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Is Using VPN at College Legal?

19 August 2020

Nowadays, almost everyone has heard about VPN technology, yet, many students still fail to use it.

One of the reasons is that many campuses and universities frown upon it. But there are many reasons why one might need it, from privacy and up to looking for study materials in other source. Whatever is your reason – it is up to you. Let’s talk about the legality of this issue.

Is It Legal to Use a VPN on Campus?

VPN services are legal to use anywhere. Well, in the majority of countries, including the USA, Canada, and European countries. There are, of course, several countries that have restricted the use of VPN on their territory.

So, as long as you are not on the territory of those countries, you are perfectly safe and on the legal ground to use a VPN service.

However, many schools, colleges, and universities do not allow VPNs by their internal rules and might even try to ban them on campus.

Why do colleges ban VPN services?

Well, there might be several common reasons, such as:


  1. Students are known for torrenting, so it is an attempt to put this tradition to an end;
  2. It is aimed to prevent the usage of sites and resources that violate copyright laws in other ways;
  3. To restrict streaming or entertainment services or games so that students can concentrate exclusively on studying;
  4. To prevent students from accessing academic help websites. Although they might be just looking for a blog post, for example;
  5. To have more control over the users of the W-Fi network and know what they are doing.


Whatever is the reasoning of your institution, there are also ways to overcome this restriction. Usually, they block a port that is commonly used for VPN purposes. Many paid services like Trust.Zone have in-built technology to overcome this - you can change port, try different protocol - OpenVPN, L2tTP/IPSec, ikev2, use TrustZone SOCKS5 Proxy or  Chrome/Mozilla VPN from Trust Zone. And even if some don’t, there are several things one can do to set up a safe VPN connection anyway. You can use the same methods to get rid of such a block, even in a hotel, not only on campus.

Why Use a VPN Anyway?

Now, when we’ve established that it is legal and safe to use such technology, let’s talk about why anyone would want it. Here are the main reasons to use VPN in college or, basically, anywhere.

Security

It is not a secret that any public Wi-Fi network has huge security risks when it comes to personal data. Any public Wi-Fi, whether it is a dorm network or the one you use in your favorite café to study, is not safe. Anyone can access and, theoretically, steal your information. Someone can even mask a private network with a name of the public one and access your online data. It can include payment information if you buy something online or private search history.

Overall, anything that you do online can be traced. So why risk? Dorm network is used by many people and is no safer than the Wi-Fi in a coffee shop.

Overcome Restrictions

Any university or college can restrict a multitude of online services from students. It can be a copyright violation site that offers free movies, but it can also be a website that uses legal torrents, but it is still blocked. Some institutions block social networks or entertainment sites for academic purposes. It is a bit too harsh as anyone needs some relaxation. If you want to overcome any restrictions online – Trust.Zone VPN is a way to go.

Privacy

Even if a person has nothing to hide, there is always an issue of privacy. Every trace is now monitored by many companies for various reasons, such as advertisement targeting. If you do not enjoy the idea that your search history is visible to your provider, it is better to use a VPN. It creates a direct connection between your device and the remote server of a VPN provider. So your searches look like they’ve come from this server, and they are not linked to your device.

Access to sources from different regions

You might need to do research on the Italian art of the 20th century and find that several sites are not available for your region of search. VPN will help you to avoid that – you can choose the Italian server, and now your search appears to come from Italy. It is useful to access streaming services from different regions too; there are some good shows that are not available in your region.

In Summary

VPN is a security measure that helps to protect your personal and financial data and protects your privacy. It also helps to access any website or resource that might be otherwise restricted in your area. And it is necessary for students as they use public Wi-Fi networks all the time, which is simply not safe.

Author Bio

Victoria Davis has been working as a blog writer for over three years now. Having discovered all the perils a non-secure Wi-Fi network can present, she has started researching, reading and, consequently, writing about cyber-security. Luckily, there are numerous resources on the topic, so everyone can educate themselves.

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