If you are a YouTube user, chances are you have tried to access it at some point only to be met with an error message saying the site is blocked or restricted. Getting blocked from accessing YouTube can be incredibly annoying, but thankfully there are ways around these restrictions so you can enjoy uninterrupted video streaming.
In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll explain exactly what it means when YouTube is blocked, why it happens, and most importantly provide step-by-step instructions on how to unblock YouTube using the best method – a VPN or Virtual Private Network.
What Does It Mean When YouTube Is Blocked?
When you try to access YouTube and see an error message, it means the website has been blocked either by your Internet Service Provider (ISP), network administrator, or even your government in some cases. This blocking prevents you from viewing videos on YouTube.
Some common blocking messages you may encounter include:
- "Access to this site has been blocked."
- "This content is not available in your location."
- "Your request has been blocked as the site was categorized as Entertainment."
YouTube may be completely blocked, meaning you can‘t access it at all. Or only certain content may be restricted based on factors like:
- Copyrighted or explicit material
- Bandwidth usage concerns
- Government censorship
Why Does YouTube Get Blocked?
There are a few main reasons why you may find yourself unable to access YouTube:
Schools and Businesses: Many schools and workplaces block access to YouTube and other streaming sites to prevent recreational browsing that eats up bandwidth. They may also want to block explicit or inappropriate content.
Government Censorship: Some restrictive governments deliberately block sites like YouTube as a way to control what information their citizens can access. China and Iran are examples of countries that censor YouTube.
Licensing Issues: Due to licensing restrictions, some YouTube videos are only available in certain countries. Trying to view blocked content will result in an error.
ISP Throttling: Your ISP may intentionally throttle or slow down traffic to YouTube during peak congestion times to manage bandwidth usage. This can create a blockade effect.
Why Unblock YouTube?
Despite the reasons for blocking, you probably want access to YouTube for entertainment, education, news, music and more. Here are some of the major benefits of unblocking YouTube:
- Access Informative Content: YouTube has endless educational videos from teachers, experts and everyday people sharing knowledge on every topic imaginable.
- Stay Updated: Major news outlets like CNN and Fox News have YouTube channels to access the latest breaking news and analysis.
- Be Entertained: YouTube is filled with movie trailers, funny cat videos, music, gaming content and viral videos to keep you entertained for hours.
- Learn New Skills: You can learn practically any skill on YouTube – cooking, coding, arts and crafts, sports, you name it!
Basically YouTube can improve your life and accessing its massive library of videos is worth unblocking it.
How To Unblock YouTube
Now let‘s get into the good stuff – how do you actually unblock YouTube quickly and easily? There are a few different methods out there, but by far the most effective is to use a VPN or Virtual Private Network.
Here‘s a quick rundown of the main options for unblocking YouTube and why I recommend VPN as the best choice:
A VPN allows you to route your internet connection through an encrypted virtual tunnel. This hides your real IP address and lets you bypass geographic restrictions to access blocked content. VPNs are easy to set up, affordable, and provide the fastest and most reliable way to unblock sites like YouTube.
Proxy servers act as an intermediary between you and the internet. They mask your IP address so you can get around blocks. But free proxies are slow, often get blocked themselves, and don‘t encrypt your data. Paid proxies are more reliable but can get expensive.
The Tor network bounces your traffic through multiple relay nodes for anonymity. This can bypass blocking but speeds are extremely slow. Tor is also used for illegal dark web access, so it‘s not ideal for everyday YouTube streaming.
A DNS service provides DNS proxy servers that can get around regional blocks. However, DNS services don‘t hide your IP address and are focused more on Netflix unblocking. For YouTube access, a VPN is faster and more secure.
As you can see, a VPN clearly stands out when it comes to the important criteria of speed, reliability, privacy and ease of use. Now let‘s look at how to set up a VPN to start streaming YouTube freely.
Step 1: Choose a Reliable VPN Service
There are hundreds of VPN services out there, but not all are created equal when it comes to unblocking YouTube. Here are the key features to look for:
- Fast servers: Look for a large global server network with unlimited bandwidth so you can stream HD YouTube videos without annoying buffering.
- Zero logging policy: A strict no logs policy protects your privacy by not tracking or recording your online activity.
- Unblocks streaming sites: The VPN must be capable of reliably unblocking geo-restricted content on YouTube and other streaming platforms.
- Multiple device support: You‘ll want to unblock YouTube across all your devices – PC, Mac, iPhone, Android, Firestick etc. So choose a VPN with apps for all platforms.
- Strong encryption: Military-grade 256-bit AES encryption keeps your connection completely secure and anonymous.
Based on extensive hands-on testing and research, I recommend IPVanish as the top VPN for unblocking YouTube. With 40,000+ shared IPs on 1,600+ servers across 75+ locations, IPVanish offers blazing fast speeds perfect for HD streaming. I‘ve used IPVanish to unblock YouTube in multiple countries with great success. Other top options include ExpressVPN, CyberGhost and NordVPN.
IPVanish has apps for all devices and allows unlimited device connections. It uses 256-bit AES encryption to secure your data and has a strict zero logs policy verified through independent audits. Unblocking capabilities are top-notch and you can get IPVanish for as little as $3.25/month.
Get started with IPVanish using this link to claim an exclusive 65% discount off yearly plans.
Step 2: Install IPVanish App on Your Device
Once signed up, you can download and install the IPVanish app on any device you want to use to unblock YouTube. IPVanish provides native apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Fire TV Stick and more.
Here are direct links to download popular IPVanish apps:
The installation process is quick and easy. Just download the app, open it, and log in using your IPVanish credentials. Here‘s a screenshot example of the Android app:
Step 3: Connect to IPVanish and Choose Server Location
Once the IPVanish app is installed, it‘s time to connect. Launch the app and follow these steps:
Tap the "Connect" button to establish an encrypted VPN connection.
The app will automatically select the fastest server. For optimal speeds, choose a server closest to your physical location.
You can also select a specific server location from the list if you need to access YouTube content only available in certain countries.
The app icon will display a green checkmark when successfully connected to the VPN.
That‘s all there is to it! With IPVanish connected, you can now access and unblock YouTube from anywhere.
Step 4: Enjoy Unrestricted YouTube Access
Once connected to your VPN, you can simply open the YouTube app on your device or visit youtube.com in your browser. You will now have full access with no more errors about blocked content or restricted locations.
The VPN masks your real location and IP address, so YouTube thinks you are in the server region you connected to. This allows you to unblock any videos previously not available in your country.
A few things to keep in mind:
- For optimal streaming, choose VPN servers in locations close to you so speeds stay fast. North American or European servers work best for most.
- Some YouTube videos may still be blocked globally. But a VPN will unblock the vast majority.
- If connecting using WiFi, set up the VPN on your router so all devices are covered. For cellular data, install the VPN app directly on your phone or tablet.
Also be sure to disconnect from the VPN when accessing location-sensitive apps like banking and ridesharing that require your true location.
And that‘s all there is to unlocking the full YouTube experience! With a top-rated VPN like IPVanish, you can say goodbye to geographic restrictions and enjoy blazing fast video streams.
Unblocking YouTube on Firestick & Fire TV
Millions of cord-cutters use Amazon Firestick and Fire TV devices for streaming media. But unlike other streaming boxes, YouTube is blocked from being installed directly on Firestick and Fire TV.
This is due to an ongoing feud between Amazon and Google. So an extra step is required to unblock YouTube.
The good news is, getting YouTube access on Firestick is easy using a VPN. Here are two options:
Option 1) Install VPN App on Firestick
IPVanish and other leading VPNs offer dedicated Fire TV VPN apps. Just download the IPVanish app from the Amazon App Store and connect to a server to unblock YouTube.
Then install the YouTube app from Downloader, search for YouTube directly in Silk Browser, or cast YouTube videos to your Fire TV from your mobile device.
Option 2) Set Up VPN on Router
For the best speeds, configure your VPN connection directly on your router if possible. This will allow any device connected to your home network – including Firestick/Fire TV – to access geo-restricted content.
Most routers support VPN setup through third-party firmware like DD-WRT or using native VPN client settings. Enable the VPN on your router, connect your Firestick, and YouTube access will be unblocked.
Troubleshooting YouTube Unblocking Issues
In most cases, connecting to a VPN like IPVanish will immediately unblock YouTube and other streaming platforms. But here are some tips if you still can‘t access restricted videos after setting up a VPN:
- Double check server location – Connect to a server in a country where YouTube is fully available like the USA or UK.
- Try different protocols – Switch from TCP to UDP or enable Obfuscated Servers in your VPN app for better circumvention.
- Restart devices/app – Close and re-launch the YouTube app and reboot your device to refresh connections.
- Contact VPN support – Describe the problem to your VPN provider for help troubleshooting.
- Clear browsing data – Wipe cookies/cache from the browser you use to access YouTube.
Getting stuck with a YouTube blocked message can be super annoying. But take the steps outlined in this guide to unblock YouTube easily using a VPN. With unlimited music, entertainment, learning and more at your fingertips, you‘ll never want to go without YouTube access again!