How to unblock YouTube at school, work, or elsewhere

Many schools and workplaces block access to popular sites like YouTube to stop students or employees from getting distracted. If you want to access YouTube on restricted WiFi, then you should use a VPN to unblock YouTube. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) lets you bypass local network restrictions completely, by allowing you to pretend to be elsewhere.

As soon as the VPN connects, you no longer seem to be at school and the network restrictions no longer apply. Even better, the VPN also encrypts your data so that the network administrator will never know that you can unblock YouTube at school or work.

In this guide, we will explain exactly how you can bypass school WiFi restrictions to unblock YouTube, or any other websites or services blocked on your school network or work. And the good news is that it is super-easy!

What are the best VPNs for unblocking YouTube?

Here is a quick look at the best VPNs for unblocking YouTube on school or work WiFi networks. If you want to find out more, keep scrolling for a detailed breakdown of each provider or check out our full VPN reviews.

  1. ExpressVPN - The best service for unblocking YouTube
  2. CyberGhost VPN - The best value-for-money VPN for unblocking YouTube
  3. Private Internet Access - A budget-friendly VPN for unblocking YouTube
  4. Surfshark - A great VPN for unblocking and streaming content
  5. VyprVPN - A privacy and stealth-oriented VPN for unblocking YouTube

Best YouTube VPNs - In-depth Analysis

Here is a detailed analysis of the best VPNs for unblocking YouTube on restrictive and censoring school/work networks. These services will also unblock YouTube videos if they are restricted in your country and they will allow you to access the site if it is completely blocked where you are.

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for unblocking YouTube. This service has consistently fast servers, which will allow you to stream 4K YouTube without buffering.

  • Pricing

    From  $6.67 - $12.95
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

ExpressVPN is a provider based in the British Virgin Islands that is known for providing excellent privacy levels and unblocking capabilities. It is perfect for accessing YouTube at school, at work, or in countries where videos are unavailable. ExpressVPN is available for all platforms and provides advanced privacy features such as a kill switch, DNS leak protection, port forwarding, split tunneling, obfuscation, and even its own VPN protocol (Lightway). This makes the VPN perfect for protecting your online privacy both at home and on public WiFi. It also means you can easily bypass geo-restrictions or school-blocks without fear of being found out.


ExpressVPN has servers in over 94 countries and intuitive, easy-to-use apps for Mac, Windows, iOS, Linux, and Android. Plus, this VPN provider accepts up to 23 different payment options (including Bitcoin). Best of all? ExpressVPN is known to be in the top 5 fastest VPNs in the world, and it is one of the few VPNs that consistently stays at the top of the pack. This makes it perfect for accessing HD streams on YouTube, on Netflix US, or on BBC iPlayer.


It's a superb no-logs VPN that packs a real punch and will let you unblock anything you throw at it. ExpressVPN has impressive customer service with 24/7 live chat and a 30-day money-back guarantee should you want to try the service properly for yourself.


 

CyberGhost offers a fantastic and easy to use VPN app. It lists what servers are good for streaming within its app, which makes it easy for you to access YouTube videos.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.81 - $13.47
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

CyberGhost is a VPN provider based in Romania that is perfect for unblocking geo-restricted YouTube videos at school, at work, or in countries where videos are geo-restricted. This VPN has servers in over 90 countries - which is great for accessing geo-restricted online services from all over the world such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Prime Video, hulu, Daily Motion, YouTube, and more. And its servers are lightning-fast, which means you will have no problem streaming your favorite content in full HD without any annoying buffering. 


With CyberGhost VPN you get apps for most major platforms (including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android) that come with a wide range of privacy features. These include a kill-switch, OpenVPN encryption, and DNS leak protection. And because this is a no-logs VPN, you can trust it to keep your web browsing habits private at all times.


We love that CyberGhost lets you run the VPN on up to 7 devices simultaneously, which makes it great for people who own a lot of devices. And because this VPN has servers in over 90 countries, you can unblock anything and get the best speeds possible. Finally, you can test this service thanks to its generous 45-day money-back guarantee. It's an excellent all-rounder that is surprisingly cheap.

Private Internet Access is not only great for unblocking YouTube. As its name suggests, it's also great for privacy. It proved in court that it does not keep logs.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.84 - $10.51
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a US-based provider that keeps zero logs; a claim it has proven in court on more than one occasion. The VPN is ideal for unblocking YouTube in school because it has super-fast servers that are great for streaming. Admittedly, its servers (in 47 countries) are in fewer locations than some of our other recommendations. However, the reality is that those VPN servers are situated perfectly across the globe to access all kinds of content. And PIA has a lot of servers in each country to ensure you never suffer congestion.


When it comes to privacy, PIA is one of the best. It implements a solid no-logs policy, and has apps for all platforms with advanced VPN features such as OpenVPN encryption, a kill-switch, DNS leak protection, obfuscation, port forwarding, and split tunneling. This makes the VPN perfect for gaining privacy both at home and while unblocking content at school. Plus, PIA can easily unblock many of the most sought after online services such as Netflix US, Minecraft, Fortnite, and anything else you can think of. 


PIA VPN is one of the most recommended services by Reddit users, and it is easy to see why. This VPN has live chat support, fast speeds, and highly customizable apps perfect for techy people looking for more granular control over the VPN's advanced encryption features. It's well worth comparing to our other recommendations using its 30-day money-back guarantee. 

Surfshark offers premium features and it's really cheap! This is a great option if you are a student looking to unblock YouTube on school or college WiFi.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.49 - $12.95
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

Surfshark is a VPN that has quickly become a consumer favorite thanks to its high levels of service and competitively-low prices. Considering what you get, this VPN is truly a bargain. Its 3-year plan costs just $1.94 a month, and for that price, you can install and use the VPN on an unlimited number of devices simultaneously – letting you protect all of your devices without having to purchase additional subscriptions.


For streaming YouTube in school or at work (or anywhere else where it might be blocked) Surfshark is ideal. Servers are located in over 63 countries, and will let you bypass any geo-restrictions – including to access Netflix US, iPlayer, Hulu, Fortnite, and much more. Plus, Surfshark is lightning-fast to let you watch HD streams without buffering.


On top of all that, Surfshark is also strong on privacy. The service implements a watertight no-logs policy, and the VPN has a kill switch, obfuscation, strong OpenVPN encryption, and DNS leak protection. Besides accessing YouTube, Surfshark unblocks more Netflix catalogs than most VPN providers. It's an outstanding VPN that is extremely affordable, and you can compare it to our other recommendations yourself using its 30-day money-back guarantee. 

VyprVPN offers one of the best apps around. Its Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows apps are fantastic and you can use the service on more than one device.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.50 - $12.95
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu

VyprVPN is a superb service that is another great option for accessing restricted content such as YouTube in schools. VyprVPN has servers in over 70 countries, perfect for unblocking more YouTube videos, and those servers are fast enough to let you stream in HD. Admittedly, this VPN is not as fast as some of our other recommendations, but it makes up for that with exceptional apps and advanced security features.


Plus, VyprVPN owns and operates all of its own network, which gives it full control over your privacy. And this VPN has endured a full third party security audit that proved the efficacy of its apps and infrastructure. That means you can completely trust Vypr to provide you with digital privacy and security both at home and on the move.


VyprVPN implements a strong no-logs policy, and it permits torrenting throughout its networks. Plus, it has apps for all platforms with strong OpenVPN encryption, advanced stealth technology, a kill-switch, and even a free VyprDNS service to help you unblock more content from around the world. We think this is a superb VPN that is well worth considering using its 30-day money-back guarantee. 

Why do I need a VPN to unblock YouTube?

There are a few different ways to unblock YouTube content while connected to school/work WiFi. Each method has its benefits and depending on your needs, you can opt to use any of them. However, only a VPN will allow you to unblock websites while also gaining digital privacy

This is important because schools will often block websites and services to ensure that students don’t access them (to keep them productive in their studies and to prevent them from accessing harmful content). That is why it is better to use a VPN, which will unblock YouTube while simultaneously providing privacy.

Although using a VPN is by far the best choice, we have listed every available way to unblock YouTube for complete transparency. That way you can unblock content using whichever method suits you best.

Use a VPN to unblock YouTube

A VPN is by far the best way to unblock content while at school. With a VPN you can easily bypass local network restrictions, not just at school, but on any network where there are restrictions. As soon as you have a VPN, it is a tool that will prove useful everywhere that you go (including at home). A VPN can do great things, such as:

  • A VPN will allow you to bypass ISP restrictions that block free streaming sites or BitTorrent repositories. A VPN will also allow you to bypass government censorship or geo-restricted content from another country. No matter the reason for the block, a VPN will bypass it. 
  • A VPN provides digital privacy every time you connect to the internet. This stops your ISP (or your school’s network administrator) from being able to track the websites you visit. It also stops public WiFi administrators from snooping on your web browsing habits. And stops the websites you visit from tracking you. As soon as you connect to a VPN, the things you do online are private. It is this privacy that makes it such a good option for bypassing blocks.

How to unblock YouTube with a VPN

Using a VPN to bypass WiFi blocks in privacy is extremely easy. All you need to do is follow these simple steps:

  1. Choose a VPN that has fast servers for streaming content on YouTube or other streaming sites. Not all VPNs are speedy, but luckily there are some services that can unblock content and let you stream. A fast VPN is also good for video conferencing, gaming, and other data-intensive tasks.
  2. Subscribe to the VPN service by clicking through to its website.
  3. Download the VPN software and install it on your device. Our recommended VPNs allow you to install and run the VPN app on multiple devices simultaneously. That means you can use the VPN on your smartphone, tablet, and laptop or desktop machines.
  4. Connect to a VPN server in the country you require. You can either connect to a server in your own country or pretend to be in a foreign country to access geo-restricted content that isn’t usually available from where you are located.
  5. Navigate to YouTube as soon as the VPN connects, and it will load even though you are connected to the school's WiFi.

My school is blocking VPNs

Unfortunately, it is a very real possibility that your school network administrator is actually blocking all search terms related to VPNs and all websites belonging to VPN providers. This will make it impossible for you to download and subscribe to a VPN without unblocking the website first. One option is to use the Google Translate method (more on this below).

Alternatively, you could subscribe to the VPN service and install the software onto your devices while you are at home. That way, when you go to school, you will already have the VPN at your disposal; ready to unblock YouTube and access your favorite music, vlogs, independent news - or anything else that interests you.

Use a proxy to unblock YouTube

Proxies are another popular method that many people use to bypass blocks. Proxies come in two primary forms:

  • Website proxies that you can use to redirect you to websites that are otherwise blocked.
  • Browser extension proxies that will unblock content for you inside your browser.

These proxies can allow you to bypass the restrictions put in place by your school, but they will not provide the level of privacy you get with a VPN. One advantage of a proxy is that you may be able to unblock YouTube right away for free. However, the school’s network admin may find out, which could get you in trouble. 

It is also worth bearing in mind that good free proxies are getting rarer and rarer, and many paid services are replacing them - so you may have trouble even finding a good free one. And rather than paying for a proxy, it is much better to get a VPN, so don’t fall into the trap of paying for a transparent proxy that provides no privacy; it would be a waste of your money.

Can I use a free VPN to unblock YouTube?

Because of the lack of privacy that comes with using a proxy, we recommend using a VPN. Fortunately, if cost is an issue, there are some decent free VPNs that can give you privacy and unblock YouTube at school without having to spend any money whatsoever. However, it's worth bearing in mind that not every free VPN will work, and some can be more dangerous than they're worth. You should only use a trustworthy free VPN service, because not all free VPNs are created equal:

  • Some free VPN services have been known to infect devices with malware.
  • Not all free VPN services have strong enough encryption to properly shield your internet traffic – meaning that they may not work at all.
  • Free VPNs such as Hola! use your IP address as an exit node for their VPN system – so someone else may be appearing as you and committing crimes under your IP address.
  • Even the best free VPN services impose data and speed limits – slowing you down and even stopping your internet usage altogether.
  • Many free VPN services will monitor and sell your personal information and usage data to third parties – if the product is free, then you are the product.

A free VPN will never be as good as a paid-for VPN, and a good VPN doesn't have to be expensive. There are plenty of budget-friendly VPN services that don't break the bank. With the best cheap VPN, you can get unlimited streaming, rock-solid protection, and privacy that gives peace of mind online.

Use Google Translate to unblock YouTube (or VPN sites)

Network admins create blocklists for websites by manually selecting sites to block one by one. To stop students from visiting YouTube, they block YouTube.com. However, they do not usually block Google Translate, thanks to its usefulness in the classroom. Thankfully, it can also be a useful and effective tool for getting around website blocks at school.

To use this trick, simply enter your search term into Google Translate and select a foreign language to translate to (in our example we used Portuguese).

Google transalte

Highlight the translation and copy it into Google to search for it. The search engine will now serve you foreign-language results that you can choose to access in your own language by clicking Translate this page.

Translated websites

The URL should look like this after your browser loads using this amazing trick:

https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=pt&u=https://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DSiFNOQzRagk&prev=search

This is technically a Google Translate page rather than a YouTube page. As a result, it will load even on your school’s WiFi. This clever workaround will allow you to unblock just about any website you can think of. Just translate the search terms you are interested in and then use Google Translate to access the website. It should load the page successfully every time.

Alternatively, if you want to use this trick but don't want to have to dive into the Google Translate page, you can simply copy the following into your address bar:

https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=pt&u=

Now, type the URL you want to access after the final = (netflix.com, for example). When you press enter, the translated page will load without being blocked by your school.

However, please be warned, your network administrator will easily be able to see which websites you are visiting. As a result, you could get caught and you could get in trouble for accessing blocked websites. For this reason, it is much safer - and a much better long-term solution - to use a VPN instead.

On the other hand, if you only need to watch one video (and it is study-related content that won’t get you in trouble) then you can use this method. If you have a genuine explanation for accessing a YouTube video, you shouldn’t get in trouble if you are discovered bending the rules. 

Why does my school block YouTube?

A school will block sites such as YouTube for a number of reasons. Firstly, you should be studying at school. They want you to stay productive and not be procrastinating and accessing entertainment when you should be working. However, this can be counterproductive when you want to use YouTube to study.

On top of this, schools have a responsibility to protect students from content that is deemed illegal, immoral, or otherwise inappropriate. To this end, schools will try to block and censor anything that meets that criteria, and will often block a whole website even if only a small percentage of it may be inappropriate. Despite efforts to remove such materials, YouTube is known to harbor a lot of user-made content (be it videos or comments) that promote hate-speech, may contain misinformation and graphic content, or may otherwise seek to purposefully offend or upset.

There will always be disagreements about what a school should and should not block, and often it comes down to the fact that, ultimately, somebody has to choose what is and isn’t appropriate, and people will naturally disagree on those things.

Conclusion

When schools block useful content that serves a legitimate interest in a student's studies, self-expression, cultural identity, or educational development, a VPN can be a valuable tool. Here's a reminder of our top VPNs for unblocking YouTube at school:

  1. ExpressVPN - The best service for unblocking YouTube
  2. CyberGhost VPN - The best value-for-money VPN for unblocking YouTube
  3. Private Internet Access - A budget-friendly VPN for unblocking YouTube
  4. Surfshark - A great VPN for unblocking and streaming content
  5. VyprVPN - A privacy and stealth-oriented VPN for unblocking YouTube

Written by: Ray Walsh

Digital privacy expert with 5 years experience testing and reviewing VPNs. He's been quoted in The Express, The Times, The Washington Post, The Register, CNET & many more. 

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