Although censorship on the internet has existed in many countries for decades, more governments are beginning to discuss setting up broad censorship bans, which has led some service providers to lean towards setting up paid memberships to access their sites or utilize their browsers. Some governments have regulations that regulate net neutrality laws and changing them would result in significant changes to the ways our population interacts with the internet.
For those who travel the world, whether it be for fun or for business, internet censorship would limit access to certain web providers you would otherwise use at home. In fact, limited access is currently being executed with providers like Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
Despite the potential of widespread changes, there are ways around net neutrality and censorship to allow you continued access to your favourite sites.
What is Net Neutrality?
Net neutrality is the concept that internet service providers (ISPs) treat all web traffic equally rather than prioritize some web content providers over others. Essentially, what that means is every user has the same access across the whole the internet.
Some countries, like the United States, have long-standing regulations in place to ensure or govern net neutrality. However, these laws can be altered and repealed, just like any other law. The current United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has voted to repeal current net neutrality laws, which has spurred widespread demand to resurrect the previous net neutrality regulations. While Singapore does not follow the same definition of net neutrality as the United States, there is a rule in place where in some instances ISPs can provide customized plans as a paid service.
What is Internet Censorship?
Internet censorship is the notion that governments or organizations put widespread bans and restrictions in place to withhold access to certain websites, domains, and service providers to prevent the publication of undesired content. What you are able to access at home does not mean you can access the same content in another country.
Monitoring and keeping close surveillance on internet traffic and activities is a practice in most countries, allowing governments the ability to trace individual and national online habits and prevent certain activities from occurring. For many countries, the drive to censor comes from political regimes that prefer a stronger hold over what their nation views and accesses online.
Combat Censorship and Net Neutrality with a VPN
What is a VPN? VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and installing one on your computer, tablet, phone, laptop, or any other technology that connects or browses the internet can provide you with security and access to censored or blocked sites. There are several types of VPNs that channel your data through an encrypted tunnel or a set of proxy servers, making it appear as though the VPN is initiating the exchange rather than you.
Encrypted data coming from the VPN can’t be read by third parties trying to steal your information or block you from accessing their domain, which gives your connection more security and access than obtaining a connection without the use of a VPN. As an added bonus, many VPN providers also include anti-malware or anti-spyware in their software for extra protection. Although a VPN will successfully block most unwanted attention while you browse the internet, a backup protective service is included in the browser’s Firewall.
Using a VPN on your device is one of the best ways to give you access to websites and service providers that would otherwise be denied due to your location. As you travel around, you will be able to utilize all the same online services that you enjoy at home while ensuring your device is secured at all times.