrypted tunnel that securely connects you to the Internet through your Internet Service Provider Network (ISP). But here, even your ISP could not view your IP address and you remain anonymous. Blocking is possible only with IP addresses and when a VPN in place, your IP is not revealed to anyone. This means that nobody could even block you from accessing the contents anywhere in the world. Using a VPN legal or illegal is no more a question and it guarantees us round the clock access to the Internet.
IP Address and Geo-Restrictions
Our Internet Service provider (ISP) assigns a unique Internet Protocol address (IP) to the modem and all the connections established through the modem are identified with that IP. With the IP address, anybody could easily track our personal information, geographic location, contents that we access, etc. Therefore it is generally not safer to leak our IP to anyone. Thanks to the VPN technology that it assigns a different IP than the original one to its users. With such IPs, we are secured from the eyes of hackers and other online fraudulent activities. Also, geo-restrictions are possible only with the help of the user’s IP address. Here the user is assigned with the IP of the VPN’s local server and your connection looks like local. Just because it seems like a local connection, your access is not at all blocked. Using a VPN legal or illegal is not just answered but also it helps you to unblock websites such as Hulu, BBC iPlayer, etc. Read here to know How to Find Your IP Address in Windows, iOS, or Android.
Torrenting and Other Copyright Infringements
There are few who in order to download copyrighted materials, uses VPN not to let their identity. No VPN provider supports such an act and they never guarantee you for not letting your IP to government agencies and other related firms under such circumstances. Using a VPN legal or illegal is our concern here but when you intend to use it for wrong purposes, then no VPN provider would hold responsibility for the adverse effects If you want safe torrenting see these Best VPN for torrenting).
Qualities of a Good VPN
No Log Policy:
A VPN may or may not maintain the user’s information such as connection duration, etc. Few VPN providers sell our private information to third party agencies for their advertising purposes. These details are captured in the form of user logs and it is better that we go for a VPN with no logging policy. It means that the VPN provider never stores any of our information for any purposes. But there are few countries where it is mandatory for services to keep logs if they want to operate in that country. say a must for such logs. If you are in such a country, then it is impossible to avoid such logs. However, all you can do is to select a good VPN provider such that it never sells your private information. So using a VPN legal or illegal is our primary concern but there are few other factors such as the logs policy that needs to be overlooked.
Shared IP Address:
Most of the VPN providers use shared IP address for its users and it means that the same IP is assigned to users of different geographic locations. It is a manner by which the VPN provides you anonymity. Therefore, besides looking for using a VPN legal or illegal it is important to look for shared IP usage as well (learn more about Shared IP VPN vs Dedicated IP VPN services).
Anonymity in Payments:
Rather than letting our identity to the VPN while we pay subscription fees to them, it is better to go for anonymous payment modes such as credit/debit cards, Pay Pal, Bitcoins, etc. These payment modes just need your email ID and a VPN password to make your payments and your private information are safe here. At the start, you may want to know using a VPN legal or illegal but now you can understand the importance of other features of VPN as well.
Most VPN providers allow at least simultaneous connections from a single VPN login. It is helpful for us to use the VPN from different devices such Smartphone, laptop, etc. With a single VPN connection. So besides checking a VPN’s legality it is important to check the simultaneous connections options as well.
Unblocking Streaming Services:
Most people go for a VPN to unblock geo-restricted online streaming services such as BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Netflix, etc. These streaming services are inaccessible for users living in other countries. Therefore, we should somehow pose as a local user to get that service. Don’t worry; we have VPN in place to help here. The VPN by assigning a local server IP helps us to look like a local connection for the streaming websites. So while you look for VPN’s legality. You must also look for other features such as the ability unblocking the streaming services as well. Read here to know How to watch the ABC Network outside the US?
Conclusion- Is using a VPN legal or illegal? Is a VPN safe to Use? Here’s What You Need to Know
Consequently, For those who are in a dilemma of VPN’s legality, we have a clear answer for you. That explains that VPN is absolutely legal to use. Not only that a VPN adds extra security to your data by sending them through secured channels. When you need privacy, anonymity, and security all together in all your transactions. Then Virtual Private Networks are the only solution to use.