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As you probably know.. I am from Germany. And growing up in a country with free and open internet I never really thought about how it is like to face censorship online.
Well, little did I know that I would move to one of the world’s most restrictive countries for the internet. Welcome to Turkey.
With more than 200,000 websites blocked including Wikipedia and even temporarily YouTube and Twitter living in Turkey makes it a little bit harder when it comes to moving freely around in the www.
But it can get worse. It’s not only Turkey. If you are a traveler, it will affect you at one point without any doubt.
Censorship in other countries
In North Korea: All websites are under government control. And more than 95% of the population has NO access to the internet. At all.
Saudi Arabia: No chance to access any website that are subject to Shia Islam, drug use, LGBT rights, pornography, gambling, circumventing the filter, criticism of the Kingdom, and much more. More than 400,000 websites are blocked.
Iran: Just recently in November, there was a week-long total internet shut down. Internet speed is restricted. 35% of the world’s most visited websites are blocked.
And let’s not forget the king of internet censorship: China. China has the most extensive censorship program in the whole world.The great firewall of china makes it impossible to access websites like Twitter, FB, Youtube, Wikipedia or any google services. The government monitors your individual internet access and watches every step you take.
And there are many many more other countries that regulate the internet. If you are living in one of them or just traveling through, you may still want to get access to the free internet.
The solution: a VPN
The easiest way to access blocked websites, apps, and services in those countries is to use a VPN. When I traveled to China I had the problem that even most of the VPNs were inaccessible and only a few ones would work.
So you should definitely set yourself up even before you enter such country. One of the few VPNs that worked for me without slowing down my internet connection was for example SurfShark VPN.
A VPN is a must have for me, no matter where I am, because it also protects my own privacy by encrypting my internet connection and my personal data.
It ensures that nobody can see what I do online and on top of that, they block ads, trackers, malware and phishing attempts.
So how does it work? It only takes one click and my phone is connected. That’s it and it works on as many devices as I’d like at the same time.
So there are 3 main reasons why I’m using a VPN:
1) It saves mobile data and ensures faster browsing by blocking ads.
2) It protects me from data thieves who seek for my passwords, credit card information and so on while using public Wi-Fi. And I got hacked a lot of times before.
3) And of course because it lets me move around freely in the internet without restrictions.
If you need a VPN or simply wanna try it out go to this website. They offer one of the best VPNs on the market with a great discount.
The internet never forgets
Censorship in the internet is there for a reason. In some cases it protects us from harmful content like child pornography, terrorism or hate speech, but in other cases it just makes our life really difficult by blocking useful information. I believe that everyone should have the right to freedom of expression. We should have the right to have access to a diversity of online news media and the right to express ourselves.
Be aware that circumventing censorship may be illegal in some cases, so do some research on the laws and be always careful what you post on the internet. It’s the only place that does not forget.