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Can a VPN help you get around the net neutrality repeal?

Can a VPN get around net neutrality

Net neutrality ensured that every internet service provider (ISP) treated all online data equally. But everything changed in the US following the repeal by the FTC in 2018. This meant that smaller businesses, start-ups, and users could find themselves in a slow lane while large corporations grab all of the opportunities via “paid prioritization.”

Most of the online community protested that the internet should remain without censorship, and ISPs needed to be stopped from throttling your internet speed. But the death of net neutrality also gave some fuel for the rise of VPNs (such as NordVPN) which allow users and smaller businesses get around net neutrality.

As it stands, your online experience could depend entirely on which state you live in. The good news is that VPN enables you to shield your identity by slinging your traffic through a server in a different country outside of the regulations in your state.

What is net neutrality?

There are always two sides to any argument in life, and net neutrality is no different. The fight between consumers and their ISPs is a little more complicated than many realize. On the positive side, net neutrality offers complete freedom of expression where the end-user decides what blog, website, or streaming service they can access.

The internet we have all grown up with provides citizens all over the world with an equal digital land of opportunity. A level playing field where everything is delivered as fast as your internet connection allows. In a nutshell, net neutrality stops the introduction of internet fast lanes and prevents ISPs from charging content creators for superior bandwidth. Without it, ISPs could also sell your browsing data to marketing companies.

However, ISPs will argue they are not the bad guy. Our insatiable thirst for bandwidth-hungry video streaming and large downloads means they don’t have the resources to innovate. If they had the option to charge the big five tech companies for their resource-intensive services, they could invest in implementing improvements that would enhance our online experience. Allegedly.

ISPs also argue it would enable them to better police the internet. They could stop adult content from getting into the wrong hands and eradicate illegal peer-to-peer file-sharing. Ultimately, your stance on net neutrality will depend on whether you are happy to have an uncensored internet for the global community and accept that freedom of speech has positives and negatives.

Using a VPN to get around net neutrality abuse

Can a VPN get around net neutrality? The answer is yes, but there are a few things that you need to be aware of before blindly choosing a VPN service for you or your business in this ongoing battle between you and your ISP.

The game of cat and mouse begins the moment a VPN encrypts and disguises your Internet activity to prevent your ISP from seeing what you are doing.

Although scrambling your data blinds your ISP from monitoring your online activity, they might be able to see if you are repeatedly connecting to a VPN Server. But many businesses provide their remote workers with VPNs for security purposes. The ISP must be able to prove you are deliberately avoiding the measures they have put in place before they can act accordingly.

Some VPNs are better than others. Before choosing a VPN, you need to ensure that it will not give away any clues to your ISP. Check that there is a strict no-logs policy in place along with leak protection. If you are serious about using a VPN to avoid net neutrality, you also need to ensure that there is strong encryption and advanced security features.

Services like NordVPN or ExpressVPN meet all those requirements and more.

VPNpro rating: 9.6 / 10

Can ISPs throttle VPN traffic?

If you follow the rules above and choose your VPN provider carefully, you can stop an ISP from throttling your VPN connection. Your ISP will only see that you connecting to a VPN server.

If you choose the wrong provider, your ISP may soon detect that you are connecting via a VPN and automatically activate the throttling process until you turn it off again. Predictably, free VPN and proxy services are easy pickings for your ISP to handle.

Thankfully there are some handy online guides that will help you stop ISP throttling for good. Just remember to do your own research and remember the golden rule that if you buy cheap, you will probably end up paying twice.

I live in a country without net neutrality. Do I still need a VPN?

How other countries deal with net neutrality outside of the US varies significantly from region to region. Countries without net neutrality such as Russia and China are often accused of using anti-consumer practices. A popular tactic is to offer free traffic to select websites with more expensive data plans.

Thankfully we have moved away from hinting that only criminals and people with something to hide use VPNs. The reality is that regardless of whether you have net neutrality where you live, a VPN can provide greater protection and freedom when online.

There is an increasing awareness of protecting our personal data and privacy online. Setting your Facebook account to private, clearing your cookies every day, or using incognito mode on your browser is no longer cutting it for users. But you don’t have to forfeit anonymity every time you connect to the internet.

We already know that many ISPs compile browsing logs from their users and sell them to advertising companies. It’s your data that enables advertisers to tailor their content directly to entire regions. A VPN can both enhance and protect your online experience.

Our increasingly digital world is tearing down geographic barriers and restrictions that determine what you can read, view, and hear. In an age where technology is bringing the global community together and encouraging seamless collaboration, why would anyone want to put walls of restrictions back up?

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  1. anitha_j May 21, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    Truly something new for me! Thank you for an excellent article on bypassing net neutrality. I will be sure to try it out and experiment with a VPN

  2. Satordi Busson April 12, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    Am glad to read here that VPNs can get around net neutrality. We want the Internet to live up to its promise, fostering innovation, creativity, and freedom. We don’t want ISPs acting as gatekeepers, making special deals with a few companies and inhibiting new competition, innovation, and expression. This discrimination against users need to stop

  3. TraderSams March 18, 2019 at 6:27 am

    I don’t know how VPNs could block net neutraility, but I’m not a computer scientist or a coder, so who knows, maybe it can. If things get worse in the US I know that there will eventually be black market ways of circumventing it, because there’s no keeping the internet down, lol. They always find a way to get what they want. Keeping an open internet is almost a crusade to some people, as well it should be.

  4. sailorpluto1995 February 15, 2019 at 12:00 am

    Right now, net neutrality in the US has been deregulated but isn’t that bad. I can only imagine that at it gets worse, they’ll find ways to block VPNs. VPNs will really need to step up their game and find ways around this if we’re going to keep a free and open internet.

  5. Pen Penguin December 9, 2018 at 1:47 am

    I always wondered what it would be like to do a google search in China or Saudi Arabia. It must be very eye-opening. I’ll try it someday, though I’ll be careful.

    1. avatar
      Julie Cole Author December 10, 2018 at 11:49 am

      🙂 Quite an expensive experiment – but let us know how it goes!

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