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If there is a ban on a VPN, it is far safer to uninstall the client and not use it. If a VPN is banned in a country you are visiting, you are better off using the free and open Internet that is available. The reason is that the ISP you are connecting to does know your IP address at all times and can see the bandwidth you are using. And third, there are questions about legal ramifications for the software you use versus what you transmit.

Another efficient solution to privacy problems is the so-called no-log policy that most VPN service providers practice. This means that your VPN server won’t save any logs you make that contain your personal information.

No matter where you are, you should only use a VPN for lawful purposes. Gaining unauthorized access to computers, sharing files illegally, buying prohibited goods, and cyberstalking are all examples of criminal activities, regardless of if you use a VPN. While ExpressVPN is perfectly legal, using it for illegal activity can only lead to problems eventually. This is somewhat similar to how the companies that distribute links for copyrighted material have been under fire in recent years.

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If you are at all concerned that running a VPN could be illegal, it is better to remove it and not use it. If you are tempted to download illegal software or movies or engage in criminal conduct online in the hopes that a VPN client can protect you, it is better not to use the app. You might think there are instances when that is not true — what if you can’t be caught doing the transmitting?

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North Korea has its own intranet for citizens, while true Internet access is only reserved for high-level officials. So VPNs are banned in the country, though foreigners may be permitted to use these tools. When you connect to a VPN, you’re able to browse the web anonymously. Since your real location is hidden, neither your Internet Service Provider nor the government can surfshark track the moves you make online.

  • The combination of the VPN server and the encryption tunnel blocks your ISP, governments, hackers, and anyone else from spying on you as you navigate the web.
  • Instead of sending your internet traffic (e.g. your online searches, uploads, and downloads) directly to your Internet Service Provider , a VPN first routes your traffic through a VPN server.
  • A VPN masks your IP address by acting as an intermediary and rerouting your traffic.
  • Even China allows some amount of VPN use, though the government doesn’t love them.
  • Without a VPN, your IP address — a special number unique to your home network — is visible to the web.

All three are worth exploring, although the short answer is that ExpressVPN and other clients are perfectly legal to use in most locations. What you transmit, on the other hand, can be totally illegal.

What if you think you might have the legal right to download torent files of Hollywood films in principle? What if you have read online that it is legal to transmit the files in some cases, such as if you own the DVD at home? Again, laws vary by country and it is hard to predict what is legal or not.