After long speculation and debates on its viability, the much awaited GDPR- EU (General Data Protection Regulations) came into effect by the end of May 2018. A number of companies have not updated their privacy rules for compliance with GDPR and they will not budge in the future, as it looks. As a result, some of these sites (notably those offering best games, news, and media content) have blocked the EU visitors. This is their weapon to evade paying steep fines for not complying with GDPR. Web users trying to access these sites from the EU get error messages on their browser screen.
The websites that are currently blocking access to the web users from the EU for the GDPR factor include:
- Arizona Daily Star
- LA Times
- New York Daily News
- Orlando Sentinel
- Baltimore Sun
- Chicago Tribune
These are only a few examples but the list is long and it may change in the future.
Ways to bypass sites blocking access to the EU residents for GDPR
While the EU based web users cannot do anything directly to change the activities of websites not conforming to the GDPR norms, there are workarounds for sure! The most effective way to continue accessing sites kept out of reach for the EU residents is using a VPN solution. A VPN software or app can be used to mask your computer’s IP address and location. The service provider will not be able to locate your exact location. Owing to the encryption used by the VPN services, they will not enable to track your online activities too.
Choosing the right VPN services to override GDPR issues
While using a VPN service can help you override the problems caused by GDPR issues, it is also necessary that you select the apt VPN service. There are so many companies offering VPN service these days.
The apt VPN for this purpose should have the following features:
- It should have enough servers located outside of the EU
- It should have reliable connections
- It should not log user data
- The service should have good customer support
- The app should support major computer and Smartphone OSes
Listed below are a few VPN (Virtual Private Network) services that are most useful in bypassing GDPR caused woes:
Already known as a feature-packed and useful VPN service, ExpressVPN is an ideal choice for bypassing GDPR caused restrictions too. Its servers are located in 94 countries, including several locations outside the EU region- which is really impressive. With this VPN, you will be able to access content from sites that block access to EU residents. You can also access most types of Geo-restricted streaming content. You need not worry about privacy and security when using this VPN service, as it is. It has a kill switch and DNS leak protection built in. You can either use the desktop service or resort to Smartphone app. It is also available for Mac users. The basic plan supports three simultaneous connections.
IPVanish is another popular VPN that can be used to override GDPR caused site access restrictions by web users. Its USP is high speeds and elevated security levels. The service also offers a lot of non-EU server locations for the users. You can access more of the popular media streaming sites using this VPN. Some of these servers are placed in Asia and the USA. IPVanish takes the privacy of its users seriously and has no data logging policy in place. For security, there is 256-bit encryption. Desktop clients are available for Mac OS and Windows and you can get apps for iOS and Android. It supports up to 5 connections at the same time.
NordVPN is another widely used VPN service which is handy for evading GDPR caused site access issues. It has more than 43000 servers located in various countries, all over the world. These servers are optimized for media streaming and using TOR over VPN. It’s 256-bit AES encryption makes the VPN one of the most secure options in VPN arena. It also has a kill switch along with DNS leak protection. The icing on the cake is a wifi protection feature. NordVPN lets you use a maximum of 6 connections simultaneously. The apps are available for iOS, and Android and you get desktop editions too.
CyberGhost is among the VPN service providers that are trying to spread the server network. It has over 1200 servers, so you can definitely use it to override GDPR access problems. The service is also good for accessing streaming services like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. The fact that it deploys the latest uses 256-bit encryption with DNS leak protection makes it very secure. The service also comes with zero data logging feature. A CyberGhost plan lets you use 5 connections/devices at the same time. Mobile apps and desktop software, both are available for the users.
PrivateVPN may be a new player in the VPN sector, but you should not overlook it. It has dozens of Servers outside the EU, as it is. It can also be used to access streaming content from popular sites.
So, you can take your pick from the aforelisted VPN services when bypassing GDPR hassles in website access is necessary. Based on your preference and comfort level, download and install the desired VPN app.
Can free VPN services be used to bypass GDPR restrictions?
Theoretically, you can use the free VPN services to access websites that cannot be accessed by the EU residents normally. However, the experience is not going to be without hassles.
Most of the free VPN services have a huge number of users anyways. They also have fewer servers outside the EU compared to the paid versions. So, the speed bottleneck will mar the experience and be accessing sites for streaming content will be a struggle. Even getting connected to the VPN server will be a time-consuming affair.
You have additional reasons to worry while using these free VPN services too. These free VPN services may track your data and web browsing habits. The embedded data safety provisions of the free VPN apps are not as robust as that of their paid counterparts.
Hope this article helped you in choosing the right options available to avoid internet blockage caused by GDPR, please share your experiences in the comment section below!