One of the undeniable downsides of ChatGPT is that it’s not available everywhere in the world. This leaves the opportunity for other AI chatbot LLMs to take over the market where ChatGPT is banned, or worse, it allows scammers to trick others with phony ChatGPT alternatives. In this article, we will discuss where ChatGPT is banned and what alternatives you have if ChatGPT is not available in your country.
Right now, we know that ChatGPT isn’t allowed in places like China, Cuba, Iran, Russia, Syria, and North Korea. Italy has also put some limits on using ChatGPT due to government rules.
People from the Middle East have said they can’t use ChatGPT easily, even though OpenAI made it available there, we have no official confirmation on the situation.
In some countries, some internet providers work together with the government to completely stop people from using ChatGPT. This is similar to how they block access to websites for downloading files illegally in The Netherlands, for example.
A complete list of countries ChatGPT is available based on OpenAI’s statement:
How to use ChatGPT if it’s not available in my country
If ChatGPT isn’t available in your country because of rules or bans, you can try a few tricks to still get your hands on it (at your own risk):
– VPN (Virtual Private Network): This tool can make it seem like you’re browsing from a different country where ChatGPT is allowed. It’s like a digital disguise that might let you sneak around the restrictions.
– Proxy Servers: These are kind of like VPNs – they mess with your online address to make it look like you’re surfing from somewhere else.
– Tor Browser: Think of this as a secret tunnel to the internet. It bounces your internet traffic through a bunch of different computers, keeping your tracks hidden. Could be a way to dodge the bans. But remember, it’s not as safe as browsing the regular web and it’s not all glitter and flowers in the deep ends of the internet.
– Web Proxies: Some sites act like middlemen, helping you access other websites. These might be worth a shot if ChatGPT is blocked where you are.
– Cloud Services Can Come to the Rescue: If you’re tech-savvy, you might be able to set up ChatGPT using big cloud services like AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud.
– Another option is to access ChatGPT through another AI Chatbot that is based on ChatGPT but isn’t banned. For example, POE uses ChatGPT access without restrictions. There could be more options based on where you are based. You can also try using Bing, since they have ChatGPT built in.
Be careful and know that there might be consequences. And OpenAI’s rules might change over time, so it’s smart to keep an eye on their official updates.
What you shouldn’t do if you can’t use ChatGPT due to a ban:
- Buy access from someone who created an OpenAI account where ChatGPT is allowed
- Install an untrustworthy VPN
- Try the dark web if you are not sure of what you’re doing
- Violate OpenAI’s term of use and risk a ban from them
- Install a GPT-looking app that promises you the world
Is ChatGPT available in Saudi Arabia? How to access it?
ChatGPT has been banned in Saudi Arabia for a long time, but users have recently reported that it’s now available. OpenAI confirmed it by updating its list of supported countries. It does not seem to be available for everyone yet but it’s slowly being deployed.
If you don’t want to wait, you can try the following to access ChatGPT in Saudi Arabia:
Use a safe and tested VPN to browse ChatGPT in Saudi Arabia. Make sure that you select a location that isn’t too far from yours but that there are enough servers to ensure a smooth usage of ChatGPT.
You should have a friend in said location (or a phone number from that location) so you can verify your account. If you have a friend in Egypt for example, and they’re willing to give their phone number for your account, set your VPN to Egypt and go through the phone verification with your friend’s number. But remember: getting caught could get you both banned from ChatGPT, and you could also get in trouble with the laws of your country.
Enable your VPN before you even attempt to access ChatGPT to create an account. Always select the same mockup location when logging into your OpenAI account. Logging in from a different location might trigger a block and OpenAI will think your account was hacked.
Why is ChatGPT not available in Hong Kong? How to get around the ban?
Technically speaking, Hong Kong is a special region in China, but it has its own government, so it makes sense that you can’t access ChatGPT from there, as China banned it from its territory. Additionally, another explanation is that Hong Kong said they’re planning to release their own version of ChatGPT, so it makes sense to prevent people from using the real ChatGPT for now.
To get around the ban, you can use the same steps as mentioned for Saudi Arabia:
- Set up a safe and trusted VPN and choose a mockup location that has access to ChatGPT
- Make sure you have a phone number from the country you selected
- Sign up for an OpenAI account and verify your phone number
- Always select the same country when logging into ChatGPT
Is ChatGPT available in Russia?
If you try using ChatGPT in Russia, you will see this:
ChatGPT is currently banned in Russia, and we’ll pretend it’s because of very low temperatures. Russia came up with GIgaChat instead. If you want to access ChatGPT in Russia, you can follow the steps described earlier, again, at your own risk.
What countries have the most usage of ChatGPT?
Based on data available on SimilarWeb, the top 5 countries using ChatGPT are:
|United States||12.85% of all users|
|India||8.53% of all users|
|Japan||4.19% of all users|
|Brazil||3.22% of all users|
|Colombia||3.13% of all users|
In the runner-ups, we also have France, Canada, and Indonesia, with around 3% each. Of course, this data can change every day because new people sign up, and some users delete their accounts.
In summary, the status of ChatGPT’s accessibility is a multi-dimensional narrative. Some countries are allowing ChatGPT over time, some countries may change their minds and ban ChatGPT in the future. One thing is always the same though, some will do whatever they can to access banned technologies and listen to the curiosity inside them.