How to Bypass VPN Blocks: 3 Simple Ways to Get Around Internet Restrictions

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It’s relatively common these days for people to want to know how to bypass VPN blocks. This happens mostly because people want access to content on the internet that others have decided is off-limits. Usually, the reason for this is an artificially segregated market so that shareholders can make more profit.

That’s why it is becoming more common for streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu to block users with VPNs and proxies. But there are ways to bypass a Netflix VPN block, or any other site that is blocking content due to geo-restrictions.

Virtual private networks are also a great way to bypass firewall restrictions. So those who want to know how to get past a firewall the easy way, usually look toward VPNs for help. This, along with the new streaming possibilities that VPNs open up, is why VPN use is becoming so extremely popular across the globe.

It’s also important to note that some countries and many employers and schools also block VPNs. Overcoming censorship isn’t too hard, and it’s not illegal to bypass VPN blocks. But, enjoying the benefits of a VPN could still lead to trouble, especially when the VPN is used for illegal purposes.

Therefore, before exploring the various methods of bypassing blocked websites, let’s first discuss why it’s sometimes best to abide by the rules

Use caution when finding out how to get around blocked sites

It’s as important to know when to get around a VPN blocked network as much as knowing how to do it.

Some work and school networks do block certain websites and VPNs. Whatever their reason for doing it, it’s often best to respect that decision. Otherwise, some harsh consequences could ensue if one is found out.

While it’s generally hard to detect when someone is evading VPN restrictions, it’s not impossible. So it’s good to weigh the benefits of using a VPN with the potential consequences should an employer or other authority figure find out.

Another thing to be aware of is regional laws. Currently, the only known country that has any laws regarding VPNs is the UAE. Anyone who is caught using a VPN in the UAE for unlawful activities faces a hefty fine. However, some other countries like China also look down on VPN use and are going to great lengths to block VPNs. It’s not entirely illegal to use a VPN in China, but it could still lead to trouble. It’s therefore important to weigh any potential risks when it comes to the law as well.

How are VPNs blocked?

An ISP can block a VPN and, in most cases, it’s the ISPs that does so at the government’s request. When an ISP blocks a VPN, they usually employ various combinations of the methods outlined below.

On the other side, websites that block a VPN often make use of the IP and port blocking methods. Though they may employ one or more of the other methods as well. So it’s important to apply trial and error when trying to get around these VPN blocks.

Blocking Access To VPN Websites

Some ISPs, especially those in China, go straight to the root and cut people off before they can even sign up for a VPN service. Therefore, they can’t download or use a VPN. This is also the most commonly deployed method when it comes to blocking VPN use.

Deep packet inspection (DPI)

Organizations can and usually do monitor the traffic going through their networks. DPI techniques are what allows organizations and governments to determine what type of data that traffic is made of.

A VPN encapsulates that data but doesn’t make it invisible. It’s relatively easy to identify when data has been encrypted with a VPN when using DPI techniques. Making it easy for them to boot the user if they want to.

IP blocking

It’s pretty straightforward for organizations and authorities that want to discover the many IP addresses that VPN service providers use. Some authorities, like the UAE government, reportedly even keep a detailed list of all the known IP addresses VPN servers use. Most don’t go all that far though. So it’s often only the more popular VPN services whose IP addresses get blocked.

There are thousands of VPN services out there, however, and it can be hard to keep track of them all. Especially the VPN servers that keep changing their server addresses often. So there’s often a good chance of flying under the radar when using some of the lesser-known VPN services out there.

Port Blocking

When a person uses a VPN, their data will typically pass through a couple of ports since another server is involved. Those ports are often known by organizations and authorities that can order all of those ports to be blocked with a firewall. It’s not that easy to bypass a firewall without a VPN, so this is also a favorite method among those who want to block VPNs.

How to bypass VPN blocks when your internet access is blocked

There are quite a few options open to anyone looking to get around a blocked VPN. How effective these options are will depend on each individual situation. Some might not even work at all, and some workarounds might only work for a while. But they are worth a shot for anyone who is looking for a quick or easy fix to get around blocked sites.

There are also some more advanced techniques one can try, like SSL and SSH tunneling, and Obfsproxy software. But the methods discussed here have been chosen because they are easier to follow. They also don’t require contacting VPN service providers and asking them to make any changes on their side.

  • Use a VPN service with dedicated IP addresses

Some VPN services offer their clients the option to have a dedicated IP address. In most cases, a VPN service will have all their clients share a number of IP addresses. This isn’t a bad thing, because that’s how VPN services can promise their users’ anonymity. However, that makes it hard to bypass IP blocks since organizations can identify these IP addresses and keep their records.

So one solution to this problem comes in the form of a dedicated IP address. What this means is that the VPN service will assign one unique IP to a client, making it hard for authorities to recognize the IP as a VPN IP address. But this type of IP address isn’t as secure as a shared one.

Switching to a different shared IP address from the same VPN service provider could also work. An organization can identify some or most of the IP addresses associated with a VPN service provider but might miss some of them.

  • Switch to a different VPN provider

While it’s true that the more popular VPN services out there are targeted the most when it comes to IP and port blocking, there are ways around that. Some of these major VPN services have started implementing features that bypass VPN blocks and regularly recycle their IP addresses to keep authorities guessing.

It’s worth it looking into a VPN service that offers things like Obfsproxy software and dedicated servers. Some VPN servers also use cutting-edge technology to provide their clients with increased protection against VPN blocking. For instance, Nord VPN has a feature they call Onion over VPN, which sends their clients’ encrypted traffic over the Tor network. Some VPN providers also support IPv6 addresses which makes simple IP blocking methods much less effective. Right now, most VPN providers still use IPv4 addresses, but that’s bound to change in the future.

  • Change ports

VPN providers will often allow their users to change the ports they connect to through their VPN client software. Especially those that use OpenVPN software. So this is something to look out for when choosing a VPN service to overcome port blocks.

It’s pretty easy to spot when a data connection is being encrypted with a VPN through a commonly used port, like TCP port 80. But when a person switches their VPN connection to a more secure port, then it becomes much harder to detect the VPN using DPI techniques. A popular port to use for this end is TCP port 443. That’s because TCP port 443 is the port used by HTTPS. Meaning that all encrypted internet traffic like online banking and shopping uses this port.

So most websites never block this type of port because that would block massive amounts of internet traffic. Therefore, changing the port number on the VPN client to TCP port 443 will ensure that the connection almost never gets blocked. This method will also work for anyone who’s looking to bypass proxy blocked sites.

Final thoughts

It’s not too hard to overcome ISPs blocking VPNs or websites like Netflix blocking VPNs. It just takes some trial and error to see which methods work best for a given situation. Try to make use of the free trials and offers that most VPN services provide to find one that works. It’s also a good idea to pay for one month at a time – in case a VPN service is eventually rendered useless by internet restrictions.