How to unblock YouTube at school or work and bypass network restrictions

How to unblock YouTube at school or work and bypass network restrictions

December 20, 2023 privacy 0

Many schools and workplaces block access to popular sites like YouTube to stop students or employees from getting distracted. If you want to access YouTube on restricted Wi-Fi, then you should use a VPN to unblock YouTube. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) lets you bypass local network restrictions completely, by allowing you to pretend to be elsewhere.

As soon as the VPN connects, you no longer seem to be at school and the network restrictions no longer apply. Even better, the VPN also encrypts your data so that the network administrator will never know that you can unblock YouTube at school or work.

In this guide, we will explain exactly how you can bypass school Wi-Fi restrictions to unblock YouTube, or any other websites or services blocked on your school network or work. And the good news is that it is super-easy!

What are the best VPNs for unblocking YouTube?

Here is a quick look at the best VPNs for unblocking YouTube on school or work Wi-Fi networks. If you want to find out more, keep scrolling for a detailed breakdown of each provider or check out our full VPN reviews.

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Best YouTube VPNs – In-depth Analysis

Here is our detailed analysis of the best VPNs for unblocking YouTube on restrictive and censoring school/work networks. These services will also work to unblock YouTube videos if they are restricted in your country and will also allow you to access the site if it is completely blocked where you are.

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Why do I need a VPN to unblock YouTube?

There are a few different ways to unblock YouTube content while connected to school/work Wi-Fi. Each method has its benefits and depending on your needs, you can opt to use any of them. However, only a VPN will allow you to unblock websites while also gaining digital privacy

This is important because schools will often block websites and services to ensure that students don’t access them (to keep them productive in their studies and to prevent them from accessing harmful content). That is why it is better to use a VPN, which will help you unblock YouTube while protecting your digital privacy at the same time.

Although using a VPN is by far the best choice, we have listed every available way to unblock YouTube for complete transparency. That way you can unblock content using whichever method suits you best.

Use a VPN to unblock YouTube

A VPN is by far the best way to unblock content while at school. With a VPN you can easily bypass local network restrictions, not just at school, but on any network where there are restrictions. As soon as you have a VPN, it is a tool that will prove useful everywhere that you go (including at home). A VPN can do great things, such as:

How to unblock YouTube with a VPN

Using a VPN to bypass Wi-Fi blocks in privacy is extremely easy. All you need to do is follow these simple steps:

  1. Choose a VPN that has fast servers for streaming content on YouTube or other streaming sites. Not all VPNs are speedy, but luckily there are some services that can unblock content and let you stream. A fast VPN is also good for video conferencing, gaming, and other data-intensive tasks.
  2. Subscribe to the VPN service by clicking through to its website.
  3. Download the VPN software and install it on your device. Our recommended VPNs allow you to install and run the VPN app on multiple devices simultaneously. That means you can use the VPN on your smartphone, tablet, and laptop or desktop machines.
  4. Connect to a VPN server in the country you require. You can either connect to a server in your own country or pretend to be in a foreign country to access geo-restricted content that isn’t usually available from where you are located.
  5. Navigate to YouTube as soon as the VPN connects, and it will load even though you are connected to the school’s Wi-Fi.

My school is blocking VPNs

Unfortunately, it is a very real possibility that your school network administrator is actually deliberately blocking all search terms related to VPNs and all websites belonging to VPN providers. This will make it impossible for you to download and subscribe to a VPN without unblocking the website first. One option is to use the Google Translate method (more on this below).

Alternatively, you could subscribe to the VPN service and install the software onto your devices while you are at home, where VPN sites aren’t blocked. That way, when you go to school, you will already have the VPN at your disposal; ready to unblock YouTube and access your favorite music, vlogs, independent news – or anything else that interests you.

Use a proxy to unblock YouTube

Proxies are another popular method that many people use to bypass blocks. Proxies come in two primary forms:

  • Website proxies that you can use to redirect you to websites that are otherwise blocked.
  • Browser extension proxies that will unblock content for you inside your browser.

These proxies can allow you to bypass the restrictions put in place by your school, but they will not provide the level of privacy you get with a VPN. One advantage of a proxy is that you may be able to unblock YouTube right away for free. However, the school’s network admin may find out, which could get you in trouble. 

It is also worth bearing in mind that good free proxies are getting rarer and rarer, and many paid services are replacing them – so you may have trouble even finding a good free one. And rather than paying for a proxy, it is much better to get a VPN, so don’t fall into the trap of paying for a transparent proxy that provides no privacy; it would be a waste of your money.

Can I use a free VPN to unblock YouTube?

Because of the lack of privacy that comes with using a proxy, we recommend using a VPN. Fortunately, if cost is an issue, there are some decent free VPNs that can give you privacy and unblock YouTube at school without having to spend any money whatsoever. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that not every free VPN will work, and some can even be more dangerous than they’re worth. You should only use a trustworthy free VPN service, because not all free VPNs are created equal:

  • Some free VPN services have been known to infect devices with malware.
  • Not all free VPN services have strong enough encryption to properly shield your internet traffic – meaning that they may not work at all.
  • Free VPNs such as Hola! use your IP address as an exit node for their VPN system – so someone else may be appearing as you and committing crimes under your IP address.
  • Even the best free VPN services impose data and speed limits – slowing you down and even stopping your internet usage altogether.
  • Many free VPN services will monitor and sell your personal information and usage data to third parties – if the product is free, then you are the product.

A free VPN will never be as good as a paid-for VPN, and a good VPN doesn’t have to be expensive. There are plenty of budget-friendly VPN services that don’t break the bank. With the best cheap VPN, you can get unlimited streaming, rock-solid protection, and privacy that gives you peace of mind online.

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Use Google Translate to unblock YouTube (or VPN sites)

Network admins create blocklists for websites by manually selecting sites to block one by one. To stop students from visiting YouTube, they block However, they rarely block Google Translate, thanks to its usefulness in the classroom. Thankfully, it can also be a useful and effective tool for getting around website blocks at school.

To use this trick, simply enter your search term into Google Translate and select a foreign language to translate to (in our example we used Portuguese).

Google transalte

Highlight the translation and copy it into Google to search for it. The search engine will now serve you foreign-language results that you can choose to access in your own language by clicking Translate this page.

Translated websites

The URL should look like this after your browser loads using this amazing trick:

This is technically a Google Translate page rather than a YouTube page. As a result, it will load even on your school’s Wi-Fi. This clever workaround will allow you to unblock just about any website you can think of. Just translate the search terms you are interested in and then use Google Translate to access the website. It should load the page successfully every time.

Alternatively, if you want to use this trick but don’t want to have to dive into the Google Translate page, you can simply copy the following into your address bar:

Now, type the URL you want to access after the final = (, for example). When you press enter, the translated page will load without being blocked by your school.

However, please be warned, your network administrator will easily be able to see which websites you are visiting. As a result, there is a possibility that you could get caught and you could get in trouble for accessing blocked websites. For this reason, it is much safer – and a much better long-term solution – to use a VPN instead.

On the other hand, if you only need to watch one video (and it is study-related content that won’t get you in trouble) then you can use this method. If you have a genuine explanation for accessing a YouTube video, you probably shouldn’t get in trouble if they discover you bending the rules a little. 

Why does my school block YouTube?

A school will block sites such as YouTube for a number of reasons. Firstly, you should be studying at school. Schools want you to stay productive and not be procrastinating and accessing entertainment when you should be focusing on your studies. However, this can be counterproductive when you want to use YouTube to study.

On top of this, schools have a responsibility to protect students from content that is deemed illegal, immoral, or otherwise inappropriate. To this end, schools will try to block and censor anything that meets that criteria, and will often block an entire website even if only a small percentage of it may be inappropriate. Despite efforts to remove such materials, YouTube is known to harbor a lot of user-made content (be it videos or comments) that promote hate-speech, may contain misinformation and graphic content, or may otherwise seek to purposefully offend or upset.

There will always be disagreements about what a school should and should not block, and often it comes down to the fact that, ultimately, somebody has to choose what is and isn’t appropriate, and people will naturally disagree on those things.

Watch YouTube without ads!

If you’re sick of YouTube ads, you will be happy to hear that you can avoid them using an adblocker. We explain more in our guide on how to watch youtube without ads.

Do I need a fast VPN for YouTube?

Yes. The vast majority of VPNs have cheap server networks that will slow down your internet too much. This will cause a lot of buffering when you try to stream on YouTube. This means it is important to choose a fast VPN for YouTube. 

The good news is that all the VPNs recommended in this guide have fast servers and protocols, such as WireGuard. This makes them perfect for streaming YouTube anywhere that it has been blocked.

Can I unblock YouTube in China?

If you are traveling to China, you may have heard that YouTube is unavailable. Unfortunately, that is true. The government blocks access to many Western services, including YouTube, to prevent citizens from accessing content critical of the Chinese government.

The good news is that you can use a VPN for China to get an IP address in the USA or elsewhere where YouTube is available. The only caveat is that many VPNs have been blocked in China. In addition, many VPN websites are blocked in China, making it hard to take out a subscription.

For this reason, we recommend that you subscribe to a VPN and install it on your devices before traveling to China. This will ensure that you can access Facebook, YouTube, VoIP messengers, and anything else you want while in China.


When schools block useful content that serves a legitimate interest in a student’s studies, self-expression, cultural identity, or educational development, a VPN can be a valuable tool. Here’s a reminder of our top VPNs for unblocking YouTube at school:

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