6 Best VPNs to Unblock YouTube Anywhere

When you are the third most visited website in the world (after Facebook and Google) that boasts over a billion unique monthly visitors and an enormous global outreach, it’s little wonder that with viewers, also come the enemies. The Google-owned video sharing platform has long become a subject of regular controversy and content blocking in many different countries – an ongoing trend that occurs for a variety of reasons. In this article we’ll take a look at why YouTube is not accessible in many countries and explain how you can easily unblock it from your location with a little help from a VPN. As always, we featured a list of the best VPN services to do this at the end of this article.

Summary

Provider Features Price Links
1 Hide My Ass!
  • Large network
  • 256-bit keys
  • Custom apps
  • Live chat
  • Free proxy
$11.52
/month
Visit Provider
Read Review
2 IPVanish
  • Torrent-friendly
  • Custom apps
  • 256-bit keys
$10
/month
Visit Provider
Read Review
3 PureVPN
  • Torrent-friendly
  • Custom apps
  • 256-bit keys
  • Smart DNS
  • Live chat
$9.95
/month
Visit Provider
Read Review
4 VPN.AC
  • Torrent-friendly
  • Custom Apps
  • 256-bit keys
$9
/month
Visit Provider
Read Review
5 ExpressVPN
  • Torrent-friendly
  • Custom apps
  • 256-bit keys
  • Zero logs
  • Live chat
$8.32
/month
Visit Provider
Read Review
6 VyprVPN
  • Torrent-friendly
  • Custom apps
  • 256-bit keys
  • Anti-DPI tech
  • Live chat
$9.99
/month
Visit Provider
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Quick Links


Censorship of YouTube

The two most common factors leading to censorship of YouTube tend to arise from commercial disputes and politically motivated initiatives. Here are just a few examples of underlying reasons behind YouTube blocks that have occurred and continue to do so globally:

  • hiding content that may provoke social and political unrest
  • eliminating criticism or satirical portrayal of government and religious leaders
  • staying in-line with national copyright and intellectual property laws
  • preventing access to videos deemed too mature for adolescents
  • reducing bandwidth overloads
  • reducing distracting content at school and work

Some countries only experience partial YouTube blocks, like the case of Germany, where a large bulk of videos are not viewable due to a royalties disagreement between Google and GEMA (Germany’s primary copyright organization).  Others, however, have long imposed nationwide bans, forcing their citizens to search for loopholes around the blocks, in order to access YouTube content.

Countries with permanent YouTube blocks

China

Among many other popular websites like Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, Blogspot and WordPress, YouTube quickly fell under the bracket of China’s Great Firewall back in 2009. This seemingly permanent block is not the first time that the site has been restricted in the People’s Republic of China, as the country experienced a temporary restriction a year earlier, when videos surfaces on YouTube of the Tibetan protests and the alleged use of violent force by the police towards dissenters. With both sides claiming significantly different numbers of casualties, it’s evident that in this case, YouTube was blocked to avoid both freedom of press and anti-state propaganda.

YouTube traffic in China
YouTube traffic drop in China

Nowadays, the use of proxies and VPN workarounds is booming in China and doesn’t look like it will be slowing down. Despite a crackdown on VPNs as well as common encryption protocols (PPTP and L2TP), there are still many smaller, lesser-known providers who can offer a fast and reliable service. To achieve optimal VPN speeds, it’s recommended to connect to nearest server locations outside of mainland China, usually in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and South Korea.

Pakistan

Another example of a full YouTube block is Pakistan. The ban was imposed in September, 2012 and was a result of YouTube’s refusal to remove the trailer to an independent film titled “Innocence of Muslims”, which subsequently provoked protests in many Islamic countries.

Since the ban, the government’s decision is regularly protested and even challenged in Lahore’s High Court by civil rights advocates who argue that if Google was to remove specific, blasphemous videos from its site, the rest of the website would be a beneficial tool, particularly for the country’s students.

YouTube traffic in Pakistan
YouTube traffic drop in Pakistan

Iran

Similarly to China, Iran is actively creating and maintaining its own internet bubble that deters the influx of western culture into the country’s information channels. YouTube is one of the many popular platforms on the victim’s list, again – due to the controversial, anti-Muslim film that we mentioned above and also due to citizen broadcasting of mass protests during the last presidential election.

In fact, finding and configuring a working VPN in Iran is even trickier than in China, as all OpenVPN protocol ports are actively blocked, leaving SSTP and SSH2 protocols as the last secure measures for unblocking websites and encrypting traffic.

YouTube traffic in Iran
YouTube traffic drop in Iran

(Countries that were known to implement YouTube censorship but recently lifted the bans include Tajikistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Turkey and Burma – in the meantime, the website is reported to be accessible) – Information acquired from the Google Transparency Report

Map of Google products disruptions
Google product disruptions around the world

Firewalls at work and schools

In countries where YouTube isn’t banned on a national level, many people still find it impossible to watch videos at their work place, schools and colleges. As is often the case, workers and students aren’t able to access YouTube anywhere on the premises, which turns into a major inconvenience for anyone requiring access for their work projects, research and studies (or lunchtimes for that matter).

The main question that stands is – what is the best and fastest way to unblock YouTube in your country, workplace or college? The cheapest and most effective solution is with a VPN. Whether it is your country or office that blocks YouTube, you can use a VPN to change your virtual location (including country), to assign a new IP address to your computer, smartphone or tablet. Once you are connected to an external IP address, depending on where you are, you will be able to access YouTube with no hassle and without breaking the bank. So we’ve done what we do best – creating a list of the best VPN services for unblocking YouTube in your country or building:

VPN services

Provider Features Price Links
1 Hide My Ass!
  • Large network
  • 256-bit keys
  • Custom apps
  • Live chat
  • Free proxy
$11.52
/month
Visit Provider
Read Review
2 IPVanish
  • Torrent-friendly
  • Custom apps
  • 256-bit keys
$10
/month
Visit Provider
Read Review
3 PureVPN
  • Torrent-friendly
  • Custom apps
  • 256-bit keys
  • Smart DNS
  • Live chat
$9.95
/month
Visit Provider
Read Review
4 VPN.AC
  • Torrent-friendly
  • Custom Apps
  • 256-bit keys
$9
/month
Visit Provider
Read Review
5 ExpressVPN
  • Torrent-friendly
  • Custom apps
  • 256-bit keys
  • Zero logs
  • Live chat
$8.32
/month
Visit Provider
Read Review
6 VyprVPN
  • Torrent-friendly
  • Custom apps
  • 256-bit keys
  • Anti-DPI tech
  • Live chat
$9.99
/month
Visit Provider
Read Review
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