If you want unfiltered access to the internet, you need a VPN. However, websites and apps have long figured out how to block VPNs.
In some cases, they want to geo-restrict copyright content and prevent unauthorized and unlawful use.
Other times, it is a form of government censorship.
And so, VPN blockers have advanced alongside the development of VPNs- always trying to one-up each other.
Good thing we have all the hacks which can help you bypass these restrictions and stay under the radar.
How to Bypass VPN Blocks
There is no fixed method of bypassing VPN block, as different websites and governments employ various ways to block them.
So, let us take a look at the most proven ones.
1. Download a High-Quality VPN
Download an audited VPN with packed features.
Make sure it has AES-256 encryption, a choice of protocols, a kill switch, obfuscated servers, and DNS leak test technology.
The more configurable it is, the better chances you have of tweaking it until you can make it undetectable enough to pass as regular traffic.
Opt for VPNs with extensive area coverage and servers.
It should also diligently refresh its IP listing, as shared IP block is one of the biggest ways streaming servers detect VPN use.
Look for VPN services like NordVPN, which consistently updates its system to keep up with the blockage advancements ISPs and the government make.
The VPN service must not especially miss out on obfuscation. These servers are RAM-only and therefore do not log any speck of data.
It acts as a cloak over the VPN traffic and makes it look like general internet traffic.
The technique also makes it hard for ISPs to determine if you are using a VPN unless they are doing Data Packet Inspection.
Even then, it is tough to come to a sure-shot conclusion.
2. Switch VPNs
Here is the thing. Websites can try hard to block IP addresses associated with certain VPNs.
But there are only so many VPNs they can keep track of. If you keep on switching VPNs and servers, you can always pass undetected.
It is impossible to block every IP address used by every VPN service.
Even better if the VPN service offers dedicated IP, which is kept private until assigned to a specific user, it allows the person to appear truthful about their location.
VPN blockers rarely find out the dedicated IP address beforehand.
Suppose you keep using the same VPN; you want to spice it up by switching servers.
If your current IP address and server get blocked, you still have plenty of other server options.
Provided you signed up for a VPN service with generous server numbers.
However, this method will not work if you have to verify your real address on the website you want to access.
3. Create a Personal VPN Server
If you can create a VPN server at home, the only thing that can remotely crack down on it is Deep Packet Inspection.
After all, you can configure it to match every feature you need to pass VPN detection.
In the first place, huge websites are not checking for homemade VPNs simply because it would be difficult to track.
Of course, creating a VPN server is no joke. While it is no rocket science, it requires hardware and software familiarity.
You may not be a tech whizz, but you do have to be willing to tinker and learn.
If the idea appeals to you, plenty of online tutorials will teach you exactly how.
Plus, if nothing else, you will obtain a new skill.
4. Use Mobile Data
When it comes to bypassing VPN blocking at universities and offices, it is a matter of switching to mobile data.
The institutions can only restrict those who are using their WiFi. They cannot actually place a firewall on the air.
5. Switch Protocols and Ports
VPN protocols tend to stick to certain ports.
Often, simply switching the protocol or configuring the protocol to another port can be enough to bypass VPN detection.
Some websites simply block ports associated with particular VPN protocols. So, all it takes is for you to use lesser-known ports.
Alternatively, you can also use ports that would never be blocked.
- TCP Port 443: Any kind of online transaction on the internet occurs on port 443. The HTTPS port is where you enter your debit or credit card information, bank details, etc., while purchasing something. This is certainly the favorite port for big shopping sites.
Port 443 is also unlikely to fall victim to Deep Packet Inspection.
- TCP Port 80: Belonging to HTTP, this port is a part of every website on the internet. The port could never be blocked. Government and ISPs can use Deep Packet Inspection to separate the VPN traffic from port 80 and block it. However, not every ISP will go through the trouble, and unless you are from a country with heavy government censorship, it is safe to use.
You can try manual editing if you cannot change to a particular port through the VPN software.
6. Connect to SSL/SSH Tunnel
SSL and SSH are tunnels that encrypt the data you send through them. The high-level encryption helps pass VPN detection.
- SSL Tunneling: SSL Tunneling is a common arrangement for HTTPS. When your VPN connection uses the same tunnel, sites have difficulty separating general traffic from VPN traffic.
- SSH Tunneling: Secure Shell (SSH) tunnel is a common tunnel type business use. Combined with local port forwarding, your VPN connection is encrypted so thoroughly that it bypasses firewalls. A huge number of FTP file-sharing apps use it, so the tunneling system does not get blocked. The only downside is the slower speed.
7. Use The TOR Browser
TOR browser makes users of the browser anonymous on the web.
While it is not concerned with securing your data, it can change your IP address every 15 minutes.
This is helpful in bypassing restrictions on some websites. However, the TOR browser cannot sidestep VPN blocks.
Why Do Some Websites and Apps Block VPNs?
Websites and apps block VPNs for the same reason they deny traffic from specific locations.
It is a mixture of censorship, school policies, and copyright troubles.
Let us take a look at the most common reasons:
1. Government Censorship
Countries like China, Iran, Russia, Turkey, Malaysia, and the UAE block any number of websites at their discretion.
The reasoning could be anything from limiting citizens’ access to gambling and pornographic content to plain and simple information.
The most notorious case is The Great Firewall of China.
Residents cannot open Google, YouTube, Reddit, Wikipedia, Instagram, Whatsapp, etc.
Facebook, Messenger, and Twitter are partially blocked.
Even worse, some countries have made VPNs illegal or restricted their use to a massive degree.
North Korea, Iraq, and Oman certainly do not believe in allowing its citizen a shred of privacy.
So, how to bypass VPN block?
How do you even download a VPN there, let alone use one?
Well, you can install one on your phone or device while you are outside of the country.
You can also obtain one from the Tor network. Always make sure the VPN you choose has obfuscated servers,
2. Copyright Maintenance and Issues
Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu- all these sites contain copyrighted streaming content.
The distribution right belongs to production houses, partially lent to the streaming platform.
For example, if a show is airing on television and the Netflix US library simultaneously, they may not want it to spread to the UK yet.
To adhere to the copyright laws, Netflix would geo-lock the series.
Other times, the production company may want to share the show’s rights to different platforms in various areas to increase profit.
Unlocking everything to one platform does not help the cause.
However, geo-restriction is meaningless if people end up using VPN to watch the shows.
So, in comes the VPN blockers.
They will request you to turn off your VPN before you can see anything of the app.
Other times, the OTT platform may allow you to browse the app but show an error when you try to click open an episode.
VPNs with obfuscation and dedicated IP make it easier to fool the blockers.
Combine it with a kill switch and DNS leak tester; the streaming platform never knows your true location or if you are using a VPN.
3. Prevent Fraud
Any website where financial transactions occur would attempt to block VPNs. It is more for your benefit than theirs.
The primary function of a VPN service is to mask your IP location and personal information, which makes it impossible for banking applications to verify your identity.
Alternatively, gambling and gaming websites need to know that the money you spend on their services belongs to you.
Address verification also prevents fraudsters from targeting other gamblers and gamers.
Now, if you use a VPN to access finance-related apps and websites, you cannot verify your account.
You would not usually have address proof for the location your VPN will spoof your IP address to unless it is still in the same country or state.
What you can do is download a VPN with split tunneling on.
Assign the websites which require address verification to your regular local connection and use VPN to access other websites.
You can also verify your data without a VPN and then use a VPN later on if you are worried about personal safety.
4. School and Workplace Policy
Schools and workplaces are those places that demand discipline and your full attention.
They do not want you to play games on their time or doom scroll Instagram.
So, they use firewalls to place blocks on specific websites and apps.
They may blanket ban a certain category of URLs or specific website IPs.
They may ban all VPN services, so when students or employees try to download it on the organization’s network, they have no way to do so.
Workaround lies in using mobile data to avoid the VPN ban.
5. Block Illegal Activities
Many websites geo-restrict and block VPNs to minimize the chances of illegal activities occurring under their nose.
If website visitors engage in unlawful content on their site, the police and the government could also hold the website owner responsible.
For example, gambling is illegal in Cambodia, North Korea, Singapore, Qatar, Cyrus, etc.
If a citizen of one of these countries were to gamble online, the website they are using might come under fire.
When these websites detect a VPN, they do not take a second to suspend your account.
Worse, if you have money in the casino account, you will lose it too.
4 Primary Types of VPN Blocks
So, how are these agencies blocking VPNs? Well, there are three primary methods they use.
It is easier for schools and workplaces, as they can simply place firewalls on their network.
However, the government and website owners must use slightly advanced methods.
1. Port Block
VPN protocols have the same tendency as humans. They go for the familiar ports due to habit or perceived efficiency level.
So, all these websites have to do is keep a list of the most common protocol ports and block them.
For instance, PPTP uses the 1723 protocol a lot.
If your VPN allows you to change ports, opt for the ones the protocols rarely direct to.
Or go for VPN protocols which spices up its choice of ports.
2. IP Restriction
VPNs hide your real IP address and place you in a location of one of their corresponding servers.
However, similar to port numbers, VPN services also have a list of a select few IP addresses they can assign their customer for each area.
Streaming services like Netflix and gaming websites like Roblox keep a running list of IP addresses that VPN services create and use to counteract this issue.
When customers log in from these IPs, they are denied entry by the sites.
This is a smart move because it takes some effort to generate new IPs.
Shared IP addresses are more likely to be found out, as it is unusual for high traffic to come from the same location.
VPNs with dedicated IP addresses- reserving the address for a single customer- do a better job of bypassing IP restrictions.
As the IP addresses are kept separate for customers, streaming platforms have a harder time sussing and blocking them in time.
3. GPS Block
Some websites and apps snoop into your GPS history to confirm whether you use a VPN.
They can check whether your current GPS location and the IP address they are getting are a match.
Now, few websites do go through this trouble.
After all, it would require them to buy your data from data brokers, which can go against privacy laws.
Still, if you are worried about GPS blocking, you can go to VPNs that have the GPS spoofing option.
Surfshark is a reputable one on the block. You can also use apps to mock your GPS location.
Ensure you have cleared the cache and turned off your GPS location before enabling a VPN to access a website.
Uninstall and reinstall Google Maps or Apple Maps if you are an iPhone user.
4. Deep Packet Inspection (DPI)
Deep Packet Inspection is the analysis of the traffic instead of the origin.
It is an advanced and effective method available to the government and the ISPs.
The method is not something regular websites and apps can employ. It is also harder to navigate around.
Basically, the government can find out if the traffic is coming after connecting to a VPN server, and they can block it if they wish.
They can also redirect the traffic or let it be if they deem the VPN safe.
Currently, DPI is done in China, the USA, Singapore, Russia, Malaysia, and many more countries.
China is especially on top of the matter.
They detect whether the traffic has a TLS contact or the data is substantially encrypted.
Since normal traffic is less likely to go through severe encryption, it serves as a big indicator.
Not to mention most VPN services opt for OpenVPN protocol, an encryption system that always fails against DPI.
During DPI, every data packet is separately analyzed to understand the flow and nature of the traffic.
Only VPNs with data packet repackaging mechanisms can fool it.
How Do I Unblock VPN at School?
You can use mobile data instead of the school network to unblock restricted sites.
If you want to unblock sites while using a VPN, you may have to download the VPN app outside of the school grounds first.
When you connect to the school network, you only have to enable the VPN service.
Can the Government Block VPNs?
Yes, there are plenty of countries with sketchy privacy laws. They can block entire VPN companies.
They can require the companies to send your data to the government if they allow VPN services.
Is It Illegal to Use a VPN?
Using a VPN is not illegal unless you access banned websites in your country.
Additionally, some countries may make VPNs illegal. Of course, it would be illegal for you to use VPN then.
When streaming services block VPNs, they do it due to legal reasons.
On the other hand, government and schools censor it to either limit information or to increase productivity.
Sometimes, they do it to protect the sentiment of the people.
While you cannot make systematic changes, you can use VPN if you feel you are responsible enough to make good use of it.
You are completely valid in your concern about the use of your data.
In this post, we mentioned how to bypass VPN block, so feel free to use the methods mentioned above.