How to use a VPN in a country that has enormous fines for individuals that use VPNs?

So, without mentioning my country I’d like to state this: All VPNs are banned. Like I can’t even visit the websites including Mullvad. Secondly, the fines if caught using a VPN are exorbitant.

So how do I download/ subscribe to a VPN if it’s blocked and subsequently how to not get caught using a VPN such as Mullvad?

1 Like

Hard to say without specifics.

#1: If they’re just looking at protocols some services like Proton have a “stealth” protocol. It seems like it masks as https. Defeat censorship with Stealth, our new VPN protocol - Proton VPN Blog

#2: They could just keep a list of IPs and the AS number for the BGP routes of many vpn providers. This is largely how sites like Netflix block VPNs. They just lookup the IP to see who it belongs to.

The whole point of Protons Stealth protocol is to circumvent governments. But I’m not sure what if anything that is supposed to do for the IP problem. I have ProtonVPN and if i turn on stealth i still get blocked because of a VPN. Whatever Netflix can do I imagine a government can and then some.

Unless someone knows more about the stealth protocol at Proton or a similar technology, it doesn’t look doable with a commercial product.

If there exists a program that can tunnel traffic over a standard non VPN protocol that you could self host in another country, that might be a possibility. The traffic would look standard and the IPs shouldn’t be suspicious if they come from a place like Azure, AWS, or some other popular service. Also presumably a service that isn’t banned in your country.

Edit: I’d also add that if your country uses DPI on their firewalls and there is a cert on your device that would allow MITM that could make things more difficult as well. It might start to get kind of complex if you started doing something with reverse proxies.

Edit2: “Stunnel” looks like it might be a step in that direction. Looks like a way to self host a TLS VPN.

is there a possibility that I could get caught using a VPN?

E: Also what specifics are you asking for?

You cannot hide the fact that you use a VPN realistically. Also a vpn won’t make you anonymous. Please see: How Do VPNs Protect Your Privacy? Our VPN Overview - Privacy Guides

So you probably need to find something different eith your threat level. If you believe you can be arrested or fined for using this: don’t do it.

At least not publicly. You probably want to look into using some other device, not tight to your normal activities and use public networks to get online via tor (+tor bridges) and make sure to get rid of evidence in all possible ways. All of this will be very dependable on your threat and you should therefore make a realistic threat model to asses the right things to do. See Threat Modeling: The First Step on Your Privacy Journey - Privacy Guides

1 Like

Depending on the country they could have different known methods. But i would just assume the worst the way i mentioned. There’s always a risk of getting caught. No one should be telling you there’s a 100% success rate. Something like Stunnel would obfuscate it. There are other technologies but i might lean towards that.