Unless you have been living under a rock you have probably heard about how amazing ChatGPT is by now. Here at Zimpricecheck, we have been using ChatGPT for months and we can confirm that it is as amazing as everyone is saying though it is by no means perfect. It can write software code, write poems, entire essays, and Tweets, and generate amazing blogging strategies. There is just one problem, ChatGPT is not available to Zimbabweans. If you try to sign up right now, you will be met with an error telling you that the service is not available to Zimbabweans.
It’s not even clear why ChatGPT is not available in Zimbabwe. Some have speculated that this is due to sanctions but this simply doesn’t make sense. ChatGPT is in a lot of countries that have been sanctioned by the U.S. under sanctions regimes that are stricter than those on Zimbabwe. It could just be an issue of oversight. Zimbabwe is such a tiny country and ChatGPT is still in beta. Perhaps someone just forgot to check the box next to Zimbabwe, we are, after all, the last country in the world alphabetically.
So how did we manage to sign up for ChatGPT?
Well, we simply leveraged two tools that have always been available to us. We already have a South African phone number we use for business and have some strong roots there. We also have a NordVPN account. VPN is a tool that allows us to appear like we are using the internet from another country. So all we had to do here was to appear like we are in South Africa.
So these were the steps we followed:
- Get a South African number
- Get NordVPN (this is a paid service we already had). You can use a VPN service of your choice
- Turned on our VPN and selected the South African server
- Visited the ChatGPT website
- Signed up using our Google Account. You can use email if you want
- We were asked to enter our South African number
- OpenAI sent an SMS with a code to this number
- We entered the code received by SMS
- Our account was created in like 5 minutes
- We signed in and started using ChatGPT
There are certain things to note:
- Whenever you want to log in you have to sign in from a supported country although the service doesn’t ask you to log in each time you change your IP address/internet connection
- This means that you will need a constant VPN connection
- You should use the service in the morning when Americans are in bed. The service gets much slower and unreliable during American daylight hours.
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