What is Geo-blocking?
This is a technical term which basically means that some service providers, digital platforms, or businesses restrict access to their online content and services to only certain geographical locations or countries.
How Do They Know I am out of the Country?
Providers use specialized tools like geolocation software which finds out your location by tracing your computer’s IP address. Within that IP address, they can access the number assigned to your computer, as well as the country you reside in.
Why Can’t I Watch This YouTube Video?
“The uploader has not made this video available in your country” is the biggest issue that people come across when trying to access YouTube videos.
Now that we know what geo-blocking is, let’s discuss the main reasons as to why this might be happening to you:
Networks restricting their content
This is a common thing that happens on YouTube. You might see TV networks such as the BBC uploading videos regularly, but their content can only be watched from certain areas, like Britain. Another example is the BT Sport channel on YouTube, which oftentimes streams soccer matches live, but once again only for the people with British IP addresses.
Some governments such as Pakistan, China, Syria, and Turkmenistan have blocked their citizens from accessing YouTube altogether. Other countries have used their power to block certain videos and not the entire website. One such example happened in 2013 when all critical content of the Malaysian government was blocked in Malaysia.
This element does not fall under geo-blocking, but it can restrict YouTube users from accessing any video content that might be considered age-inappropriate. This can be found at schools and can easily be avoided with a YouTube proxy. However, this solution will not work for the previously mentioned geo-restricted videos, which need the help of a VPN to become accessible.
What is a VPN?
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. Basically, a VPN is a private network which allows its users to hide their internet connection by encrypting it. This makes all your internet activity completely anonymous to third parties.
How does a VPN Unblock YouTube Videos?
Using a VPN will enable you to connect to the internet via various servers from all over the world, allowing you to hide your true location as well as your identity. A great VPN will allow you much better cybersecurity as well, which will mean that you will no longer have to worry about anyone hacking into your computer or sending malware your way.
Selecting the Right VPN
You want the best VPN on the market to unblock YouTube. In order to select the right one for you, there are a few things you need to look out for:
- Secure Encryption
This is one of the most important elements if you wish to access YouTube from a country with very strict censorship laws. A strong encryption stops your IP address from being tracked by government agencies and that your privacy is not being compromised.
- Unlimited Bandwidth
Make sure the provider you choose does not limit your bandwidth as YouTube uses it up quickly.
- Fast Speeds
VPN services can slow down your regular internet speed so it is vital for you to choose one that will do this minimally.
- Active Customer Support
It is important for there to be adequate customer support when it comes to VPN services, especially for those just starting out and a little unsure of themselves. Straightforward problem solving will leave you with much-needed peace of mind.
- Many Server Locations
Choosing a VPN provider offering servers in many countries is vital so that you are never locked out.
- Flexible Price Plans
It is best not to be tied down to long-ended plans and have the option of a money-back guarantee in case you are not completely satisfied with your service. You know that a company willing to give you a money-back guarantee is very confident that their customers will be more than happy with the service they are providing.
The Best YouTube VPNs
The following is a list of the best VPNs we have ranked in terms of unblocking YouTube restrictions.
#1 ExpressVPN – Streaming Dedicated Servers
At the moment, ExpressVPN is the best YouTube VPN service out there. This is because it offers a secure 256-bit AES encryption and will not retain your logs, ensuring complete anonymity for you while using the internet. Using geo-spoofing technology from over 90 countries also means that you can enjoy all videos YouTube has on offer with no fear of getting blocked from any of them.
- Fast speeds
- Compatible with Windows, iOS, and Android
- Customer service is available via live chat with a quick response time
- 30-day money-back guarantee
Cost per month:
- $12.95 per month.
- $6.67 per month with an annual membership – plus, an extra three months free!
For more information on ExpressVPN features, read our extensive ExpressVPN review.
#2 CyberGhost – Super High Speeds
Another fantastic option when it comes to streaming YouTube videos is CyberGhost Pro, as it offers some of the fastest speeds in the world. They have over 800 servers available with most of them based in Europe and 170 in the United States. Another feature they offer is that you can you can use their VPN service for 5 devices at one time. Plus, you also have an unlimited bandwidth.
- Multiple plans available
- No account needed
- Additional security measures
Cost per month:
From $2.75 with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
For more information on CyberGhost features, read our extensive CyberGhost review.
#3 NordVPN – Security First
Using a double encryption method, NordVPN is another favorite for a YouTube VPN. Their extra security features mean that you won’t have to worry about third parties intercepting or tracking your data and online activity.
- Works with Mac, Windows, and Linux
- Fast speeds
- Offers more than 1000 servers in over 60 countries
Cost per month: From $11.95 with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
For more information on NordVPN features, read our extensive NordVPN review.
#4 IPvanish – Outstanding Self-Help Tools
With extremely fast speeds, unlimited bandwidth, and anonymous torrenting there is really not a whole lot more you could ask for when it comes to this VPN service provider. Of course, they do offer even more great features like unlimited server switches and connectivity for up to five devices.
- Supports Android, Windows and iOS devices
- Military-grade encryption
- Zero traffic logs
Cost per month: $10.00 with a 7-day money-back guarantee.
For more information on IPvanish features, read our extensive IPvanish review.
Setting Up Your VPN
As you can see, there are a few top-ranking VPN services that might be useful to you. If you are a first time VPN user or just a little confused when it comes to technology, we strongly recommend using ExpressVPN. Their friendly customer support is second to none and features a simple UI.
Once you have followed the instructions and have signed up with a service, you should receive an email which will contain a username, password, and a server address.
Depending upon which platform you’re using, follow these simple instructions and you will be good to go in no time.
For Windows 10 users:
- Search for and open the Network and Internet panel
- Click on VPN, then select “Add a VPN connection”
- Enter your account credentials in the appropriate boxes
- Choose what type of VPN you want to use, either SSTP, L2TP, etc. (Novice users should just select “automatic”)
- Click “save”
For Mac users:
- Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click on “Network”
- Click on the “Add” button in the list, then click on the Interface pop-up menu, then choose VPN
- Click the VPN Type pop-up menu, then choose what kind of VPN connection you want, L2TP, IPSec, etc.)
- Choose a name for your VPN service and click “Create”
- Enter your account credentials
- Click “OK”, then click “Connect”
After you connect, you should be able to choose your desired location in the VPN’s settings.
Is it Illegal to use a VPN?
In most countries like the US, Australia and countries in Europe as well as all around the world, the use of a VPN is not prohibited. They are not legal in a small number of countries which have a more restrictive reputation.
In saying that, there are certain activities that are considered to be illegal altogether and should not be performed even with the use of a VPN. They include:
- Email and account hacking
- Spreading viruses
- Child pornography
Can I use a VPN to Access YouTube if it is Blocked in My Country?
Some people live in counties where YouTube is blocked completely due to government restrictions. If this is something relevant to you then you will want to use a secure VPN for this reason in particular. It will definitely be possible to enjoy YouTube with the help of a VPN. You should note, however, that while it is still possible to access Youtube in one of these countries. you should proceed with caution and read up on any laws prohibiting the use of VPNs. Countries like China, Russia, Iraq, and North Korea have laws in place making it illegal to use a VPN.
Can I Use a Free VPN for YouTube?
Although there are services out there offering a free VPN to unblock YouTube, it probably is not worth it in the long run. As they say, you get what you pay for. When it comes to these free services you will probably experience the following in a short period of time:
- Connection failures
- Incredibly slow speeds unable to handle streaming
- Privacy issues
- Risk of persecution for bypassing copyright laws
Instead of choosing a free VPN service, why not go for the alternative 30-day money-back guarantee, which is offered by some of the top VPN providers we have listed.
Can I Use a Proxy Website Instead of a VPN?
This is another question that is often asked when it comes to unblocking YouTube access for watching videos unavailable in your country. The short answer is yes, but it isn’t all that simple in the long run.
Although you are able to gain access, a proxy will re-route your traffic which will remain visible, unable to offer you the encryption services you desire and receive with a VPN.
Once again, this will affect your privacy and put you at risk of getting into trouble for accessing illegal content.
Should I Invest in a VPN?
With more YouTube content being blocked by businesses, services, and governments all around the world, there is a higher chance that you will face restrictions when it comes to YouTube video streaming. Thankfully, with the help of a VPN, you can now enjoy all of the fabulous content YouTube has to offer at a small price just by signing up for a VPN service.