We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
Advertising Disclosure

vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

Unblock Websites at School, Work, and on Chrome in 2024

Doris Muthuri Updated on 6th December 2023 Fact-checked by Anneke van Aswegen Senior Writer

There are ways to access blocked sites like Reddit, Instagram, YouTube, and Netflix at school or work, but only some are safe and reliable. If your school, employer, or Chrome blocks websites, there might be a security risk, so proceed cautiously.

A VPN is the easiest way to bypass these restrictions without compromising security. This simple app reroutes your internet traffic through private servers, hiding your online identity and activity. So, the school's can't block your access because they don't know which sites you're visiting.

My team and I tested 50+ VPNs and found ExpressVPN does the best job of unblocking any site. It has 3,000+ fast servers worldwide to quickly get around network restrictions and robust security features to keep you safe online. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can confidently try ExpressVPN.

Unblock Websites With a VPN >>

Important. At vpnMentor, we value and respect the importance of rules and regulations set forth by educational institutions and workplaces. While we provide information about VPNs and their capabilities, we do not endorse disregarding policies or breaking the law.

Quick Guide: How to Access Blocked Websites With a VPN in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Get a VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN because its fast speeds and extensive server network let you access any website without delays. Plus, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test it risk-free.
  2. Connect to a server. Pick a server closest to you for the best speeds, or choose a server in a country with the content you need. For example, a US server will help you access your Netflix US account.
  3. Unblock any website. Navigate to a website or platform, like YouTube, and enjoy unrestricted access.

Why You Need a VPN to Unblock Websites at Work and School

Network administrators at schools and workplaces often limit access to certain websites for various reasons, like maintaining productivity, blocking inappropriate content, and controlling bandwidth usage. The same goes for Google Chrome or any other browser when it's set to restrict certain websites. For example, universities often impose limits on students’ Chromebooks.

You need a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to act as a website unblocker, access content vital to your research assignments, or simply enjoy your favorite manga websites while on a break.

A VPN encrypts and diverts your traffic through its private servers, making your activities invisible to third parties. The network you're connected to no longer sees you as being on its network, thus bypassing any restrictions it may have placed on your browsing.

Best VPNs to Bypass Blocked Sites Anywhere in 2024

1. ExpressVPN — Excellent Speeds to Quickly Access Any Website

Best Feature The fastest VPN I tested with minimal speed loss
Server Network 3,000 servers in 105 countries
Speeds Stable connections to browse, stream, and torrent without delays
Compatible with YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Netflix, Reddit, and more

With ExpressVPN I could browse and watch videos on YouTube uninterrupted — thanks to its unlimited bandwidth and lightweight Lightway protocol. The latter is designed for optimal security and low-latency connections. Using my Chromebook, I tested it on 10+ ExpressVPN servers at different times of the day, and web pages loaded instantly each time. This means you won't have to worry about annoying load times when streaming, online gaming, and video conferencing.

A screenshot showing speed test results without the VPN and while connected to ExperssVPN's server in LondonI experienced only a 6% average speed drop, an unnoticeable amount

Its global network also provides access to any site or app, no matter where you are. Plus, all its servers use obfuscation technology to disguise your VPN traffic as regular traffic, avoiding detection by hiding that you’re using a VPN. I tried out 16 locations at my local library, and everyone let me log in to Facebook, Twitter, and all the other restricted sites.

ExpressVPN is easy to use and compatible with most operating systems. I tested it with my Windows PC, Chromebook, and iPhone — it allows up to 8 simultaneous connections under one subscription. It was quick to set up (within 3 minutes) and connect to a VPN server.

One downside is its price, starting at $6.67/month. However, you can save up to 49% on ExpressVPN's frequent discounts and deals. Plus, all plans have a 30-day money-back guarantee. I tested its refund policy by canceling via 24/7 live chat support. The process was fast, and the agent approved my request after I answered a few basic questions. 4 days later, all the money was back in my bank account.

Useful Features

  • Privacy features. Thanks to its audited no-logs policy, ExpressVPN won't log or share your data. DNS/IP Leak Protection also ensures that your real location remains anonymous. Plus, its kill switch (Network Lock) protects you from accidental data exposure should the VPN disconnect, like when switching servers.
  • AES 256-bit encryption. This encryption level is the highests, so you can rest assured that your data is safe from hackers and snoops.
  • Strong security protocols. Aside from its in-house Lightway, ExpressVPN offers OpenVPN (UDP and TCP ports) and IKEv2. A protocol choice is important to ensure your connection remains fast and stable.
  • Split tunneling. You can choose which apps or websites go through the VPN tunnel while others access the internet directly. For example, you can use ExpressVPN to access streaming services while at the same time using your regular internet connection to browse local websites.
ExpressVPN Offer February 2024: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

2. CyberGhost — Intuitive User-Interface to Easily Bypass Network Restrictions

Best Feature Secure your connection and access any website with a few clicks
Server Network 11,683 servers in 100 countries
Speeds Fast speeds for streaming in HD without buffering
Compatible with YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Netflix, Reddit, and more

Navigating the CyberGhost app is a breeze, thanks to its sleek and well-organized interface. You can easily connect to a server, access websites, and enjoy seamless browsing without any prior VPN experience. When testing, it took me about 5 minutes to set it up on my Windows laptop and connect to a server in the UK.

A screenshot showing CyberGhost clutter-free user-interfaceYou can “favorite” your most used server by clicking the star icon next to it

In addition to an extensive global network, it also offers servers optimized for streaming, gaming, and torrenting. These specialized servers are configured for optimum speeds and frequently tested to ensure they work. I tried ones optimized for Netflix US, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer, and each time unblocked these platforms within seconds and watched shows without buffering.

CyberGhost's kill switch is a fail-safe mechanism that automatically disconnects you from the internet if the VPN connection drops. This helps prevent your data from leaking, exposing your online activity. Like ExpressVPN, it also uses IP/DNS leak protection and AES 256-bit encryption to protect your privacy.

A drawback is that its monthly plans are expensive. However, a long-term subscription costs only $2.03/month. Plus, it offers an extended money-back guarantee, so you can try CyberGhost free for 45 days and get a full refund if you're unhappy. I requested and received my money back in my PayPal account within 5 days of testing its guarantee.

Useful Features

  • Malware protection. Its built-in Content Blocker safeguards your device from malicious websites and potential threats while browsing.
  • No-logs policy. CyberGhost adheres to a strict no-logs policy, ensuring that your online activities remain private and anonymous.
  • 24/7 customer support. If you encounter issues while using CyberGhost, their customer support is available via email and live chat to assist you with troubleshooting and inquiries.
  • Automatic WiFi protection. CyberGhost will launch as soon as it detects a new WiFI network, so your data is safe from hackers and potential eavesdroppers, even if you forget to switch it on.
February 2024 Deal: CyberGhost is currently offering 84% off its most popular plan! Take advantage of this offer now and save more on your CyberGhost subscription.

3. Private Internet Access (PIA) — Huge Server Network to Reliably Unblock Websites

Best Feature Many servers worldwide to avoid IP blocking and slowdowns due to overcrowding
Server Network 29,650 servers in 91 countries
Speeds Good speeds and unlimited bandwidth for uninterrupted browsing and streaming
Compatible with YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Netflix, Reddit, and more

PIA’s massive server network helps you unblock websites from anywhere. Even if one server malfunctions, you can simply connect to another and continue browsing. During my tests, I connected to a US server and easily unblocked my Hulu account while visiting a friend in London — Hulu is restricted in the US. Plus, my speeds were consistently high, which meant I could stream shows in HD without delays.

Screen shot of PIA unblocking Netflix US connected to a server in WashingtonPIA has streaming-optimized servers for specific countries; just type "streaming" into the search bar

With one account, you can also connect unlimited devices simultaneously. This is great value for large households wanting to protect all their devices without breaking the bank — a long-term plan costs just $2.03/month.

My only concern is that its many customization options make it less user-friendly. However, it comes pre-configured, so you can start unblocking websites without changing settings.

All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try PIA risk-free before committing. Getting a refund is straightforward. I submitted my request via the 24/7 live chat feature. After providing a reason for canceling, the agent quickly approved my request. I received my refund in my bank account that same week.

Useful Features

  • Tailor your experience. When you select the OpenVPN protocol, you can choose our level of encryption — more layers (AES 256-bit) or fewer lawyers but slightly faster 128-bit. You can also switch to the WireGuard protocol, which provides speedy connections and robust security.
  • DNS Leak Protection. Like EXpressVPN and CyberGhost, your DNS queries are encrypted and routed through the VPN server, preventing potential leaks that could reveal the websites you visit.
  • Unlimited bandwidth. You can stream, torrent, or browse without limits on all its servers.
February 2024 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 82% off!

How Else Can You Access Websites at School or Work (Beside a VPN)?

There are a few alternatives to VPNs people use, but I can’t recommend them. Most have limited functions and unsafe connections. A VPN is the most effective way to access websites on public networks. A reliable VPN will let you use any website or platform while keeping your connection safe and undetectable.

Google Translate

To visit websites using Google Translate, simply copy and paste the URL of the blocked website and translate it into any language. The service will give you a ‘translated’ link to the webpage you’re trying to access. When you click on it, it allows you to access the content. However, s this method is a hit-and-miss and doesn’t encrypt your data.

A snapshot showing how to unblock websites with Google TranslateGoogle Translate allows you to access some websites, but not all

URL Shortener

Another way to access websites is by using a URL-shortening tool like Bit.ly. Simply paste the URL of the site you want to unlock in the bar from the shortening tool and generate a shortened version.

Once you have this version, paste it into your browser's address bar. This method will not always work, but it might be worth a try. Also, this method does not give you any protection or anonymity.

Proxy Browsers

Proxy Browsers allow you to access websites by redirecting your internet traffic through an intermediary server. This means that the server separates you as a user from the sites you're browsing. This way, the server visits the webpage and forwards the content to you. Meaning you’re never actually visiting the website yourself since your traffic is coming from the location of the proxy.

A snapshot showing how to unblock websites using HMA free proxySome proxies might monitor and log your online activities

But although this sounds like an ideal solution, web proxies also have disadvantages. They are unsafe since they are not encrypted, meaning your connection isn’t anonymous. Besides, they only work at a browser level and are known for injecting adverts and malware into your browser. Plus, they can only give you access to certain websites, but they might not work with popular streaming platforms.

Tor Browser

Tor stands for ‘The Onion Router’ and is a browser designed to maximize online anonymity. When browsing, your internet traffic flows through several different servers before accessing the website you're trying to visit. On top of that, Tor has different layers of encryption for increased anonymity.

However, this also has certain cons. Due to the amount of servers and encryption, the browser is extremely slow. Besides, it is not available on iOs devices, and you cannot choose the servers by yourself.

IP Address

Another way to visit the websites you want is by using an IP address rather than a URL. Since sites have an associated IP, you can often use this in your browser’s address bar. When you type Google's IP 172.217.10.110 rather than http://google.com, you’ll be navigated to the same website. You can do this for any webpage that is blocked based on its URL. Simply use a tool like IP Checker to find the site’s matching IP address. Alternatively, you can follow these steps if you’re using a Windows device:

  1. Open Start Menu and type cmd.
  2. Open the Command Prompt program.
  3. Type ping and follow it with the website name you want to visit, e.g., YouTube.com.
A screenshot showing how to find a website's IP address using the Windows Command Prompt programOther OPs have different tools for locating IP addresses

This method is only effective for URL-based blocks and some websites have the ability to block direct IP access. Additionally, some web pages are constructed on an IP that leads you to a different page. It's important to note that using this method does not guarantee your privacy and security, so exercise caution while browsing in this manner.

Google Cache

Google retains older versions of webpages, which can help access websites when they’re blocked. This works best for simple, text-based websites where you don’t require any login information. However, several cons are that Google cache doesn’t store videos and images, you'll never visit the updated webpage, and not every site has a cached version.

Wayback Machine

This is a service that stores back-up (old versions) of almost any website worldwide. To access websites at school, simply visit the Wayback machine, paste the URL into the address bar, and access the desired website.

A snapshot showing how to use Wayback MachineWayback Machine doesn’t require any manual installation or configuration

However, the website version won’t be up-to-date, and your traffic is still visible. It also doesn’t work with sites that require a login.

Use Mobile Data

Another way to enjoy your favorite websites is by using your phone's data network instead of the school's WiFi. School content filters are typically implemented at the network level, monitoring URLs, IP addresses, and even website content. You can bypass these filters entirely by switching to your mobile data network.

Mobile data frees you from school restrictions, allowing you to access websites permitted by your cell phone provider, often with faster speeds. Transforming your phone into a personal hotspot extends this method to access websites on school Chromebooks and sometimes even school computers. This is because your computer's traffic is routed through your cell phone provider's network rather than the school's network.

Switch from HTTP to HTTPS

Sometimes, the blocking software may only restrict one of the two: HTTP or HTTPs protocols. Switching between them might grant you access. However, remember to be careful, as websites using HTTP are less secure than those using HTTPS.

FAQs on Unblocking Websites at School With a VPN

How to access blocked websites on a school Chromebook?

A VPN is the easiest and safest way to access websites on a school Chromebook. You simply need to install a reliable VPN on your Chromebook and connect to a server. If you have no location preferences, pick a nearby server for the best speeds.

Clearing your browser cache and trying different browsers might also help. Alternatively, you can create a mobile hotspot using your phone's data network. Remember to respect school policies and consider consulting the IT department for further assistance if needed.

Can I unblock Manga websites at school?

Yes, with a VPN you can access Manga websites at school. By encrypting your internet traffic and routing it through a private server outside of your school's network, a VPN allows you to remain undetected and access Manga content.

How can I access YouTube and Facebook on my school, work, or college network?

You can use a VPN to access YouTube or other blocked websites on a restricted network. Remember, it's important to respect your school's rules and policies regarding internet use, but if you're allowed to use a VPN, choose an easy-to-use VPN with many fast servers worldwide, like ExpressVPN. Netflix, Hulu, Instagram, and every other site commonly blocked on campus will be available to you too.

Can I access websites at a school or work for free?

Yes, accessing blocked websites at school or work for free is possible, but these methods have limitations and potential security risks. For example, Proxy websites are intermediaries between your device and the internet. However, these sites are often slow and filled with ads.

Free VPNs could help you access blocked sites but often have data limitations, slower speeds, and fewer servers to choose from. Even worse, they do not have the security features to adequately protect your privacy and may contain malware. A more reliable alternative is a VPN with a money-back guarantee.

Can the network administrator see which websites you access?

Yes. Typically, administrators can monitor network traffic and detect certain activities, including attempts to unblock websites. However, a reliable VPN service can help protect your online privacy and make it more challenging for them to track your specific activities. When you connect to a VPN, your internet traffic is encrypted and routed through the VPN server. This makes it difficult for anyone to see your browsing content or identify the websites you visit.

Access Any Website at School or Work in Minutes

A VPN is all you need to safely access websites on a restrictive network. A reliable VPN lets you get around WiFi blocks and access any platform from anywhere.

I highly recommend ExpressVPN because its fast speeds and extensive server network quickly get around website blocks. Plus, it offers a trustworthy 30-days money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free.

To summarize, the best VPNs to unblock websites at school are…

Rank
Provider
Our Score
Discount
Visit Website
1
medal
9.9 /10
9.9 Our Score
Save 49%!
2
9.7 /10
9.7 Our Score
Save 84%!
3
9.5 /10
9.5 Our Score
Save 82%!
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.

Visit ExpressVPN

We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
Learn more
vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

About the Author

Doris is a tech writer and a cybersecurity researcher for vpnMentor. She is enthusiastic about educating people about their rights to online freedom and provides actionable ways to protect their data.

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