The number of online data breaches and security threats has reached its peak in 2018, and it seems like the situation won’t be any different in the upcoming year. The growing concerns over users’ privacy and data protection have led to an increased demand for VPN services, which have become a go-to security measure nowadays. However, users are actively looking for reliable VPNs for reasons other than security.
Unfortunately, many countries have banned the use of VPNs and thus restricted users’ online privacy. Whether you want to use a VPN to stream blocked content or protect your data, this service might not be available in your country, depending on the region you live in. The question we want to answer is whether the use of a VPN for streaming purposes is legal in South Africa. Read on to learn more about the legal standings and additional information about the use of Virtual Private Network services.
The Growing Demand for VPN Services
The way VPNs function is quite simple. Once you activate a Virtual Private Network, all your data and traffic start travelling through a distant server that hides your IP address. For example, if you were to use a US VPN server from Germany, your online activities would appear as if they were coming from the United States, not your original location. Besides covering your location, a VPN encrypts all data and online activities while you’re connected to its server.
In other words, no third parties can access your information or activities while you’re browsing the web via a VPN. These services are mainly used as a safety measure for surfing the web and shopping online. However, a VPN can also be used to prevent your internet service provider from throttling your bandwidth or to access content that is not available in your region. Besides all the harmless uses of VPN services, hackers still find a way to exploit these servers and use them for illegal purposes such as the intentional spreading of viruses, IP spoofing, file sharing, and hacking.
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Is It Legal to Use a VPN to Stream Netflix?
VPN services are illegal in many countries including China, Iraq, Turkey, Russia, and North Korea. Some countries have very strict internet censorship laws, which is why they forbid users to access content that is not available in their region. Countries such as China have banned VPNs because they want to make sure they can monitor citizens’ online activities at all times. In some areas, VPNs were prohibited to prevent people from hiding their illegal activities.
If you’re located in South Africa and you’re wondering whether you can legally use a VPN to stream Netflix, we have some good news for you. Using VPN services in South Africa is not illegal. However, you have to keep in mind that a Virtual Private Network can be used for unlawful activities and, even though downloading and using a VPN is allowed, all unlawful activities are considered illegal and carry specific consequences.
It is worth quoting the Chapter XIII of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act No 25 of 2002, “It is a criminal offense to gain unauthorized access to data through hacking and packet sniffing, or to intercept or interfere with data and commit computer related extortion, fraud, and forgery.” VPN services are often used to hide many illegal activities, but the general use of a VPN to access blocked content and stream Netflix specifically is not prohibited.
Should You Use VPN Services in South Africa?
There is no reason why you shouldn’t use a Virtual Private Network in South Africa, as long as you’re not using it to hide any illegal activities. If Netflix or any other streaming service is not available in your region, you can easily download a VPN and connect to a server in another location to access the restricted content. You can also benefit from a VPN in terms of online safety and security, as you will be able to hide your data from hackers and third parties who might want to exploit it. A VPN for Android can help protect your online privacy when logging into accounts via public networks.
Unlike China, Iraq, Russia, or Turkey, South Africa has not completely prohibited the use of Virtual Private Networks. However, keep in mind that these services should not be used for masking any illegal online activities. If your goal is to stream Netflix movies and other online content, make sure to look for a reliable VPN server with a fast internet connection to prevent buffering and slow video loading. Look for a VPN service provider that offers a wider variety of server locations, as well as reliable and strong encryption protocols that won’t crash during your video stream.