All you need is the help of the handy cybersecurity tool known as a virtual private network, also known as a VPN for short.
The internet is one of the most incredible inventions that our world has ever seen. It has revolutionized the way that our world operates, and it’s going to completely reshape the future of our planet. Thanks to the internet, everything is connected — you can read multiple news stories from different sources, do thorough research on any given topic, or even tune into a sports live stream from anywhere thanks to laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Over the years, the internet has become synonymous with “freedom”. You can find just about anything your heart desires! For example, if you head over to Google and look for a pink elephant, you’ll get millions of results — who would have thought, right?
But the thing is, the internet does not always mean freedom. While there has been “internet freedom” for many of us around the world, there are some countries where the internet is heavily restricted — this is known as internet censorship. The concept is far more common than you might think, and you might encounter internet censorship if you’re traveling around the world this year. It can be incredibly frustrating for tourists who travel and aren’t aware of what internet censorship is, why it exists, and how to get around it. That’s right, there is a way to bypass internet censorship! All you need is the help of the handy cybersecurity tool known as a virtual private network, also known as a VPN for short.
However, you need to make sure that you’re using one of the best VPNs for internet censorship, or else you might struggle to regain access to all of your favorite websites that you would normally have the freedom to access back home. Want to learn more about internet censorship before you travel in 2023? Keep reading to get all the crucial details you need to fully understand this complex subject so you can tackle it head-on when it crosses your path!
What is internet censorship
If you’re wondering what internet censorship is, don’t worry — we’ll break it down for you before we get into how you can bypass these restrictions.
Internet censorship consists of laws that some governments put in place in their countries. These laws stop anyone within the country’s borders from accessing specific content on the internet. The websites that are blocked by internet censorship laws will vary depending on the country and the ruling government.
For example, countries in the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will block websites for religious reasons. This can include explicit and anti-Islamic websites. For most people, this is not a big issue, but for other countries take it even further!
China is an example of one of the strictest internet censorship laws in the entire world. The Chinese government has imposed internet censorship laws for political reasons — the ruling party will block anything that undermines their power and credibility within their borders.
Foreign news websites are blocked for example, mainly because these news outlets will often put the Chinese government under the spotlight and attempt to undermine them. This is not surprising for many people, but what is a surprise is that China is so strict that they have even blocked social media platforms and some Google services.
Social media websites such as Facebook have been used by protestors and groups who are against the ruling party. From organizing protests to spreading anti-government propaganda across social media platforms, it became clear that the government needed to block these platforms if it wanted to remain in power. On top of that, Chinese citizens used Google to post images and videos of police brutality for the world to see — further undermining the ruling party.
This is just one example of a country that has restricted internet freedom within its borders for political reasons — there are many others out there that have similar restrictions. So, how do we get past these internet censorship laws?
The cybersecurity tool you need
All you need is a cybersecurity tool known as a VPN. The main purpose of a VPN is to encrypt the user’s internet connection, which allows them to browse the internet anonymously. As long as you have a VPN active, you don’t have to worry about government surveillance, ISPs tracking your internet activity, or cybercriminals eavesdropping on your device while you’re using unsecured networks. It’s a great tool for privacy and security, but what we’re after is the ability to bypass internet restrictions.
VPNs have secure global servers in other countries and cities around the world. You can connect to one of these servers, which will trick websites into thinking that you’re accessing them from the server’s location. The VPN will essentially create a tunnel between your device and the server, allowing your device to connect to the internet as if it was physically located where the server is. This allows you to bypass the strict internet censorship laws employed in some countries and connect to the internet as you normally would.
For example, if you’re visiting China and you want to post a couple of photos on your Instagram, you can launch your VPN and connect to a server in the United States. Your device will now connect to the internet as if it was in the U.S. — you will notice the ads changing from Chinese ads to American ads on your browser. From there you can access Instagram as you normally would and post all of your favorite photos.
VPNs are incredibly powerful, and if you’re planning on traveling this year you need to make sure to have one of these tools on your device — they offer another benefit for travelers. Using a VPN, you can change your location and find discounts on flights and accommodation. Websites that allow you to buy flight tickets and accommodation often inflate their prices based on your location. If you’re accessing the website from a first-world country, they know that they can push their prices higher because these countries have stronger currencies and their residents have more disposable income. Ultimately this means that they can benefit from higher profit margins while still generating sales.
Essential VPN rules you need to follow
Before you install a VPN on your device there are some important things you need to keep in mind. First of all, there are hundreds of VPNs on the market, and choosing the right one is critical — they are all unique! Luckily, there is one simple rule you need to keep in mind and you’ll be in the clear! Always make sure to use a premium VPN and avoid free VPNs! Free VPNs come with some serious drawbacks such as slower connection speeds, weaker encryption technology, fewer global servers to choose from, daily bandwidth limits, and tons of ads that will ruin your browsing experience.
You also need to make sure that you install your VPN before you travel abroad. The countries that employ internet censorship will also block the websites that allow you to download and install VPNs on your device. This is done to prevent anyone within their borders from installing a VPN on their device to bypass the country’s internet censorship laws.