Why don't we have a list of countries that block access to Hopin?
- 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
c) Can change at any given time
What are the issues users from some countries could experience when accessing a Hopin event?
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 during a Hopin event.
Some of the issues users may experience when access to Hopin and/or related services is blocked such as YouTube, Google Docs, Amazon IVS, Mux, Stripe, etc., are as follows:
- Not being able to see the stage, but sessions/networking/expo could work just fine
- Being able to access the event but only see a black box on stage
- Youtube sharing in a session not being available
- Slides not being available in some of the event sections
- Not being able to purchase a paid ticket for an event
- Experience a connectivity delay (longer than expected to join Networking, screen share, navigate around the event, 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 on the day of the event.
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 there is a large portion of attendees joining from an affected country, we would recommend not using the Stage at all and just using Sessions
- If using RTMP to stream live, use a virtual webcam into a Session
- Use the Hopin stage and simulcast (via RTMP) into an alternate site and if anyone has issues on the day, directing them to that site
- If Stripe is not available in a specific country/currency (Chinese Yuan is not available) when selling paid tickets use an external site that works in the affected country
- If you have Speakers joining from an affected country, they will need to get set up on Hopin well in advance to ensure they are able to access the platform via a private VPN
- We strongly recommend having the speaker's presentation pre-recorded should they encounter any unforeseen issues during the event
Note: Although some of the countries limit online access to certain services, websites and apps, that doesn't mean you can't try hosting a Hopin event or invite attendees 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.