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When the 2013 anti-piracy laws went in to effect for Norway, critics started referring to the country as ‘no way’. There was quite a bit of criticism from different groups because of the provisions of the new rules. Here are some of the provisions included in the legislation.
- Groups can apply for permission to scan file-sharing networks for infringement.
- Harvested IP addresses can be converted to real-life identities with the help of the courts and ISPs.
- Sites may be blocked at the ISP level following a successful legal application.
Some interesting things happened in regards to this law. When the law was originally being proposed in 2008, piracy was huge. There were 1.2 billion illegal copies of music being pirated. Before this law ever took effect, music piracy in Norway dropped to approximately 200 million, and the others dropped by 50%.
For the first year of the law’s life, not a single user was targeted or a single site blocked. Curiously, one of the only groups signing up to track pirates was the Norwegian pirate party. There are a few reasons we can think of for this to happen. It is possible that giving people legal options has put a dent in piracy. Netflix launched in Norway in 2012, and there are services like Spotify that stream music. Another possibility is that the law scared many people away from downloading. Again, that is possible and that works for a short time, but eventually, those numbers go back up. Perhaps people are using other means or part of it could be due to another option, a VPN service.
A virtual private network creates a secure and encrypted connection to a server possibly located in another country. By doing this, you can protect your privacy from prying eyes. Since you are communicating through an encrypted tunnel the only thing your ISP sees is encrypted traffic. There are plenty of people that would love to acquire your personal information, and you can bet that they are not there to be your friend. Fortunately, you won’t have to deal with the government monitoring metadata, but it is better to err on the side of caution.
Another good reason to use a VPN is to unblock access to websites. There are two kinds of blocks you could possibly encounter. Even though the government has not censored sites yet, that is certainly in the cards at some point. The other type is called geo-blocking. When sites are geo-restricted, you will be unable to view them outside of the targeted area. Since the launching of Netflix, it has been noted that it only has about 2200 titles. Though that is more than any of the other Scandinavian countries, that number pales in comparison to the biggest market, the US. With a VPN, you can connect to a US server and view Netflix’s 7500+ US titles just as if you were there.
Now that you see how crucial it is to use a VPN, let’s find some good options for you to use and talk about setting one up. First off, what are your intentions in using one? For privacy protection or for unblocking content, you should use IPVanish. They don’t keep logs and have a kill switch feature, so it will make sure your browsing stays safe. If you want to use streaming services like Netflix or any others, IPVanish again is the best choice. They have the fastest network in North America and Europe and offer a mobile client as well, so you would only need to connect, and you would be able to stream from the markets with the biggest number of titles.
If you just want to unblock geo-restricted content, you should use IPVanish or ExpressVPN. Both encrypt traffic, but ExpressVPN includes SmartDNS with their VPN which will unblock channels for you without the slight speed loss that encryption creates. With broadband speeds in the country being at least 8 Mbps, speed loss while streaming is not a big deal. You could lose some speed and still be just fine to stream with any of the services. We would never suggest trading speed for security, as long as there is no quality loss.
Setup is easy of VPNs, especially if they have custom clients. The ones we provide here do, so it will be simple. Just make a choice, download the software, pick a country, and connect. Using the OpenVPN protocol would be your best idea whenever possible, and for streaming, OpenVPN (UDP) is a nice choice.
Feel free to glance over our top 10 VPN services to see other options, but we don’t think there will be much need for that. We picked these for Norway instead of other services because of the security, speed, regional options, and price. We also looked for services with a good network of VPN servers you could connect to in the EU. Reliable VPN providers have fast networks for streaming HD content from other locations and provide top-notch security for your privacy.