It is common for school network administration to block access to websites like Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook as well as streaming sites such as HBO, Netflix, Pandora, and Hulu. Sharing music, movies, photos and games on school Wi-Fi networks is only a dream for most of the students. Sounds familiar? Feel ya… But we are here for you with a solution that will unblock your fave websites at school.
Why schools block websites?
The underlying intention for school administrators to block access to specific websites is an effort to keep their students focused on education and tasks related only to schoolwork. Moreover, it’s a moral obligation to protect you from the unsafe content floating across the internet. There are also considerations on bandwidth use. If everyone is streaming videos or downloading, then the school network will slow down.
Why is this an issue for students?
Keeping students within schools’ firewalls often prevents them from accessing essential content they need for academic research and school-related topics. Yes, schools consider website blocking and filtering as a way of protection but we forget that students may also need to message friends on Facebook regarding the details of a group project or look up a tutorial on Youtube. Blocking certain websites derails learning process.
Let’s be honest about another important factor – we all need a break and life in school isn’t a piece of cake. So, in order not to stress out students need some options to relieve tension, be it a fun video on Youtube, online game or a simple chat with friends. Short breaks using Snapchat or video streaming platforms don’t do much damage. On the contrary, it gives a moment to relax between classes and can prevent burnout.
How to unblock websites at school?
The simplest and easiest way to bypass school blocks and browse the internet freely is to use a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN that works in the school should be capable of hiding your physical location and make it appear like you are accessing the school Wi-Fi from somewhere else.
Why would you use a VPN in school?
Schools are learning institutions where information and knowledge should be easily accessed and shared rather than being censored. However, with an essential tool such as a VPN you can hide your physical location and enjoy benefits like:
- Private browsing
Schools typically observe and log all your online activities. Therefore, school administration knows what you are doing online. A VPN keeps your browsing private, so nobody neither your school’s network administration nor the internet service provider (ISP) can monitor and track your online activities.
- Maintaining safe and secure connection
The school Wi-Fi is password protected, but it’s far from being secure. Other people are also using the same Wi-Fi, therefore they can easily and maliciously hack your computer and cause irrevocable damage, like deleting notes or term papers and, or hold your computer “ransom”. Also, if you bring your laptop to a shopping mall or a café to do school work, it can be easily hacked. A VPN protects and encrypts your traffic, so those with ill-intentions cannot find you.
If we’re honest, this is important too:
- Taking your mind off studies
Yes, you’re entitled to your break between studies. So if your school administration blocks websites that put your feet up, you may as well get around their restrictions with a VPN.
- Unblocking video games and streaming sites
Usually, these websites are blocked because they can use up bandwidth and slow down the entire school network. When you log in with a VPN, you can bypass these restrictions, unblock websites at school and watch Hulu, Netflix, and other streaming sites, as well as play games. That’s not what we’re suggesting, but we all need a little fancy break sometimes, right?
Best VPN for school: factors you should consider
- Blocking technique
First of all, you need to be sure how your school is blocking the VPN you choose. If it uses port blocking, choose a virtual private network that supports SSTP protocol via port 443 or OpenVPN port forwarding to port 443 or 80. If your school uses the Deep Packet Inspection, opt for the one that offers to conceal VPN traffic making it look like regular.
If you use multiple devices such as smartphones, laptops, desktops or else, ensure to go for a VPN that is available 24/7 on different operating systems, including iOS, Android, Windows or macOS.
If you’re not a computer wizard, go for a VPN that is quick and easy to use. Make sure it has an intuitive interface, too.
Trust me on this – you will need a fast internet connection for numerous tasks you have to embark on, so a speedy VPN connection is kinda a must.
Different VPNs have different servers in different countries. If you need to access content from all over the world, make sure to check that your chosen VPN has a broad choice of servers.
What to do when school blocks a VPN?
The school administrator may realize students are using VPNs to access school Wi-Fi. This may cause the school to block your newly discovered way out. It can be inconvenient since you may need to discuss a group project with a friend on Facebook or even Snapchat. In this case, you need to mask your virtual private network traffic to look as it is a regular web browser traffic. This can be done by using stealth VPN to cover your usual stream of traffic, so it is not identifiable.
How to use Snapchat on school Wi-Fi without VPN?
If your school restricts the use of Snapchat on school Wi-Fi and you do not have a VPN, then, Houston, we have a problem. But what you’re going to learn in your long lasting life is that there’s always a way out. In this case, too. There are several optimized third-party apps to unblock School Wi-Fi without VPN. They are fast and do not require any technical skills to use.
Another alternative is to use a proxy server. This seems to be a popular solution to unblock Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and other websites. Proxy servers do not require complicated data verification and have low rental charges.