Why do I need to unblock Youtube?
Schools, businesses and even countries block Youtube. Sometimes they institute a blanket ban that stops you accessing the service altogether. Some institutions do this at the IP level to stop you ‘wasting time’ on Youtube — not the most convenient, when it’s one of the key sources of ‘how-to’ material on the web. It’s dumb for companies and dumb for schools, but they do it anyway. When governments do it (I say ‘governments’; I mean, ‘illegal regimes’) they often do it to prevent access to news from outside. There’s nothing like the sight of ‘impossible’ things working perfectly fine, or the hated enemy being just like you, to spoil your authoritarian kicks, after all. But Youtube functions as a crucial channel to the outside too. Footage of cops in Belarus dragging people into vans, or unidentified masked men doing the same to protestors in the USA? Youtube has it first, because these forces either terrorize journalists, kick them out of the country, or just wait til they stop looking. Then there’s copyright. In the age of infinite replication, copyright has metastasized into an industry in its own right; ‘fair use’ rights are tested at every turn by companies with deep pockets and Agent Smith-level lawyering-up. If you want the law to apply to you, you’ll need to lawyer up yourself, and then deal with the opaque labyrinths of EULAs and other rubbish before you have a chance. If you want to view something that some copyright lawyer has decided you don’t get to see for a year because you’re in the wrong location, you need to unblock Youtube. Another reason you might want to unblock Youtube is to see age-restricted content without signing in. Maybe you don’t trust that viewing in a private browser window is very private (and you’re right not to). And not everything age-restricted is ‘adult.’ You might want to decide for yourself what’s ‘offensive’ or ‘inappropriate’ — without being tracked. Whatever your reason, there’s a way around this one too. The reason to unblock Youtube is so you can get the same Youtube as everybody else, whatever anyone else might say about it.
Unblocking Youtube with a VPNThe obvious first choice for unblocking anything on the internet is a VPN. This will help you get around georestrictions and through firewalls. Skip this part if you already know how VPNs work, don’t if you want a quick-and-dirty guide. VPNs create an encrypted ‘tunnel’ from one server to another. Your traffic leaves your computer, encrypted, and then is decrypted at another server operated by your VPN somewhere else. Your traffic looks like it’s coming from the other, decrypting server. So you can send your traffic to a server in Cairo and when you visit a website, all your requests to that site come from Cairo. As far as it knows, that’s where you are. So long, georestrictions. (Kinda. We’ll get to the details.) In creating a tunnel, VPNs also let you get through firewalls. They look at your traffic to see where it’s from and where it’s going. If it’s from the wrong kind of account or it contains requests to a website that’s on a blacklist, it gets blocked. VPNs conceal your traffic so you don’t get blocked. So long, firewalls. (Kinda. Sorry, there are details here too.) OK, that’s the basics. Now for the nitty-gritty. Which VPN?
Choosing a VPN to unblock YoutubeFirst off: not a free one. If the service is free, you’re the product. Free VPNs have been caught sending viruses, saving detailed session data and then selling it to third parties, spying for hostile governments, and all kinds of other misdeeds. Most of them also don’t work too well. You can’t afford a free VPN. So how much should you pay? Most decent VPNs are fairly cheap — around $5-$15 a month. The service we recommend is Nord VPN. Here’s why:
- Unblocks nearly everything. Even sites like Netflix that have increasingly effective VPN sniffers.
- Doesn’t slow you down. In some tests we ran last year, Nord VPN actually made connections to some sites faster.
- Doesn’t keep logs. Nord has never been caught keeping logs, has a clear no-logs policy, and has never been caught supplying data to third parties.
- Stealth mode. When websites or administrators detect that you’re using a VPN, they block you anyway. The solution is a VPN that disguises the fact that it’s a VPN. That’s ‘obfuscation’ — stealth mode. Nord has one and it works.
Nord had a data breach in 2018, one which may have allowed hackers to monitor users’ traffic, though there’s no evidence that any hackers actually did this.
Express VPN has a lot of the same features as Nord and is truly slightly faster than Nord, though only slightly. Try Express VPN now