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Why do Websites Block VPNs? – Irish Tech News

Why do Websites Block VPNs? – Irish Tech News

If you use a virtual private network (VPN) you know how useful it can be to ensuring your safety and privacy online. VPNs create a private tunnel of access for you that keeps your data, digital footprint, and location safe from the hungry eyes of others. You may wonder, “why would anyone who is reputable

If you use a virtual private network (VPN) you know how useful it can be to ensuring your safety and privacy online. VPNs create a private tunnel of access for you that keeps your data, digital footprint, and location safe from the hungry eyes of others.

You may wonder, “why would anyone who is reputable want to prevent me from protecting myself?”

Unfortunately, the issue isn’t so cut and dry. There are many reasons certain websites want to prevent you from using a VPN and today we are going to take a look at a few of those reasons.

What is a VPN?

Don’t use a VPN or even know what that is? No worries, we can explain.

A VPN is a service that protects you with military-grade encryption, no log policies, tunnelling protocols, and much more. Basically, when you are using the internet you have hundreds of companies, people, advertisers, and more looking at everything you do trying to find a way to sell you something at best or steal your identity at worst.

A VPN works by making you virtually invisible on the internet. This can be done on your devices that use public WIFI or you could use high-quality VPN routers to share your VPN protection with all devices in your home, office, or business.

With a VPN your internet service provider can’t see what you are doing to log your data, hackers have no real information to tether to even if they do see you, and browsers and websites can’t log your searches for future advertising purposes. Those are just a few of the ways a VPN can protect you.

So, now that we all know what a VPN does, let’s take a look at why some websites block VPN usage:

Streaming Sites are Forced by Contracts

Streaming sites such as Netflix and Hulu are notorious for geo-blocking. Geo-blocking is the act of preventing access to content or media based on a user’s location. This location-based blocking is done to honour licensing contracts as well as boost profits.

Since VPNs are often used to bypass geo-blocking, streaming sites have taken to blocking VPNs to ensure that no users are causing them to break their contracts.

Ensuring Access to Data

This one is arguable. We can’t prove that the reason some websites and public WIFI networks choose to block VPNs is to ensure access to your sellable data, but it is awfully suspicious. Especially when some public WIFI networks block VPNs entirely.

It is hard to find many logical reasons they would have such high motivation outside of wanting your sweet data logs to sell to advertisers and third-party vendors.

Avoiding Fraud and Spam

Though there are a lot of crummy reasons to infringe on users’ privacy by blocking VPNs, this isn’t one of them.

Certain websites that depend on identifying users for legal purposes (think PayPal, Venmo, CashApp, etc.) have to be able to locate a user based on their IP address. If a user commits fraud that may be the only way to ensure a resolution can be created for the victim.

By blocking VPNs these sites can ensure that if something nefarious happens on their platform, they can try to do something about it.

Bypassing Blacklists

Though there may be some legitimate reasons for websites to want to block VPNs, it doesn’t dissuade from the fact that blocking your digital protection is an infringement on your right to privacy.

There are ways to get around these VPN blacklists.

¨ Use a less recognizable VPN port to avoid detection by blockers. This means switching from the popular 1194 port to something less commonly used like 2018 or 80.
¨ Upgrade to a premium VPN with more server options and good reviews.
¨ Use slower but more secure services like TLS tunnels

Conclusion

VPNs have become absolutely necessary to the maintenance of digital freedom in modern times. Without a VPN your information is constantly passed around as if you are nothing more than a number with a chequebook.

There may be some good reasons for certain websites to want to block VPN usage, but if you are a standup user and have no intentions of defrauding others on the internet, your digital privacy should be guaranteed.

Until others see it that way, don’t be afraid to take measures to bypass VPN blacklists to maintain your digital anonymity.

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Susan E. Lopez
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