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Government bans the use of VPNs in India; Experts say a ban proposal will not help users

VPN ban in India: The interesting part is that, despite the possibility of a VPN ban, VPN downloads continue to skyrocket among Indian web users.

Published Jun 21, 2022 4:35 PM

Prabjot Kaur

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs last month recommended the government to ban VPNs in India. The interesting part is that, despite the possibility of a VPN ban, VPN downloads continue to skyrocket among Indian web users.

Indians are used to sharing Netflix accounts, Four users on one account. The same Indians are now attempting to split the cost of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), as they increasingly pay for VPN accounts. Thousands of websites have been banned in India, through opaque and official or unofficial means, Indian users are increasingly using VPNs to gain access to many of these websites. Then there's the issue of security and monitoring. As cybercrime, identity theft, and surveillance risks increase in India, users are turning to VPNs.

According to data extracted from the Google Play and Apple App Stores using the Sensor Tower service, India ranked fourth out of 85 countries in terms of VPN penetration rate in the first half of 2021. VPN penetration in India increased from 3.28 percent of the population in 2020 to 25.27 percent in the first six months of 2021. A Tech savvy claims that user information can be stolen even from poorly configured private WiFi, let alone public WiFi which is next level insecure. Because data travelling through VPN is encrypted, It aids in banking transactions because it cannot be snooped on from unsecured websites via internet connections.

Now that there is talk of banning VPNs in India, users are concerned that it will cause them inconvenience. At the same time, experts say that prohibiting VPNs is not a solution because cybercriminals use a variety of methods for their activities. VPN can be tracked but TOR cannot be tracked, which makes TOR a bigger challenge. Cybercriminals as they will continue to use the TOR browser which is nearly impossible to ban or block. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs stated last month that the use of VPNs should be prohibited in India.