Stephen Cooper

Stephen Cooper

September 12, 2017

The government of Bangladesh is in a difficult and unfortunate position with regards to internet freedoms. The nation has a large population and the government is eager to encourage the expansion of education and employment. The internet offers an ideal, low-cost way to aid this using the English language, which is widely spoken in Bangladesh. The government realized that a policy of secularism was necessary to promote all talents to contribute to the economy. Everything was going well until around about 2013, when Islamic fundamentalists started to push back.

Fundamentalist terrorists have wrought havoc in Bangladesh. Although the government would never be seen negotiating with, or capitulating to terrorists, the need of an elected government to solve problems quickly and appeal to the moral demands of large sections of the voting population has led to a sorry state of repression in Bangladesh. Internet freedoms have fallen victim to these changes.

Bangladesh passed the Information and Communication Technology Act in 2006. This law ensured that print media rules governing censorship, blasphemy, and libel also extended to the digital world. On the face of it, these moves seemed perfectly reasonable. As such, the law lay dormant, attracting little notice or criticism. However, this sleeping giant awoke in 2009, when the government used it to block YouTube. This was to prevent the public seeing a recording of the Prime Minister talking to the country’s military leaders. Periodically, the government blocks access to YouTube, Facebook, and political blogs. This is usually to prevent the spread of satirical content that disrespects Islam or the government.

The Bangladeshi authorities use Gamma International’s FinFisher to monitor digital traffic. Homosexuality is a criminal offence in Bangladesh. Furthermore, you can be jailed for expressions of anti-government sentiment. Religion is a particularly sensitive subject. To be safe, you should avoid any comments around sexuality, politics, or religion when using social media platforms.

The government got into its stride on web access controls in 2015, when it banned 35 news sites. All of the sites had posted articles that criticized the government. In 2016, the regulatory authority for the internet, the Bangladesh Telecommunication and Regulatory Commission, banned 477 porn sites. Local governments ban escort and explicit dating sites, so the availability of such websites varies according to location.

Online gambling is officially illegal in Bangladesh. However, those restrictions have never been enforced and access to gambling sites is easy. However, legislation is available to the authorities, and they may change their policy on enforcement at any moment.

Voice and video chat systems, together with internet telephony, are all legal in Bangladesh. The government licenses Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers. However, this process does not restrict the availability of the technology. The government does have a habit of blocking all internet voice and video systems at politically sensitive times.

A lot of these banned websites are accessible from Bangladesh, thanks to Virtual Private Network (VPN) technology. A VPN hides the real destination of a connection when the request for information passes through the computers of the local Internet Service Provider (ISP) or an international gateway. This defeats the blocks because the blocking software can’t detect the banned site addresses. Similarly, filtering software that looks for keywords in the transmissions that pass through ISP equipment cannot work effectively on VPN traffic. This is because VPNs encrypt all data that passes over the internet between the client software (which you install on your computer) and the VPN server.

You may have noticed that foreign video streaming sites block you from seeing content because you’re not in the same country as them. These blocks are called regional restrictions. VPNs can defeat these too.

You can read more about how VPNs protect your privacy on the internet below. First, you can check out our selection of the five best VPNs for Bangladesh.

Best VPNs for Bangladesh: Summary

Best VPN for Bangladesh: Considerations

VPNs for Streaming Services

The internet enables you to access websites all over the world. This means that you can get to the websites of US and British TV stations (for example). Once you get videos streaming onto your computer, you can cast it onto a TV and watch foreign shows on a bigger screen. Unfortunately, these streaming services block cross-border access because they have to enforce conditions in the contracts that allow them to show content.

Much of the content available on foreign websites is not legal in Bangladesh. That’s because the shows and films haven’t been edited according to the Bangladeshi censors’ rules. As such, it is easier for streaming services to prevent access to their films from Bangladesh, rather than try to comply with censorship there.

VPNs get around these restrictions because you access the streaming site via the VPN server, not from your own computer. If you select a VPN server in the same country as the streaming service, the request should be responded to with a working video stream.

Streaming services know that people use VPNs to bypass regional restrictions, so they also check for those. If the streaming service detects the use of a VPN, it will deny access to its content. That means you not only need to find a VPN, but you need to make sure that it can avoid detection. All of the services on our list of VPNs for Bangladesh have special cloaking methods so they can get into streaming services.

There is one more aspect of a VPN that you must consider if you want to get into streaming services – make sure that the service you choose has a server in the country from which you want to access videos.

Internet Filtering and Inspection

Be careful about protecting your identity when you try to access illegal sites. Not only can your ISP see which site a request goes to, it can also see that the request came from you. ISPs regularly cooperate with the authorities, so it is easy for the police to trace an illegal connection to your home.

VPNs confound ISP snooping methods because they obscure the destination of your connections. If the ISP can’t see that you are connecting to an illegal website, it has nothing to report.

Bangladesh VPNs

VPNs mediate all of your internet connections to mask your activities. On the connection from your computer to the VPN, no one can see where you are connecting to because the data coming out of your computer is sent to the VPN server’s address. The connection to the target server doesn’t have anything on it to identify you. The VPN’s own address goes out on those connections. As VPNs serve many customers simultaneously, no one spying on the connection can tell which request came from which customer. Only the VPN can know which websites you connect to.

It is important to choose a VPN that does not keep activity logs. This will prevent the Bangladeshi authorities from forcing the VPN company to hand over records of your online activities. The VPNs on our list do not keep user activity logs. Thus, they do not have any information to hand over.

Best Bangladesh VPNs: Conclusion

The Bangladeshi government hasn’t made VPNs illegal and its filtering methods do not block VPN traffic. Therefore, you can take advantage of VPN technology to reclaim your freedom on the internet. Remember that anyone can read what you post on social media sites or in comments sections. Be careful not to write about the sensitive topics of politics or religion. If you are visiting Bangladesh, be careful not to identify your local friends, because they could end up getting into trouble for the things you write on the web while you’re in Bangladesh. Any of our five best VPNs for Bangladesh will protect your internet traffic from government snooping and keep you safe.

Best VPNs for Bangladesh: Side-by-Side Comparison

Image Credit: xtock/Shutterstock.com

Stephen Cooper
May 17th, 2018

Stephen Cooper is a techy geek with a social edge. Downshifting from a successful IT career in Europe, Cooper moved to the Caribbean and now keeps up to speed with Internet technology poolside.

2 responses to “5 Best VPNs for Bangladesh in 2018 – Protect all devices including Android and iOS

  1. Rayhan says:

    Sir, I’m Bangladeshi and I have more chance to sale vpn. I want use Ur refarell. If u can help me my affiliate program then I use Ur refarell. Plz reply as early possible.
    Thanks,
    Rayhan

    1. Douglas Crawford says:

      Hi Rayhan,

      BestVPN.com is a VPN review and comparison website. As such we do not offer any kind of affiliate program.

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