Joining Session Rooms from countries with Internet Firewalls and Filters

  • Updated

Why don't we have a list of countries that block access to Hopin and Session?

  • Since this is politics, countries don't share that as public knowledge, unfortunately, and there are no publicly available lists of filters for firewalls enforced by internet service providers (those lists are classified and are confidential per each provider).
  • Another reason for not posting it is that each internet provider treats government rules differently. Some have 100% compliance, others are less collaborative with their government, and some have their filters on 'maintenance' from time to time allowing blocked resources. That means some people in one and the same country will have access to our services, while others won't.
  • While you can find a list of countries who filter access (aka apply local censorship) to internet resources, you will never ever have real-time access to filters enabled by all internet service providers in each country. That info is:
    a) Under NDA
    b) Classified
    c) Can change at any given time

What are the issues users from some countries could experience when joining a Session?

North Korea, China, Russia, Iran, UAE, are some of the countries with the highest online censorship in the world, however, many others have country-wide firewalls and internet filters that could affect the experience when using online video platforms.

Some of the issues users may experience when access to Hopin's Session and/or related services is blocked such as YouTube, Google Docs, are as follows:  

  • Being able to access the event but only see a black box on stage
  • Youtube sharing in a Session not being available
  • Google Docs and Slides not being available in some of the event sections
  • Experience a connectivity delay (longer than expected to join, screen share, etc.)
  • And so on

Note: This is because of government firewalls and filters blocking certain apps and websites. These firewalls change constantly, so even if the stage works in a rehearsal, it might not be on the day of.

What we recommend to get around some of the issues

  • The first measure to take is to advise attendees to use a private VPN (if they work at a global company or are on their private devices, chances are they might already have one installed to use).
  • If you have participants and hosts joining from an affected country, they will need to get set up on Session well in advance to ensure they are able to access the platform via a private VPN.
  • We strongly recommend having anyone who will be presenting have their part pre-recorded should they encounter any unforeseen issues on the day of the Session.
Note: Although some of the countries limit online access to certain services, websites, and apps, that doesn't mean you can't try using Session and inviting participants from affected countries. In some cases things work just fine, in some others you may have to follow the above recommendations; make sure you always give it a try first with a test event and see how it goes.

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