Let’s say you want to visit a website or a platform that is blocked in your country. What will you do? Use an alternate channel such as a Virtual private network (VPN) or a proxy server. Right?
This process is called bypassing an internet block. An internet block is anything that can block your access to an internet resource.
There are currently over 30 countries that have imposed a ban on internet freedom. Most of these countries have banned because their governments are against freedom of information, fearing people will rebel.
However, it is not just the governments that impose a ban on internet freedom. Many other entities can restrict internet freedom such as INGOs, ISPs, MNCs, and many others.
This guide covers methods to bypass VPN blocks that work for a school, public Wi-Fi, offices and other institutions. And also find out who can block access to the internet, why do they do it?
How to Bypass VPN Blocks (Easy ways to get around VPN block – Works even for unblocking Netflix)?
So you want to bypass a blocked VPN IP? Now that you are aware of what these VPN blocks are and how regulators impose them, it will only take you a few minutes to come up with the ways to bypass them. However, if you can’t, then this part of the article will tell all about how to bypass VPN blocks.
- Change your VPN server
- Create a new VPN server/connection
- Change your VPN protocol
- Switch your VPN ports
- Use SSL/SSH Tunnel for VPN Blocks
1) Change Your VPN Server
Well, this is the most obvious one, right? You can easily change the VPN server that you are using with another one. We have already talked about how most regulators can impose an IP ban that can target certain VPN services based on their server data. Simply change the VPN server and you will have access to that website back in your hands.
2) Create a New VPN Server/Connection
If the ban is imposed on one server, simply create a new one from another location since a VPN service offers multiple server locations. However, if you are still not able to use the new undetectable VPN server, then simply get a new VPN service. This will do the trick. Let’s say that NordVPN is compromised, and you can’t use it to unblock streaming services or websites. You can use ExpressVPN, Surfshark or another VPN service to get the job done.
3) Change your VPN Protocol
Most VPN services offer different types of protocols that you can use, such as OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP, and SSTP. If you are unsure which VPN protocol will work best for you, then simply test and see which one works! Today’s VPN services offer a bunch of protocols that you can use to create secure connections giving you more options and more freedom.
4) Switch your VPN Ports
Maybe the regulators have blocked only a few ports. Most VPN servers offer you the option to choose from different VPN ports. You can use these VPN ports to create a connection with the website/platform that you want to access. If the port number 443 is not working, perhaps change to port 80 and see if it does. Most VPN servers also offer stealth VPN options that the regulating platforms can’t detect. ExpressVPN and NordVPN offer the stealth VPN functionality.
5) Use SSL/SSH Tunnel for VPN Blocks
You can also hide your traffic source by using an SSL or SSH tunnel. These VPN tunnels will not let the end website know what type of traffic source you are using. However, the SSL tunnels need to be installed on both the client and the server. Only AirVPN provides SSL and SSH tunneling facilities at this time.
How are VPNs Blocked?
Governments and multinationals employ various tactics to ban VPN services. The purpose is to always make sure that people can’t use VPN servers to get access to prohibited information. The VPN blocks can be applied in a few ways, which are:
- IP Address Ban
- Port Blocking
- Deep Packet Inspection (DPI)
1) IP Address Ban
The most obvious one is to ban the IP addresses of the VPN service. A VPN service has over 1,000 servers in some cases. This would mean 1,000 different server IPs. Most states find out about these IP addresses by reverse tracing each connection linked to the VPN service. They then put a complete ban on all of these IP addresses, disallowing anyone with a VPN service to use their services.
However, most VPN services get over this issue by adding new servers to their server pool, allowing people more freedom of information.
2) Port Blocking
Another way to block people from using a VPN server to access certain information is by using the port blocking method. A port blocking technique allows users to block the ports of any website. Mostly the 4500 (UDP), 1194 (UDP), and 1723 (TCP) ports are used by VPN service providers. The VPN servers use these ports to pass data from one server to the other. These ports can be easily blocked by the states and other companies.
Most reputable VPN services have now started offering multiple ports options so that people don’t get stuck due to port block issues.
3) Deep Packet Inspection (DPI)
The DPI service can detect what type of data is available and which software it uses to encrypt the data. This can help the banning party understand which VPN service was used and, therefore, only ban that particular VPN from accessing its information. With the DPI inspection, states and companies can easily ban all the proxy servers and VPN servers, making it impossible to reach certain information. In a way, the DPI inspection is a much more secure and robust way to ban VPN systems. Since they can’t get past the DPI filters.
Why Institutions Block Websites?
We have many examples of websites getting blocked because of numerous reasons. Sometimes the bans are imposed by the governments just to make some sites comply with their policies. At other times, the reasons can range from religion to region. For example, India has blocked websites related to Pakistan and vice versa. Russia has banned websites related to the US and vice versa. South Korea and North Korea consistently ban websites against each other and operate from each other’s boundaries.
These state-run institutions ban each other’s information so that people can’t learn from them. Similarly, we have also seen how companies ban traffic coming from a particular website. Most US based stores have banned traffic from Ukraine, India, China, and other countries.
Now let’s learn how to bypass VPN blocks. Hopefully, this article will answer everything there is to know about VPN blocks and how to easily bypass them to get your desired information with the help of VPN servers.
Who Blocks Access to Website and Other Services?
Websites and platforms are often blocked by government institutions, but that is not always the case. Here is a list of entities that intentionally or unintentionally block access to websites and platforms.
- Government Institutions
- Media Streaming Companies
- Schools and Universities
- eCommerce Stores
Government institutions can ban websites/apps because of obvious reasons. Either the information available on the website was against the country, or it was hurting sentiments of a particular segment of the society. For example, Pakistan and Bangladesh have banned YouTube and Facebook-related content from time to time because this type of content goes against the religious ideologies of the people living there.
Similarly, China has blocked Google in the country because it believes that Google can track the activities of Chinese people. Then there is Russia that has blocked democratic and capitalist content in the country. It believes these ideologies can corrupt the minds of people living in those areas.
Media Streaming Companies
Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and similar other streaming services are only available in the US or have content restrictions specific to the country. This is because they don’t want to give access to people from other countries to watch their content. Why they do it depends on many reasons.
Maybe they don’t want citizens from other countries to watch their content. Or, quite a lot of times, the broadcasting services limits the right to only a specific country.
Then, there is the UK that is also blocking streaming content in other countries. The media streaming services such as BBC, ITV, and Channel 4 are only available in the UK. Even if its citizens visit another country, they can’t watch the content unless they make use of a VPN service.
Multinational Companies Trying to Limit Fraud
There are multinational companies that block content in other countries. For example, US companies such as BestBuy and Target have blocked their services in Asia and Africa. It is because these companies get a lot of fake orders from these countries.
They intentionally ban countries so their websites remain safe from all the junk data that can lead to miscalculated projections.
Ecommerce Stores Avoiding Copyright Infringements
Those who have worked in eCommerce know about how your competitors will try to copy your website data and then replicate it on their website. This is called copyright infringement. To avoid this issue, most eCommerce stores will ban the IP addresses of their competitors. If they don’t know about the IP addresses of the competitors, they will simply ban a specific region where the competitor is based.
Schools and Universities
Schools and Universities ban every unnecessary website that can interfere with a student’s education. Most students will take advantage of schools’ faster internet to download their favorite games and movies. Since this is wrong, schools often ban streaming websites and social media platforms. Most workplaces also ban social media websites so that their employees can focus on work and don’t get distracted during office times.
Current State of VPN Blocks Across the World
Many countries in the world have imposed VPN restrictions. The reason is that they don’t want others to access prohibited content in their region. VPNs offer a way to bypass internet restrictions, and that’s where states try to ban VPN services.
State of VPN Services in Different Countries
- North Korea
In China, VPNs are banned on a national level. Its government even restricts the use of proxy servers, and no information that is damaging to the state is allowed to be stored or read. China also uses Deep Packet Inspection methods to view traffic flowing through ISPs. These ISPs know what you are downloading on your browser.
Then, there is Iran that has put a complete ban on social media services after ISIS emergence. It has also banned popular VPN networks by targeting their IP addresses. Apart from that Iraq, has also banned access to many websites that the local citizens can’t access even with a VPN service.
Turkey is another country that is trying to suppress the internet freedom of its users. The Turkish government has placed a ban on selective internet entities. The list of these services is available here. Turkey started a crackdown against internet freedom after 2016 when social media was abuzz with a revolution in Turkey. However, later the commotion subdued, but the Turkish government still upholds the ban.
Russia has gone a step ahead in banning VPN networks and proxy servers. It even passed a law in favor of banning VPN servers in the country. Except for Kaspersky, no other VPN service will work in Russia.
In North Korea, only 7,000 websites are accessible through the internet. Users can’t access information outside, and they can’t join social media services offered by the western world. This is an attempt by the government to curtail rebels and keep the citizens in check.
Apart from these top countries, VPN services are also banned in countries like Belarus, Iraq, Turkmenistan, Syria, and many more.
Which VPNs can Bypass VPN Blocks Easily?
To this point, we were only discussing the possibilities and reasons behind a VPN block. Now, we will discuss what is the solution to bypass VPN blocks and how that is possible. We will also discuss some of the best VPN services that can bypass all types of VPN blocks easily. Let’s get started and shall we learn about them.
ExpressVPN is a great VPN platform to bypass VPN blocks and to access websites and platforms inaccessible through general ISPs. ExpressVPN comes with multiple features such as enhanced VPN protocols, kill switch, and access for five devices simultaneously. It also has a no-logs policy, malware protection, and access to multiple servers in numerous countries. It also encrypts user connections to VPN ports.
The next great VPN service is the NordVPN service. It is based out of Panama and offers over 5,000 servers in over 50 countries. It has a no-logs policy so that it doesn’t store your information in any way. Numerous VPN users have favored NordVPN service for bypassing internet restrictions. It is available on Android, Desktop, and iOS. You can use it on five devices at once. Recently, NordVPN has introduced a file encryption service called NordLocker. It is also improving the service to help people get more value for money.
Surfshark is a recent pick that can get the job done. It has one feature that no other VPN service offers and that is an unlimited number of simultaneous connections on a single subscription. With Surfshark, your data is secure & private thanks to military-grade encryption. It also comes with a kill switch to remove your digital trace in case the connection drops. It has numerous servers that you can use to bypass VPN blocks, stream online content, or to make banking transactions online in a safe way.
Last but not least, we have CyberGhost. The VPN service allows users to access any restricted websites without any problem. It comes with over 6,000 servers to visit a website. Moreover, CyberGhost VPN service offers 256-bit military-grade encryption that’s topped by superfast performance. Because of the flexibility it offers, CyberGhost is also known for unblocking any type of website/web app easily.
FAQs For How to Unblock Websites
Here is a list of frequently asked questions that people often ask when they want to unblock a website.
Is it Illegal to Use a VPN?
It is not illegal to use a VPN service. But since all states have their own rules, you can never be so sure about it. However, some states have imposed restrictions on VPN services. These include Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, and similar others.
However, generally, international laws provide you complete freedom of expression, unless you are trying to steal personal information. Similarly, countries often strike down websites that they think promote hate speech content such as ku klux klan, freemasons, and various others. The Pirate Bay is another source of hate speech content and therefore banned by most ISPs. VPNs are one way of visiting these types of websites.
Is it Legal to Bypass VPN Blocks?
No, it is definitely not legal to bypass VPN blocks if you are a citizen of the state where these VPN blocks exist. If they catch you trying to use a VPN service, they can impose penalties and even punishments. However, if you are not a citizen of that country, you can bypass any form of VPN blocks because the laws of that country won’t apply to you.
How Do I Know If My VPN is Working?
You have two options to check if your VPN service is working.
- Check your IP address by searching on Google ‘What is my IP address,’ and it will show you your current IP address.
- Check the VPN service you are using. If it says the VPN is enabled and connected to the system, it means your VPN is working.
How Do I Open Blocked Sites Without VPN?
You can use a proxy server available on the internet. Many companies offer proxy services such as Hidemyass and similar others. You can also use a TOR browser. It lets you visit all types of blocked material, including onion websites.
How Do I Stop Geo-Blocking?
Unfortunately, geo-blocking is one of the many things that you cannot stop by yourself. To stop it, you need to have admin access to the website. If that is not possible and you are visiting the website as a visitor, then you will need a VPN service or a proxy browser to access it.
We hope this article has explained everything you need to know about VPN blocks, how states use VPN blocks to limit content propagation, and how you can easily bypass VPN blocks without entering in the illegal domain.
Usually, VPN blocks are rarely used by states, institutions, or even companies. They only blacklist IP addresses or a region completely to disable access. So, you will not be tackling VPN blocks all the time.
If you have anything else to know regarding VPN blocks, please feel free to comment below.