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How to Avoid Censorship with a VPN | Bypassing Internet Censorship

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Internet censorship continues to increase globally, with governments and organizations restricting access to certain websites and services. Using a VPN is one of the most effective ways to bypass censorship and access the open internet no matter where you are located. 

VPNs encrypt your traffic and allow you to route your connection through servers in less restrictive locations, avoiding blockades. In this guide, we’ll outline how to leverage VPNs to get around censorship and enjoy unrestricted access to the internet.

Understanding Censorship with a VPN

Internet censorship takes different forms depending on the country and region. Here are some of the most common ways access gets limited:

  • IP blocking  Banning certain IP addresses to make sites inaccessible 
  • DNS filtering  Blacklisting domain names so requests don’t resolve
  • URL filtering  Blocking specific web page URLs
  • Deep packet inspection  Analyzing traffic to identify restricted content
  • Throttling bandwidth  Slowing speeds to certain sites to limit usage
  • Complete blackouts  Shutting down internet access regionally

Authoritarian regimes are the most likely to impose strict censorship, but restrictions also occur in more democratic countries at times. Censorship targets content deemed dangerous or inappropriate by whoever is in power.

Why You Should Avoid Censorship with a VPN

Accessing an open, unfiltered internet is beneficial for several reasons:

  • Bypass propaganda  Censorship often hides truths that contradict official narratives. Uncensored access brings more perspectives.
  • Research freely  Open access to information benefits education, scholarship, and innovation. Censorship impedes discoveries. 
  • Enjoy entertainment People should be free to access online entertainment and pop culture sites at will.
  • Communicate unimpeded Censorship infringes on free expression and connecting with others globally.
  • Conduct business Tech, financial, and news sites may be needed for work and are wrongly blocked at times.
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While not always possible in authoritarian regimes, avoiding censorship is ideal whenever possible to enable a free and open internet.

How To Avoid Censorship with a VPN

VPNs enable bypassing censorship in a few key ways:

Route Through Unrestricted Servers

When you connect to a VPN server in an unaffected location, such as Yandex.com VPN, all your traffic is routed through that unrestricted server to the wider open internet. This allows you to circumvent blocks based on your local IP address.

Encrypt Traffic

VPN encryption prevents intermediaries from analyzing your traffic to identify restricted content through methods like deep packet inspection. The traffic appears scrambled.

Hide Originating IP Address 

Your real IP address is masked by the VPN server’s IP. Your requests seem to originate from the VPN’s less restricted jurisdiction rather than your own.

Access Blocked Content

VPNs allow you to access georestricted content, blocked social media and communication tools, political content, and other censored materials from around the world.

Defeat Throttling

Traffic throttling is used to slow speeds to banned sites, making them frustrating to use. A VPN defeats this by tunneling your traffic at full speed.

The best VPNs have a large global network of servers, strong encryption, and optimized protocols to protect access.

Tips for Using Censorship with a VPN

There are a few steps you can take to maximize your VPN’s censorship circumvention capabilities:

  • Connect to an overseas server Servers in neighboring restrictive countries may also face blocks, so choose a server in Europe or North America for more open access.
  • Use Stealth VPN protocols StealthVPN, Shadowsocks and Stunnel obfuscate traffic, making it harder to recognize VPN use and block.
  • Enable a kill switch  Kill switches to cut off the internet if the VPN disconnects unintentionally, preventing exposing your traffic.
  • Use WiFi over cellular  It’s harder for regimes to analyze and block WiFi traffic at scale compared to cellular.
  • Set DNS to 1.1.1.1  Using a respected public DNS like Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 bypasses DNS poisoning. 
  • Leverage a proxy or Tor  Adding an extra layer like a proxy or Tor browser behind your VPN provides failover censorship circumvention if needed.
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Remaining vigilant and using multilayered privacy tools keeps your browsing accessible and secure from expanding censorship.

Most Censored Apps and Websites to Access Via VPN

Here are some of the apps and site categories most frequently targeted by internet censorship that you can access with a VPN:

  • Social networks Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are often blocked or restricted by paranoid regimes afraid of free speech.
  • Messaging apps  WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal and other secure messaging tools are targeted to prevent activist coordination.
  • News outlets  International news sources with critical coverage of authoritarian governments face routine blocks.
  • Political content Political parties, reform movements, and antigovernment sites are strictly off-limits.
  • LGBTQ sites  Nations hostile to gay rights commonly censor related sites and communities.
  • Pornography  Socially conservative countries widely block adult sites on “moral” grounds.

A VPN allows you to access all this content safely despite attempts to suppress access.

Countries with the Most Severe Censorship with a VPN Internet 

Some of the countries around the world with the most extreme internet censorship currently include:

  • China-The Great Firewall blocks thousands of sites and heavily filters traffic. Chinese VPN crackdowns make privacy tools essential.
  • Iran– Widespread blocks on western social media, political sites, news, and other content deemed “immoral”.
  • North Korea-Extremely limited internet primarily confined to propaganda. Only elites have broader access.
  • Russia– Social networks, VPNs, and political sites are increasingly blocked to quash antiwar and antigovernment narratives. 
  • Belarus- Similarly to Russia, Belarus censors political opposition, cracks down on VPNs, and throttles communication tools. 
  • Saudi Arabia– Significant religious and political censorship via filtering technology mandated for ISPs.
  • Syria– Social media, communication apps, and political sites are heavily obstructed by the violent Assad regime.
  • Pakistan- Blasphemous, political, social, and cultural sites are blacked out, especially those criticizing authorities.
  • Egypt– The Egyptian government imposes nearcomplete blocks on sites discussing opposition parties, human rights, and free expression.

Using a VPN in these high-censorship countries is extremely important for accessing the unfiltered global internet.

Signs You’re Facing Censorship with a VPN

As censorship increases, regimes often attempt to crack down on VPN usage itself:

  •  Sudden disruption in VPN connections 
  •  Greatly slowed VPN speeds
  •  VPN websites and apps blocked 
  •  VPN usage made explicitly illegal
  •  VPN traffic throttled or sabotaged
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To fight back against VPN blocks, use obfuscated protocols like Shadowsocks to masquerade VPN traffic. Combined with a proxy layer, this makes VPN usage hard to detect and thwart.

Outsmarting Expanding Global Internet Censorship

Unfortunately internet censorship continues to worsen in many parts of the world, making VPNs an essential tool for accessing the unrestricted web. By encrypting traffic and routing through uncensored servers abroad, VPN users can circumvent and resist growing online restrictions.

Some key tips include connecting to wellplaced overseas VPN servers, enabling kill switches, using stealth protocols, and adding proxy layers when needed. With the right VPN protections in place, people globally can defeat censorship and retain digital freedom even as authorities try to tighten their grip on the flow of information.

Key Takeaways on Avoiding Censorship with a VPN

Internet censorship via IP blocking, DNS filtering, DPI, and throttling limits access to information.

  • VPNs allow bypassing censorship by encrypting traffic, hiding IP addresses, and routing through unrestricted servers abroad. In order to access censored content or maintain online privacy, users can employ tools like the Express VPN login to establish secure and anonymous connections, thus effectively circumventing censorship measures.
  • Social networks, news, political sites and communication tools are heavily targeted.
  • Highly censored countries include China, Iran, Russia, Saudia Arabia, and others. 
  • As censorship expands, VPNs remain essential for accessing the open global internet.

Does using a VPN completely prevent censorship?

VPNs are very effective at bypassing most censorship but may struggle against regimes performing deep packet inspection or active VPN interference. Adding proxies and obfuscation provides further evasion.

Can I get in legal trouble for using a VPN in countries banning them?

There are risks of fines or other penalties in some authoritarian countries. Using stealth VPN protocols helps avoid detection. Public WiFi and foreign servers better hide traffic from local ISPs.

What VPN protocol is best for defeating censorship?  

Obfuscated protocols like Shadowsocks and Stunnel work well to disguise VPN traffic as other data types, preventing blocking. OpenVPN and WireGuard also have highly encrypted and open source implementations.

Do VPNs slow my connection when getting around censorship?

Connecting to distant overseas servers can increase latency slightly but VPN speeds generally remain strong. Censoring regimes that throttle traffic are more likely to slow things down.

Can I access US Netflix and other geo-blocked content via VPN?

Yes, virtually any streaming service or geo-restricted content can be accessed outside of intended regions by connecting to a VPN server within that location. This provides full access.

Conclusion

As government and ISPimposed internet censorship continues to grow globally, VPNs remain one of the best tools for fighting back to access a free and open web. Strategically routing encrypted traffic through unrestricted servers abroad allows citizens under repressive regimes to bypass blocks and retain digital freedom. With VPN workarounds in place, the spirit of the open internet persists despite increasingly aggressive efforts to put up barriers to the flow of information.

Bellie Brown
Bellie Brownhttp://insidertimes.org
Hi my lovely readers, I am Bellie brown editor and writer of Businesstimes.org. I write blogs on various niches such as business, technology, lifestyle., health, entertainment, etc as well as manage the daily reports of the website. I am very addicted to my work which makes me keen on reading and writing on the very latest and trending topics. One can check my more writings by visiting Cleartips.net

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