Pornhub tries to unblock India's website ban but forgot its own VPN

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A recent ban on adult websites in India has led Pornhub to launch a mirror site called that went live after reports surfaced that the country had blocked hundreds of adult entertainment sites.

The ban itself came from a local high court which blamed the sexual aggression of a 16-year-old girl by several male students on the widespread presence of pornography online.

Following the incident, government regulators told the country's local ISPs to block more than 800 adult websites including Pornhub and Xvideos. Pornhub though claimed the ban is unfair in a statement, saying:

“There are no laws against pornography in India and watching adult content privately. It’s evident that the Indian government does not have a solution to a very serious and systemic problem in the country, and is using adult sites like ours as a scapegoat. This is apparent by the fact that they only banned large sites like Pornhub’s, and didn’t block thousands of risky porn sites that may contain illegal content.”

This is not the first time India's government has tried to ban online pornography. Back in 2015, it banned a similar number of adult websites as Indian regulators were trying to crack down on children accessing adult content online. However, the ban was quickly reversed following widespread complaints from the public.

The case for a VPN

Pornhub believes this new ban will prove as ineffective as the last one which Indian users circumvented by subscribing to virtual private network (VPN) services. VPNs encrypt your internet traffic and funnel it through a third-party server located in another part of the world which allows users to access content that would otherwise be blocked in their countries.

Since the new adult website ban was enacted, searches for VPNs in India have already begun to increase which raises the question, why didn't Pornhub push its own VPN service?

The adult website launched its own VPN earlier this year called VPNhub with the intention of getting around ISP throttling and protecting the privacy of its users online. Pornhub could have used the ban as a means of attracting more users to its VPN but given the serious nature of the incident that led to the ban, it is likely that the company did not want to appear as if it was capitalizing on the tragedy.

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.