Is VPN Banned in India?

VPNs are something that are used throughout the world, but many countries have banned their use. If you are living in India, you might want to know if it’s legal to use a VPN in India.

So, is VPN banned in India? Using a VPN in India is not banned. There aren’t any laws that stop the citizens of India from using a VPN. However, there are a few technicalities that are involved. Even though it’s technically legal to use a VPN throughout all the regions of India, there’s been a few instances of VPNs being blocked in the regions of Jammu and Kashmir.

In August of 2019, there were restrictions that were placed by the government that on using the Internet in a region that was previously semi-autonomous. This initially started with a complete blackout of communications and then allowing 2.0 communications and whitelisting a few sites. Due to this, a lot of residents started using VPNs for online activities.

Regardless, from the beginning of February of 2020, after there was a video that came out on various social media sites, police started cracking down on people who used VPNs.

Anyone who was suspected of using one of the VPNs for spreading secessionist ideals were called in to be questioning. There were even cases reported of soldiers searching the phones of individuals for the VPN apps. If the apps were found, the app was deleted, their phone was often confiscated, and the owner was sometimes beat.

For clarification purposes, according to the laws in India, it still is allowed to use VPNs in the Kashmir regions. The majority of offenders were booked for misusing social media rather than using the VPN.

With that being said, it’s a good idea to use a lot of caution if you live in Kashmir and are using one of the VPNs. It’s not really worth risking it while the assumption is there that VPN use means you’re committing a crime.

Benefits of Using a VPN in India

With many people using VPNs everywhere in the world, if you live in India you might wonder what the benefits are of using one there. There’s a few reasons that you might want to use a VPN, and one of them is that certain websites have been blocked by the Indian government without letting anyone know.

For instance, back in March of 2011, Facebook access was banned temporarily without any warning. This caused a lot of people to be angry. Below are some of the best reasons why a lot of people in India download VPNs.

  • Access to a lot More Content Without Restrictions – There are quite a few websites that are blocked and restricted based on where you live, especially in India. When you’re accessing a website through a VPN, you will be able to have access to the websites once again because you’re not bound by your location.
  • Remain Anonymous – One of the biggest reasons why people download a VPN is because they remain anonymous. When you use a VPN, it changes your IP. This will grant you access to the international content and help you with staying anonymous while you’re online.
  • Give Your Online Data Protection – VPNs give you strong encryption. This means that your online information and activities remain private. This makes it impossible for the data to be traced back by third parties.
  • Government Filtering is Avoided – VPNs ensure that data isn’t monitored by India’s government. This means that you can access the restricted websites and not have to worry about facing the harsh consequences.
  • Be Safe in Public – When you are out in public and you need to access the internet, you want to make sure that you are safe. Using a VPN can make a big difference and protect you and your identity.

Is it OK to use VPN in India?

The truth is that there aren’t any laws that govern the use of VPNs in India, so it’s OK to use a VPN. The exception is, using a VPN to conduct illegal activities, which is obviously illegal. Otherwise, you should have no reason to worry when using a VPN for normal legal activities.

That being said, one of the reasons why there’s a bad reputation around VPNs is that many people use them for illegal activities in India. The most common and biggest one is that people use them for accessing content the government has blacklisted, such as pornography. Another use is accessing torrent sites where pirated content has been distributed.

The second reason is the reason that most people are prosecuted, and it’s the fact that pirated content has been created and the copyright infringement that cause legal issues, rather than the VPNs themselves.

In short, it’s fine to use VPNs as long as you aren’t doing anything illegal with them because VPNs themselves aren’t the problem and using them won’t land you in hot water for the most part. Just make sure you’re not doing the following:

  • Downloading or accessing copyrighted material
  • Committing fraud
  • Selling drugs
  • Uploading any child pornography
  • Accessing websites that are banned

If you do any of these things listed above, you may have to pay a hefty fine, but you also might face time in jail. The sentence may be as long as three years. Even though the law isn’t as enforced as strictly as it might be, it’s still a good idea to exercise caution when you are using a VPN. In short, if whatever you are doing on your VPN is illegal otherwise, it’s probably illegal even through your VPN.

Things to Consider When Choosing Your VPN

If you are still planning on downloading a VPN to use in India, whether you are visiting, or you live there, below are some things that you want to consider when you’re choosing your VPN.

  • Features – The first thing you want to consider is the features that the app has and whether or not they have the features that you need. For instance, if you are planning to use multiple devices on it, you’ll want support for that. It’s also good to choose one with a kill switch. High quality customer service is also important. If you have an issue, you want to be able to contact them and get an answer promptly.  You also want to see how many servers there are for the VPN. The more, the better.
  • Price – This is another thing that you want to consider. Some VPNs are free, though they often don’t have a lot of features that you want in your VPN. So, look at the paid options that are available to you and find one that is going to fit in your budget.
  • Privacy – Next,  you want to make sure that they have a good privacy policy. After all, when you are on a VPN, it’s important to be covered. You also don’t want your information sold to third parties, which is one of the reasons why it’s not a good idea to choose a free option. Those VPNs are often full of ads and you never know who your information might be sold to if you use them.
  • Reviews – Finally, you want to read the reviews of the VPN. See what other people have to say about it and what their experiences were with it.

These are just a few of the things you want to consider when you are looking for a VPN. Use them to help you find the right one for you.

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