In an age of confirmation of your identity at every corner, I take issue with age verification. This week I've been considering how to bypass o2 age verification and if you're like me and don't wish to jump through hoops to access simple sites over your mobile network then keep reading as I've discovered an easy way to avoid such intrusion.
I don't use mobile internet on my laptop often and leave it reserved for my phone but on a recent trip to London to attend Spies, Secrets and Lies in an effort to avoid paying for Wi-Fi access on the train I decided to set my mobile device as a Wi-Fi hotspot and use the tethering feature.
4G has made mobile internet so much more accessible, hasn't it?
If you've got access to 4G mobile internet then you'll know that it isn't actually half bad. I usually hit speeds of around 10Mbps and with averages of 15Mbps on o2 in the UK there are a lot of services that are now accessible in a mobile environment.
So with my laptop tethered up and the rolling hills of the countryside whizzing past imagine my surprise to find that when heading over to the IPVanish VPN website I was asked to complete age verification.
Now I'm pretty sure a VPN website isn't adult content nor is it gambling related but due to the fact it most likely falls under the category of a “proxy” site then it is blocked.
The way to rid yourself of this block is to enter your credit card details with which you'll then be charged £1 that gets refunded to your phone bill. To make matters worse, they won't even accept a debit card, so what if you don't use credit cards?
I hardly want the hassle of getting my credit card out mid journey.
Now that is all very well and good but I don't really see why I have to do that, after all I'm a subscriber to their service, they have access to my date of birth. If I wasn't over 18 I probably wouldn't have even passed a credit check to get the phone in the first place.
So rather than go through that whole rigamarole I fired up the VPN service from IPVanish I have installed on my laptop and once connected simply visited their website. A VPN creates a secure encrypted connection to a third party server located elsewhere meaning o2 can't determine what websites you're accessing.
Due to them not knowing what websites you're accessing it means they can't force the age verification onto you and as such you're free to access IPVanish or other VPN provider's websites or, in fact, any website that o2 determines is 18+ such as adult content or gambling sites.
So not only can the age verification be bypassed so you don't have to jump through hoops to access simple websites and more importantly avoid going through the trouble of entering your credit card details but in essence the o2 age verification is totally useless as anyone under 18 with access to a VPN service could bypass the block easily anyway.
So grab yourself a VPN and avoid the bureaucracy.
To recap, if you want to avoid being forced to hand over your credit card details, be charged a pound and potentially spill the beans that you want to access adult sites, gambling or anything else they deem you should verify first before being able to access, then don't, sign up to a VPN provider such as the ones I recommend below or any in our VPN Comparison Guide.
All three providers offer software for PC and Mac and apps for Android and iOS. So not only can you bypass the o2 age verification when using tethering, you can also bypass it directly on your mobile or tablet.
Take a look at the quick example of me bypassing the o2 age verification with ease using the Android app from VPN.ac.