Garena Free Fire players in India resort to VPNs, network tricks to flout ban – India Today

Garena Free Fire players in India resort to VPNs, network tricks to flout ban – India Today

Garena Free Fire joined the list of banned apps in India last week. The government said this app and 53 others collect sensitive user data”, send the data to servers located in “hostile” countries, and may breach user privacy. Free Fire was also removed from the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store in India to comply with the ban, while India’s internet service providers (ISPs) are in the process of blocking access to Free Fire servers. But loyal Free Fire players have found different ways to flout the ban.

The Reddit thread “/freefireIndia” has been abuzz since the ban. Several players are busy venting out their disappointment and anger at the Indian government for banning the game. Some anguished players have compared the ban on Free Fire with that on PUBG Mobile that took effect in 2020. Other players have said they have faith in Garena and that it will resolve the conflict soon. But some players chose not to spend their time lashing out at the government or requesting Garena. Instead, they have mentioned how easily they are able to circumvent the restrictions and play the game.

Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, are a godsend to these players. According to a Reddit user, Free Fire is accessible in India if you use a VPN service. VPN services allow connecting devices to private networks directly by encrypting the internet traffic. The biggest advantage of using VPN services, however, is that users can hide their identity on the internet. This means that the device’s IP address, location, and server source are not revealed to the internet service provider (ISP).

The Reddit user said if you cannot play Free Fire on Airtel’s internet, using VPN is how you get past the restrictions. Similarly, users of Jio, Vi, and some broadband services have mentioned in the thread that they can easily connect to Free Fire servers through VPNs.

But most of the VPN services require you to buy their premium subscriptions after the free data limit is reached. The prices for these subscriptions are high, so some players, unwilling to pay VPN companies, found another way to dodge the restrictions. They have managed to crack the network settings that provide them with unrestricted access to banned apps by changing the Access Point Names of their network.

Access Point Names, or APNs, are gateways between mobile networks and internet servers. Your mobile operator reads the APN to generate an IP address and connect your device to a secure internet gateway. An APN consists of two parts: the network identifier and the operator identifier. The operator identifier is what these players target to bypass restrictions because it contains the mobile country code that your network uses to establish an internet connection.

Making changes to the country code will change internet servers, so when these players use custom APNs, what they do is replace India with some other country in the place where the country code is supposed to be entered. By changing the APN, these players change the rule that telecom companies use to restrict access to a website or a server, or an IP address.

Free Fire players will continue using these workarounds to access the game until Garena resolves the issue or comes up with a solution similar to Battlegrounds Mobile India.