How to unblock YouTube in school, office or anywhere

When you open a YouTube video from a link that shows “this video is not available in your region, ” it means the broadcaster is blocking your region. YouTube hides geo-restricted content from the homepage or suggestions.  

Otherwise, if your organization blocks YouTube access on the premises, it will not connect to the YouTube website. 

Everybody and their grandparents know how to use a VPN to access anything, but the question is, do you truly need a VPN to unblock YouTube? 

It depends. 

There are several types of YouTube blocks. 

National level: It’s a scenario when the government of a country decides to censor YouTube. Doesn’t matter if you use mobile data or WiFi; you can’t access YouTube because every local company must abide by the law. 

As of now, these countries banned YouTube nationally: 

  1. China.
  2. Eritrea.
  3. Iran.
  4. North Korea.
  5. Turkmenistan.

Network level: It’s the most common form of blocking YouTube. Sometimes, your office doesn’t want employees to watch a video while working, or a college doesn’t want students to watch a MrBeast video in a class. 

Regional level: Some media outlets only produce their content for specific regions. Anyone outside the region can’t see those videos on their feed unless they access the video page with a link. Even if they visit the video page, YouTube shows that the video is not accessible from that particular region. 

How to unblock youtube from anywhere?

Use a VPN

NordVPN

It’s an effective way to unblock YouTube when you want to bypass a national-level restriction or watch geo-restricted (regional-level) videos. 

You shouldn’t use a random VPN provider if YouTube is nationally banned in your country. Because if your information is leaked, you can face legal issues. 

On the other hand, you shouldn’t use a free VPN to unblock YouTube on a regular basis because when you don’t pay for a product, you are the product. A free VPN can log your browsing history and sell the data without you knowing. 

Which VPN should you use?

I use NordVPN on all of my devices. It has hundreds of locations and thousands of servers. But, hey, you can do your own research or use your personal favorite VPN.

You can install the VPN application on your smartphone or browser. There are also some popular VPN extensions for browsers like Chrome & Firefox. 

VPN has an advantage over proxy servers, which I am covering next. Proxy servers only work on a browser window; on the other hand, a VPN can unblock YouTube app, website, etc. 

So, a VPN over a proxy server for long-term usage is a no-brainer. 

Use a proxy server

Proxy Provider

Proxy server is ideal for unblocking YouTube casually. If you don’t watch too many geo-restricted videos or are using a network for a short period that blocks YouTube, a proxy server is the game saver. 

Proxy servers are like VPN, but less secure and risky. They also have a disadvantage; most free servers block scripts, which breaks YouTube. So, even if you can access YouTube with a free proxy site, you can’t really watch any videos. 

I have tried dozens of proxy sites, and most are not ideal for unblocking YouTube. There’s a dedicated proxy site to access youtube called YouTubeunblocked. 

It works like a charm and offers all YouTube features. If you are on a Windows 10/11 computer, you can use Chrome and YouTubeunblocked proxy to access YouTube. 

Use Puffin Browser

Use Puffin Browser

YouTube website users can use this cloud-based browser to unblock YouTube from any region. It works in a smart way. 

Suppose there’s a network-level ban and you can’t use YouTube app or website. It’s because the app or website directly connects with the YouTube servers. 

On the other hand, when you use a browser like Puffin, it connects you to one of its cloud servers and takes you to the site you want to visit.

Puffin is a free browser that works smoothly with a strong internet connection. 

Use TOR Browser

Use TOR

The Onion Router is a free and open-source protocol that allows you to access the internet safely.

You can bypass any kind of blocking using the TOR browser. It’s available on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android & iOS. 

TOR browser connects to the TOR network and encrypts your browsing requests. National, Geo, or Network level blocks don’t work on TOR.

So, if you have TOR on your device, you can unblock YouTube or any other website. 

Modify URLs

It’s a silly point, but sometimes you must try every trick. What does modifying the URL mean, and how can it help you?

Well, luck depends on the network administrator of your organization. 

YouTube has multiple subdomains and versions. Here are they:

So, you should try all the variations and see if all versions are blocked. Because, there are times when it’s only http://youtube.com is blocked on a network. 

Unless there’s no sitewide block, you should be able to access YouTube using one of these versions. 

Use mobile hotspot

If you must watch a YouTube video, but the organization doesn’t allow accessing YouTube from its network, you can use the hotspot of your device.

How does this work?

Network-level block works when you are connected to the company network. But you can access YouTube using mobile data if it is available in your country. 

Turn on the hotspot on your smartphone and connect your computer to the wireless network. 

Additionally, you can use YouTube using mobile data even if you are in a company that blocks YouTube. 

Check the hosts folder

Windows computers can block access to any specific website using the hosts file. However, this method will only work if YouTube was blocked using the hosts file. 

Here’s how to resolve this:

  1. Open the File Explorer on your Windows computer.
  2. Navigate to Local Disk (C:) > Windows > System32 > etc
  3. Select the hosts file and press ctrl + c to copy the file.
  4. Go to Desktop and press ctrl + v to paste the file. 
  5. Right-click on the hosts file on the Desktop and click Open with. Now select Notepad from the apps list. 
  6. Remove 0.0.0.0 youtube.com or any versions of YouTube available on the file and press ctrl + s to save the file.
  7. Now copy the hosts file from the Desktop and paste it into the etc folder where the original file was.
  8. Click Replace the file in the destination from the pop-up. 

Google Translate/Cache Doesn’t Work

Google Translate or Cache is a great way to access any website with static content like an article or blog.

But Google Translate/Cache doesn’t work for YouTube. Because when you play a YouTube video, it continuously loads the upcoming seconds of the video.

That’s why if there’s no internet connection, you can’t continue watching a video. Google Translate or Cache shows you a static version of the webpage.

When you try to play a video, it doesn’t work. You can’t search for anything or play anything on YouTube if you access it using Google Translate/Cache. 

Smart network administrators are tough to beat but not impossible. I have seen people complaining that they can’t even access any proxy site or connect to a VPN from their company network or device. 

It can happen to you too. That’s why the ideal method is using Puffin or TOR browser on your device because it works. 

Uchchash Talukder Rana is the founder of @ansmegeek. He is the jack of all trades and master of a few. He uses Windows, Mac, Android & iOS on a daily basis. If he is not sleeping, either he is writing articles or playing Valorant.

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