How to Get Around Countries That Block VPNs

block VPNs

Whether you want to watch region-locked content, bypass online censorship or simply browse more securely, a VPN can be an invaluable tool. But as the popularity of virtual private networks has increased, so have attempts to block them. From stringent government censorship to copyright matters and organisations’ policies, it isn’t uncommon for VPNs to meet roadblocks. Luckily, there are some quick and easy tweaks that can circumvent VPN blocking.

A common method for block VPNs is port blocking, which involves firewalls identifying VPN traffic by the ports it uses (usually 1194 or 443). However, newer encryption protocols often randomize these ports to make it harder for websites to spot them. A more sophisticated technique is deep packet inspection, which examines data packets for cryptography signatures that identify VPN traffic. However, this requires significant amounts of network resources to perform and so isn’t used very frequently.

The most well-known example of a country block VPNs is China, where the Great Firewall began kicking users off VPNs in 2012. Its aim was to censor media that the government disagreed with and it’s been effective at doing so ever since.

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Other countries that regularly block VPNs include Turkey, where censorship is so strict it’s been known to block USB drives carrying pro-ISIS propaganda, and North Korea, where the totalitarian government aims to control its citizens’ access to information. Fortunately, many VPNs have optimized servers for bypassing specific types of blocks. For instance, CyberGhost has special servers for dozens of streaming platforms like Hulu, Netflix and BBC iPlayer, which are updated regularly to get around pesky blocks.