With a clever new feature, WhatsApp can avoid internet blackouts imposed by the government

WhatsApp, an instant messaging app, has released a new function that it claims would let users to continue communicating with their loved ones during periods of a government closure.

With this new option, users may have WhatsApp connect through an internet proxy, allowing them to avoid the type of local internet infrastructure that governments take down or employ to restrict websites and services during shutdowns.

Proxy servers

Unfortunately, governments occasionally resort to shutting down the internet to limit what their citizens may read and share. When these kinds of crises arise, WhatsApp may be a lifeline for communication, thus the firm has revealed information on a proxy feature built to keep the messaging app running smoothly. Typically, proxies sit between a user and the internet service provider; in this situation, a proxy is being utilised to reroute WhatsApp traffic around any downed internet service providers’ networks.

Through a blog post, WhatsApp has announced the addition of a new feature that would “place the power into people’s hands to keep access to WhatsApp if their connection is banned or disrupted.”

WhatsApp states that proxy servers will be “put up by volunteers and organisations across the globe devoted to helping people communicate freely,” and that anyone may contribute by creating their own.

Note that WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption will still safeguard your conversations even if you activate a proxy, “ensuring they stay between you and the person you’re conversing with and are not viewable to anybody in between, neither the proxy servers, WhatsApp, or Meta.”

While most of us hopefully won’t ever need it, WhatsApp has published instructions on how to set up its new proxy function in case you ever do. The function is available on WhatsApp for both iOS and Android smartphones as well as the web client.

Due of the prevalence of internet shutdowns in certain countries, this new feature from WhatsApp, one of the top iPhone messaging applications and services, is very welcome.