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One of 53 apps removed from the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store in India under Section 69A of the IT Act, Garena Free Fire has reportedly been banned following orders from the government to block China-linked software in the country.
India is the second-largest internet market behind the United States, with 40 million of Garena Free Fire’s global monthly active users based in the region according to stats obtained by TechCrunch.
Thankfully, a VPN service is a viable solution if you’re hoping to unblock Free Fire, so here’s a guide with everything you need to know to get started.
Use a gaming VPN to unblock content & stay anonymous online.
A virtual private network (VPN) is used to connect to encrypted servers found around the world. While connected, you’ll be able to spoof your IP address, and you can even change your region to bypass any content restrictions.
The most obvious perk would be the ability to access the game in the first place, especially if it has been blocked in your country.
Easy Set Up
Since you’ll be gaming on mobile rather than via a console, it’ll be easy to download and set up a VPN to spoof your location thanks to native app support. (With that being said, some premium VPNs will also offer apps and setup guides for many different devices, including consoles like the Playstation and Xbox.)
You may even benefit from improved speeds, especially if you suspect that your data might have been throttled by your ISP. However, that does rule out the majority of free VPN services, as they can’t match up when it comes to performance or privacy.
On that note, another clear benefit is the ability to protect your personal identity and data from hackers online.
As well as gaming, you’ll be able to bypass international content restrictions for streaming platforms like Netflix and BBC iPlayer, along with a range of additional websites.
Why is Garena Free Fire Banned In India?
It’s the result of the latest round of posturing between India and China, with the former blocking access to any apps with links to the region on the grounds of national security. They have previously blocked over 260 Chinese apps in the past, including the likes of PUBG and TikTok in 2020.
In a statement, the Indian government said that the apps were “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of state and public order.”
The ministry went on to note:
“The compilation of these data, its mining, and the profiling by elements hostile to national security and defense of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures.”
Indian Government | 2020
Google confirmed that they were blocking access to apps in a statement released in February 2022: “On receipt of the interim order passed under Section 69A of the IT Act, following established process, we have notified the affected developers and have temporarily blocked access to the apps that remained available on the Play Store in India.”
NordVPN is always a great choice if you’re in need of a capable provider with an extensive server network. At the current time of writing, NordVPN has 30 servers located in India, although you won’t be able to use them to access banned Chinese apps.
Instead, we’d advise connecting to any of the other 5,400+ ultra-fast servers in a further 59 countries. They’ve aced our speed tests, and NordVPN also has the ability to unblock various streaming platforms. You’ll find dedicated native apps for iOS and Android, and their proprietary NordLynx protocol is available on all major platforms.
CyberGhost is another provider that benefits from a massive server network (7,600+), including 24 servers that are physically located in India. These can also be used for P2P purposes, as seen in the image below.
It’s perfect for gaming thanks to quick speeds and unlimited bandwidth. As an added bonus, Cyberghost unblocks Netflix libraries across multiple regions, as well as other streaming platforms like Hulu, Amazon Prime, and BBC iPlayer. One of their longer subscriptions makes for some of the most affordable deals you’ll find on the market.
Last, but by no means least, IPVanish will unblock numerous apps and services, including many banned in India. They have a handful of servers found in the region, split across Mumbai and New Delhi. This is complemented by a further 1,900+ servers in 75+ different locations around the globe.
It might not be the largest number, but IPVanish owns the entire server network with no outsourcing to third parties. This guarantees no network interference from outside influences or loss of their network to unwanted acquisitions or shutdowns. It’s unlikely that you’ll encounter any lag or issues while the VPN is in use, and they offer unlimited simultaneous connections.
India is one of the largest markets for Free Fire, and a secure VPN is the best method to continue with the game uninterrupted. It’s similar to when the popular PUBG Mobile was banned because of connections to Tencent in September 2020, although it eventually returned to Google’s Play Store under a new guise, freshly named Battlegrounds Mobile India along with a few minor changes.
The best gaming VPNs will have numerous high-speed servers to take advantage of and will be able to bypass any blocks on apps like Garena Free Fire with ease. Freemium VPN providers are always tempting if you can handle ads and the sale of your data, but it’s going to be difficult to find a provider with speeds quick enough to be up to the task. Then there’s the fact that free servers are often overloaded, so you’re more likely to encounter sustained lag.
Ookla released a report midway through 2021, in which they found that India recorded average download speeds of about 60 Mbps. Freemium tiers are always going to struggle to get anywhere near that number. Of course, it makes sense to take care of your personal data at the same time, and we’ve listed a trio of capable VPN providers that are ideal for mobile gaming.
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