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Unblock YouTube in five minutes
If you want to get started right away, simply follow these instructions to unblock YouTube in about five minutes:
ExpressVPN works perfectly at unblocking YouTube and does a whole lot more, including protecting your privacy whenever you’re online, so for as little as $8.32/month you really do get a sweet set of features.
You can find a review of ExpressVPN here.
Recommended reading: How VPNs work and what they do.
Like so many video platforms, YouTube must conform to strict licensing agreements. For many unlucky countries, the result is content-blocking, and millions of users are met with this dreaded message: “The uploader has not made this video available in your country.”
Fortunately for you, there’s a way to access all the YouTube content you want. You can bypass restrictions and access forbidden YouTube videos from school, work, or even from countries where YouTube is banned.
The guide below will show you different methods about how to unblock YouTube videos.
Some countries (including China, Iran, Syria, and Turkmenistan) block access to the entire YouTube website as a form of government censorship. They use firewalls that block all access to YouTube servers from within the borders of the country.
And even if your government doesn’t block YouTube, that doesn’t mean your school or employer won’t. There are a couple of possible reasons they set up access policies forbidding YouTube. First, so you’re not distracted while you’re supposed to be studying or working.
Second, so you don’t consume massive network resources, such as when streaming videos. If too many people try to stream content simultaneously, the network can slow down significantly for people who need to use the internet for work, study, or teaching purposes.
Even if you can access YouTube, you still might have encountered this annoying message :
This may not be due to the content creator simply not wanting users from your country to enjoy their content, but rather due to complicated licensing agreements made with broadcasters in varying nations.
Just as different TV stations have the rights to broadcast various programs, YouTube has licenses to showcase content in specific countries. This type of regional-specific restriction is called geo-blocking, and it uses your IP address to determine your location. If a TV network posts a preview for a program it holds the license for only within the U.S., YouTube will restrict the viewing of that content to the U.S. only. If you’re outside the U.S., then you can’t view the program preview.
So, if you’re traveling out of the country, you might be barred from geo-blocked YouTube content you’d normally be able to view. Also, it’s not uncommon for your IP address’s registration to be in a country different from the country you’re actually in. This can result in access problems.
Fortunately, there are different methods you can use to unblock YouTube. Read below.
There are three levels by which access to YouTube can be blocked:
ISPs will block access to YouTube if instructed by the government for the purposes of complying with censorship laws or protecting copyright.
To remain compliant with local policies, local networks operated by schools and businesses will utilize firewalls and routers to block YouTube access. A common reason for this is to prevent throngs of users watching cute cat clips from overwhelming network bandwidth.
Parental controls or company policies may block YouTube because the person who controls the device’s access doesn’t want you to visit it. Usually, parents do this to shield their children from content that may be deemed offensive.
This solution is by far the most straightforward and reliable. It requires no further research, and you won’t have to mess with your internet settings. And aside from unlocking YouTube, a VPN offers a bonus: It also functions as a fantastic security product that protects you from people trying to steal your personal information online.
When you use the internet, you send and receive data. A VPN is a secure network that encrypts and re-routes that data from your normal ISP to a remote server. But how does it unblock YouTube (and any other service such as Netflix)? By making it seem like your computer’s physical location is in another country (one of your choosing). That way, geo-blocking simply won’t work.
What’s more, because all the information you transfer is encrypted, your ISP won’t be able to detect or track any websites you visit.
Where anonymity and the unblocking of web content are concerned, a VPN is the safest way to access all content from YouTube. It works anywhere in the world and can help you access content globally, without having to worry about firewalls, geo-blocking, or censorship.
Once you’ve decided on the best VPN for you, subscribe to a package and download the software. It shouldn’t take longer than several minutes. The end of this article provides simple instructions for how you can do this with ExpressVPN.
After you finish setting up your VPN, just turn it on and select which country you want to connect from. It would be ideal to connect to a server in your own country; that way, you get the fastest possible internet speed.
And that’s it! You’ve now unblocked YouTube.
Further VPN guides we recommend you to check out:
- How to hide using a VPN
- How to prevent your real IP from leaking
- How to encrypt your internet traffic
- VPN protocols
Additional use cases for VPNs:
This option will work, but it’s not ideal. It uses lots of device memory for the content, and it takes a long time for content to download. The hassle of the entire process and the potential of downloading viruses make this solution less than ideal.
Finding the right site to help you locate and download the video you want is often a process of trial and error. If there’s a specific video you want to watch offline, that could be a good option. But you must fully download it before you can attempt to view it.
To do a direct download from YouTube, you’ll need to perform a quick search online for a suitable YouTube download site. Once you’ve found the most appropriate service, you’ll then need to search for the file you want to view.
It’s usually easy to find a video without having to actually visit YouTube, as Google now lists videos in search results (Google owns YouTube). Once you’ve found the video you want, copy the target URL. This link will typically appear directly underneath the title of the video in the search engine results. Copy the URL and paste it into the download site.
While this is the slowest method of all of the options we discuss, it usually works and requires very little technical know-how — that is, as long as you can find the video you’re after and have the storage space available on your device.
The problem is that you end up with loads of videos stored locally on your laptop or phone, rather than being able to access them online.
There are many services that will make a copy of any website whose address you provide. Then you can access that site anywhere. This is an OK option if all you want to do is just quickly watch something important just once or twice. But keep in mind that these sites can be dangerous. Here’s why…
Proxy websites and proxy servers usually deliver lots of advertisements, often in the form of annoying popups you have to keep closing. These ads can often be phishing sites posing as familiar sites like Gmail or Facebook. The goal? To get you to input your login credentials.
One additional problem with proxy websites is that it’s impossible to know whether the content in front of you is truly a duplicate of the original page. YouTube hashes out millions of dollars to safeguard users from content that’s illegal, immoral, or just outright disturbing — the stuff you don’t care to see anyway.
YouTube also monitors video comment sections for threatening, abusive, or extremely offensive material; these need to be filtered out as well. So if you want to be 100% certain that what you’re seeing truly is what’s on the original YouTube page, you really just need to be on the official YouTube site.
A proxy server functions in a manner similar to a VPN. It just doesn’t offer the same stability or security. A proxy filters your connection request through a server that makes it appear like your location is elsewhere. This way, you can bypass firewall restrictions based on your location, but not all of them.
Something else that web proxies don’t offer, but which is essential for security and privacy of browsing, is traffic encryption. Proxies provide no encryption services. The implications of this are that network administrators, ISPs, and law enforcement bodies can access your IP and trace your browsing history.
Free proxy services can definitely be convenient. But there are rogue services out there that will track your internet usage or even steal your personal info. Aside from these security concerns, the services and connections do have limitations depending on where you choose to access the internet from. Moreover, the connections are also relatively unstable.
So, for a secure connection that’s also stable and reliable, you’re much better off with a VPN. You’ll also get additional encryption and the peace of mind that your data will be protected and shielded from the public 24/7.
There’s a good chance you already know something about Tor, probably in connection with the Dark Web. If not, check out our detailed Tor guide.
Tor is a highly secure network of computers that help increase anonymity when accessing the internet. Many journalists use Tor to get information out of an oppressive country to avoid getting punished by government authorities.
When connected to Tor, your data is encrypted on your device and sent to a minimum of three other computers around the world. This action adds a new layer of encryption each time, before finally connecting to the regular internet. The process means that it’s almost impossible to track Tor users’ activities online.
The biggest problem with Tor is that it’s too slow. It’s simply not designed to replace an ordinary web browser. The encryption routing through nodes means that there’s lots of data to process, and there are only a few Exit Nodes available. Tor will definitely unblock YouTube, but not only would you have to wait for ages for your videos to buffer, but you’d also be slowing down the network for people who may need to use it for other, perhaps more important matters.
If so, unblock it with a VPN. This option is by far the easiest, quickest, and most secure way to unblock YouTube content. However, make sure you use a reputable VPN service.
We highly recommend ExpressVPN. It’s easy to use, and also has some excellent advanced features. Moreover, it protects your privacy whenever you’re online, and it works with every online service we’ve tried.
You can get massive discounts for signing up for a more extended period, and all plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. So if you find that it’s just not what you wanted, you can simply get a refund. It also has advaced features such as kill switch and split tunneling.
Compared with premium VPNs, free VPNs may appear to be an attractive option, but they’re extremely slow and impractical for streaming YouTube videos. Also, keep in mind that there’s no such thing as totally free — these “free” VPN providers make money other ways: by monitoring the videos you watch and then selling this data to various corporations and advertisers.
If you’ve subscribed to a VPN to avoid being censored by your government, it’s important to be able to trust your VPN provider. It goes without saying that they shouldn’t be sharing your browsing history with your government!
Can’t install the ExpressVPN app on your computer? You’ll need another way to access YouTube. The next best option is to install either an ExpressVPN Chrome or a Firefox extension onto your web browser.
Simply visit the Mozilla website to find the Firefox browser extension, or visit the Google Chrome store to find the Chrome browser extension.
If you still find your network blocking YouTube after you’ve installed the ExpressVPN app or the browser extension, try connecting to different servers until you find one that works. It’s not unusual for some VPN IP addresses to be blocked if a previous user has committed some transgression using that IP address.
Unless you’re happy to burn through your mobile data allowance watching videos, you’ll need to connect your mobile to a Wi-Fi network to access YouTube. If YouTube is blocked, then you’ll need a VPN on your mobile device. For more information, read our guides:
Some networks might block you from accessing VPNs to stop you from doing the things we discussed in this article! Fortunately, you’ve got workarounds to bypass these blocks.
Stealth VPN is the best option to disguise your VPN traffic. It uses the process of VPN obfuscation to mask that your traffic is from a VPN. This way, you can bypass VPN blocks.