Millions of people around the world are not able to access the internet as freely as some of us. A lot of us take these things for granted once we find out just how censored the internet can be in some regions. In fact, there are quite a few countries where this is the case, where people can only access small sections of the internet. In some cases, the “Western” internet is completely substituted by a local solution by the government’s regulatory bodies so that citizens have no clue what is going on outside their country. Of course, this is just one example. However, we’ll get to those details later.
The inability to access services or platforms online is simply called internet censorship. It is very much like the real thing where free speech is met with authority and suppressed but on a digital level. Thankfully, in comparison to the real world, there are things called cybersecurity and network security workarounds that can allow you to bypass online censorship with a VPN, no matter how heavy that censorship is or how repressive the regime in your country may be.
If you find yourself in a situation where your internet is clearly censored, or in a country where this has been the case for a long time, there are some ingredients that, when mixed properly, can allow you to anonymously lift any internet censorship. These ingredients are a VPN, a privacy-conscious browser, a bit of common sense, and a bit of experimentation on your side.
Caution: it is your responsibility to check whether VPN usage is illegal in your country.
What is a VPN?
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network to give it its full technical name, is a network security technology that operates at the source level of a device’s internet connection. VPN software essentially takes a default internet connection, which is public, and cradles it within its own private servers, hence the name. VPNs are a readily available type of commercial software, downloadable across all app stores for all devices with an operating system on the market. VPNs can also be found in hardware form for industry/enterprise uses.
Because it has all of the above built-in, a VPN can modify your internet protocol (IP) address so that you are untraceable online, and appear to be somewhere else other than where you really are. That location depends on the server you chose in the VPN app. Secondly, while that is happening, your connection is also randomized (encrypted) with cryptographic algorithms meaning that nobody can spy on or sniff your connection. People use VPNs for several purposes, one of them being circumventing online censorship, where premium VPNs already have a great track record.
What Types of Internet Censorship Are There?
There are multiple types of internet censorship out there where a VPN can help out, including;
- Social media censorship
- Blocked websites
- Blocked services
When looking at a global map of internet restrictions, we can see that the following countries are known to heavily censor their internet (in no particular order);
- North Korea
These countries censor social media, block certain websites, as well as services. Now, there are several other countries that also censor the internet in different ways, blocking or restricting certain things and internet censorship practices around the world tend to change according to politics and laws.
How You Can Bypass Censorship
The process is not difficult, but some patience and finding a premium VPN software that suits your needs are key. You will need a different browser, too. As far as premium VPN software is concerned, the thing to remember is that you will have to subscribe to a premium VPN service at some point. Legitimate free VPN services are few and far between, however in the long run you want great speed, unhindered internet access, great security, and servers to choose from. You may also need a guarantee that your data will not be logged.
Premium VPNs pretty much cover all of the former, while free ones have their limitations. Of course, if you find yourself in a heavily censored country, you won’t be able to subscribe to a VPN in the first place because these transactions will probably be blocked. This is where you could use a free VPN to subscribe to and transfer to a premium VPN service. One other thing you could find handy is a privacy-conscious browser that can properly block tracking cookies, has an incognito or private mode, and can thoroughly clear your browsing history in the process. Such browsers are important because an uncleared history and unblocked cookies will make it difficult to be fully anonymous as well as fully un-censor the internet on your devices.
Again, please understand that it is your responsibility to verify the legal status of VPN usage in your country before you begin applying the process below.
Before we step into the process, download a legitimate free VPN such as ProtonVPN or PrivadoVPN for the first part of the process (you may choose to use a free VPN in the long term, that is up to you). Next, with your free VPN activated and connected to a server outside of your country, subscribe to a premium VPN provider such as NordVPN, Surfshark, Cyberghost, or PIA. Also, grab a copy of a browser like the Brave browser.
Now, once subscribed, install the premium VPN software of your choice and run it (at this point you can delete your free VPN if you like so that the two don’t clash). Now, make sure to activate the security options in your privacy browser such as cookie blocking and anti-fingerprinting, and turn off any diagnostics. Make sure you are in incognito mode/private browsing too.
Now with your premium VPN on, connect to a server outside of your country anywhere in the world of your choice (the closer to you geographically the faster it will be) and enjoy the internet and all it has to offer in an uncensored fashion. You will find that censorship no longer affects you and that you can access practically every part of the internet.
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