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Are VPNs Legal?

Chris Hutton

The act of breaching through one’s internet connection is certainly a difficult one. With questions of internet freedom, information across borders and just having the ability to send information through the borders. Oftentimes, these forms of software are banned or somewhat restricted in certain countries, such as China or Iran. But what exactly is the state of the law when it comes to VPNs? Are they legal? Here is the guide to the VPN laws.

In short terms, yes. While a VPN is often used to hide a user’s information or online activity, there are no laws in the United States that restrict the use of one. However, they do not exist as any sort of "barrier" from the legality of the activity. If a user practices something illegal while using a VPN, it continues to have the same legal status as if it was not done with a VPN.

That said, there are some countries that do ban VPNs. If a user in China is discovered using one, they will be fined a fee of $145 for their breach of the law. In Iran, VPN users can be jailed for up to 91 days.

It should also be noted that many streaming services, such as Netflix, do place implicit bans on VPNs within their terms of service. In several cases, popular VPN services may be barred from use while watching the service, which may end with the service not responding or rejecting the connection. So it would be worth keeping this in mind so that you do not inevitably get banned or end up losing service over your choice of VPN.

In select cases, police departments might request access to the information of a VPN provider. While a VPN provider may state that they do not have logs of their customer’s connections, that does not stop legal authorities from acquiring such. Presuming you are using your VPN for legal and orthodox purposes, then there should be no problem.