Whether you’re at school, the office, or travelling abroad, you may need to unblock YouTube. Maybe it’s for research, maybe it’s just for the LOLZ. Either way, who cares? You’re paying for an Internet connection and you have every right to unblock YouTube. Unless you’re at work; you aren’t paying the bill then!
Whatever reason you have for wanting to unblock YouTube, here are 5 possible ways you can do it. Only one will work every time, while the rest have certain advantages and disadvantages. Read on to find the best way to get past geo-restrictions and other blocks on YouTube!
How to unblock YouTube
1: Switch up the address
This is a very hit or miss tactic. To boil it down, in a school or office setting a simple (and cheap) piece of software can be used to block websites that are entered manually. You can sometimes get past the block on YouTube by changing your HTTP address to HTTPS. Here’s what I mean:
You can sometimes trick the software into unblocking YouTube as you’re using a slightly different address than what it was been told to block. It’s worth a shot in a pinch of you have to get at a video on YouTube NOW.
2: Using a VPN
VPNs are able to unblock YouTube as they completely mask your connection to the Internet. Once connected through your VPN the school or office software can’t ‘see’ that you’re going to YouTube. All it sees is a completely encrypted connection. If it can’t see what you’re connecting to, it can’t block YouTube on you.
The second way it helps is by getting rid of the infamous “Unfortunately, the video you’re trying to watch is not available in _____ ” screen. How a VPN does this is by changing your IP address. Your IP address is what tells websites, including YouTube, where you are in the world:
- Change the IP address
- Change your virtual location
- Change what videos you can unblock on YouTube.
Give our best geo-unblocking VPNs review a look for ideas on which VPN could be best for you.
3: Online proxy websites
Online proxies work similar to a VPN, but often have speed issues. Proxies are remote servers which you can connect to, like a VPN, except they do not encrypt your traffic. The difference is that the software that is trying to block you sees you connected to this remote server, but not that you’re connecting to YouTube.
While everyone loves a free ride, this option is commonly a bad one. Server speeds are slow, making streaming video often a choppy, low quality, chore. Use them by visiting their site and entering the YouTube address you want to visit.
4: Tor Browser
The Tor browser is an online tool that does even more encrypting and hiding than a VPN, but has issues with streaming video due to how it works. Tor browsers take your connection and filter it through hundreds of other servers. This makes for good online anonymity, but makes for slightly less than satisfying YouTube experiences.
If all you want to do is unblock YouTube videos occasionally, Tor is not the answer for you as streaming video isn’t exactly what it was made for. You’d be better off with a VPN as a VPN isn’t bouncing around hundreds of servers, it goes through one server right to you and minimizes impact on your download speeds.
5: Using the Hola browser extension
The Hola browser extension works like the proxy servers above, but has a dedicated extension in your browser. Once you have downloaded and installed the browser extension you can access blocked YouTube content by simply entering the YouTube address in your address bar.
The downside is that it will not encrypt your entire Internet connection, like a VPN or Tor will, and since it’s free it isn’t well maintained.
If you still can’t unblock YouTube and you haven’t tried a VPN, now is your chance to read our reviews and choose one that best suits you. There are not any instances that I can think of where using a VPN won’t get past any type of block on YouTube and get you all the cat LOL videos your heart desires.
YouTube images by Yuri Vlasenko / Shutterstock