In case you weren’t aware, there is a growing trend of people moving to Japan for retirements or to take a rest from their busy schedules in other countries. One of the major differences between living in Japan and living in another country is the handling of personal data – or privacy, as it’s known in Japan. Due to the nature of the Internet and the fact that everyone has a smartphone, people in Japan are bound to be more conscious of their online privacy and how others might use their personal data. And that’s awesome because it means more freedom of expression and information for everyone!
With that in mind, let’s dive into how you can use a VPN on your Windows machine to show your real IP in Japan and bypass the country’s notorious censorship!
Setting Up Your VPN Server
The first step to making use of a VPN in Japan is to set up a VPN server. A VPN server allows you to connect to other devices (usually computers or smartphones) across the Internet and enjoy the benefits of a private network. When you’re using a VPN server, all of your devices that are connected to the server will route all of their network traffic through the server, which hides your identity and location. So, in other words, your VPN server is your wall between you and the rest of the world. Whenever you connect to a VPN server, you’re requesting to connect to a place that is usually considered private (and definitely safer), which in turn, makes you feel more comfortable sharing your personal details. You’ll find detailed instructions and a helpful screencast at the OpenVPN website. If you’re planning to use OpenVPN, you can also consult their excellent documentation.
Installing & Configuring the Free Version of OpenVPN for Windows
Now that you have your VPN server set up, you can download and install the free version of OpenVPN for Windows. As mentioned above, the documentation and support for this product are excellent and highly recommended. Once you’ve installed OpenVPN on your machine, you can follow the on-screen instructions to configure it and start using it immediately. Just make sure to read the instructions very carefully because there are a few things to note before you can use OpenVPN on your system. First, you’ll need to obtain a VPN client (also known as a “credentials manager”) that is compatible with your operating system. In this case, you can use the built-in Windows client or download a third-party app that supports the OpenVPN protocol. Second, in order to use OpenVPN, your network adapter needs to support packet encryption (this is usually enabled by default), which as mentioned above, helps ensure that your personal data is kept private when used on public Wi-Fi networks. And third, make sure to disable any security suites or proxies that you might have running on your machine because they will interfere with the installation and/or configuration process of OpenVPN. With those things in mind, let’s get started using this excellent tool.
Why Use a VPN in Japan?
As mentioned above, Japan is known for its exceptionally strict privacy and censorship laws, which is why it’s considered a risky place to browse the web. But with a VPN, you can browse the web freely without needing to worry about your personal data being stolen or used against you. Additionally, most ISPs in Japan block certain websites (usually those considered “unhealthy” or “politically objectionable”) which means that even if you try to access a blocked site, you’ll actually go through a VPN server in another country first. And when you use a VPN server, all of your web traffic is considered “anonymous” and cannot be tracked back to you. Finally, since all web traffic is encrypted when it goes through a VPN server, your personal data cannot be intercepted by third parties (such as hackers), even if they manage to get hold of your username and password.
How to Use VPN In Japan?
Once you have OpenVPN running on your machine, you can use it in two ways: either to connect to a VPN server, or to create a VPN tunnel. The first thing you’ll want to do after you connect to the VPN server is to open a web browser and navigate to the website that you want to access (i.e., YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook). Once you’re on the site, you’ll notice that since you’re now connected to a private network, all of the content is blocked (including videos), which is exactly what you wanted to avoid by using a VPN in the first place. So, in short, use a VPN in Japan when you want to access content that is restricted or prohibited in your country of origin. It’s pretty much that simple.
For those of you considering to move to Japan, or for those of you who already live in Japan and want to show your support, using a VPN to unblock websites and access content that is not available in your country is a great way to contribute to the growing tolerance level in this part of the world. And for those of you who aren’t familiar, using a VPN in Japan isn’t prohibited, it just means you’ll need to enter the country specific URLs in your web browser instead of the ones that you’re used to.