Updated - March 10th, 2015So I've been blogging about internet privacy and online security for quite some time. Virtual Private Networks, more commonly referred to as VPNs, have been discussed in a lot of these posts. For some reason, people who are unfamiliar with VPN technically seem hesitant about the legality of the somewhere. The most common question asked...
Here's the short answer: VPNs are perfectly legal in most countries around the world. There are a few countries that have restrictions on privacy enhancing software but unless you're living in Iran, it's probably okay to be using a VPN.
In fact, many major corporations and universities provide VPN technology to their employees and students so that they can access sensitive files from remote computers, thus keeping the files safe.
Over the past decade there's been a rise in demand for personal VPN services from individuals who are concerned about their privacy online (and they have good reason to be). The US is starting to monitor file-sharing activity more closely and there are plans in the UK to monitor and store all internet communications.
It's sad to say but the privacy, freedom, and anonymity we enjoy online today will come to an end if intelligence agencies and copyright lobbyists succeed in getting their way.
Getting back to the point, using a VPN is perfectly legal so long as you're not using it to breaks or cause harm to other people. There are those who use VPN connections to engage in dubious activities online such as hacking, illegal downloading, accessing child-pornography, sending spam emails and messages, hacking of any kind, or other fraudulent activities.
But there are many legal benefits to using a VPN that are often overlooked:
I could keep rambling but I'll wrap this up and keep it short.
Most VPN users are either corporate users or private people who prefer to keep their browsing activity secure. Regardless of who you are, you should rest assured that using a VPN is Legal and will be for the foreseeable future.
I assure you, if a government or other entity tried to make VPN use illegal, there'd be a huge uproar and not just from individuals. Corporations are not just going to turn over private data. They value their internal communications too much to not put up a fight.
So carry on and keep using a VPN or start using one if you're not already.
As always, if you have questions please leave a comment below.
If you're looking for a VPN recommendation, here are my top choices: