Are VPNs Legal? Countries Where VPNs Are Illegal

VPN Services
Are VPNs legal? Is VPN illegal? VPN illegal in China, VPN illegal UAE

There are many VPN services available nowadays, so it stands to reason that using one has advantages. The questions are, “What are these advantages?” and “Are VPNs legal?”.  Learn if VPN usage is legal in United States, United Kingdom, European Union, China, Russia, UAE, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Oman, India, North-Korea. Also, are VPNs legal for torrenting, for unblocking Netflix, and for Kodi?

Before we look at the advantages and legality of VPNs, it will help to understand how they work and what they do. A virtual private network (VPN) connection basically does two things:

  1. It manipulates your device’s IP address, making you appear that it originates from a different place (machine, location, or country).
  2. It encrypts and cloaks your signal, making is impossible for any eavesdroppers to monitor your online activity.

Advantages of using a VPN

Although a VPN slows down connection speed by between 25 and 50% percent, there are a number of good reasons why you might want to change/hide your IP address or cloak your activities.

  1. Download and upload P2P files in privacy – P2P is frowned upon by the MPAA and other cinema and music associations. This is detected eavesdropping on ISP signals, something which a VPN will prevent.
  2. Access streaming content from outside your country – Content streaming services such as Netflix are not allowed to stream content outside the US due to copyright agreements. This is enforced by reading an IP and tracing it to its country of origin. With a VPN, the Netflix block can be bypassed.
  3. Break out of restrictive networks – A VPN connection will allow you to break of a restrictive network at school or at work and connect to websites and webmail services that might otherwise be restricted.
  4. Using public Wi-Fi with confidence – Public and hotel WiFi is notoriously insecure. A VPN will add a layer of security to the WiFi connection that will protect the user.
  5. Cloak VOIP Phone Calls – VOIP services like Skype are easy to eavesdrop on. A VPN will prevent this from happening.
  6. Bypass a country’s web censorship – Some countries choose to impose oppressive internet censoring on their entire countries. A VPN server will enable you to tunnel out of the censorship restrictions.
  7. Watch home-specific broadcasts while traveling – A VPN tunnel connection can be used to force the foreign connection to access your home country as if you were physically there, enabling you to watch local football feeds, TV and newscasts. Don’t forget to read: 7 tips to keep your laptop secure while traveling.
  8. Use search engines without having searches logged – Search engines catalog every web search you perform to customise the advertising and future searches for your computer. With a VPN, this is not possible and it protects your privacy. Also, you may want to use a private search engine.
  9. Privacy is a basic right – If you are a firm believer in personal privacy and the right to receive and broadcast without being surveilled and cataloged by authorities, a VPN or Tor are the way to go.
  10. Avoid reprisals and tracebacks when doing research – If you do sensitive research for your company or don’t want your research details known for any other reason, using a VPN will prevent this.

Are VPNs legal or illegal?

In general, VPNs are legal in most countries, but how it is being used will ultimately determine its legality in those countries. There are however many countries where the use of VPNs is illegal, irrespective of what it is being used for. [click to continue…]

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Cargo VPN – Personal VPN for Your MacOS and iOS Devices

VPN Services

Cargo VPN is a new VPN service offered by a well software producer that you may use on your iOS and MacOS devices. Keep reading the Cargo VPN review in order to find out what are the pros and cons of CargoVPN.

Cargo VPN review in a nutshell

Headquarters & jurisdiction Cargo VPN Headquarters - United States Germany
Website Eltima.com
Log policy No logging of user activity, logs number of devices used, some aggregated logs.
Servers & locations 1000+ servers, 52 countries.
Dynamic & static IPs Dynamic IPs.
Dedicated IPs Yes, Personal IP and Personal Server packages.
VPN protocols & security OpenVPN, IPSec, KeepSolid Wise.
P2P & torrent policy Yes, on certain servers.
VPN applications MacOS, iOS.
Other devices (manual setup) No.
Kill Switch No.
Simultaneous connections / devices 5 devices.
Free trial Yes, 24 hours.
Pricing From $9.95/month, $99.99 for 3 years.
Payment methods App Store (iOS and MacOS).
Moneyback AppStore refund policy.
Support 24/7 ticket and live chat.
Multilanguage Yes (English, Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Turkish).
Pros/What I like Nice apps, OpenVPN available, dedicated IPs/servers packages.
Cons/What could be improved No Windows and Android apps, no KillSwitch.

Headquarters & jurisdiction

The company that offers Cargo VPN, Eltima Software, is based in Germany. As a member of the Forteen Eyes group of countries, Germany shares intelligence to avoid breaking domestic laws. Thus, a VPN provider located in one of these countries might (not necessarily would) share user data with intelligence services in certain cases. You should keep this in mind when using a VPN service located in Germany. [click to continue…]

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The Ultimate Private Internet Access Review

VPN Services
Private Internet Access Review Banner

Private Internet Access is a well-known VPN service that you may consider as your permanent VPN solution. It provides excellent value for the money, but the support is not great. Keep reading my (ultimate) Private Internet Access review in order to find more about the pros and cons of PIA VPN!

Private Internet Access review in a nutshell

Headquarters & jurisdiction Private Internet Access Headquarters - United States United States
Website PrivateInternetAccess.com
Log policy No logging.
Servers & locations 3500+ servers, 28 countries.
Dynamic & static IPs Dynamic IPs.
Dedicated IPs No, for anonymity reasons.
VPN protocols & security OpenVPN, IPSec, PPTP, L2TP.
Advanced VPN protocols No.
P2P & torrent policy Yes, on all servers (routed to certain locations).
VPN applications Windows, MacOS, Android, Android TV, iOS, Linux.
Plug & Play Routers Yes, FlashRouters and Sploitworks.
Other devices (manual setup) DD-WRT, Tomato, Sabai routers, Freebox, Raspberry PI, Boxee Box
Browser extensions Yes, for Chrome.
Kill Switch Yes, for the Windows, MacOS, Android apps.
DNS leak protection Yes, for the Windows and MacOS apps.
IPv6 leak protection Yes.
Automatically change IP No.
Proxy & SOCKS5 Yes, both HTTP proxies (within the Chrome extension) and SOCKS5.
SmartDNS No.
Simultaneous connections / devices 5 devices.
Free trial No.
Pricing From $6.95/month, lower for annual and bi-annual plans.
Promos & discounts Rarely.
Payment methods Credit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, BitcoinCash, Amazon Pay, CashU, OKPay, Mint, Mobiano, Gift cards.
Moneyback Yes, 7 days.
Support 24/7 email and support tickets. No live chat.
Performance/speed Good.
User reviews Mostly positive, complaints about support.
Multilanguage Yes (website and apps).
Pros/What I like Very good price, lots of encryption features, good speed.
Cons/What could be improved Support is not great, low number of locations (compared to other VPNs).

Headquarters & jurisdiction

Private Internet Access VPN is based in the United States. Not the best location for running a VPN service as United States is member of the Forteen Eyes group of countries that share intelligence to avoid breaking domestic laws. Also, US is the home of NSA, the well-known governmental surveillance agency.

However, PIA has a strict no logging policy that was recently confirmed by an FBI investigation. The criminal complaint filed by the FBI shows that a subpoena sent to Private Internet Access resulted in no useful data being revealed about a suspected hoaxer. [click to continue…]

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The Ultimate ibVPN Review

VPN Services
ibVPN Review - 2018

I am using ibVPN (along with other VPN services) for more than 5 years. There are many things to love about this VPN service that I consider one of the best. It offers great features, nice apps and fair pricing. Take a look below to my (ultimate) ibVPN review!

ibVPN review in a nutshell

Headquarters & jurisdiction ibVPN Headquarters - Romania Romania
Website ibvpn.com
Log policy No logging.
Servers & locations 180+ servers, 57 countries.
Dynamic & static IPs Both dynamic and static IPs.
Dedicated IPs Yes, upon request.
VPN protocols & security OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, IPSec, IKEv2, SSTP, SoftEther.
Advanced VPN protocols DoubleVPN, TorOverVPN, StealthVPN
P2P & torrent policy Yes, on certain servers.
VPN applications Windows, MacOS, Android, Android TV, iOS.
Other devices (manual setup) DD-WRT, Tomato, Sabai routers, Freebox, Raspberry PI, Boxee Box
Browser extensions Chrome, Firefox, Opera.
Kill Switch Yes, for the Windows and MacOS apps.
DNS leak protection Yes, for the Windows app.
Automatically change IP Yes, for the Windows app.
Proxy & SOCKS5 Yes, both HTTP proxies and SOCKS5.
SmartDNS Yes, more than 300 channels.
Simultaneous connections / devices Up to 5 depending on package.
Free trial Yes, 24-hour trial.
Pricing From $4.95/month, lower for annual plans.
Promos & discounts Anniversary Promo, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Winter & Summer discounts.
Payment methods Credit cards, Paypal, Bitcoin, Perfect Money, PaymentWall, other crypto currencies.
Moneyback Yes, 15 days.
Support 24/7 email and live chat.
Performance/speed Depends on the servers and locations.
User reviews Mostly positive.
Multilanguage No.
Pros/What I like Top VPN provider with a lot of features and great support.
Cons/What could be improved More servers in Asia and Eastern Europe.

Headquarters & jurisdiction

As stated on their website, ibVPN operates from Romania, an East European country, member of the European Union. Romania is not member of the Forteen Eyes group of countries that share intelligence to avoid breaking domestic laws. Also, it looks to be outside of the influence of NSA and GCHQ. However, as a member of European Union, some retention laws may be implemented in the future. But, at this time, Romania seems to be a good place for running a VPN service with no logs policy. [click to continue…]

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12 Tips on How to Torrent Safely

Torrent Tools

How to Torrent Safely - 12 Tips

Are you downloading torrents frequently? Then, you must read the tips listed below on how to torrent safely!

As you probably know, the torrent p2p protocol (BitTorrent) is a file-sharing technology that provides users with access to virtually unlimited content. This protocol is one of the most popular for peer-to-peer file sharing in the world. Torrenting is almost completely decentralized, except for trackers that enable users to search and download magnet links and p2p files. Magnet links and torrent files are used to find users on the network who host the needed files, although they don’t actually host those files.

Torrent users do however face many security threats each time they download or share a file, and before you start torrenting, you should take the time to learn how to safely torrent.

Are torrents legal?

Yes, BitTorrent file-sharing technology is legal. Although the technology is legal, how you use it might not be. Whether p2p downloads are illegal or legal depends on which files are being downloaded, who holds the rights to these files and where you are located. Different laws apply to different countries regarding file sharing and copyright issues.

If a user chooses to download files that are copyright protected, whether or not it is illegal will depend on the country’s laws.

Tips on how to torrent safely

The tips below will show you how to torrent safely.

Tip #1 – Take care when choosing your torrent client

Torrent clients range from the simple, straightforward to the extremely powerful. Many clients, e.g. Vuze, have extra features including addons, plugins and extra functionality. These features do however often mean that performance and/or security are sacrificed. [click to continue…]

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