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How to Make a VPN Undetectable & Bypass VPN Blocks in 2023

Websites, online services, governments, and even ISPs block VPN traffic for various reasons. Not all VPNs have the capabilities to get around these blocks, so you could be left without access to certain websites and online resources depending on the service you use.

With the right VPN, simply connecting to a server is enough to get around these restrictions. If you find your VPN is struggling, I’ve listed 10 tips that can help make it go undetected. But if all else fails, your best bet might be to switch to a better VPN with stronger security and privacy features.

My team and I tested 90+ VPNs and ExpressVPN is best for going undetected. It offers a huge network of obfuscated servers to mask your VPN use. Plus, it regularly refreshes its IPs and provides advanced security features to easily bypass VPN blocks and geo-restrictions without a headache. ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free. If you’re not happy with it, claiming a refund is easy.

Bypass Blocks With ExpressVPN Now

Important! We at vpnMentor don’t condone using a VPN to break administrative rules or laws. Please read up on any regulations or laws involving VPN use to avoid facing legal or administrative repercussions.

Quick Guide: 3 Easy Tips to Help Make Your VPN Undetectable

  1. Get a highly secure VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN — it offers automatic obfuscation across its entire network. Plus, robust privacy features to overcome all types of VPN blocks and firewalls without hassle.
  2. Switch servers. It’s possible your VPN IP has been blacklisted. Switching the server will give you a new IP that (hopefully) hasn’t been flagged.
  3. Change your port. Some VPN restrictions are enforced by blocking ports commonly used by VPN protocols. Some VPNs let you manually select the port you use. Pro tip: try port 443 or 80.

Browse Undetected With ExpressVPN

How to Bypass VPN Blocks — 10 Best Ways to Make Your VPN Undetectable

1. Choose a Highly Secure VPN

A VPN with customizable security features and a reliable server network will have no problem bypassing blocks. Specific VPN features can help make your VPN use undetectable while allowing you to bypass geo-restrictions or firewalls. Some of these include military-grade encryption, obfuscation, a variety of protocols, a kill switch, and leak protection. Additionally, a large server network with regular IP refreshing minimizes the chance of you coming across blocked connections.

Most VPNs offer some of these features, but lack advanced settings specifically designed to bypass VPN blocks (such as obfuscation). Many VPNs don’t update their server infrastructures consistently enough to keep up with sites and entities that specifically target and block VPN IPs, either.

So, while some VPNs are OK for bypassing Netflix or website VPN blocks (for example), there are only a few that can bypass these consistenetly and reliably — and fewer still that can get past stronger blocks, like network or governmental firewalls. ExpressVPN can bypass every type of VPN block consistently, so it’s my #1 choice. You don’t have to configure anything either, just connect and you’ve reached maximum stealth.

2. Use Obfuscated Servers

Obfuscation disguises your VPN use to make it look like a regular internet connection. Most security protocols (like OpenVPN) contain metadata which can reveal that you’re using a VPN. This makes it difficult to get past tough VPN blocks, especially network and governmental firewalls.

To overcome this, obfuscation rearranges this metadata in a way that’s unreadable. Some obfuscated servers even scan for open ports and switch regularly to prevent you from running into blocks. This feature is especially useful in strictly-censored countries (like China), which uses deep packet inspection (DPI) among other methods to block VPN traffic.

The easiest way to use obfuscation is with a VPN that offers it automatically on every server, like ExpressVPN. Alternatively, some VPNs have an obfuscation setting in their app that you can enable — it's most commonly called "Stealth" or "Scramble".

Bypass Blocks With ExpressVPN

3. Switch Servers to Change Your IP

If a website is blocking the connection you’re using, changing servers may help you resolve this. When a website sees several users on the same IP address, they may assume it’s from a VPN and block it. Georestricted websites and streaming services, like Netflix and Prime Video, block VPN IPs when they are discovered. This is simply a means of enforcing their licensing restrictions.

The more servers available, the better chance you have of finding one that isn’t blocked. For instance, Private Internet Access gives you access to 29,650+ IP addresses in 84 countries. Additionally, almost every country covered by its network has more than one connection available. So if you find that one server is blacklisted by a site, you can switch to a different server in that country to help you access the content there. In many cases, simply disconnecting and reconnecting to the same server location will generate a new IP, as well.

Private Internet Access' server list displaying 4 different Canadian location options.If you find one server is fast and reliable for bypassing blocks, you can click the heart icon to “favorite” it

If you're struggling with finding the right server for bypassing a particular block, you can usually contact your VPN's customer support (if offered) for a recommendation. Some VPNs offer optimized servers to bypass specific types of blocks. CyberGhost has specialty servers for dozens of streaming platforms like BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video. The IPs for these servers are regularly checked and updated by CyberGhost to ensure they will always get past pesky blocks.

4. Change Your Port

The best ports you can use to evade blockers are port 443 and port 80. Ports are the channels that devices use to communicate with each other. The most commonly used protocol, OpenVPN, uses port 1194 — as a result, many websites block 1194 traffic. However, ports 443 and 80 are both used in HTTPS transactions such as online banking and secure checkouts on e-commerce stores. As such, they aren’t automatically associated with VPNs and rarely get blocked.

Private Internet Access is one VPN that lets you change ports manually. You can try out different ports to see which helps you overcome the VPN block you are faced with. To do this, you just enter a number in the Local Port box in Protocols (for instance, 443 or 80). If you VPN doesn’t support changing ports, you can also try using the SSTP protocol — it uses port 443 by default.

Keep in mind, changing ports can be helpful for overcoming less serious blocks, such as those set on streaming sites. However, this method won’t help you evade DPI.

5. Change Your Security Protocol

Some protocols have an easier time bypassing VPN blocks than others. Protocols manage the way your VPN data is communicated between your device and the server you connect to. Understanding the different types of protocol can help you choose the best one for avoiding detection.

  • WireGuard: An open-source protocol that’s used by many leading VPNs due to its speed and unblocking abilities. Ideal for data-heavy activities like streaming.
  • Lightway: ExpressVPN’s proprietary protocol is essentially an alternative to WireGuard — it’s open-source, audited for security, and optimized for high speeds. Since it’s not a common protocol, it may give you an easier time going undetected since it won’t be easily recognized.
  • OpenVPN: The most commonly-used VPN protocol. It’s highly-secure and open-source, but can sometimes fail to bypass blocks since it’s so widely used. Some VPNs provide the option of OpenVPN TCP or UDP; TCP is a little better at overcoming blocks, but is also slower than UDP.
  • SSTP: Avoids blocks as it uses port 443, the same port used by most HTTPS connections (so it looks like regular traffic). However, it’s only available on Windows.
  • L2TP/IPSec: Pretty reliable for bypassing VPN blocks. L2TP alone does not encrypt your traffic, but when paired with IPSec, it supports 256-bit encryption. It is compatible with most VPNs, but much slower than other protocols.
  • IKEv2: Highly secure, fast, and lightweight which makes it great for mobile devices. But it only uses port 500, so it’s easy to block.
  • PPTP: One of the oldest protocols with outdated security. It’s fast, but doesn’t offer strong enough privacy protection, so it’s easy to block.

Go Undetected With ExpressVPN

6. Switch to Mobile Data

You can easily bypass VPN blocks set on WiFi networks by switching to mobile data. Schools and workplaces often block VPNs to restrict the content you can access. You can overcome this by switching WiFi off and using mobile data, so you can use your VPN as usual. However, this won't help you avoid DPI or governmental censorship.

Another point to keep in mind is that some activities, such as streaming and gaming, run through data quickly. While all of my recommended VPNs offer unlimited bandwidth, not all mobile plans do. So if you don’t have an unlimited plan, be sure to track your usage or you could face a hefty bill.

7. Get a Dedicated IP Address

Since a dedicated IP address is exclusively yours, it’s highly unlikely to be blacklisted. Normally, when you connect to a VPN server, you share an IP with other people who are connected. With so many users simultaneously using the same IP, it can look suspicious to the sites you try to access. A dedicated IP makes it easier to bypass blocks, plus, it also prevents CAPTCHA security alerts, which are common with frequent server switching.

You’ll have to pay an extra monthly fee in most cases to get a dedicated IP. CyberGhost and Private Internet Access both offer dedicated IPs for an affordable price.

8. Change DNS Settings

Changing your DNS settings can be an effective strategy for bypassing ISP blocks, but it’s not recommended. This prevents your traffic from getting blocked by rerouting it, so it doesn’t pass through your ISP’s DNS servers. From a security standpoint, it’s not the safest method.

You should never have to do this if you use a VPN that runs its own private DNS servers. Not all VPNs have this feature, which can cause inconsistencies between your IP and DNS addresses and DNS leaks, making it easier to block your VPN. Private DNS ensures your DNS requests go directly through the VPN to prevent third parties from detecting or blocking you.

Some VPNs, like Private Internet Access, let you set custom DNS settings directly in the VPN app. You can also do this in your device’s settings, but it requires a bit of manual configuration, so can be complicated. Keep in mind, this won't help with bypassing DPI blocks.

Screenshot showing Custom DNS settings in Private Internet Access appThis method isn’t recommended unless you are having issues with PIA’s DNS

Here are some of the most effective DNS servers to connect to if you want to evade ISP blocking:

  • CloudFlare: 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1
  • Google: 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4
  • OpenDNS: 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220

9. Manually Install a VPN

Manually installing a VPN helps prevent you from being detected and blocked. This is because this method requires that you install the VPN privately via a downloadable link. When you download it directly from an app store, it’s easy for prying eyes to see that you are using a VPN.

I advise caution with this method. You won’t have access to your usual VPN security features such as leak protection and kill switch. Furthermore, if you want to switch servers, you’ll have to download another configuration file and manually set it up again.

For manual installation to work, you’ll need a VPN that supports this — a lot of VPNs do, but not all. ExpressVPN offers config files for both OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec, while many VPNs only have OpenVPN options. This can be done by following these steps:

  1. Choose a server. Check your VPN’s website for a list of locations and select the one you want to connect to. Note the details, including which protocols they support (usually OpenVPN, WireGuard, or IPsec). Go to your VPN’s manual configuration page and download the corresponding protocol configuration file.
  2. Enter the server details. You may be able to do this in your network settings or preferences, or you may need a third-party setup app. ExpressVPN recommends TunnelBlick GUI for Mac, and OpenVPN GUI for Windows.
  3. Connect your VPN. Confirm your VPN email/username and password and follow the on-screen prompts. You can now connect your VPN from your device’s homescreen — on Mac, it will be on your menu bar. On Windows, you can connect via the OpenVPN GUI app.

Try ExpressVPN Today

10. Redirect Your VPN Traffic

You can bypass blocks by sending your VPN traffic through an SSH or SSL/TLS proxy tunnel. By adding a layer of encryption, these make it easier for your VPN to get past network firewalls.

  • SSH tunnel — This tunnel works via port forwarding to connect 2 devices (for example, your home computer to your work laptop). You can use this to bypass a network’s VPN blocks by sending your traffic through a different device. However, this tends to slow your connection significantly, so it’s not ideal for streaming or gaming.
  • SSL/TLS tunnel — Since this tunnel is used primarily for HTTPS transactions, sending your VPN traffic through it disguises your VPN connetion, so it’s harder to detect and block.

SOCKS5/Shadowsocks routes your traffic through a proxy server to help you circumvent network blocks. SOCKS5 can help bypass geoblocks, while Shadowsocks has tried-and-tested unblocking power — it was created in China to bypass the Great Firewall, and is still widely used today.

The problem is that you normally can’t send your VPN traffic through one of these proxies — you have to connect to them separately, which doesn’t make them the safest option because your traffic isn’t encrypted.

Private Internet Access, has a unique multi-hop feature that obfuscates your traffic and sends it through both a VPN server and either a Shadowsocks or SOCKS5 proxy. This feature significantly slows your internet speeds, but it’s a top feature for stubborn VPN blocks.

The Best VPNs for Bypassing VPN Blocks — Full Analysis (Updated February 2023)

1. ExpressVPN — Overall Best VPN for Bypassing Any Type of Block

  • 3,000+ servers in 94 countries, all with obfuscation to browse undetected
  • Audited no-logs policy to protect your privacy
  • 5 simultaneous device connections
  • Works with: Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, browsers, routers, smart TVs, and more
ExpressVPN Offer February 2023: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs for bypassing VPN blocks — it works in countries where VPNs are blocked entirely, like China. Its entire network of 3,000 servers comes with an automatic obfuscation feature. If the server detects deep packet inspection, obfuscation will automatically kick in, making your VPN connection look like a regular one (essentially making it undetectable). In addition, ExpressVPN regularly updates its IP addresses to evade a wide array of IP-based blocks, such as geo-restrictions.

Its privacy and security features prevent it from being detected and blocked. With 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, private DNS, and IP/DNS leak protection, sites won’t see your real location and block you. For example, Network Lock (its kill switch) will cut your internet off in case the VPN disconnects unexpectedly, preventing accidental leaks. I also used an online tool to test 25 servers for leaks and found none whatsoever.

Screenshot showing the Preferences window of the ExpressVPN app with Network Lock and IPv6 Leak Protection enabledExpressVPN has a Network Lock and IPv6 leak protection to keep your VPN undetectable

ExpressVPN’s Lightway protocol makes it harder to detect the VPN, since it’s not as widely used. Using Lightway, I was able to bypass geoblocks on sites that notoriously have really tough VPN-blocking technology, including Netflix, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer.

Not only is Lightway safe (it’s been audited by security specialists), but it’s much faster than the other protocols ExpressVPN offers, including OpenVPN (TCP and UDP), IKEv2, and L2TP/IPSec. Since there are 4 security protocols to choose from, you can always switch to another if the VPN is detected (but, it never was when I tested it).

One small downfall is that ExpressVPN is on the expensive side; plans start at $6.67/month. Luckily, you can usually find discounts and coupons on its site. For instance, I got 3 months of free service when I signed up for its long-term plan. I found this annual plan to be the best deal — it offers all of the same features as the short-term plan, but will save you much more overall.

You can also try ExpressVPN risk-free since it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you’re not completely satisfied, it’s easy to claim a refund.After testing ExpressVPN for 24 days, I used its 24/7 live chat to request a refund. They didn’t even ask why I wanted to cancel, and immediately approved the return. I got my money back within 3 days.

Try ExpressVPN Today

2. CyberGhost — Access Region-Locked Content With Streaming-Optimized Servers

  • 9,753+ servers in 91 countries, including specialty servers and dedicated IPs
  • Supports WireGuard, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2, and PPTP
  • 7 simultaneous device connections
  • Works with: Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, browsers, routers, smart TVs, and more
February 2023 Deal: CyberGhost is currently offering 84% off its most popular plan! Take advantage of this offer now and save more on your CyberGhost subscription.

CyberGhost helps you overcome geo-restrictions with its streaming-optimized servers. These are designed for easy access to global streaming sites, and are offered in 20+ countries. They are regularly maintained by CyberGhost to ensure they can unblock the sites. In the US alone, it offers servers for Disney+, ESPN, Hulu, HBO, Netflix, and 6 additional platforms. I tested each of these, and had no problem accessing the corresponding sites. It worked just as well when I tried out its BBC iPlayer connection in the UK.

Screenshot of the CyberGhost app showing dedicated IPs and streaming optimized serversCyberGhost has platform-specific streaming servers to help you overcome geo-blocks around the globe

CyberGhost provides a solution to blocked or unreliable servers with its dedicated IP addresses. These are available in 7 countries — the US, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Singapore, Australia, and Canada. When you connect to a VPN server, you usually share its IP with tons of additional users. Websites can detect if multiple users have the same IP, which can raise suspicions resulting in the IP being blocked. However, with your own exclusive IP, this is much less likely to happen. Dedicated IPs are an add-on, but CyberGhost offers competitive prices (starting at $4.25/month).

Its strong privacy and security features help make your VPN undetectable. This includes 256-bit encryption, DNS/IP leak protection, and a kill switch. I tested its kill switch by suddenly switching servers while watching a YouTube video. While CyberGhost reestablished my connection, the webpage was temporarily blocked to prevent my IP from being exposed.

On the downside, it doesn’t provide obfuscation like ExpressVPN. For this reason, it doesn’t work to bypass the strictest VPN blocks, like the Great Firewall. However, the security features it does offer work to bypass network firewalls and geoblocks without hesitation.

You can sign up for CyberGhost for as little as $2.19/month with its long-term plan. There are also short-term subscription options that offer the same features. However, the long-term plan saves you a lot more in the end. Plus, it comes with an extended 45-day money-back guarantee (instead of 14 days).

I put CyberGhost’s money-back guarantee to the test. I contacted support via its 24/7 live chat to request a refund. The agent asked me a couple of user-experience questions, then approved the return. Within 4 days, my money was back in my account.

Try CyberGhost Today

3. Private Internet Access — Adjustable Security Features to Overcome Various VPN Blocks

  • Customizable security features to tweak your connection based on the VPN block
  • Strict no-logs policy for top-notch privacy protection
  • 10 simultaneous device connections
  • Works with: Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, browsers, routers, smart TVs, and more
February 2023 Update: PIA doesn't usually have deals or discounts (it's already so affordable), but right now you can get a new subscription for a crazy 83% off!

PIA has customizable features to help you overcome different types of blocks. If you are struggling to access a region-locked site, you can try switching your protocol — it offers OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IPsec (iOS only). You can also manually switch ports. Simply type the number of the port you want to use in the Local Port field, then reconnect.

Screenshot showing manual port selection in Private Internet Access' VPN settings menuThe best ports for circumventing blocks are 443 and 80

PIA offers multi-hop and obfuscation via Shadowsocks for extra stealth. It doubles up you connection through a proxy server and hides that you’re using a VPN. The downside is that it can cause your speeds to drop quite a lot — I noticed a 50% decrease from my base speed. PIA also doesn’t guarantee it will work in countries that block VPNs, like China.

Private Internet Access has a massive network with 29,650+ servers in 84 countries. While testing, I connected to PIA’s US West streaming server and could stream Deadpool on Hulu within seconds. I also tried it with Disney+, which is notorious for its tough geo-blocks, and it worked seamlessly. Even if you run into a server that doesn’t work with a site, you’ll always have an alternative IP available.

With so many advanced settings, the app can be a bit tricky to navigate. However, these settings are what make PIA so effective for overcoming blocks. Plus, if you have questions about how to use a feature, PIA offers 24/7 live support and helpful guides on its site.

PIA is fairly priced, but its long-term plans are the most affordable, starting at $2.19/month. All plans offer the same features, but with a short-term plan, you’ll end up paying more money overall. Considering this, the long-term plan is the best value. When I subscribed for it, I got 2 months of free service. You can also get add a dedicated IP (available in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Singapore, and Germany) to your account from $3.75/month.

You can try PIA out for yourself with its 30-day money-back guarantee. If it’s not for you, you can easily claim a refund. To make sure it’s dependable, I used PIA’s 24/7 live support to request a refund — which I found to be quick and straightforward. The agent agreed to process my request, and I had my money back within 5 days.

Try Private Internet Access Today

4. NordVPN — Obfuscated Servers to Hide Your VPN Traffic and Make It Undetectable

  • Specialized servers equipped with obfuscation technology to bypass VPN blocks
  • Proprietary NordLynx protocol balances security with fast speeds
  • 6 simultaneous device connections
  • Works with: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, browsers, routers, smart TVs, and more

NordVPN’s obfuscated servers mask your VPN traffic so you can get around blocks. These servers can easily be found in the app’s Advanced settings. One click automatically connects you to the fastest obfuscated server for your location. While testing NordVPN, I selected obfuscated servers in different countries and got a new IP easily (great for bypassing geoblocks).

Screenshot of NordVPN's obfuscated server optionsObfuscated servers mean sites can’t tell you’re using a VPN

Like ExpressVPN’s Lightway, NordLynx is a proprietary protocol and gives you fast speeds for streaming. I watched The Traitors in the highest available quality on my BBC iPlayer account with only a 22% drop from my base speed. Episodes loaded immediately and I didn’t experience any buffering.

256-bit AES encryption also prevents your activity from triggering blocks. It’s backed up by DNS/IP leak protection and an automatic kill switch. For added privacy, you can enable DoubleVPN, which routes your traffic through 2 secure servers. Thanks to its base in privacy-friendly Panama, NordVPN isn’t subject to data retention laws.

The one issue I had with NordVPN is that the obfuscated servers don’t work with NordLynx. You have to use an OpenVPN connection. That said, I still got good results when speed testing the obfuscated servers so it didn’t impact my browsing.

The long-term plans are most affordable at $3.49/month. I went with the “Standard” 2-year plan as it saved me the most money and gave me access to all the features I need.

You can also test NordVPN for free thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee. I tested the policy by asking for a refund via the 24/7 live chat. After answering some questions, I got the money back on my card within the week.

Try NordVPN Today

5. Surfshark — No Borders and Camouflage Modes to Safely Use the Internet Anywhere

  • Two forms of obfuscation for hiding your VPN use and unblocking content
  • 3,200 servers in 100 countries to access geo-restricted sites from anywhere
  • Unlimited simultaneous device connections
  • Works with: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, browsers, routers, smart TVs, and more

Surfshark offers multiple obfuscation solutions for getting around country-wide firewalls. NoBorders Mode detects any blocks on your network and automatically connects you to the best servers for keeping your VPN use under the radar. Alternatively, Camouflage Mode obfuscates VPN traffic, making your VPN undetectable. Both these features work in countries with strict restrictions, like China and Turkey.

Screenshot showing Surfshark's MultiHop feature to double your encryptionMultiHop routes your traffic through 2 secure servers instead of 1

I tested Surfshark with a range of geo-blocked content and it worked well. Amazon Prime Video, which is famous for its anti-proxy software, didn’t realize I was using a VPN. I unblocked and streamed multiple episodes of Shadow and Bone without being detected.

As well as NoBorders and Camouflage, Surfshark offers several other useful security features. CleanWeb blocks troublesome ads and malicious websites, while MultiHop mode works like NordVPN’s DoubleVPN. It routes your connection through multiple VPN servers so your online activity is harder to track. The VPN also provides essential security features like 256-bit encryption, leak protection, and an automatic kill switch.

The only red flag for me is that Surfshark is based in The Netherlands — a key member of the 14 Eyes Alliance (group of nations known for sharing citizens’ online data). That said, the VPN has a strict no-logs policy that’s backed up by RAM-only servers — so it physically can’t store your data or hand it over to authorities (even if it’s legally requested).

Prices are very affordable, with plans starting at $2.30/month. The monthly plans cost quite a lot more, so it’s worthwhile signing up for the long term. I went with the 24-month subscription to save the most money.

If you’re not happy with the service, it’s easy to get a refund. I tested the 30-day money-back guarantee myself, by putting in a request via the 24/7 live chat. I had to explain why I wanted to cancel first. However, my request was processed quickly and the money was back in my account within 5 days.

Try Surfshark Today

Why Do VPNs Get Blocked?

Government Censorship

A few countries with strict online censorship ban the use of VPNs altogether. Citizens in countries such as China, the UAE, Iran, Russia, and Turkey have limited access to the internet. The most notable example of government censorship is The Great Firewall of China. It restricts access to Google, YouTube, social media platforms, independent news sources, and more. VPNs are banned there to maintain control over what can be viewed online.

Some VPNs offer obfuscation (including ExpressVPN), so they work reliably in countries with strict censorship. However, VPN apps are also commonly not available in the app stores in these countries. So in order for these VPNs to work, they usually need to be downloaded beforehand, or alternatively, through the Tor network.

Licensing and Distribution Protection

Streaming platforms block VPNs to adhere to distribution rights under copyright law. VPNs are often used to bypass location restrictions, so in response, platforms use VPN-detecting methods to block them. This is why you may encounter error messages when you try to access a site with a VPN connected. It will usually say something along the lines of “This site can’t be reached” or “Turn off your VPN or proxy before accessing this site”.

ExpressVPN provides obfuscation and IP refreshing, which makes it easy to overcome this. While obfuscation disguises your VPN connection, changing IPs prevents them from getting discovered and blocked. On top of this, a kill switch and IP/DNS leak protection are also useful features — this prevents your true location from leaking, even if your connection drops.

School and Workplace Restrictions

Schools and workplaces sometimes block users from accessing certain content using firewalls. They can ban specific URLs, or they can issue blanket bans on gambling sites, for example. They may even ban VPNs so that administrators can monitor its users’ browsing.

Using a VPN with obfuscation can prevent this by making the VPN traffic undetectable. Another simple solution is to switch to mobile data, since this type of block extends only as far as the WiFi network.

Fraud Prevention

Many financial services block VPNs to prevent fraud, since VPNs hide your IP address and personal information. Your IP address serves as a form of identification that verifies it’s really you accessing your account. However, attempting to access your account without this verification looks suspicious, so you’re likely to face a VPN block.

A solution to this is to use split tunneling. With this method, you select which sites you want sent through the VPN’s encrypted tunnel while the rest of your traffic goes through your local connection. For instance, you can keep your banking app on your local network while protecting the rest of your traffic with the VPN.

However, not all VPNs offer this feature, so you’ll have to check if it’s available in the app settings. ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, PIA, NordVPN, and Surfshark all offer split tunneling, which you can set up in just a couple of minutes. Also, all of the VPNs on my list can access PayPal without any issues — but I recommend using a local server to avoid suspicion.

To Block Dishonest Activity

Some online companies and organizations block VPNs to prevent unlawful activities. For example, online gambling is illegal in certain countries and also some US states. Casino sites sometimes even block VPNs to stop people from using them to cheat or gamble illegally. If they detect the use of a VPN to access their site, they might shut down your account and seize any money you had in it.

In addition, some gaming platforms (such as Steam) block VPNs to prevent people taking advantage of foreign markets. This also stops players from getting games cheaper or cheating. However, using a VPN while playing online is also a common safety precaution — it prevents your private data from being visible on a shared server.

The easiest way to protect yourself online without facing VPN blocks, is to use a VPN with obfuscation. Since obfuscation disguises your data as regular internet traffic, it’s harder for websites to tell that you’re using a VPN.

Try ExpressVPN Today

Types of VPN Blocks

IP Blocks

IP blocks prevent an IP (or group of IPs) from accessing content — sometimes they are enforced on you individually. For example, an online game might block your IP because you were cheating. A gambling site might identify you as a professional gambler and block your IP because you were winning too much money.

IP blocks can also be more widespread. Entire countries such as China block the use of VPNs and any IP they find belonging to a VPN server. Streaming sites block VPN IPs to prevent users from bypassing geo-restrictions.

To avoid these blocks, I recommend using a VPN that regularly refreshes its IPs. This way, you can depend on finding a reliable connection that hasn’t been discovered and blacklisted by a site or service. It’s also advantageous to use a VPN with many servers, as they are unlikely to all get blocked.

Port Blocks

Many VPN protocols use specific ports for their online connections. For example, OpenVPN usually uses port 1194. A website that wants to block VPNs could simply monitor the most commonly used VPN ports, like 1194.

You can avoid these blocks by simply changing ports if you use a VPN that allows it. Otherwise, it can be helpful to switch to a VPN protocol that uses a port other than 1194, such as Lightway or WireGuard.

Deep Packet Inspection (DPI)

A VPN breaks your data down into small blocks, known as packets. While they are encrypted, the packets contain metadata that can reveal that you’re using a VPN. DPI uses this metadata to block VPNs. It’s an advanced form of blocking which The Great Firewall uses extensively.

To prevent DPI, use a VPN that offers obfuscation and multiple protocol options. Bypassing DPI is usually difficult with OpenVPN, since it uses encryption that is easily detected by DPI. It’s best to use WireGuard or a proprietary protocol (like Lightway) instead.

Beat Blocks With ExpressVPN

FAQs on How to Make a VPN Undetectable

Can my ISP see that I’m using a VPN?

Yes, but you can avoid detection by using obfuscation. A few VPNs in my list offer obfuscation via Scramble, Stealth VPN, or as a setting that kicks in as needed to bypass a tough block.

Although a VPN encrypts your data to prevent your ISP from seeing your online activities, they can still see that you’re using a VPN. This may flag unwanted attention, or result in your ISP enforcing a VPN block — even if you’re not doing anything illegal. That’s why I recommend using a VPN with advanced security features (like obfuscation), so you can increase your privacy and mask your VPN use.

What if Netflix blocks my VPN?

You can adjust your VPN connection to get past the blocks. If your VPN offers enhanced security features and a reliable server network, you can unblock Netflix with ease. A couple of things to try:

  • Switch servers — The IP your VPN assigned you could be blacklisted. Switching servers will change the IP address the VPN gives you. Usually just turning the VPN off and then on again will generate a new IP. You can also choose another server location in the same country.
  • Turn on obfuscation — this may be a setting you can enable. Otherwise, some VPNs (like ExpressVPN) can detect blocks and enable obfuscation automatically, as needed.
  • Check for leaks — you can run your VPN through an online leak detection tool to see if it’s effectively masking your IP (and location). If not, you may want to consider using a more secure VPN. Some VPNs offer leak protection, including those on my list, so this shouldn’t be an issue.

How do I bypass a network firewall at work or school?

You can get past most firewall blocks by using a VPN that offers obfuscation. Obfuscation is an advanced security feature that disguises your VPN traffic as a regular internet connection. This makes it easier for the VPN to avoid detection and slip past firewalls.

Not every VPN offers this, but you can check your VPNs settings or website to see if it has this feature. It could be referred to as Scramble, Stealth VPN, or something else — depending on your provider.

How can I bypass VPN blocks on my mobile phone?

The 10 suggested methods can help you overcome blocks on your mobile phone. Which method you should use depends on the type of block you’re faced with. Some VPN mobile apps are like basic versions of their desktop apps — limiting the features and customization options you get access to. However, my recommended VPNs offer plenty of adjustable features in their mobile apps, so you’ll have an easier time geting around different types of blocks.

Here are a few of the most effective methods, depending on the block:

For VPN-specific blocks:

  • Try switching servers
  • Enable obfuscation

For firewalls:

  • Enable obfuscation
  • Use mobile data

Can a free VPN bypass VPN blocks?

Rarely, they usually lack key features that help you bypass VPN blockers. It’s easier to bypass blockers with a low-cost premium VPN with strong security features, like obfuscation, a large server network, and port switching. This way, if you run into a block, you’ll have more settings and options that you can tweak to overcome it. All of the VPNs in this list offer features such as these, and are even backed by a money-back guarantee so you can test them out yourself.

Free VPNs rarely refresh their IP addresses, and often come pre-configured, so you don’t have the option to customize your security settings. Plus, they usually make money by bombarding you with intrusive advertising, tracking your browsing, and selling your data to third parties. In other words, they’re not the best option if you’re looking for privacy protection.

Make Your VPN Undetectable and Bypass Blocks Today

Schools, workplaces, websites, ISPs, local networks, and even entire countries use VPN blocking to restrict your access to certain content online. However, a VPN offering plenty of security and privacy features can help you browse undetected. This way, you can access the content and sites you want — safely, privately, and from any location.

My #1 choice for bypassing blockers is ExpressVPN. It offers obfuscation on every one of its servers to make your VPN-use undetectable. It also protects your privacy and hides your personal data with its top-notch security features. You can try ExpressVPN risk-free with its 30-day money-back guarantee. If you’re not 100% satisfied, it’s no problem to claim a refund.

To summarize, the best VPNs for bypassing VPN blockers are…

Rank
Provider
Our Score
Discount
Visit Website
1
medal
9.8 /10
Save 49%!
2
9.8 /10
Save 84%!
3
9.6 /10
Save 82%!
4
9.4 /10
Save 71%!
5
9.2 /10
Save 83%!
Privacy Alert!

Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!

Your IP Address:

Your Location:

Your Internet Provider:

The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.

VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.

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About the Author

James fervently advocates freedom of speech and denounces censorship. He believes it is everyone's right to protect their online privacy and evade data tracking. From a professional perspective, he has written about cybersecurity for business, including e-commerce store maintenance, SaaS, and MFA.

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