Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, are growing increasingly popular because of their versatility and, sometimes, downright necessity. In short, they work by rerouting and encrypting your internet traffic through a remote server, thus curbing geographical restrictions and keeping your online activities private.
Unfortunately, many places that would benefit from a VPN connection impose restrictions on this technology. The list includes schools, workplaces, public libraries, and even whole countries if the government wants to censor the populace.
Luckily, service providers have developed ways to bypass VPN blocks and allow customers to reap the benefits of privacy anywhere. Read our article and learn how to get around VPN restrictions.
How to bypass VPN blocks
- Sign up to a provider with features for bypassing VPN blocks. Our #1 suggestion is NordVPN with its obfuscated servers, available for 68% off!
- Download the VPN software on your main browsing device
- Go to the settings menu and enable the features for circumventing VPN restrictions
- Connect to a server
- Enjoy the web privately without restrictions!
Best services for bypassing VPN blocks
- Bypass VPN blocks with obfuscated servers9.6
- VPN unblocking with NoBorders mode9.3
- Affordable provider with Stealth VPN9.0
- Well-rounded service for getting around VPN blocks8.8
- Undetectable VPN with Chameleon protocol8.5
Why do VPNs get blocked?
The best VPN services can do many great things that network administrators, online services, hackers, and governments don’t appreciate.
For example, virtual private networks can:
- Keep your online activities completely private and unreadable with AES-256 encryption
- Change your Netflix region and unlock other geographically restricted content
- Get around ISP throttling and increase your internet speed
- Protect your device against viruses and malware
- Wipe away malicious ads and online trackers
Although using a VPN is perfectly legal in most parts of the world, many entities try to block this technology because it affects them negatively.
The most common frustration is that VPN encryption prevents online monitoring. Keeping an eye on users is common practice in workplaces, educational institutions, and other publicly available networks. Plus, some oppressive governments engage in blatant citizen surveillance and block VPNs that would undermine this practice.
Copyright and geographical restrictions
Secondly, customers can use VPNs to circumvent copyright and licensing restrictions. Many online services don’t have the right to distribute certain content worldwide and thus have to block users from accessing it. However, changing your location with a VPN can immediately remedy this issue. Naturally, these services can’t just sit by idly while and not uphold their obligations. Thus, they try to restrict access when using virtual private networks.
Fraud and other illegal activities
Utilizing a VPN isn’t all fun and games. Some people use the anonymity benefits of these services to engage in illegal activities like fraud and digital piracy. And since most providers don’t keep activity logs, it’s impossible to know who’s giving VPNs a bad rap. Therefore, VPN technology gets blocked wholesale even if it negatively affects law-abiding netizens.
Best providers for bypassing VPN restrictions
As you may have guessed, it’s impossible to avoid VPN detection with any run-of-the-mill service provider. Instead, you’ll need to opt for superb services with exceptional reliability and features. Besides that, essentials like a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and good tunneling protocols are crucial too.
We’ve selected five providers with tried and tested tools for bypassing VPN blocks. You can learn more about these services and how they work by reading our short overviews. But if that’s not enough, consider checking the full reviews to see the complete picture.
1. NordVPN – bypass VPN blocks with obfuscated servers
24/7 live chat, Email
- Exceptional connectivity with NordLynx
- Independently-audited zero-logs policy
- Loads of privacy and anonymity features
- Only six simultaneous connections
NordVPN is the ultimate service for getting around VPN blockades while remaining undetected. It’s trusted by millions of users worldwide thanks to its reliability, confidentiality, and top-notch security.
Obfuscated servers are the star of the show in this scenario. Enabling them makes your online activities appear as regular HTTPS traffic, preventing common VPN connection blocking methods. Plus, you’ll be immune to online censorship and surveillance, allowing you to enjoy the internet as you see fit.
Once online blockades have been dealt with, you can use NordVPN to make the most of your video streaming subscriptions. This VPN can unlock bonus TV shows and movies on Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, and more. Plus, you can choose from over 5500 servers across 60+ countries.
Test out this service against all possible digital restrictions using the 7-day free trial on the Google Play Store. After that, subscriptions start at $3.29/month when you apply a NordVPN coupon code. Lastly, all plans are protected with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
For a deeper investigation of NordVPN, read our NordVPN review.
2. Surfshark VPN – VPN unblocking with NoBorders mode
24/7 live chat, FAQ
- Unlimited device connections
- Low-priced and extremely effective
- Ultra-fast with WireGuard
- Unaudited no-logs policy
Surfshark VPN is a budget-friendly and reliable option for bypassing VPN blocks. It has many alternatives for tackling online censorship and other digital nuisances.
The first feature Surfshark customers can use to avoid internet restrictions is the NoBorders mode. Alternatively, Camouflage mode is automatically enabled when using the OpenVPN tunneling protocol. Besides that, you can reroute your connection multiple times using MultiHop.
Conventional problems can be solved using the expansive 3200+ server network across 95+ countries. It’s worth noting that the entire fleet runs on RAM-only technology for exceptional data integrity. Meanwhile, connection speeds are mind-blowing when combining WireGuard with Software Defined Networking.
Get started with Surfshark using the 7-day trial on either the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. But if you want to sign up immediately, use a Surfshark discount code and enjoy $2.30/month starting prices. Best of all, your purchase is protected with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
For a deeper investigation of Surfshark VPN, read our Surfshark VPN review.
3. PrivateVPN – affordable provider with Stealth VPN
24/7 live chat
- Cheap and multipurpose
- 10 simultaneous connections
- Most affordable provider with Stealth VPN
- Lacks WireGuard
Tearing down VPN blockades doesn’t have to be an expensive expedition, especially if you’re using PrivateVPN. It’s the cheapest provider with the ability to mask VPN traffic.
Users wanting to hide their VPN activities with PrivateVPN will have to enable Stealth VPN. It’s used for curbing DPI and firewalls in restrictive countries and networks. On the off chance that it doesn’t work, you can fall back on the Shadowsocks proxy.
Concerning hardware, PrivateVPN runs a tight-knit operation with 200+ servers in 63+ countries. The entire fleet is bare-metal and operated by the provider to minimize opportunities for third-party interference. Moreover, connections are conducted with the tried and tested OpenVPN tunneling protocol.
You can give PrivateVPN a chance using the 7-day free trial. Otherwise, a PrivateVPN coupon grants $2.00/month starting prices. Plus, there’s no need to worry about buyer’s remorse, thanks to the 30-day money-back guarantee.
For a deeper investigation of PrivateVPN, read our PrivateVPN review.
4. IPVanish – well-rounded service for getting around VPN blocks
24/7 live chat, email, knowledge base
- Infinite connections
- Independently-audited no-logs policy
- Swift speeds with WireGuard
- No anonymous payment methods
IPVanish is an all-purpose virtual private network capable of bypassing VPN detection, unblocking geo-restricted content, and maintaining privacy.
Toppling digital walls with IPVanish requires enabling OpenVPN traffic scrambling. You can do so in the settings menu under the protocol selection. Speaking of which, WireGuard is available if you need blazing-fast connectivity while browsing, streaming, or gaming.
Although IPVanish is based in the United States, privacy enthusiasts can rest assured because the service went through an independent audit of its no-logs policy. On the other hand, streaming fans won’t have trouble unblocking foreign content thanks to the fleet of 2000+ servers across 50+ countries.
The one drawback of IPVanish is the above-average price and lack of a free trial. Still, you can always utilize the 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied. And don’t forget to snag an IPVanish coupon for $3.33/month starting prices.
For a deeper investigation of IPVanish, read our IPVanish review.
5. VyprVPN – undetectable VPN with Chameleon protocol
24/7 live chat
- Swiss-based and independently-audited
- 30 simultaneous connections
- WireGuard-powered speeds
- Quite expensive
VyprVPN is an ultra-secure and confidential VPN hailing from Switzerland. It’s a veteran of the industry with a solid reputation and reliable performance.
Customers can use the one-of-a-kind Chameleon protocol to deal with various online restriction measures, including DPI, censorship, and throttling. Besides that, WireGuard is available for lightning-fast connectivity while doing other activities. Plus, you can choose from 700+ servers in 70+ countries to facilitate a VPN connection.
In addition to Switzerland’s jurisdiction, this service conducted a third-party audit of its zero-logs policy to showcase its commitment to confidentiality. Additionally, one subscription permits a staggering 30 simultaneous device connections. And if somehow that’s not enough, you can use the unique router app to conveniently secure an entire network.
Start your journey with this provider by claiming a VyprVPN discount code. With it, pricing plans start at $8.33/month. And don’t forget about the 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re feeling hesitant.
For a deeper investigation of VyprVPN, read our VyprVPN review.
Types of VPN blocking
Virtual private networks come in many shapes and forms. Therefore, the means of blocking them are also diverse to enforce restrictions effectively.
Naturally, this isn’t great for users trying to avoid VPN detection. But understanding the potential causes allows you to troubleshoot issues effectively and quickly get back on track. So, let’s dive into how VPNs are blocked and how to circumvent these restrictions.
Connecting to a VPN server is a great way to hide your IP address because it gets masked by the server’s address. However, VPN IP addresses can end up flagged by online services and barred from entry. This is a common issue because shared addresses are easily noticeable.
Luckily, there are a few ways of dealing with this. For starters, you can simply switch to another server and try your luck with another IP address. VPN services frequently renew their IP addresses to continuously curb geo-blocks. On the other hand, you could subscribe to a VPN with a dedicated IP address to prevent this issue from occurring in the first place.
Many networks restrict VPN usage by blocking connection ports commonly used by VPN tunneling protocols. For example, TCP Port 1194 and 443 are default OpenVPN gateways, and blocking them prevents establishing a VPN connection.
Users can address this problem by switching protocols, tinkering with connection port settings, or enabling other stealth technologies.
Deep Packet Inspection
Deep Packet Inspection, commonly referred to as DPI, is a popular digital censorship method employed by governments. It’s a sophisticated way of analyzing web traffic and blocking anything with the characteristics of a VPN connection, such as encrypted metadata.
Once again, the best way of dealing with this surveillance tool is by enabling VPN masking technologies. You could also try alternative hiding techniques, for example, proxies.
How to avoid VPN blocks
It may seem impossible to get around VPN blocking at first. But in reality, a secure VPN service provides many ways of curbing potential roadblocks.
- Server switching. When dealing with VPN restrictions, your first order of business should be trying to connect to another server. This addresses the commonly-employed IP blocking tactic.
- Changing VPN tunneling protocols, encryption, or connection ports. The next step involves a lot more tinkering, trial, and error. It depends on how many options your VPN provider has regarding tunneling protocols, encryption, and ports. Try changing these settings and checking whether anything works.
- Enabling Stealth VPN. If the first methods didn’t work, it’s time to pull out the big guns. Stealth VPN features, like NordVPN’s obfuscated servers or Surfshark’s NoBorders Mode, should be able to bypass any VPN limiting technology.
- Using a dedicated IP address. Avoiding shared IP addresses grants many benefits and prevents annoying security verification issues because of constantly changing login locations.
- Switching to mobile data. If you’re using a mobile device and a particular network isn’t playing ball with your VPN, you could switch to mobile data. Just don’t forget to keep an eye on your data consumption to avoid exorbitant bills the next month.
- Smart DNS. Some streaming-focused VPN services provide the Smart DNS feature for unblocking video content on devices without using VPN software. Each provider has a different implementation that involves changing DNS settings. It’s worth trying because, technically, it works differently from a conventional VPN connection.
Provider-specific features for bypassing VPN blocks
Here’s a reminder of each provider’s features for getting around VPN blocks. These are typically enabled in the settings menu. If you can’t find it, check the provider’s self-help guides or contact customer support.
|Surfshark VPN||NoBorders mode|
|IPVanish||Scramble OpenVPN traffic|
Other ways to unblock content
Let’s say that it’s your unluckiest day, and all the virtual private networks you tried couldn’t bypass the VPN blocks you’re facing. In that case, you can try other tools entirely. We have a separate guide about how to unblock websites anywhere. Here’s a glimpse at some quick and easy fixes you can try out immediately.
- With a proxy. Proxies work similarly to VPNs since they act as a middleman between you and a remote server. However, they aren’t as secure due to using different protocols and the lack of encryption. But this works in your favor because it’s less detectable by firewalls.
- Using the Tor Browser. Tor isn’t your average web browser because it’s primarily used to access the Dark Web. It’s also great for anonymity and accessing censored content. Give it a shot if you have the option. Just keep in mind that, in other scenarios, it isn’t ideal without a secure VPN for Tor.
- Altering DNS settings. Users can deal with less-sophisticated restriction methods simply by changing their DNS settings. There are many providers and addresses to choose from (Cloudflare, Google, OpenDNS). Some are easy to remember, like 126.96.36.199 or 188.8.131.52.
Can I bypass VPN blocks with a free VPN?
Perhaps you’re a free VPN customer running into networks stifling your provider. Is it possible to use the same product to hide the fact you’re using a virtual private network?
Although it depends on your provider, the most likely scenario is that a no-cost VPN won’t be capable of bypassing VPN blocks. These services don’t have enough resources to deal with DPI or to update their IP addresses frequently. Not to mention all other issues that are common with free VPNs, such as:
- Limited monthly data
- Throttled bandwidth
- Abysmal server selection
- Absence of security features
- High likelihood of data logging and selling
Your best bet is to take advantage of the previously-mentioned data unblocking alternatives for urgent solutions. A temporary fix is possible with a free trial VPN, but this trick works only once, like a get-out-of-jail card in Monopoly. After that, you’ll need to acquire a different one.
Encountering a VPN blockade is a rare and frustrating experience, putting service providers through the ultimate performance test. Will it tear down the digital wall or succumb to online restrictions it was meant to destroy?
The key to unstoppable internet access is having a provider with Stealth VPN capabilities. It’s the most surefire way of curbing standard restriction measures like DPI. For your convenience, we’ve selected five such providers, with NordVPN as the #1 option.
What’s your go-to companion for bypassing VPN restrictions? Do you rely on the virtual private network or prefer a different method? Share your insights below!
How do I bypass a blocked VPN?
You can circumvent VPN connection blocking by enabling Stealth VPN features. The name will differ depending on your provider. For example, NordVPN users must connect using obfuscated servers. If your VPN doesn’t have such features, try other methods like using proxy services or changing your DNS address.
How do you bypass school blocks on VPN software?
Bypassing VPN blocks on school networks requires having a VPN app downloaded and installed on your device before entering the premises. Otherwise, you won’t be able to access the provider’s website to download the VPN. Naturally, your chosen provider needs Stealth VPN capabilities to mask VPN traffic. Alternatively, you can try using a proxy browser extension
Can a VPN access blocked sites?
Yes, using a VPN is the best way of unblocking websites anywhere. It encrypts your traffic and redirects your web connection through a remote server, making it impossible to track your activities. Plus, changing your virtual location unlocks geographically-restricted websites and other content.
Can VPNs be traced?
No, secure and trustworthy VPNs with no-logs policies can’t be traced. However, picking an unreliable or fully-free provider is equivalent to getting traced because your data is collected and exposed behind your back. Therefore, choosing services with excellent privacy policies and jurisdiction in confidential regions is crucial.
Does my ISP see when I use a VPN?
Yes, technically, your ISP knows when you’re using a VPN because all your browsing data will be encrypted and unreadable. However, there’s not much an ISP can do because VPNs are perfectly legal in most parts of the world. And if you’re in a country where that’s not the case, use a secure provider with Stealth VPN features.