What is the best VPN to unblock WhatsApp?

WhatsApp is the world’s most popular messaging app, with 1.5 billion users worldwide as of 2018. With its single goal, the absence of advertisements, and devotion to privacy, the app, which was bought by Facebook in 2014 for $19 billion, has dominated the chat app industry. The issue is that WhatsApp has been prohibited in many countries due to the amount of security it provides.

If you’re a WhatsApp user who resides in or plans to visit one of these countries, you may circumvent these limitations by connecting to a VPN. A VPN, which stands for Virtual Private Network, encrypts all internet data on your device and passes it via an intermediate server in a location of your choice. This prohibits your internet service provider and government officials from determining the content or destination of your internet traffic; in this example, WhatsApp messages and calls are sent and received.

End-to-end encryption is enabled on WhatsApp, which means that all messages are encrypted on the sender’s handset and stay encrypted until they reach the recipient’s device. Anyone intercepting communications in transit—whether an ISP, a hacker, a government organization, or even Facebook—will be unable to decipher their contents. WhatsApp makes use of the encryption suite built by Whisper Systems, the company behind the widely renowned and privacy-conscious Signal messaging program.

While this degree of anonymity is ideal for users, some governments and law enforcement agencies believe that it also shields activists, journalists, dissidents, criminals, and terrorists who may use the app to communicate in secret. According to Freedom House, WhatsApp has been banned in 13 countries, either temporarily or permanently:

  • Bangladesh
  • Brazil
  • China
  • Egypt
  • Ethiopia
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Montenegro
  • Saudi Arabia
  • The Gambia
  • Turkey
  • Uganda
  • Zimbabwe

In various regions, WhatsApp’s voice calling (VoIP) functionality is often disabled while the rest of the service remains accessible. VoIP, like Skype, enables users to make voice calls over the internet. WhatsApp voice calls are restricted in the following countries:

  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain
  • Morocco
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Uzbekistan

Telecom corporations in many nations have pressured their governments to impose similar restrictions on WhatsApp. Because WhatsApp acts as a replacement for conventional voice and text communications, it eats into the profitability of legacy telecommunications companies.

Best VPN for WhatsApp

We’ve suggested the best VPN for WhatsApp by evaluating the following factors:

  • Suite of strong encryption.
  • There are no use logs.
  • Protection against DNS leaks.
  • There are mobile applications available for Android and iPhone/iOS.
  • Notifies you of your internet activities.

NordVPN

NordVPN is our preferred VPN for WhatsApp. It provides a worldwide network of servers, allowing you to access a variety of services while traveling. It adheres to a real “zero-logs” policy and encrypts all connections. There is also the option to connect to a double VPN or Tor over VPN for real security aficionados. By default, the app will route your DNS queries via NordVPN’s own DNS servers, preventing any DNS leaks that could reveal your location.

Apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android are available. NordVPN supports multiple concurrent connections per subscription, making it ideal for a family, office, or group of roommates. Additionally, Nord supports streaming services such as US Netflix and Hulu, and boasts the quickest speeds we’ve observed.

Avoid free VPN services.

It is exceedingly improbable that any free VPN would consistently evade a country-wide WhatsApp limitation. A government that can block WhatsApp is also capable of blocking a VPN server. Free VPNs lack the resources and incentives necessary to keep their servers off these government blocklists. Paid VPNs are much more equipped to do so.

China and the United Arab Emirates deliberately restrict the great majority of VPN services, even premium ones. However, the premium VPN we’ve highlighted above has the experience and resources necessary to remain one step ahead. Additionally, it provides live customer support to users who encounter difficulties accessing WhatsApp.

Even if a free VPN is successful in granting access to WhatsApp, such access may be insecure. To prevent snooping third parties from monitoring your connection, free VPNs sometimes utilize poor encryption and leak prevention.

We suggest staying away from free VPNs that are often accessible on Google Play and the App Store. These applications often monitor and record your internet activity, insert advertisements, and have the potential to infect your device with malware. And if the cops come knocking on their door requesting information on a particular user, they are unlikely to jeopardize their company to rescue someone who uses their program for free.

Additionally, the majority of free VPNs provide a restricted selection of servers, limit available bandwidth, and impose data caps.

How to use WhatsApp when connected to a VPN

After selecting and signing up for the VPN mentioned above, follow the procedures below to use WhatsApp in a blocked country.

  • Install the VPN provider app on your device. (We suggest NordVPN.)
  • Launch the application and choose a server in a country where WhatsApp is not prohibited.
  • Connect by clicking the Connect button.
  • Open WhatsApp and use it normally after the connection has been established.

How we determine the best VPN for WhatsApp

PrivacyExplore strives to provide our readers with the most accurate, thorough, and relevant VPN evaluations and recommendations. To accomplish so, we assess each VPN against a set of criteria that includes expert analysis, real-world experience, and a variety of security and performance tests. In particular, we examined the following factors regarding WhatsApp VPN:

  • Security: We evaluate each VPN’s encryption strategy and conduct data leak tests on all connections.
  • Logging policy: We thoroughly review each VPN’s terms of service and privacy policies for any wording or absence of language that might imply the gathering of personally identifiable data when using the VPN.
  • Speed: We monitor and record download speeds when connecting to VPN servers located across the globe to suggest only the fastest VPN service.
  • Streaming: We assess each VPN’s ability to connect to major streaming services such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Prime Video, HBO Max, Disney+, and Paramount+.
  • Customer service: As undercover shoppers, our reviewers call each VPN’s customer support to ascertain response times and quality.
  • Ability to bypass censorship: We test VPNs’ ability to connect in countries with strict restrictions, such as China and the UAE.

FAQs for WhatsApp VPN

Where is WhatsApp not permitted?

In China, Syria, and North Korea, WhatsApp is fully forbidden. Without a VPN, you can not use WhatsApp at all in these countries.

In Cuba, Iran, and Brazil, WhatsApp has been temporarily restricted. If you want to use WhatsApp in one of these countries, you should have a VPN on hand just in case.

In the UAE, Qatar, and Oman, WhatsApp is partly blocked—typically, its voice and video calling functionalities are prohibited. With a VPN, you can utilize WhatsApp’s VoIP services.

Is it possible to use a free VPN with WhatsApp?

We strongly advise against using a free VPN in conjunction with WhatsApp. Free VPNs are not charitable organizations—they demand financial support to function. Thus, rather than charging a membership fee, they frequently earn money by collecting user data and selling it to other parties, as well as by embedding advertisements into web sites. This implies that a free VPN may compromise your privacy rather than enhance it. Additionally, free VPNs have fewer server locations, are regularly restricted in countries such as China, and frequently impose data quotas or bandwidth constraints.

Using a VPN to unblock WhatsApp is entirely legal, unless you live in a country that expressly prohibits VPN use. This includes, but is not limited to, the UAE and Iran.

Is the encryption used by WhatsApp secure?

WhatsApp’s encryption is built on the same source code as Signal, the highly respected end-to-end encrypted private chat service. Only the intended recipient of a message can decode its contents, which means that neither Facebook nor WhatsApp can read your discussions.

Having said that, WhatsApp does make certain modest security concessions for the benefit of convenience. When you switch phones, for example, your encryption keys are renegotiated to ensure that you retain access to messages saved on your previous device. This renegotiation creates an opportunity for someone at Facebook to access a user’s communications.

Although I’m linked to a VPN, WhatsApp remains prohibited. What am I to do?

One of three things is most likely to be the source of this issue.

The first is that your internet service provider or mobile carrier has blocked the IP addresses of known VPN servers for the authorities. If this is the case, you will be unable to access anything online, including WhatsApp, while using the VPN.

If this occurs, contact your VPN provider’s customer care and ask which servers to use to unblock WhatsApp in your country. Most will offer a selection of servers that are not banned by the authorities that you may use.

The second most probable explanation is that your DNS queries are being leaked. The DNS, or domain name system, is used to associate a domain name with an IP address assigned to a web server. For instance, when you put privacyexplore.com into your browser’s URL bar, a DNS request is issued to determine the website’s IP address. This request is sent to the closest DNS server, which is typically managed by your internet service provider. Most government-sponsored internet blocking occurs at the ISP level.

A DNS leak happens when a DNS request is transmitted outside the VPN tunnel to your ISP’s DNS servers rather than to the DNS servers of your VPN provider. This identifies the true destination of your web traffic, and the ISP appropriately disables the connection.

To circumvent this, ensure that your VPN has DNS leak prevention (the VPN provider we recommend above does this). If it is not enabled by default, you may need to activate it in the app’s settings. Furthermore, you may attempt to disable IPv6 on your device.

Finally, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) may be limiting traffic to or from certain ports utilized by WhatsApp. Your VPN client may offer port forwarding, which routes WhatsApp traffic over a different port. Consult the provider’s website or contact the provider’s customer service.

Is a VPN capable of patching the WhatsApp backdoor?

The short answer is no.

To begin, WhatsApp does not have a backdoor; rather, it has a tiny flaw in its end-to-end encryption mechanism.

The way it works is as follows: when you send a message using WhatsApp, it is encrypted before it leaves your phone, transmitted over the internet, and never decrypted until it reaches the recipient’s phone. Only the recipient’s phone is equipped with the key necessary to decode the message. Before any communications are delivered, private keys are produced and transferred between users.

However, if the receiver moves phones, they lose the encryption key required to decode communications. This may result in undeliverable mail. WhatsApp incorporates what many opponents say is a backdoor in the name of convenience. Without the recipient’s awareness, the key exchange is renegotiated and the backlog of messages is resent. Users may choose in their WhatsApp settings to be notified if the receiver changes phones and the keys are renegotiated; however, this is not enabled by default.

As a result, if someone just switches off their phone or is absent from the internet for an extended length of time, WhatsApp—and hence Facebook—could create a new phone and private key to access their conversation history.

To do this, one would need WhatsApp’s explicit cooperation and a clear objective. This is not something that can be abused without the assistance of WhatsApp through huge dragnet monitoring or by hackers. As a result, it is a non-issue for many individuals. If you believe you are being targeted in this manner, you may learn more about the subject and research possible WhatsApp alternatives.

In return for our initial question, a VPN will not protect you from this vulnerability in any manner. The vulnerability would have to take place on WhatsApp’s servers, not on your computer or internet connection.

Is a VPN going to protect me from arrest for using WhatsApp?

The short answer is no.

Long answer: Several news stories from several countries have indicated that individuals have been detained for publishing or sharing criminal information on WhatsApp. This text is sometimes characterized as slanderous, libelous, explicit, or even providing knowledge about impending coups d’etats.

Please keep in mind that the government did not hack WhatsApp to gain this information, nor did it steal it during transit over the internet, nor did it collaborate with WhatsApp to obtain the contents of someone’s WhatsApp communications. WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption safeguards against this kind of eavesdropping.

Rather, officials received the information in one of two ways:

The authorities were tipped off by someone in a WhatsApp group or private discussion.

The cops grabbed the phone and pressured the owner into unlocking it if necessary.

That is all. There is no evidence of hacking here.

Why am I required to use a VPN with WhatsApp?

WhatsApp is prohibited in some countries. For example, WhatsApp is fully unavailable in China, whereas in other countries, just the VoIP (voice and video calling) services are blocked. There will be no sending or receiving of messages, and the app may be withdrawn from local app stores.

Regular access to WhatsApp and all of its features is enabled by a VPN. Additionally, it conceals your use of WhatsApp from your ISP and authorities.

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