So, you’re looking for a way to bypass a VPN block. And no wonder. Those “proxy detected!” or “VPN detected” messages can get rather annoying when you’re trying to watch content on streaming services, or access a website that blocks certain countries. What better way to slip through the cracks than using a high-quality Virtual Private Network to hide your identity, virtually change your location, and encrypt packets of data that are sent back and forth? Just keep in mind, not all of them will work. We intend to explain why.
Why do websites or streaming services block VPNs?
Streaming services and websites are usually created by large media companies that work with each other. To license or produce certain content, then provide it to customers, they sign legally-binding contracts and might not purchase a worldwide license. Another reason could be government-imposed bans, such in China, or copyright infringement detection systems. It could also be as simple as your boss or principal preventing you from scrolling social media instead of doing work or listening.
What not to do?
Don’t use free VPNs or proxies
Free VPN services don’t have enough bandwidth and VPN speed to support 1080p let alone 4k streaming. They are fine for bypassing restrictions at school or work, but anything more than that, and you’re out of luck. Additionally, you won’t have a large choice of servers to choose from. You could try installing a free extension such as Hola VPN for Chrome to try and unblock certain websites. It might or might not work, but you take what you can get.
How to bypass a VPN block?
Pick a paid VPN provider with a good reputation
This is the key step and will determine your success directly, and will affect features we’ll mention in a moment. Also, make sure it can circumvent streaming services’ countermeasures regularly, and unblock websites you want to visit.
Switch the server
Server switching is one of the main ways to circumvent the VPN block. This is because IP blocking is the most common technique. In ExpressVPN, do this:
- In the main window, click on Choose Location.
- Spot the search bar. Type the name of the country you want to connect to.
- Click on the country’s name when it appears.
- When it appears under Selected Location, click on the ON button.
- When the connection is established, a green shield will appear around the button.
- Check whether you can access the website or streaming service now.
- Repeat the process until you succeed.
Use an obfuscated server
The main problem with “common” VPN servers is that a website cannot see your identity or traffic, but it can recognize that you are using a VPN, and block you nonetheless. By connecting to a server of this kind, your traffic will be masked to look like regular Internet traffic. For this purpose, we recommend NordVPN.
An obfuscated server will automatically analyze traffic and choose the best port and protocol. If the VPN provider allows you to do it manually, we recommend you use:
- Port 80 – It’s used for encrypted traffic (all HTTPs websites) so websites or services can not afford to block it
- Port 443 – This port is a “middle man” between unencrypted traffic and encrypted traffic. For example, if you are online shopping and sent to the checkout to enter payment information. For that reason, it is rarely blocked.
If a VPN doesn’t allow you to choose a port specifically, we recommend choosing a security protocol. Once again, a VPN provider should automatically pick the best one. But if it doesn’t, do this in ExpressVPN.
- Click on the three parallel lines in the top left corner.
- From the list, choose Options.
- Switch over to the tab named Protocol.
- You will see a list of protocols. For best results with VPN blocking, we recommend:
- For most devices, try OpenVPN.
- If OpenVPN doesn’t work, try L2TP/IPSec next.
- On Windows devices, choose SSTP.
- With other VPN providers, there might be additional options.
- For mobile devices, choose IKEv2.
- On CyberGhost for Linux devices, choose WireGuard.
Dedicated VPN IP address
This option might cost you extra monthly but is a great way to lift the VPN ban. Instead of sharing your IP with thousands of others on a VPN server, you will be given a unique one to use. That reduces the chance of being IP banned.
Now you know how to bypass a VPN block easily. There are some advanced options, but we feel they are inferior to using a VPN. For example, Tor Browser might do the job but is much less secure. Creating an SSH tunnel is pretty much the same as using an 80 port, only much harder to set up. Also, it will slow down your speed significantly.