Everyone likes freedom of speech, right? Well, not exactly. Sometimes, you may want to keep your opinions to yourself. Or maybe you just want to be able to watch sports without being bogged down by politics. Whatever your reasons, you need a way to keep your personal information private. That’s where virtual private networking comes in. Or VPN for short. If you aren’t familiar, VPNs allow you to create a private network that masks your actual location, allowing you to access services, apps, and websites as if you were right next to them. While this may sound great, not everyone wants to keep their VPN secret, especially not the governments of the world. If they did, we wouldn’t be writing this article, would we?
In most cases, a VPN’s anonymity is guaranteed by its design. The service will connect you to a server located somewhere overseas, hiding your IP address from the websites you visit. Unless your government or other third parties happen to be monitoring your internet usage, you can be reasonably sure that no one will ever know that you are using a VPN.
The problem is that some countries don’t have the same sensibility. If one of your neighbors happens to be a tyrannical dictator, they may consider your use of a VPN to be a threat to national security. So much for freedom of speech! Luckily, you can buy a VPN that is guaranteed to keep your anonymity, even in countries that disapprove of your activities. Keep reading for more information.
The Difference In Privacy
Whether you utilize privacy-enhancing tools like Tor, DuckDuckGo, or VPN, all of these tools aim to provide you with greater control over your personal data and online activities. Tor, for example, was designed to allow people to browse the web anonymously. While VPNs can be used to provide anonymity, they also give you complete control over your personal data. Which one you’ll choose depends on your personal preferences and the nature of your activities.
Countries That Disapprove Of VPNs
Whether you’re a regular VPN user or this is your first visit to the world of encrypted connections, you’ll soon realize that not all countries are created equal when it comes to online security. Like many other technologies, VPNs were initially designed to be used in Europe, mostly by political dissidents and anti-establishment figures. They later became popular in the United States and other freedom-seeking regions around the world. In recent years, however, VPNs have fallen out of favor in some countries, mainly due to national security concerns. Some governments consider VPNs to be a threat to their power because they can allow citizens to speak freely without fear of retribution. It’s for this reason that many countries have banned or restricted the use of VPNs.
Luckily, like many other technologies, the use of VPNs has greatly diminished the risk of exposure to identity theft and other forms of cybercrime. These days, people who want to remain anonymous when surfing the web often turn to proxies, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.
The Difference In Anonymity
Let’s face it, every one of us has a social media account that we use unguardedly. Whether you have a Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn account, you’ll soon realize that these services can be used to expose a lot of personal information about you. While most people might not care about what’s posted on social media, particularly in the case of LinkedIn, having your personal details out in the open isn’t something to take lightly. And exposing your personal information to just one party, whether it’s an employer or a stranger, makes you vulnerable to a data breach. This is probably one of the main reasons why social media platforms were initially reluctant to implement VPNs.
The Rise Of Proxies
If you’re reading this, I assume you’re interested in learning more about VPNs and why they’re becoming so popular. While VPNs provide you with greater control over your personal data and online activities, they are not a perfect solution for anonymity. As we’ve established, not all countries are created equal when it comes to online security. One of the most prominent countries that restricts the use of VPNs is China. As a result, many online criminals and dissidents have turned to a tool called Proxies, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.
Why Do Some Countries Disapprove Of VPNs?
We can’t say for certain why some countries disapprove of VPNs so highly. It might have something to do with the initial design of these applications and services. The first VPNs were developed by programmers who hailed from or lived in a country where internet censorship is commonplace. The developers might have had first-hand experience with the type of restrictions that are often put in place by authoritarian governments. In many cases, VPNs were designed to allow people to circumvent online censorship, providing a way for activists, journalists, and other information-seekers to get the news stories they need without fear of repercussions.
Since then, VPNs have become a preferred choice for those who want to remain anonymous when using social media platforms or other online services that are prone to government interference. While China and other countries that restrict the use of VPNs may no longer be a problem for many people who rely on these applications and services, the mere possibility of being denied service because you’re using a VPN remains a very real threat. Especially nowadays, where VPNs are usually used in combination with other privacy-enhancing tools, like Tor and duckDuckGo, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.
Tor isn’t just one tool that you can use to improve your privacy. It’s an entire suite of privacy-enhancing technologies, including a VPN. If you’re not familiar, Tor is short for The Onion Router, allowing users to route all traffic through a series of virtual tunnels, effectively hiding their true IP address. This makes it difficult for third parties to track your online activities. While this might not seem like a problem in today’s world of ubiquitous online tracking, it was one of the major reasons why Tor usage surged in the latter part of last year.
Many countries have restricted or banned the use of Tor as a way to keep an eye on their citizens. However, if you live in one of these regions, using Tor is still your best option for untraceable internet access.
Although you can use a VPN to remain anonymous whenever you browse the web, nothing stops you from being tracked whenever you make a phone call or other types of electronic transactions. One of the simplest and most convenient ways to improve your privacy is to switch your default search engine to DuckDuckGo, which is one of the most popular search engines that doesn’t track its users.
When you use DuckDuckGo as your default search engine, you’ll see a small lock icon in the upper right corner of the search results. This indicates that the website you’re visiting does not track your activity on their site. In most cases, this doesn’t pose any type of threat to your privacy, but it’s still a good idea to switch your default search engine to DuckDuckGo.
If you live in China or other countries where using a VPN is restricted, you have another option available to you. Instead of relying on a private network to provide you with anonymity, you can use a tool called Proxies. A proxy is a third party server that handles all of the requests coming from your device, effectively masking your true IP address. While proxies have been around for many years, they mostly found favour among information-seeking users in China and other countries where using VPNs is heavily restricted.
Proxies aren’t just used for internet routing. You can also use them to mask your IP address when playing online video games or when streaming services like Netflix or Hulu become unavailable in your region due to political reasons.
One of the most important factors that contribute to the widespread adoption of VPNs is the anonymity that they provide. If you’re not familiar, VPNs allow you to create a private network that masks your actual location, allowing you to access services, apps, and websites as if you were right next to them. In most cases, this also masks your identity, preventing you from being tracked online. When you use a VPN, all of the internet traffic is securely tunneled to a remote server that is somewhere else, usually in a country that has less stringent internet censorship than your own.