How to Unblock Websites at school, work, or home using a VPN

There are many reasons why websites may be blocked for you. Be it a school or work network, government censorship, non-compliance with GDPR, or simply just a regional block, the internet is far more closed off than you may realize.

With a VPN, you can get around these restrictions and access sites that would otherwise be unavailable to you. In this article, we compare the best VPNs for unblocking websites, and tell you how to spoof your location to get the most out of your internet usage.

 

How does a VPN unblock websites?

A VPN not only provides greater privacy and security online, it allows you to appear as if you are in a different part of the world. This has many advantages, from protecting your identity to allowing you to access content from specific geo-locations. VPNs do this by encrypting your traffic and blocking it from third parties.

By connecting to a VPN server, your IP address is hidden and is switched for a new one that belongs to a VPN provider. This new IP address can be for a different country, or somewhere within your own country, allowing you to hide your physical presence and explore the internet in an open and unrestricted way. In doing so, you can access sites with content restrictions, such as; Netflix, hulu, iPlayer, Amazon, and YouTube, as well as unblocking sites completely blocked in your location like torrent sites.

What do you need to unblock websites?

To unblock websites that are restricted due to GDPR, geo-restrictions, network restrictions on school and work WiFi, or, any other reason we suggest you look for a VPN with the following features:

This will help you get the best service without compromising privacy. If you are looking to unblock websites and are based in a country with mass censorship (such as China), we recommend using a VPN with a higher focus on privacy (utilizing no/zero logs policies and obfuscation technology).

Unblock Websites in China

If you live in China, then please take a look at our VPN for China guide, for a list of services that provide the highest level of encryption and some tips on bypassing online censorship in China.

The best VPNs to unblock websites

You can find our recommendations for the best VPNs for unblocking websites below. For more details about the providers listed, be sure to check out our detailed VPN reviews.

ExpressVPN is fast and secure VPN service that doesn't even flinch when it comes to unblocking websites

  • Pricing

    From  $6.67 - $12.95
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Hulu

ExpressVPN is a super-fast VPN that eats network restrictions for breakfast. With its global network of servers, obfuscation (stealth) technology, and AES-256 encryption, Express is a top-of-the-line VPN for unblocking websites.


Its no logs policy ensures that no personally identifiable information is collected – only minimal aggregated connection logs. Couple this with its Smart DNS service and anti-censorship stealth servers and you end up with a service that makes quick work of network and government restrictions.


Some users may find the price point steep, but we think that you get what you pay for with ExpressVPN. A premium price for a premium service. The simple app offers users great control over their privacy, with superb customer service and a generous 30-day money-back guarantee should anything go wrong.


ExpressVPN is the provider that leads the field with its professional and secure service. Because of this, we think ExpressVPN is the best VPN for unblocking websites.

PrivateInternetAccess is the zero logs VPN that unblocks websites with ease

  • Pricing

    From  $2.84 - $10.51
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Hulu

PrivateInternetAccess (PIA) is a great VPN for people who are more concerned with maintaining their privacy online. With a court-proven zero logs policy, watertight encryption, and obfuscated (stealth) servers, PIA is a regular go-to for privacy purists. This high level of security comes with a surprisingly low price tag, offering remarkable value for money.


Its consistently quick servers and global network make it a fantastic choice for unblocking websites. PIA comes with great customer service as well; with 24-hour support, a 30-day money-back guarantee, and 10 simultaneous connections, users can cover most, if not all, of the devices in their home without hassle.


Overall, PIA is an exceptional value-for-money VPN that offers great security.

CyberGhost is a great value-for-money VPN that makes unblocking websites simple.

  • Pricing

    From  $2.81 - $13.47
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Hulu

CyberGhost is a fully featured VPN service with a budget price tag. Its global network of bare metal servers provide a secure and fast experience without compromise. Combine this with a solid no logs policy and AES-256 encryption, and you've got a VPN that unblocks websites with no fuss.


While the service does not currently have obfuscation available, there are a variety of other features that will help you stay secure. Automated HTTPS Redirect acts like HTTPS Everywhere, encrypting and cloaking your traffic to look like regular HTTPS. Its "Smart rules" functions allow for split-tunneling, WiFi protection, and app protection on devices.


CyberGhost is ideal for users who want to fully customize the VPN.

VyprVPN offers world-class obfuscation and excellent website unblocking

  • Pricing

    From  $2.50 - $12.95
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Hulu

VyprVPN is a high-speed, high-security service with a proprietary obfuscation (stealth) technology called "Chameleon". Chameleon claims to be able to evade deep packet inspection (DPI) and cloak VPN use by disguising regular traffic as HTTPS. Couple this with a third-party audited no logs policy, and no third-party involvement in the service itself, Vypr maintains a reliable and secure service.


Alongside this excellent stealth capability comes a wide choice of fast servers and fantastic value-for-money and a 30-day money-back guarantee. With this technology, Vypr claims users can access the internet in a "truly open and uncensored" way; unblocking websites worldwide.


VyprVPN is ideal for people living in countries with mass censorship, and will make short work of any restrictive networks.

PrivateVPN offers a wide range of server locations with excellent website unblocking capabilities

  • Pricing

    From  $1.89 - $7.12
  • Available on

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

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Hulu

PrivateVPN thrives on unblocking content and websites from around the globe. Focusing on strong encryption and fantastic geo-spoofing capabilities, it offers access to almost all online streaming services and websites. On top of that, its obfuscation (stealth), kill switch, and auto-connect features, as well as a zero logs policy, keep your browsing both private and unrestricted.


While its speeds could be faster, it is still very good for streaming and unblocking websites. Users get access to top-level servers and plenty of customization with their VPN. PrivateVPN offers users the option to switch between TCP and UDP, choosing between better reliability or download speed.


All in all, PrivateVPN is an excellent mid-tier VPN that is worth every penny.

Can I unblock websites with a free VPN?

A free VPN service can save you money, but could also end up costing you your privacy. When it comes to unblocking websites, it is important that you keep the following in mind before considering a free VPN service:

  • They regularly come with data and speed restrictions, which can slow your overall internet speed and stop your browsing altogether.
  • Not all of them provide geo-spoofing capabilities. This can be for many reasons, but the most common one is that they use a small number of servers and IP addresses, which are often known to overbearing governments, and regularly blocked by restricting networks. This is important for users based in countries with mass censorship.
  • Because of the small number of servers, they are often congested with heavy traffic, slowing down your usage.
  • Free services seldom offer sufficient encryption and obfuscation (stealth) to break through firewalls and network restrictions. So they might not unblock websites from other geo-locations.
  • They commonly monitor users and sell on user data to third parties to generate income. This not only negates the purpose of using the VPN in the first place, it exploits your internet usage.

A good VPN doesn't need to be expensive, and we've reviewed some fantastic low-cost VPNs that deliver outstanding value for money. For more information, be sure to check out our best cheap VPN page.

How to unblock websites with a VPN

Unblocking websites with a VPN is surprisingly easy. Once you've chosen a provider, follow these quick and easy steps to start getting the most out of the internet:

  1. Download and install your VPN app.
  2. Turn on the app and select a server in a country of your choice (if a website is blocked by your country, try a server in a different one).
  3. Wait for the VPN to connect and start browsing.

If you're trying to access content that is restricted in your country, then we recommend using obfuscation (stealth) or run TCP over Port 443 for extra security. This will help to hide your traffic and internet use from censoring governments.

Troubleshooting

If you still cannot access a website with your VPN, try the following alternatives:

  • Connect to a server in a different country.
  • Check your VPN/WiFi connection status.
  • Use obfuscation (stealth) options

Written by: Andreas Theodorou

Andreas is a Content Editor at ProPrivacy.com. Having graduated with a first-class BA (Hons) in English, he completed a Master of Research degree at Liverpool John Moores University and has continued to pursue research at every opportunity. Andreas started as a Tech Writer/Expert Reviewer at ProPrivacy before stepping up as Content Editor. An experienced writer, editor, and artist, he is currently researching video-games and popular culture in his spare time.

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