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It’s mainly due to reasons such as:
Here’s a list of places where most VoIP services are blocked:
Please keep in mind that this list doesn’t mean that these countries block VoIP services continuously. Some do, but – in many cases – VoIP services can be blocked for a specific period of time, usually during a period of political turmoil or protests.
And don’t forget that there’s always a chance a VoIP block might be enforced in a country that’s not on the list too.
Of course, whether you need continuous access to VoIP services, or only want to use them once in a while, not being able to do so because your government or telecom doesn’t like them is hardly tolerable.
Sometimes, a VPN block goes beyond geography. Your workplace or learning institution’s firewall could also block access to VoIP services. Not to say something like that happens all the time, but it is likely.
For example, if you boss or teacher thinks you might be using Skype to chat with your friends instead of working/learning, they could have it blocked on the network.
It might seem counterintuitive when it comes to an office environment, but keep in mind a company can just use chat/call software developed by them, or a specific VoIP service – one you and your friends probably don’t use.
Put simply, a VPN will set up a private, encrypted “tunnel” over the web for you, a “tunnel” through which your VoIP traffic will be redirected and secured. As a result, you’ll be able to bypass firewall restrictions, and make the calls you want.
At the same time, a Voice over IP VPN will mask your real IP address, replacing it with the address of the VPN server you connect to. That allows you to become anonymous online – to a certain degree, naturally – and access VoIP applications even in countries where they are blocked.
Better Pricing. In certain countries, you have to pay call rates when you make a VoIP call to a landline or mobile number. And the rates can get a bit pricey – depending on where you are calling from.
True, with services like Skype, the call rates vary depending on the country you call instead of where you are calling from. However, the cost per minute can still vary according to your telecom provider, as well as the number of destinations you can call, and whether or not you get unlimited minutes.
For example, if you’re in Romania or the Netherlands, a subscription with unlimited minutes on Skype can go up to $7-8/month. However, if you connect to a VPN server in Poland, you would be able to enjoy a much better deal – around $4 per month.
So, there’s a chance that you might get better deals from a VoIP provider when you switch locations by connecting to different VPN servers.
Enhanced Security. ISPs can monitor your VoIP traffic if they want to. The same could be said about your government. If you’d like to keep your calls private, a VPN would really come in handy since it can encrypt your VoIP traffic to keep it surveillance-free.
Not only that, but it also keeps it safe from hackers. After all, despite Skype’s claims of being encrypted, there are ways cybercriminals can exploit to snoop in on your calls.
And if Skype can be exploited, there’s always a risk that other VoIP applications can be exploited too.
No More Bandwidth Throttling. If you use VoIP calls very often, and end up making calls that last for hours, there is a chance your ISP might begin throttling your bandwidth when you start using up “too much” data. When that happens, your VoIP calls might take a hit when it comes to connection speeds.
Depending on what kind of VPN protocol and encryption you use, you might experience speed loss every once in a while. That can generally happen if a VPN provider doesn’t let you switch between VPN protocols.
Of course, if you will need strong encryption to secure your VoIP traffic, you will have to put up with the lower speeds – it’s the trade-off you get for better security and less surveillance.
As a general rule of thumb, you should try to connect to a VPN server in a country that’s close to you – if possible.