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How to Access Sites Blocked by ISPs via Wi-Fi

Governments can force your ISP to filter out certain websites, blocking you from viewing their contents on your home Wi-Fi connection. However, with the right VPN service, you can obscure your identity and location online to securely bypass website blocks. It’s easy, and we show you how to get started in our guide below.

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Having trouble accessing your favorite websites? The issue could be related to your internet service provider (ISP) blocking content on your Wi-Fi connection. ISPs around the world run firewalls to filter a variety of websites and services from local users. This prevents people from using Skype, getting on Facebook, visiting certain news or information sites, and even searching on Google.

Don’t let your ISP limit your freedom online, unblock any site with these VPNs:

  1. NordVPNBest Site Unblocker – No other VPN server network has the same reach and power as NordVPN’s. Whether it’s streaming Netflix or unblocking social media, you can do it with this VPN.
  2. Surfshark – Employs clever automatic obfuscation to fool your ISP into thinking you’re not even using a VPN.
  3. ExpressVPN – Extremely fast server network, with split tunneling available when you only need certain apps to get through censorship.
  4. CyberGhost – It’s never been easier to unblock websites, just click the preconfigured profile that says exactly that.
  5. PrivateVPN – Neither the largest nor fastest server network, but one of the most truly private since this provider owns and operates every node.

The good news is it’s easy to access sites blocked by ISPs on Wi-Fi or a wired connection using a reliable virtual private network (VPN). These handy services run as apps on your devices to protect your identity and unblock censored content around the world. Whether you need to step around geo-restrictions on local content or break through a firewall in China, the right VPN can get the job done in an instant.

Below we cover how to access blocked sites by ISP on Wi-Fi using any device in your home.

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VPNs are the best way to access blocked sites

It’s not always an easy task to unblock certain websites, especially if you have a restrictive ISP. There are many different kinds of firewall barriers that might keep you from getting online, each one more difficult to overcome than the last. Fortunately, VPNs can handle the vast majority of these blockades, and you barely even have to lift a finger to use them.

Why you need a VPN

It’s never been more important to keep your data secure when going online. Mass surveillance efforts harvest information, ISPs collect data and sell it to the highest bidder, and censorship firewalls keep you from accessing the open web. Using a VPN encrypts your traffic so no one can see what you’re accessing on the internet. They also cloak your identity to help keep you anonymous each time you get online, making them the perfect tools for basic web privacy.

In addition to accessing blocked websites, using a VPN will give you the following abilities:

Essential VPN features

When it comes to accessing blocked sites by ISPs on Wi-Fi, not all VPNs are the same. Below are the most important features you should consider when researching a VPN.

  • Reputation – Can you trust your VPN? Using well-established services thousands of users recommend is a good starting point for keeping data secure.
  • Strong encryption – 256-bit AES encryption is the industry standard for securing online communications.
  • Logging policy – VPNs can store logs of your activity, just like an ISP. To ensure this doesn’t happen, go with a service that has a strict zero-logging policy.
  • Software availability – You need to run VPN software in order to access the service’s features. Make sure your chosen provider has compatible apps.
  • Security extras – Does the VPN offer an automatic kill switch? DNS leak protection? These help keep you hidden online.

Do I need special software to unblock on Wi-Fi?

Wi-Fi internet connections work in much the same way as plugging your computer directly into the modem. This means you can use a VPN to access blocked sites on Wi-Fi just like you would if you were using a wired connection. VPN software treats all traffic the same, encrypting and protecting it silently in the background while you surf. You do not need any special software or configurations to access sites blocked by your ISP on Wi-Fi.

Comparison of the Best VPNs to Access Sites Blocked by ISPs via Wi-Fi

VPNs
Average Speed
191.4Mbps
191.25Mbps
181.11Mbps
137.62Mbps
94Mbps
Countries
60
100
94
91
63
Servers
5400
3200
3000
9022
200
Uptime
99%
99%
99%
100%
99.9%
Log Policy
Logs Present
Logs Present
Logs Present
Logs Present
Logs Present
Live Chat Support
  • 24/7 Live Chat
  • 24/7 Live Chat
  • 24/7 Live Chat
  • 24/7 Live Chat
  • 24/7 Live Chat
Optimized for Torrenting
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Streaming Unblocked
  • Netflix,
  • Disney+,
  • Amazon Prime,
  • iPlayer,
  • YouTube,
  • Hulu
  • Netflix,
  • Disney+,
  • Amazon Prime,
  • iPlayer,
  • YouTube,
  • Hulu
  • Netflix,
  • Disney+,
  • Amazon Prime,
  • iPlayer
  • Netflix,
  • Disney+,
  • Amazon Prime,
  • iPlayer,
  • YouTube,
  • Hulu
  • Netflix,
  • Disney+,
  • Amazon Prime,
  • iPlayer,
  • YouTube,
  • Hulu
Free Trial
30 Day Free Trial
7 Days Free Trial
30 Day Free Trial
24 Hours on Desktop and 48 Hours on Mobile
7 Days Free Trial
Money Back Guarantee
30 Days Money Back Guarantee
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
45 Day Money Back Guarantee
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
Connections
6
Unlimited
5
7
10
Works in Your Country
Best Price
$2.99/month
$1.99/month
$6.67/month
$2.19/month
$2.00

Best VPNs to access ISP blocked sites via Wi-Fi

We used the criteria listed above to determine which VPNs work best to unblock sites blacklisted by your ISP. They’ll work on Wi-Fi or wired connections and should run on just about any device you own, including smartphones and PC.

Here are our top VPNs for unblocking nearly any website:

1. NordVPN

Works in United States
4.5 / 5
NordVPN
Top Features
Number of Servers
5400
Speed
Average of 191.4 mbps
Countries
60
Devices Supported
Up to 6
24/7 Live Support
Yes
Money Back Guarantee
30 Days Money Back Guarantee
Streaming Sites Unblocked
Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, iPlayer, YouTube, Hulu
Torrenting
Yes
Exclusive Deals
Best Deal
Standard at $2.99/month
Plus at $4.49/month
Complete at $5.49/month
Apps Available
NordVPN Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Very affordable plans
  • Over 5,400 servers in 61 countries
  • Connect up to 6 devices at once
  • Based in Panama
  • Customer Service (24/7 Chat)
Cons
  • Some servers can be slow and unreliable
  • They can take 30 days to process refunds

NordVPN is a fast, secure, and popular VPN with a large network of servers and apps. As soon as you join NordVPN you get unlimited access to well over 5,500 servers in 58 countries, one of the largest networks in the VPN business. This huge amount of variety delivers incredible speeds no matter where you connect from, ensuring you always have a fast connection in the region of your choosing. It also allows NordVPN to offer unique click-to-activate features like double encryption, protection from DDoS attacks, and onion routing over VPN.

NordVPN comes with everything you need to stay safe online, from 256-bit AES encryption to DNS leak protection, an automatic kill switch, and a zero-logging policy that covers time stamps, DNS requests, IP addresses, and traffic, and so much more. It’s extremely easy to use on any device, as well, offering lightweight yet powerful apps for PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and other platforms. When you need solid, fast protection, and unparalleled unblocking features, go with NordVPN.

NordVPN is easy to install to your router, encrypting and protecting all Wi-Fi traffic that passes through your home network.
Read our full NordVPN review.

2. Surfshark

Works in United States
4.4 / 5
Surfshark
Top Features
Number of Servers
3200
Speed
Average of 191.25 mbps
Countries
100
Devices Supported
Up to Unlimited
24/7 Live Support
Yes
Money Back Guarantee
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
Streaming Sites Unblocked
Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, iPlayer, YouTube, Hulu
Torrenting
Yes
Exclusive Deals
Best Deal
24 Months at $2.69/month
1 month at $17.69/month
12 Month at $4.09/month
Apps Available
Surfshark Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Break through harsh censorship to securely access social media and foreign news sites
  • Torrent safely on any server, no guesswork required
  • CleanWeb mode blocks ads and popups before they load, saving your mobile data and speeds
  • Based in the British Virgin Islands, where there are no data retention laws
  • 24/7 live chat ensures maximum uptime
Cons
  • Speeds occasionally suffer a noticeable drop
  • Apps don’t allow for much manual fiddling for power users

Surfshark may not have years and years defying overzealous ISPs under its belt just yet, but it’s fast become one of the leading providers for this very use-case. Looking at its technical specs, it’s easy to see why.

First off, they’ve upgraded their encryption to use the 256-AES-GCM cipher, along with OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, WireGuard and Shadowsocks tunneling protocols. These are the same provisions used by the NSA to guard their internal network, and are all but impossible for your ISP to crack.

And to prevent your ISP from seeing you’re using a VPN at all, Surfshark enables blanket obfuscation on every server when it detects surveillance methods being used. You’ll never even noticed when this happens, as there’s no detriment to speed.

With over 800 servers in 50 countries, there’s plenty of virtual IPs to choose, with many static IPs also available for bypassing VPN blacklists like Netflix’s. Zero logging, no limits on simultaneous connections, 100% awesome.

3. ExpressVPN

Works in United States
4 / 5
ExpressVPN
Top Features
Number of Servers
3000
Speed
Average of 181.11 mbps
Countries
94
Devices Supported
Up to 5
24/7 Live Support
Yes
Money Back Guarantee
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
Streaming Sites Unblocked
Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, iPlayer
Torrenting
Yes
Exclusive Deals
Best Deal
12 Months at $6.67/month
6 Months at $9.99/month
1 Month at $12.95/month
Apps Available
ExpressVPN Pros & Cons
Pros
  • SPECIAL OFFER: 3 months free (49% off – link below)
  • Secure encryption & VPN protocols
  • No logs for personal data
  • Live Chat Support
Cons
  • Expensive month-to-month plan

ExpressVPN is one of the fastest and easiest to use VPNs on the market, and it’s also one of the most popular, too. Anyone can use it to stay safe and secure on just about any device, all with a few clicks. You can get started with ExpressVPN and unblock thousands of sites worldwide on PC, Mac, iOS, Android, and more, and you never have to worry about complicated configurations to get the job done, either. With ExpressVPN, you can take back the free and open internet in a matter of seconds.

ExpressVPN offers a strong range of privacy features to help keep you safe on the internet. Data sent to and from your device is always secured with military-grade 256-bit AES encryption. It’s also backed by a strict zero-logging policy on all traffic, DNS requests, and IP addresses and is protected by an automatic kill switch and DNS leak prevention features. All of these work with ExpressVPN’s huge network of over 3,000 servers in 94 different countries, giving you a fast and secure connection anywhere in the world.

As a bonus, ExpressVPN also offers router installs so you can encrypt your entire home Wi-Fi network. Any device that connects to the router wirelessly will instantly be protected from online dangers and can unblock websites around the world.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

4. CyberGhost

Works in United States
4.1 / 5
Cyberghost
Top Features
Number of Servers
9022
Speed
Average of 137.62 mbps
Countries
91
Devices Supported
Up to 7
24/7 Live Support
Yes
Money Back Guarantee
45 Day Money Back Guarantee
Streaming Sites Unblocked
Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, iPlayer, YouTube, Hulu
Torrenting
Yes
Exclusive Deals
Best Deal
Best Value at $2.19/month
6 Month Plan at $6.99/month
Monthly Plan at $11.99/month
Apps Available
CyberGhost Pros & Cons
Pros
  • LOW PRICE: 6 EXTRA free months (79% off – link below)
  • Torrenting allowed
  • Apps for ALL devices
  • Private: Strong no logs policy
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
Cons
  • Doesn’t unblock all streaming services

CyberGhost delivers one of the all-around best VPN experiences. It’s fast, easy to use, surprisingly secure, and it can run on nearly every device, including iOS and Android, smartphones, desktop PCs, tablets, and laptops. Users are able to freely access CyberGhost’s huge network of over 5,500 servers in 80 countries, all with unlimited data and no restrictions on speed or server switching. All of this takes place using smart software that runs quietly in the background, as well.

CyberGhost’s privacy features keep users secure with incredibly strong 256-bit AES encryption on all data, a zero-logging policy on traffic, time stamps, and IP addresses, and both DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch. These features hide your identity each time you go online, allowing you to connect with fully encrypted data no matter where you go.

Want to protect your entire home wireless network? CyberGhost can be configured to run on your router for instant encryption on all of your Wi-Fi enabled devices.

Read our full CyberGhost review.

5. PrivateVPN

Works in United States
4 / 5
PrivateVPN
Top Features
Number of Servers
200
Speed
Average of 94 mbps
Countries
63
Devices Supported
Up to 10
24/7 Live Support
Yes
Money Back Guarantee
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
Streaming Sites Unblocked
Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, iPlayer, YouTube, Hulu
Torrenting
Yes
Exclusive Deals
Best Deal
36 Month Plan at $2.00/month
3 Month Plan at $6.00/month
Monthly Plan at $9.90/month
Apps Available

On the surface, it might seem easy to discount PrivateVPN in favor of larger providers. However, doing so would deprive you of what we consider to be one of the best-rounded services on the market. What’s more, if the website you’re trying to unblock is a streaming site, like Netflix or Hulu, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better VPN. Just fire up PrivateVPN, navigate to the server list (totaling around 150 servers in 60+ countries), look for a server which has been flagged as able to unblock the site you want, and voila!

True to its name, PrivateVPN excels at keeping your Internet connection extremely private, with 256-bit AES encryption over OpenVPN (among other common choices). Your history and identity are further kept safe behind a comprehensive no-logging policy. Rounding out the package is DNS leak protection on all versions of the software (including desktop PCs, laptops, smartphones, tablets and more), plus an automatic kill switch function to ensure not a single packet of unencrypted data leaves your device.

Read our full PrivateVPN review.

Setting up a VPN to access blocked sites

Now that you’ve chosen a VPN, your next step is to get everything set up and ready to go. Follow the steps below to get your VPN installed and use it to access blocked sites.

The first thing you’ll want to do is download and install VPN software on your device. Create an account with one of the recommended providers above, sign into your VPN’s website and download the right app. (You may have to go to a separate app store to complete the download. Make sure you use the VPN site’s official links to do this.) Install the software and launch it, then enter your login credentials to activate the connection right away.

VPN apps usually connect to the fastest server as soon as you sign in. This is ideal for the vast majority of users, as it ensures the best connection with a minimal delay. For unblocking ISP filtered websites, you most likely will not need to change these settings. However, it’s a good idea to check the server browser to make sure the VPN defaults to a friendly region, just to be on the safe side.

Open the server browser on your VPN app and find a fast connection in a country like Canada, the UK, Germany, Switzerland, or the United States. You can use other countries if you like, but these areas are generally well-populated with fast servers and are not known for being particularly unfriendly to encrypted traffic. Wait a few moments for the connection to resolve, then you’re set. Minimize the VPN app and let it run in the background.

If you’re a first time VPN user, or if you’re using a new VPN to unblock ISP websites, it’s a good idea to verify your IP address to make sure the VPN is working correctly. This process only takes a few seconds, and it ensures you’re receiving the privacy and unblocking abilities promised by the VPN.

With your VPN active and connected, open a web browser on the same device and go to ipleak.net. Wait for the page to load and it will automatically run an IP address lookup. When it completes, look at the box beneath where it says Your IP address. It should show a country other than your own, meaning the connection is active and you can access blocked sites right away.

It’s worth pointing out that accessing sites blocked by your local ISP may constitute violating certain laws. Addictive Tips does not condone any action that may break the laws of any country. A VPN does not give you license to do as you please on the internet, nor will it provide complete protection if legal action is taken against you. Always consider the consequences of unblocking websites before opening your VPN, and do your own research to make sure you are not violating local laws.

Defeating different types of site blocks

In most cases of blocked websites, you can regain access simply by installing a good VPN. Sometimes firewalling methods are more sophisticated, however, especially in the case of ISP blocks. Below are the most common types of site blocks along with our suggestions for breaking through the barriers quickly and easily.

Region locked content

A great deal of websites and online services are blocked by the sites themselves. Preventing access to content based on a user’s location is both a common and a legal practice around the world. It’s especially frustrating when using Netflix or Hulu, as both of these companies filter out tons of movies based on where you live.

Even though it’s not the ISP blocking access to these sites, you can still use a VPN to smash through the barrier. VPNs provide encryption that wraps data in unbreakable cryptographic code. They also remove your local IP address and replace it with an anonymous one. So, if you can’t access the best movies on Hulu from your home, try opening VPN software and connecting to a foreign server. Reload the page and suddenly the site will show up, all thanks to virtual IP addresses!

Corporate firewalls

Businesses, universities, and large companies block access to certain websites on their internal internet. This can include content such as pornography and gambling, but it frequently extends to other sites, including social media outlets like Facebook and Reddit. Most of these firewalls are simplistic in nature, meaning you can access them without a lot of extra effort, even though they don’t involve ISP blocks.

Once again, VPNs are here to save the day. A virtual private network scrambles the contents of your data and hides your identity. This means you can use a corporate or university internet connection without divulging private details. When trying to access an otherwise blocked site, the VPN ensures the local filtering mechanisms remain blind to your efforts, giving you instant and complete access every time.

Government censorship

One of the more aggressive forms of website blocking comes in the form of government censorship. These efforts are often carried out by local service providers acting under direct orders from lawmakers. Countries like China, Russia, Cuba, Turkey, and Iran are famous for their tightly controlled web access, and other regions are starting to experiment with their own forms of online censorship.

A VPN can usually bypass government censorship walls enacted by ISPs, even on Wi-Fi. By taking advantage of encryption and location obfuscation, you can keep your private details hidden while accessing a world of uncensored content, all from the comfort of your own home.

Other ways of accessing blocked sites

VPNs are great all-purpose tools for accessing most blocked websites, but they’re not the only way to go about it. Below are a couple of other methods commonly used by privacy experts and web surfers.

Proxy services

Proxy services are simple traffic re-routers that take content from one location and bounce it to another. In the process of doing this, a proxy service will replace your local IP address with one of their own anonymous ones, allowing users to sneak past censorship and website blocks by pretending to be elsewhere in the world.

Proxy services share a lot of similarities with VPNs, but they’re notably less effective in keeping your data secure. Proxies only change your IP address, they do not provide any sort of encryption or other forms of protection. For this reason, most privacy experts recommend VPNs over proxies.

Tor Browser

The Tor Browser can break through almost any website block, whether it’s enacted by an ISP, government agency, or local firewall. It’s as easy to use as downloading a standalone browser and opening it on your device, and it’s pretty much guaranteed to hide your identity and give you access to the world wide web without restriction.

There are some major drawbacks to using the Tor Browser to access blocked sites, however. The main one is that you’re severely limited in the types of content you can download. Since Tor is so sharply focused on privacy, it doesn’t allow you to access online technologies that may compromise your identity. This includes video content and certain web scripts. You’ll be surprised at how many common services are inaccessible via Tor.

Another drawback to the Tor Browser is how slow it is compared to standard internet connections. The nature of Tor requires bouncing encrypted traffic between anonymous nodes around the world. This adds a lot of time to even the most basic of website downloads, creating a sluggish experience.

If you’re interested in trying things out, check out our feature How to Use Tor: A Guide to Getting Started to start using Tor.

What is Net Neutrality? 

Net neutrality refers to content agnostic internet access that isn’t controlled, filtered, or shaped by outside parties. With net neutrality in place, anyone can go online, visit any website, and expect to see the same content as anyone in the world, all delivered at the same speed. It’s sometimes referred to as a “dumb pipe” or “dumb network”, as the service should simply pass requests back and forth without monitoring or interfering in anyone’s activities.

Many countries around the world have cemented net neutrality laws in place, forbidding any kind of government or corporate interference with the free and open internet. Others fight constant battles between users and internet service providers (ISPs) looking to increase their profit margins by removing basic freedoms. The United States has been tangled in this battle since 2014, with some extremely important repeals being voted on in 2017.

How is Net Neutrality being compromised?

Protecting net neutrality means keeping the concept of free speech as a core tenant of online access. We’re used to a digital world that doesn’t place barriers on the content we interact with. Losing net neutrality means giving up those rights. ISPs will have complete control over what we see and how much we pay to see it.

Below are a few of the biggest issues facing internet users in the U.S. if the net neutrality laws are repealed.

Internet Fast Lanes

Paid prioritization plans attack both businesses and web users at the same time. The scheme essentially divides internet access into two groups: a slow lane and a fast lane. All websites and all home users fall into the slow lane category by default, accessing sites at a speed set and artificially enforced by the ISP. If a business wants their content to be delivered faster, they have to pay the ISP to enter that lane. The same holds true for users. If you want fast access to fast sites, open up your wallet and start forking over the cash.

Apart from being obvious grabs for money by ISPs, internet fast lanes hurt small businesses who can’t afford to pay for increased speeds. This allows large and established companies to dominate the online world, stifling innovation and preventing new ideas from taking hold. A 2009 study by Akamai showed that many internet users aren’t willing to wait for more than a single second for a page to load. Any business that doesn’t pay for fast lane access could lose up to 11% of their customers, all because the ISPs wanted to make more money.

Website Access Packages

An equally chilling effect of losing net neutrality is the idea of site access packages. Now, if you want to visit a website, any website at all, you only need to type in the URL. Without guaranteed net neutrality laws in place, however, ISPs can block websites and force you to upgrade your plan before logging in. Imagine not being able to watch YouTube videos, check Facebook messages, or browse random websites without paying a premium to your ISP. Plans like these are a reality in some areas of the world, and they could become commonplace in the U.S. if net neutrality is lost.

Encryption’s Role in Net Neutrality

The “dumb network” of net neutrality means all information is treated the same. It’s possible for ISPs to look at each packet of data to determine which user requested it, what its contents are, and where its intended destination lies, but in the interest of speed and efficiency this usually isn’t done. The moment net neutrality is removed, however, ISPs will inspect and log every packet of data and use that information to control what you see and how you see it.

How Encryption Works

This is where encryption comes into play. The basic idea behind encryption is that each packet of data gets wrapped in a layer of extremely complex code. This code is built out of impossible to solve mathematical problems created by cryptography algorithms. The only way to see what’s inside the encrypted package is to use a coded key created when the data was encrypted in the first place. Your computer has one of these keys, and the trusted party who encrypted the information has another. This creates a sort of private tunnel that can bypass ISP snooping efforts with ease.

When an ISP looks at an encrypted packet, all they see is that it’s encrypted. They can’t tell what’s inside or where it’s ultimately headed, only that it’s a piece of data they’re supposed to pass to another destination. With encryption, an ISP can’t tell if you’re trying to access Facebook or Wikipedia, meaning they’ll have a difficult time deciding whether to restrict or allow access.

LEARN MORE: VPN Encryption Guide

How VPNs Use Encryption

Encryption is used by countless websites, businesses, banks, and other security-conscious entities. It’s not exactly a rare thing these days! In fact, every time you see “https” in your URL bar instead of just “http”, you’re accessing encrypted information. It’s likely your own cell phone stores its data in an encrypted format, as well.

With a VPN, data gets locked in the cryptography box before it leaves your device. You type in a website, the VPN software encrypts the request, and that request is sent through your ISP. The ISP can’t decipher the data and simply passes it along to the VPN’s servers. Your VPN then decrypts the data using the right keys, fetches the data you requested, encrypts the packets again, and sends them back through the private tunnel. The entire process is only a little slower than a standard internet connection, but it’s much more private and secure.

VPNs and Net Neutrality

VPNs do two major things for users: anonymity and encryption. The former masks your identity and location by routing traffic through non-local servers. The latter wraps each packet of data in a cloak of cryptography to make it impossible to decipher. Both of these work together to help keep your internet access open even in the face of government level censorship blocks or ISP throttling controls. Even if net neutrality is lost, using a VPN might be able to preserve some of your freedoms.

How VPNs Can Help

Most of what VPNs do takes place on your local device. Encryption and identity obfuscation can go a long way to remedying issues that crop up as a result of the loss of net neutrality. In theory, VPNs can help break through barriers like tiered internet packages, restricted website plans, simplistic throttling methods, and even blocked search engine results. None of this is guaranteed, though, which is why net neutrality is a tremendously important issue, even if you have a good VPN.

How effective VPNs will be without net neutrality remains to be seen. It all depends on which control methods ISPs deploy and how they put them into practice. The sad truth is that for every censorship-breaking method VPNs use, ISPs have ways of fighting back.

VPNs vs Tiered Internet Packages

Using a combination of encryption and anonymizing practices, VPNs do have the ability to break through certain tiered internet package set-ups. It all depends on how the ISP structures the blocking system on their end, however. Some of the more basic methods simply scan incoming packets, compare the request to tiered website lists, then decide whether or not to allow the traffic through. VPNs make short work of these efforts, but in all likelihood ISPs will take stronger measures to prevent this from happening, such as account matching or deep packet inspection.

What VPNs Can’t Fix

Even if ISPs deploy just the basic measures against encrypted internet access, there are still certain restrictions VPNs won’t be able to get around. Internet fast lanes are at the top of the list, as it’s easy for an ISP to set up a whitelist that allows premium members higher speeds while dumping everyone else, including anonymous VPN users, into the slow lane. Data caps are wholly unaffected by VPNs, as well. In fact, VPNs can actually add to the amount of data you consume, causing you to reach your limit sooner than intended.

Finally, the problems of net neutrality extend far beyond what we see on our computers and cell phones. VPNs are limited to the end user and will have no affect on small businesses trying to gain a foothold in the online world. The long reaching results of losing net neutrality simply can’t be saved by running a VPN.

How ISPs Can Beat VPNs

In addition to issues VPNs can’t affect, ISPs can also deploy specific measures to stop people from using VPNs. Encrypted traffic is usually sent through a different port, for example. If an ISP blocks that port, none of your data can get through. ISPs can also block VPN IP addresses or quietly throttle the connections to discourage anonymous use.

Saving Net Neutrality

In an ideal world, we’d never have to use a VPN for any reason. Hackers wouldn’t exist, government agencies wouldn’t spy on people, and ISPs would provide fast service to everyone without begging for more money. Since we don’t quite live in a utopia, however, we need to do all we can to save net neutrality. It’s the only thing standing between us and ever-greedier ISPs. Below are a few things you can do to make your voice heard and save the open internet.

Support Net Neutrality Organizations

It may seem like every company in the world is out to destroy our internet, but there are some groups whose sole purpose is to keep the it open and free. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Save the Internet are two of the most prominent. The EFF itself has done an amazing amount of work over the years to promote digital freedoms and online privacy. In the battle for net neutrality, they’ve deployed legal teams and worked with a variety of pro-neutrality corporations to help save the internet. Joining their outreach efforts or donating funds are both great ways to help further the cause.

Participate in Politics

The decisions surrounding net neutrality are all made by politicians, many of which are voted on by average citizens. If you live in the U.S. and want to make a difference, contact your congressman and let them know what you think about net neutrality. BattleForTheNet has all the tools you need to locate your representative and get in touch, including sample scripts to help keep you informed.

Voting is another way you can shape the online scene. Find out when the next elections are in your state, look into the candidates and their stance on digital freedoms, then cast a vote in their favor. This is a slow but effective method of change, and it helps ensure a better internet for everyone in the long run.

Break the Internet

When things get tough, it’s time to take drastic action. The Break the Internet website offers copy/paste scripts, images, and information you can use to post on social media or configure your website to simulate what the web would be like if players like ISPs and Ajit Pai have their way. These measures help raise awareness and spur even more people to take action, especially when deployed before critical voting periods.

RELATED READING: Restoring Net Neutrality with the Decentralized Web

Conclusion

Accessing sites blocked by local ISPs on Wi-Fi is pretty easy to do once you have the right tools. VPNs are by far the best way to bypass these types of barriers. By following our recommendations and instructions above, you can access just about any blocked site around the world, all with just a couple of clicks.

Got a favorite website you’re itching to unblock with your new-found VPN powers? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

How to get a FREE VPN for 30 days

If you need a VPN for a short while when traveling for example, you can get our top ranked VPN free of charge. NordVPN includes a 30-day money-back guarantee. You will need to pay for the subscription, that’s a fact, but it allows full access for 30 days and then you cancel for a full refund. Their no-questions-asked cancellation policy lives up to its name.

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