Fortunately, regardless of your location, you should be able to unblock YouTube using a VPN (a Virtual Private Network). This will route all of your internet traffic via an intermediate server in a location of your choosing, concealing your IP address and creating the illusion that you are in another country. You’ll be able to access YouTube (and other restricted content) from your workplace, school, or anywhere else around the globe.
Additionally, when you use a VPN, all of your traffic is encrypted, which means that nobody can see or trace what you’re doing online. Internet Service Providers (ISPs), network managers, and cyber criminals all fall under this category.
We’ll discuss where and why YouTube is prohibited in this article, as well as the best VPN for unblocking YouTube. Additionally, we’ll discuss why you should avoid free VPNs and proxies, as well as what to do if VPNs are prohibited.
How to use a VPN to unblock YouTube
Fortunately, circumventing these limits is straightforward. By using a VPN, you may conceal your true IP address and replace it with one from an intermediate server in the desired area. This creates the illusion that you are not connected to a restricted network or area. Here’s how you can use a VPN to unblock YouTube:
- Subscribe to the VPN service of your choice (we recommend NordVPN).
- Download the app that is suitable for your device. Most of the best VPN companies provide client software for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
- Install and launch the application, then log in with your new credentials (username and password).
- Establish a connection to a server located in an acceptable location. For instance, in a school or business setting, you may just wish to connect to the server that is nearest to your present location for the quickest connection. To get around the country’s limitations, you’ll want to choose a server located in a nation where YouTube is not blocked.
- Once the connection is established, you may resume regular YouTube viewing.
Please keep in mind that you may need to refresh the page or start a new browser window for this to operate.
Where is YouTube prohibited and why is it blocked?
If you’re reading this, you’ve almost certainly encountered a YouTube block at some point. You may have come across a network block implemented by network administrators in locations such as companies and schools. Then there are government-enforced restrictions that span whole areas. Occasionally, the whole YouTube site is blocked, while other times, just certain parts of the video are blocked.
YouTube blocked at work
Employers often restrict access to distracting websites, such as streaming services, retail sites, and social networking platforms. As we all know, YouTube can be a productivity killer, and, unsurprisingly, businesses would prefer their employees refrain from viewing videos for hours on end. It’s worth noting that using a VPN to circumvent work-related restrictions may constitute a violation of the contract, so double-check this before you begin.
YouTube blocked at school
Similarly, schools seek to help pupils focus on their schoolwork rather than watching videos. Additionally, they want to restrict pupils from viewing objectionable information while at school. Notably, network administrators may often selectively prohibit access, allowing some users, for example, faculty members, to watch YouTube videos while others (students) cannot.
Numerous nations have previously prohibited YouTube, and a few continue to do so. China, Iran, and North Korea are currently banning YouTube. The bans are being implemented for a variety of reasons, including limiting residents’ access to content and allowing local YouTube rivals to thrive. If YouTube is prohibited in your country, you will likely be unable to access it at all. If a piece of content is prohibited, you’ll almost certainly get an error notice that reads something like “The uploader has not made this video available in your country.”
Best VPN to unblock YouTube
In principle, most VPN services should be able to assist you in unblocking YouTube. However, not all VPNs are created equal, and they vary in terms of speed, dependability, security, and customer service, among other characteristics. We evaluate a large number of VPNs to determine their strengths and weaknesses. Based on the following criteria, we’ve suggested the best VPN for unblocking YouTube:
- Capable of circumventing networks and country-specific YouTube limitations,
- Provides a quick, dependable service that is suited for HD streaming.
- Manages a worldwide network of servers.
- Provides intuitive desktop and mobile applications.
- Encryption is powerful, and extra security protections are included.
- Adheres to a “no-logs” policy.
- Provides superior customer service.
NordVPN is our number one recommendation for a YouTube VPN. It operates a massive network of over 5,000 ultra-fast servers, many of which are geared towards streaming high-definition video. It may help you unblock YouTube, as well as other popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video. NordVPN is another VPN service that can operate in China.
With a zero-logs policy, “military-grade” encryption, perfect forward secrecy, DNS leak prevention, a kill button, and automatic wifi protection, this company places a premium on security and privacy. This ensures that your data is constantly contained inside the encrypted tunnel, ensuring that no one can spy on you and find that you’re breaching the security measures in place.
Linux, Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android applications are available.
Is it possible to unblock YouTube with a free VPN?
If you haven’t already encountered a plethora of free VPN services, there’s little question that you will. While many services claim to provide comparable services to their paid equivalents, the reality is often very different.
Typically, free VPNs provide a small number of servers in a few regions. These must be sent to a large number of consumers (because everyone loves something for free). This, however, results in restricted capacity and a possibly lengthy wait time before connecting to an inherently sluggish server. Even if you do manage to connect to a server in the desired region, the likelihood is that it will not work to unblock YouTube.
Additionally, when using these complementary services, your security and privacy are jeopardized. Certain free VPNs that purport to encrypt your traffic do not, and some can infect your device with malware.
It’s worthwhile to avoid these free services and instead spend a few dollars per month on a highly rated premium provider.
Is it possible to use a proxy to unblock YouTube?
Along with free VPNs, there are several ads for free proxies, some of which are optimized for unblocking YouTube. While they seem to be quite appealing, particularly tailored solutions like YouTubeProxy.win, they often suffer from the same drawbacks as free VPNs. These services will likely have a restricted geographic footprint and may be unable to circumvent the limitations you’re encountering.
Additionally, since a proxy server does not encrypt your traffic the way a VPN does, you are leaving your information entirely accessible to anybody wishing to eavesdrop on your online activities. The primary benefit of a proxy over a VPN is that there should be no obvious slowdowns due to the absence of an encryption phase. However, with many of the best VPNs delivering lightning-fast connections, the added security is well worth it.
YouTube has country-specific limitations.
Various nations have a lengthy history of restricting access to YouTube inside their borders. Possible justifications include allowing local rivals to thrive and exerting better control over the content residents have access to.
At the moment, YouTube is restricted in China, Iran, and North Korea. However, it has already been restricted by governments in other nations like Russia, Sudan, and Thailand.
Occasionally, governments may restrict access to certain content, while in other instances, they may restrict access to the whole site. YouTube, for example, has been entirely censored in Sudan twice. The first shutdown occurred in 2010 in reaction to YouTube’s upload of a video exposing election fraud. The second block came in 2012, in response to YouTube’s unwillingness to take down the anti-Islam video Innocence of Muslims.
Apart from YouTube, governments restrict access to other websites, including Facebook and Twitter. The most egregious is China’s limitations; the country’s Great Firewall is meant to ban a wide variety of websites and even most VPNs. Fortunately, a few VPNs continue to operate in China and can assist you in unblocking YouTube and other websites while in the country.
What if VPNs were also blocked?
As mentioned before, you may discover that websites such as YouTube, Facebook, and Amazon are restricted. Numerous network administrators have realized that proxies, including VPNs, are being used to circumvent their limitations. As a result, it’s logical that they put safeguards in place to prevent them. Access to VPN websites may be banned, and VPN connections may also be identified and stopped.
Similarly, several governments restrict access to VPN websites and connections. China is perhaps the most well-known VPN blocker. While VPNs are not entirely prohibited in China, some have been shut down, detained, and punished. Nonetheless, VPN use is quite common in China.
That is hardly the only nation attempting to stifle VPN use. Belarus, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Russia have all implemented VPN restrictions, with some even making VPN use criminal.
There are, however, workarounds for these constraints. VPN traffic must first be identified as VPN traffic to be blocked. Certain top-rated VPN companies use obfuscation technologies to conceal VPN traffic. If your VPN service does not have this functionality, you may still be in luck. Occasionally, changing to port 443 will be enough to overcome a firewall. Since HTTPS data is routed over port 443, your VPN connection will just seem to be viewing a secure website. If your VPN client does not support port switching, you may contact your provider for assistance. They may even have their own dedicated servers that connect to that port.
The censoring of YouTube
Not only is YouTube filtered by third parties, but a significant amount of content is blocked by YouTube itself. This may be because it breaches the platform’s terms of service, which prohibit anything that infringes on an individual’s privacy or violates copyright.
YouTube is also under pressure to delete some pieces of content by governments, groups, and individuals. Again, this might include copyrighted content or stuff that breaches a user’s privacy, but it could also include content that contains hate speech or strongly held political beliefs.
YouTube’s guidelines specify that its content is intended for children aged 13 and over, but the company has committed to cracking down on unsuitable films directed at young children.
YouTube and personal privacy
One aspect of YouTube use that we haven’t discussed yet is user privacy. Google owns YouTube, a firm built on user data. As is the case with other Google products, when you use YouTube, Google records everything you do, including what you view and what you “like” and comment on. It displays advertisements to you based on your user profile from this site and other websites you’ve visited.
Your IP address and cookies are used to monitor you. However, if you use a VPN, your IP address will be hidden and will not be associated with you. Additionally, this will keep your surfing data private from network administrators, your ISP, and any other snoopers. Utilize your VPN in conjunction with the “incognito” or “private browsing” mode of your web browser to conceal your IP address and prevent cookies.
Of course, you must consider more than simply your privacy. YouTube is quite popular among children of all ages, and you must consider their privacy as well. Recent complaints about this problem have been filed with the US Federal Trade Commission by child advocacy organizations. However, YouTube has thus far concealed behind its terms and conditions, which declare that it is intended for minors above the age of 13 (who are not as heavily protected by privacy laws). Meanwhile, it continues to gather information on youngsters. Fortunately, by utilizing a VPN and surfing in incognito mode, you can prevent YouTube from collecting data on your kid.
Additional YouTube products:
What about access to other YouTube goods like YouTube Music, YouTube Premium (formerly known as YouTube Red), and YouTube TV? To be honest, it depends on the network to which you are connected and whether or not they have chosen to ban the URLs linked with these services.
YouTube Music is a music-only platform that allows users to listen to songs (but not watch their accompanying videos). Given that this is only a music streaming service, it is doubtful that this will be prohibited inside your company or school network, but governments may do so. If you do get locked out, a VPN may assist you.
YouTube Premium is a subscription-based service that allows you to stream YouTube videos and music without being interrupted by commercials. This service is offered in just 17 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, and Germany. You will be unable to use the service if you are not located in one of the approved countries. However, you may recover access by using a VPN to disguise your location.
YouTube TV is an over-the-top video streaming service offered to consumers in the United States. It offers content from ABC, CBS, and FOX and customizes your viewing experience depending on your home and present location. If you’re signed up and traveling outside of the United States, you’re likely to see an error message indicating that content is unavailable. Simply connect to a US VPN server and you should be allowed to re-enter. We have a specific post on using a VPN to watch YouTube TV.