While in most countries, the use of VPNs is legal and often recommended, some places with restrictive online environments have banned these services.
It’s important to keep that in mind when traveling, as defiance of these rules can result in heavy penalties.
Furthermore, when using a VPN, you should always carefully choose the locations you connect to.
We’ll walk you through the importance of VPN countries and discuss when and where to be cautious with the software you use.
What are VPN countries?
First off, we shall distinguish between the country where the VPN is based and where the servers are located.
For example, a provider registered in a certain country is subject to its jurisdiction. However, it can own or rent servers in other regions.
More specifically, VPN servers can be physically located all over the world. When you connect to a server, your IP will match the selected location.
Also, VPN providers may use virtual (fake) server locations when it’s difficult to operate physical servers due to poor privacy or high censorship.
In this case, you will get a new IP address matching the country you chose, but the physical server will actually be in a different place.
In which countries are VPNs illegal?
While VPNs are popular worldwide, in some countries, they’re either illegal or very hard to use.
As such, if you get caught using a VPN to reroute your traffic, you may face penalties ranging from fines to prison time.
So, we advise you to proceed with utmost caution if you plan to use a VPN in those places, as the risk of getting caught can be very high.
Alternatively, some countries ban many VPN providers. That is mainly because certain websites or social media apps are restricted there.
Consequently, governments ban VPNs in order to make it very hard, if not impossible, for users to unblock these online services.
Also, in other places, the use of VPNs is regulated, which means that only certain providers are approved. Plus, governments can also request connection logs.
Below, you’ll find the countries where VPNs are illegal, almost banned, or tightly regulated.
Fortunately, some providers manage to evade censorship even in the most restrictive locations.
🚫Countries where VPNs are illegal:
- North Korea
⛔Countries that ban most VPNs:
⚠️Countries that heavily restrict VPNs:
Why is the number of VPN countries important?
If you find yourself in a place that heavily regulates Internet use, but VPNs are allowed, it’s best to choose a provider with a vast server network.
That will allow you to surf the web from areas without barriers with much-needed privacy and security.
More specifically, it will help you deal with issues such as:
➡️Geo-blocking: Access to IPs from many countries will increase your chances of unblocking restricted content.
➡️Privacy violation: If your VPN supports more locations, you may choose to connect to those ensuring the highest privacy.
➡️Censorship: Certain countries enforce strong online censorship. A VPN can allow you to surf the web with IPs from somewhere else and bypass restrictions.
➡️Local content access: In case you travel or change your residency often, a VPN will help you access local content from your chosen areas.
How to use a VPN in countries where VPNs are illegal or restricted?
If you’re up for this risk, you’ll need a provider that can evade detection. A premium service with a vast server network and obfuscating tools will be your safest bet!
We recommend ExpressVPN for the job, as it fits the criteria perfectly. Once you subscribe and install the app, the next essential step is changing your location.
Below, you’ll find instructions on how to change your VPN on Windows 11, but the process is similar for other operating systems.
1. Launch the ExpressVPN app on your device.
2. Press the three dots next to the Selected Location to open the list of available countries.
3. Find a server in your preferred country.
4. Select the location and connect.
5. Now, you can browse the web safely and without restrictions.
ExpressVPNBrowse the web freely even in the most restrictive countries with ExpressVPN!
As you see, the countries where VPNs are illegal aren’t that many, but they do exist. Unfortunately, in many other locations, the use of such software is heavily regulated.
In any case, some premium providers can still help you circumvent the restrictions and gain access to restricted and uncensored content.
However, always prioritize your safety and be aware of the laws regarding VPN use wherever you live or travel to.