Are VPNs legal in India? Many Indian citizens and residents seem to wonder about this question. In general, VPNs are legal, but it really depends on the country you use them in. India has a long list of banned websites, and many people use VPNs to access them without dealing with the geo-blocks. Read on to find out if using VPNs are legal in India.
Is VPN Legal in India?
Disclaimer: The information included in this article is intended is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice on any subject matter. You should not rely or act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.
Is VPN Legal in India?
Yes, VPNs are legal in India. However, using VPNs for illegal activities such as copyright infringements can result in serious consequences.
In 2016, the Indian government made headlines after releasing a new law that forbids residents of the country from accessing any of the sites banned by the government. The law at the time stated that anyone who was caught “viewing, downloading, exhibiting or duplicating” the copyrighted content would have to pay legal fines and suffer through up to 3 years in jail. It didn’t take the Indian authorities long to correct the phrasing of this new regulation, as it implied that most of India would be facing jail time.
Now, the law reads as follows:
“infringing or abetting infringement of copyright-protected content […] is an offense in law. Ss. 63, 63-A, 65 and 65-a of the Copyright Act”
This correction is important. Previously, it seemed that using a VPN to simply access geo-blocked content would lead you to a 3-year term in jail. Now, however, it’s clear that using a VPN in and of itself is legal. That being said, using a VPN’s service for any activity that could be considered copyright infringement is in fact illegal.
What is a VPN?
Short for Virtual Private Network, a VPN is primarily a cybersecurity tool used to protect your data and your online communication. VPNs have 2 basic functions:
- encrypt your data.
- re-route your traffic through their own secure servers.
This makes it incredibly difficult for anyone to monitor your internet use or steal your data. This also spoofs your IP address, allowing you to access geo-restricted content with ease.
What is a VPN Used for in India?
There are many reasons for using a VPN in India, but let’s go over the most popular ones:
- Gain access to geo-restricted content. Many VPN users in India enjoy benefiting from a VPN’s ability to spoof your IP. This way, they can access websites and apps that are geo-blocked in India.
- Mask an IP address. Changing your IP address doesn’t only give you access to geo-blocked content. It also helps you stay anonymous while online.
- Protect your data at all times. When a VPN is active, it encrypts all of your data. This makes it difficult for hackers to gain access to your information, even if they’ve employed malicious means to get it.
- Stop third-parties from monitoring your connection. A VPN tunnels your traffic when it re-routes it. This makes it almost impossible for a third-party to monitor what you’re doing online, even if it’s your ISP.
Best VPNs for India
Our VPN expert, Charles, has already written a detailed review of the best VPNs for India. Here’s a quick summary of his top choice:
Charles picked ExpressVPN as his top choice for VPNs in India. This service provider is constantly viewed as the best VPN provider of the year. It offers its users 2000+ servers in over 94 countries, military-grade encryptions and the latest VPN protocols, a free Smart DNS feature, a 5-star customer support team, and a 30-day money back guarantee.
You can benefit from the guarantee and test out their service for a whole month before you decide to genuinely commit to it. If you still feel like ExpressVPN isn’t your cup of tea, try out one of these top-tier providers instead:
Are VPNs Legal in India – Final Thoughts
It’s understandable for VPN users to be worried about the legality of their chosen tools. To be on the safe side, make sure you’re using one of the legal and credited VPNs Charles and I mention. Also, make sure not to abuse a VPN’s privacy and security features for illegal activities. We at the VPN Guru do not support or condone the use of the products we review for nefarious and illegal purposes.