Best VPN for Craigslist and How to Overcome the VPN Ban

Updated: 25 February 2021
Updated: 25 February 2021

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Simply follow these instructions to unblock access to Craigslist in about five minutes:

  • Click here to visit ExpressVPN and sign up
  • Get the ExpressVPN Chrome or Firefox extension (or install the app)
  • Open the extension and choose your country from the map or list
  • Enjoy full access to the Craigslist site

Unblock Craigslist

Why do I need a VPN to access Craigslist?

Craigslist provides free, local advertising of goods and services within the community. Users can post ads on localized Craigslist pages for face-to-face exchange and payment.

Based in California and created initially for users in the U.S., Craigslist has expanded its reach to provide access to many parts of the world. It’s an excellent resource for finding a new job, looking for a service, buying and selling stuff, and more.

However, Craigslist comes with restrictions. Users are allowed to post in only one category and one geographical area once every 48 hours. Posting too often or having lots of similar ads will result in their removal.

Thousands of users get their IP addresses blocked by Craigslist each day, usually as a result of spamming the site with too many ads or posting ads in different areas. The IP address block will prevent the user from being able to access Craigslist. However, it’s easy to get around this problem with a VPN. Connecting to a VPN server in another country will give you a new IP address and hide your location.

On the face of it, in today’s global marketplace, there seems to be no reason why users shouldn’t be allowed to post ads on Craigslist outside of their local area. As a route to market, it can significantly increase efficiency and the probability of finding new customers.

Craigslist is also currently available only in around 70 countries. If you’re traveling abroad, you may end up in a country that won’t allow you to log in and see how your ads are doing. Connecting to a VPN server in a country where Craigslist is available will allow you access.

Why Is Access to Craigslist Blocked?

There are many reasons why access to Craigslist might be blocked. You may be in a country where it’s not available, for example. Or you may be using a school or company network where access to Craigslist is banned.

Just thinking about it. If you’re at work or school and are supposed to be doing something productive, the last thing that your boss or professor want is for you to be browsing sites like Craigslist, which they think will keep you from getting your work or school responsibilities done. They also don’t want you wasting network resources or potentially infecting their systems with malware because of something you downloaded but shouldn’t have.

To be sure, those teachers and business managers, and even IT administrators, have the best of intentions. But sometimes you may have a legitimate, really pressing need to visit Craiglist. And it won’t hurt anyone! You intend to be very careful not to allow offensive content or malware-laden files to wreak havoc on your network.

So you move forward with accessing Craiglist, and that’s what we’ll help you do.

How Can I Unblock Craigslist?

If you need Craigslist for legitimate reasons, like posting a recruitment ad or finding a local service, you can certainly bypass network blocks on the website.

  • One way is by just asking! This is probably the simplest option. Request whoever manages the network to grant access to Craigslist. The IT admin should be able to find ways to avoid the unwanted side effect of potentially opening up the network to other dangerous websites in the process.
  • Another option is to access Craigslist with mobile data. This method is probably the quickest solution, but you have to be willing to consume some of your data.
  • If you don’t mind slowing down the speed of your internet a little bit, you can also disguise your browsing of the Craigslist site. To do that, you need a proxy server. Stay away from a free one, though, because then you’ll need to contend with a bunch of ads and having your browsing habits monitored. The free proxy server might even try to make a profit off of your browsing history — there are a bunch of advertisers eager to get their hands on that info!
  • Another method is to use a VPN service. If you can’t just ask for Craiglist to be unblocked, or if you don’t want to use mobile data, this is probably your best option, and it’s our favorite. (Read our beginner’s guide to VPNs if you want to learn all about them!) VPNs work similar to proxy servers, but they’re generally more safe and much easier to use. Again, you’ll want to stick to a premium service. Like free proxy servers, free VPNs will monitor your browsing habits and try to sell that data to third parties.

For most of these options to work, network traffic must be encrypted. Otherwise, it’s very easy to detect whenever someone tries to visit Craiglist, and that attempt will be blocked.

What VPN Is Best to Use for Craigslist?

For its outstanding privacy features and most especially its sophisticated encryption, go for ExpressVPN, a premium service.

Free and non-premium VPNs are unreliable when it comes to accessing Craigslist because these VPNs have few IP addresses available. Craigslist is proactive in blocking VPNs, so these IP addresses won’t work for very long before being identified and blocked.

Unblocking Craigslist With a VPN

If you’ve settled on the VPN method to unblock Craigslist, your first step is to find a VPN app! Again, we recommend a premium service like ExpressVPN for its fantastically fast servers. You’ll get superior speed (no buffering issues!) and superior customer support.

Next, you have to install your chosen VPN onto your device. Then open up the app and choose the country whose server you want to connect from. For the fastest internet speed, opt for a server housed in the country you’re currently in. But if you also want to access content that’s restricted in your country, you’ll need to pick a server located in a different one.

Once you select a suitable server, you should have access to the Craigslist website.

What Happens If Craigslist Blocks My VPN?

When you connect to a VPN server, you’re assigned an IP address that’s shared by hundreds of other users of that VPN server. There’s a small chance that one of the other users may also be accessing Craigslist — but in a malicious manner that causes that IP address to get blocked.

Fortunately, ExpressVPN has thousands of different IP addresses available, so you can just connect to a different server. This feature enables you to carry on and use Craigslist as usual. Also, an advantage of using a premium VPN service like ExpressVPN instead of a free proxy or VPN service is that you’re much less likely to share an IP address with a malicious user.

Got Connection Problems? Here’s How to Troubleshoot

If you can’t install the ExpressVPN app onto your computer, you need to get an extension for ExpressVPN. Go to either the Google Chrome store to get ExpressVPN’s Chrome browser extension, or to the Mozilla website to get ExpressVPN’s Firefox extension.

Still unlucky? Well, sometimes VPN IP addresses get blocked, and that’s not uncommon. In this case, just try connecting to different servers. Eventually, you’ll stumble on one that works. All it takes is a little patience!

Written by: Stephen Mash

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Software and Systems Assurance Specialist Based in West Sussex, England, Stephen has worked as an information security and safety assurance consultant since 1997, specialising in risk management for high integrity systems. Prior to that, he developed safety-critical software-based systems for the aerospace industry. He transitioned from consultancy into the role of technical copywriter and editor in 2019, writing and reviewing materials on behalf of a broad spectrum of clients.

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