Online privacy is a trendy topic these days. The need for encryption and anonymous browsing is highlighted by the continuous data breaches, identity thefts, hacking scandals, governmental spying, and censorship measures being applied in numerous locations. It seems like every click you make is being monitored by online advertisers looking to create personalized ads by collecting your visited sites and preferences.
All of the mentioned situations present themselves in Pakistan, a developing country with a booming Internet addiction, but with an effervescent and growing data privacy need. While it isn’t one of the world’s fiercest Internet enemies, it has made news because of its ban of social networks and services such as Facebook, Flickr, and Wikipedia, as well as other pages.
Governmental authorities are also known for installing tools to filter content and search results that are shown to ‘netizens.’ All in all, Pakistan may not be the safest and smoothest place for Internet browsing, streaming, and torrenting.
Beware of law enforcement agencies in Pakistan
Another fact to take into account is Pakistan’s new Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill, a legal instrument that became a thing in August 2016. With it, Pakistani law enforcement organizations have the power to arrest Internet users if they are found to be using the web for specific purposes.
In numerous cases; visitors, foreigners, and tourist may break the law without even knowing it. Sometimes, even Pakistani people need to access one of the banned sites for work or leisure. After all, there is no logical reason to block services like Facebook or Flickr.
Also, if you are a tourist and you miss watching TV at home, you most certainly won’t be able to do it in Pakistan because those sites would be geo-blocked. That means you would be out of their area of service, and since you are not in your home nation, the content will be restricted. The network will recognize your Pakistani IP address as a different one from that of your hometown.
To avoid being “caught” by law enforcement agencies, or to gain access to restricted websites in Pakistan, people need to hide their Pakistani IP addresses somehow. Thankfully, it is not only possible but also extremely easy.
VPN: a solution to enhance data privacy
What if we told you that you could choose to temporarily change your IP number to get one of the countries of your selection? You would be amazed to know how many things you could do with a Virtual Private Network or VPN.
VPNs are online resources that come in the form of apps. They are provided by online security companies and can be installed on every device on the market; including tablets, smartphones, routers, desktop computers, laptops, gaming consoles, and more. They are also compatible with most operating systems in the market: iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux, and others.
VPNs use protocols such as OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, IKEv2, or SSTP; to build a virtual tunnel. The user’s shared online traffic and IP address will pass through the tunnel, with the intention of “hiding” the information from every external agent on the web: hackers, governmental surveillance agencies, online advertisers, Internet Service Providers, and many others.
Since VPN apps are equipped to temporarily hide the user’s online identity and traffic, it is widely assumed that they enhance the customer’s privacy and security: by encrypting content and IP address, VPN subscribers would gain anonymity in their online ventures.
Avoid censorship and content filtering
Censorship measures, content filtering, and law enforcement agencies lurking around in Pakistan would represent no risk if you encrypt your data and online identity with a Virtual Private Network.
On top of that, VPNs are wonderful tools to unblock restricted online content from other countries. For example, if you are in Pakistan and want to enjoy HBO or Hulu, you wouldn’t be able to access because geo-blocking measures would apply: those services aren’t supposed to be available outside the United States, and they aren’t unless you have a VPN.
If you hide your actual IP address and temporarily replace it with an American one, you would be able to enjoy HBO Go, Hulu, MLB, NBA, NFL, the American Netflix region, and more US-based content. The same happens with other nations.
How to install and use a VPN in Pakistan
- Go to that VPN’s website.
- Register for the VPN service. You may need to give away your name and email address, as well as a payment method.
- Create a username and a password.
- Download and install the VPN app in your device.
- Run the VPN app.
- Sign in with your previously configured username and password.
- Connect to a foreign server.
Best VPN for Pakistan: TorGuard
If you are going to use a VPN in Pakistan, go with the best option. After a thorough assessment of the market, we can safely conclude that the most impressive overall package is offered by none other than TorGuard.
TorGuard has more than 3,000 servers in 55 nations around the world, which represents one of the biggest server networks in the industry. It means that people in Pakistan will be able not just to protect their data privacy with top-end AES 256-bit encryption, but also, they would be able to unblock pages and services in more than 50 countries.
You can have the right to use TorGuard in five devices simultaneously multiprotocol availability (including OpenVPN,) a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and the best customer service in the field, with a live chat feature and dozens of videos, tutorials, guides, and manuals.
TorGuard is also one of the cheapest VPNs starting at around $10 a month (other VPNs range from $12-13 a month).
In conclusion, Pakistan is not a secure place to freely enjoy Internet browsing: the authorities are always looming, spying on people’s traffic and installing content filtering. New legal documents also make it very easy for law enforcement agencies to chase Internet users.