From its heady days as a trial product, YouTube has evolved, becoming an integral part of today’s society. The video sharing platform enjoys a monthly visit of about 29 billion. This is second only to Google in terms of total website traffic for any website.
YouTube’s rise is no coincidence. A platform for both entertainment and education, YouTube serves a multitude of purposes. It’s an incredible resource for students and workers alike, while also being important during times of leisure.
Unfortunately, not everyone has the freedom to go on YouTube anytime they wish. Despite being a great resource for students, YouTube access is blocked in most schools. It’s also blocked by many network administrators in offices.
Surprising? Not really! As a dual-purpose website, it’s easy to get lost on YouTube – even if your initial intentions where pure. For school and business owners, blocking YouTube access is an important step in improving productivity.
It’s also not uncommon to find particular kinds of content censored in different countries, despite the platform itself being open. And, in countries like Germany, issues with copyright violations regularly lead to the blocking of specific content.
Whatever the reason for the blockade, there are moments when you’d have legitimate reasons to unblock YouTube. In this guide, we’ll cover 10 easy ways to unblock YouTube at school, work, or anywhere else.
Note: The options that follow can also be applied to unblocking any website.
Our favorite way of unblocking YouTube involves the use of VPNs. Once you find and install one of the best VPNs for unblocking YouTube, it works every time.
A Virtual Private Network serves two major purposes. First, it encrypts your connection, protecting your internet traffic along the line. This means guaranteed security while online.
This encryption keeps your online activities hidden from your Internet Service Provider (ISP), local network administrators, hackers, and other third parties looking to pry; a very essential service in an increasingly intrusive digital world.
For unblocking YouTube, though, you’d find its second use most appealing. A VPN routes your traffic through a remote server before sending it on to your target website, hiding your IP address in the process.
Once you select a VPN server, the website no longer sees your traffic as coming from your device. This allows you bypass any YouTube blocks at school or work. Selecting a server outside of your country also helps you bypass country-wide YouTube bans.
That said, if your goal is simply bypassing YouTube, you could try out some of the trusted free VPNs out there. These VPNs do just enough to safely unblock any YouTube videos, while also protecting your traffic.
Note: Most free VPNs are hugely unsafe, potentially stealing and selling your personal data. If you must use a free VPN, only use trusted ones such as those you find here.
In order to use a VPN to unblock YouTube, you’d have to follow a process that looks like this:
Using a web proxy is a really easy way to unblock YouTube videos. Like a VPN, web proxies act as middlemen between you and your target website.
This means that, like a VPN, your traffic is first routed through the proxy servers when you visit a website. The server then accesses the website on your behalf. By convincing the website that your traffic is from a different location, a proxy thus opens up access to YouTube for you.
When visiting a YouTube through a proxy, what you actually visit is the proxy server, not YouTube. Unlike VPNs, proxies are typically free!
Warning: Web proxies are completely unencrypted, opening you up to potential data theft. They may also insert malware or – more popularly – adware into your browsing session.
Web proxies such as kproxy, Whoer, Hide.me and HideMyAss are hugely popular. By simply visiting these websites, you can insert any URL and surf anonymously. However, you can only do this on your web browser and not while using the YouTube app.
There are other proxies made specifically for YouTube. This includes YouTube proxy websites like SafeShare.TV and UnblockYouTube.
To access YouTube using a proxy, visit an acceptable YouTube proxy website (or any of the other proxy websites above), select a location (if that is possible), enter YouTube in the address bar, and begin surfing.
YouTube remains averse to downloading their videos off the platform. If, however, after searching a keyword on Google a YouTube link appears, you could employ third party websites to download the blocked YouTube video you find.
This way, you can unblock the video without having to visit YouTube at all. Popular YouTube download sites include the likes of KeepTube, KeepVid, savefrom.net, and ClipConverter.
Simply copy the link of the video in question, paste in the provided URL bars on the website, and watch it extract the video content and make it available for download. Now, download the file quality of your choosing and watch offline on your device.
Google Translate is a surprisingly easy way to get past restrictions sometimes. The idea is simple: translate the target URL into any preferred language and follow the ‘translated’ link.
Directly clicking the provided link takes you to the ‘translated’ version of the page. When you use this process, Google Translate works as a web proxy of sorts, thus allowing you unblock the YouTube site.
Awesome as it is, using Google Translate is also unreliable. We also noticed that trying to find other links within the translated page could lead to errors. To ensure you can watch your desired video, first get the video’s YouTube URL and insert this directly into the translator.
So, using Google Translate to unblock YouTube will typically involve the following steps:
When you think of the Tor browser, your thought likely strays to its use as a dark web browser. What you may not know, is that Tor (The Onion Router) is primarily designed for complete online anonymity – whether that’s on the dark web or the clear web.
To provide this level of anonymity, the Tor browser encrypts your internet traffic and routes it through three randomly selected servers before it hits the target website.
When used properly, Tor hides your true location from the sites you visit. This allows you successfully access sites like YouTube even if they’re blocked in your location. Because of its routing techniques, Tor is great for both administrative and geographic blocks.
However, because you can’t choose the servers your traffic will follow, Tor is not always successful for breaking past geo-blocks by itself. Likewise, it could slow down your connection as it tries to run through multiple servers while being weighed down by a heavy cloak of encryption.
Tor’s encryption protocols are solid, making it ideal for anonymity. It’s also a great option if you want to ensure online security. But its slow connections may make YouTube streaming a tad frustrating – even after successfully unblocking it.
Should you choose to use Tor, be sure to download it directly from the Tor Project page. Avoid downloading from third party sites so you don’t infect your system instead. It’s also important that you get your configuration right to fully take advantage of its anonymity features.
For users hoping to unblock YouTube at school or work, changing the local network proxy could just be the trick required.
Many institutions and public Wi-Fis employ so-called ‘transparent proxies’ on their networks. These are proxies that direct traffic from every device on the network through a single server. It’s on this server that specific URLs are blocked, or access to high-bandwidth content is restricted.
It isn’t uncommon for institutions to have more than one such proxy, and the blocks aren’t always applied to every proxy. This means you could find a YouTube block on one proxy, but not on another. By switching proxies (known as proxy surfing), you can then eliminate the block.
There are only three problems with this system:
If you can get your hands on the available proxy details, proxy surfing is an easy and free way of unblocking YouTube. Your browser makes it easy to reach your computer’s proxy settings and alter it as you please.
To change proxy settings on Chrome:
This option is primarily for those experiencing institutional blocks. Institutional YouTube blocks at work or school are administered at the network-level, which means they can be bypassed by simply switching networks.
You can switch to your mobile network on your smartphone by turning off your Wi-Fi, turning on your mobile data, and browsing directly with your 4G or 3G network.
If you’re using a PC, you can switch over to mobile network on your smartphone and create a mobile hotspot for your PC. Using your Wi-Fi, connect your PC to the smartphone’s network and get browsing.
This completely removes any firewall in the Wi-Fi network, granting you unfettered access to your YouTube content. But it does nothing for you if you’re experiencing a geographic block.
Also note that you’d need to purchase some bandwidth from your mobile network provider for this to work.
Unblocking YouTube is not as much of a herculean task as you might have thought it to be. While some of the options here are free, others are not. Likewise, some options work regardless of the reason for the block, and some are only limited to local network blocks. Some are also more reliable than others.
If you wish to successfully unblock the YouTube site every single time, we strongly recommend you use a VPN over any other options. Be sure to find the best option for your needs, though.