How to Make a VPN Undetectable and Bypass VPN Blocks in 2019
Popular streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC have figured out how to block VPN connections. Fortunately, there are several ways to bypass these blocks. Read our in-depth explanation and you'll be streaming in no time. Share
Online threats are everywhere these days, and that means VPNs – virtual private networks – are becoming a necessity for all internet users. A good VPN masks your activity and helps you stay hidden online, protecting you from identity fraud, viruses, information harvesting, and even government surveillance.
However, some ISPs, websites, and online services, including streaming services, now block VPN connections. This prevents you from accessing their content, even while using a VPN. Netflix is one of the most high-profile services that takes this approach.
Luckily, it is possible to work around these blocks without reducing your security or privacy. In this article we show you the best ways to make a VPN undetectable.
Top VPNs for Avoiding VPN Blocks
- NordVPN – Obfuscated servers scramble your data so you don’t get blocked, while unsurpassable security features ensure your connection is always safe and private.
- ExpressVPN – Exceptional speeds and a range of encryption protocol alternatives to OpenVPN make ExpressVPN an excellent choice when you need to be undetectable.
- Surfshark – Unlimited connections and a focus on getting around Netflix and other platform VPN blocks, combined with robust security and lightning speeds.
- IPVanish – This security-conscious VPN offers configurable settings, including alternative connection settings that are harder to detect than OpenVPN.
- VyprVPN – The combination of Chameleon technology, configurable connection settings, and latency-free servers provides a superb, undetectable service.
There are numerous reasons why ISPs and websites try to block VPNs. The most well-known service that continually develops new ways of detecting and blocking VPNs is Netflix. It does this to prevent access to geo-restricted content from outside its designated region. The main reason Netflix does this is to maintain its licensing deals with movie and TV studios.
VPN blocks take a number of forms, with the most common methods being the easiest to circumvent. Here are some of the tools that services and sites use to detect VPNs and block access.
- IP blocks – When you connect to the internet with a VPN, it automatically assigns your device a new IP address. While this IP address used isn’t associated with your name or location, it can still get blocked. Sites do this by comparing the IP address you are using with a list of known IP addresses used by VPNs. If they find a match, they can block your access.
- DPI (Deep packet inspection) – This is a more technically advanced method of blocking VPN connections. It analyzes the encrypted data that is passed from a VPN; checking for unique cryptography signatures. If these are present, your access can be blocked instantly. DPI is more difficult to bypass than other methods.
- Port blocking – Most VPNs use specific ports to connect to the internet. These ports can be considered as similar to tunnels or hallways. Each of these ports has a number. All a website or service needs to do is check the traffic coming from the port and block it. This method isn’t as common as IP blocking, but it is easier to circumvent if you have the right VPN.
There is more than one way to make your VPN undetectable to ISPs, streaming services, and other websites. As we said previously, the first step is to ensure you have a high-quality VPN with excellent encryption and features that can be configured to meet your individual needs. You can also try the following options:
Tweaking your VPN settings can boost your security and make your VPN harder to identify. One of the best places to start is with the encryption protocols. The most common setup with many VPNs is 256-bit AES encryption with OpenVPN protocol. This is the standard setup because it provides the best balance between speed and security. However, many blocking algorithms check for OpenVPN traffic. When you switch to a different protocol, bypassing the blocks is much easier. Which protocol you use will depend in part on the ones that are supported by your VPN provider. The main protocols are listed below.
- OpenVPN – Most VPNs use this as their default protocol. It is the best option if detectability is not a concern.
- L2TP/IPSec – When L2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol) is combined with IPSec (Internet Protocol Security) you gain a more secure, but slower environment than with OpenVPN. It is a good choice if detectability is more of a concern than speed.
- SSL/TLS Transport Layer Security and Secure Sockets Layer are less common VPN protocols. This is what makes them a good choice if you’re trying to make your VPN undetectable.
- SSH – Rarely offered by VPNs, Secure Shell tunnel traffic is able to break through most firewalls and blockades.
Switching the port your VPN uses for traffic can keep your VPN undetectable – however, this can only be achieved if it’s an option your VPN offers. Here is a list of ports. Try switching to the lesser known ports for the best results.
- 1194 – As the official OpenVPN port, it is the one most likely to be detected.
- 2018 – An alternative for slipping by ISP blocks.
- 41185 – If your traffic is blocked across lower port ranges, then it is a great alternative.
- 443 – HTTPS secured sites tend to utilize this port, so it is rarely blocked.
- 80 – Also a default port used for encrypted traffic, so rarely blocked.
If you want to remain undetected, one of the key features that top-tier VPNs offer that can help you out is obfuscated servers. Basically, these servers scramble your data, hiding the fact that it is encrypted and making it look just like any other data out there on the web. However, lack of obfuscated servers shouldn’t discount an otherwise excellent VPN; there are other ways of hiding your traffic.
Tor, also known as The Onion Router, is an open-source browser that enables users to surf the web anonymously. It isn’t completely infallible, but if you use it in combination with a VPN, it can provide excellent results and remain undetected.
SSH tunnels are a way of covering data with an additional layer of encryption. This allows them to pass undetected through filtering services. It is in a host of different applications, including sending and receiving files via FTP, and so it is rarely monitored or blocked. One of the problems with this approach, however, is speed. SSH tunnels are noticeably slower and are therefore unsuitable for use with streaming services.
SSL tunnels are one of the best ways to mask your connection, because blocking that interferes with Secure Socket Layer connections would interfere with HTTPS traffic, which includes everything from online shopping to banking and anything other website that deals with private data. If your VPN doesn’t offer this tunneling protocol by default, it is possible to download the software and set it up yourself, however, it can be time-consuming.
Designed to help users obtain restriction-free access in censorship-heavy countries like China, SOCKS5 Proxy works by using the Socket Secure 5 protocol to transfer data using a proxy server. SOCKS also adds a layer of authentication that ensures that only the intended user can access the proxy. This makes it a very effective method of encrypting and sending traffic. SOCKS5 Proxy is more reliable and faster than some of the other methods we have explored, but it is not the easiest to set up.
Top VPNs for Staying Undetected Online
If you want to make your VPN undetectable to websites, streaming services, and anyone else who might be trying to impose on your online activity, first of all, you want to be sure you have a high-quality VPN. This is important because premium VPNs are constantly developing, adding more and more IP addresses which makes them harder to track.
Here is some more information about our top four pick of VPNs that help you stay undetected online.
NordVPN offers obfuscated servers that scramble your source data, so that blocking algorithms and firewalls find it much more difficult to determine whether you are using a VPN. The provider also offers PPTP and L2TP connections, along with SSTP encryption.
NordVPN has a network of over 5,200 servers across 60 countries, meaning you will always find a server that meets your needs. This is one of the many reasons why it is a user favorite.
It also offers DDoS protection, double VPN, and Onion Over VPN to help secure your identity and AES with 256-bit encryption to secure your connection. NordVPN also has a strict no-logging policy and is based outside the 5-Eyes countries.
The company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so there’s no reason not to give it a try.
NordVPN can unblock:
- Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Showtime, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Sling TV.
- Yes, P2P specialty servers available.
NordVPN works on these devices:
- Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Android TV, Linux, Chrome, and Firefox. It’s also compatible with routers.
ExpressVPN provides a range of change of features that you can modify to ensure your connection is undetectable. It offers various encryption protocols, including L2TP/IPsec, SSTP, and PPTP as alternatives to OpenVPN.
Its exceptional speeds mean that you shouldn’t notice too much in a drop of speed when using slower protocols. Read what real users have to say.
ExpressVPN runs over 2,000 servers across 94 countries, so you always have a great connection, regardless of where you are located.
The provider offers 256-bit AES encryption, DNS requests, and IP addresses, as well as a strict no logging policy. An automatic kill switch and DNS leak protection also help to keep you anonymous and secure online.
If you’re not sure if ExpressVPN can get the job done, you can take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee and try it out risk-free.
ExpressVPN can unblock:
- Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, Showtime, Sling TV, DAZN, and BBC iPlayer.
- Yes, all servers support P2P activity.
ExpressVPN works on these devices:
- Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Android TV, Linux, Chrome, and Firefox. It also offers an app for use with certain routers.
This provider is a fast-growing VPN that specializes in flying under the radar and remaining undetectable to even the biggest and most anti-VPN websites, including Netflix. This is just one reason Surfshark is considered the best newcomer VPN by many of our readers.
Surfshark regularly adds to its network of 800+ servers, across 50 countries, offering incredible speeds and the ability to hide your location, undetected, from anywhere in the world. This is backed up with military-grade encryption, an automatic kill switch, strict no-logs policy and many more state-of-the-art security features.
While it hasn’t been on the market for long, Surfshark has quickly established itself as a market leader in VPN. You can see for yourself with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
IPVanish’s configuration menu allows you to switch connection protocols, providing PPTP and L2TP/IPSec as alternatives to OpenVPN.
This provider takes privacy and security seriously, offering 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and an automatic kill switch, alongside a no-logging policy. There’s no wonder it gets excellent reviews.
A network of over 1,000 servers across 60 countries gives you a wealth of choice when it comes to connection locations. IPVanish also offers excellent speeds, which reduce the effects of using slower protocols to remain undetected.
However, unlike other providers, IPVanish offers a money-back guarantee for 7 days only, so you’d have to make up your mind about it pretty fast.
VyprVPN uses Chameleon technology to mask your VPN traffic and defeat deep packet inspection. Users can also choose between PPTP 128-bit encryption and L2TP/IPSec 256-bit, depending on your specific needs.
The provider also offers a network of over 700 servers across 70 countries and a no-logging policy that covers DNS requests and traffic information. DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch combine with the other great features to secure your connection whenever you are online.
You can read what real users think of it or just try it out for yourself with the 3-day free trial and 30-day money-back guarantee.
Websites, ISPs, and streaming services are becoming more adept at accessing your personal data and blocking VPNs, which means you need to adapt your approach to your online security and privacy.