Fans of EDM and dance music are sure to already know about SoundCloud, the website which lets DJs and musicians upload their tracks or remixes to be streamed by the public. If you love listening to remixes, DJ sets, and cover songs then you should definitely check out the site if you don’t know it yet.
It used to be that any visitor was able to steam any song on the SoundCloud site and to play it as many times as they wanted. However, last year the site introduced region locks which restrict how much content you can stream based on your geographic locations. Today we’re going to show you how you can get around these restrictions using a VPN, then we’re going to walk you through our choices for the best VPNs for accessing SoundCloud.
What Is SoundCloud Region Locking?
Last year, SoundCloud rolled out a new region-locking system. This means that some songs are not available to listen to in certain countries, because the rights have not been agreed with the copyright holders in that country. Hence in some cases you’ll only be able to listen to a short 30-second preview of a song, and in other cases you won’t be able to listen to the song at all.
This is particularly frustrating in the case of SoundCloud, as many of the most popular tracks on the platform are DJ mixes of an hour or more of different songs compiled together into a set. If even one of the many different tracks in a set is copyrighted by a holder who will not give access to the song in a certain country, the whole set may be inaccessible to you.
There are also some specific countries in which SoundCloud now no longer works at all. In China and Turkey for example, you can’t listen to any tracks from SoundCloud, leaving users in these countries totally stuck.
How Can a VPN Help Unblock SoundCloud?
The way that region locking works is this: when you connect to the internet, your machine is assigned an IP address which is a unique numerical code for your device, like a postal address. Included in this IP address is information about which country you are browsing from. When you visit SoundCloud, the website reads your IP address and works out which country you are accessing it from, then the site will only display or play songs which have been approved for access in your region. If the song that you want to listen to is not flagged as available in your region, you’re out of luck and you won’t be able to listen to it.
But here’s the good news: it is possible to get around these region locks and to listen to any song on SoundCloud, wherever you are. You can do this by using a VPN, which stands for Virtual Private Network. This is a small piece of software which you install onto the device you’re using to access SoundCloud – whether it’s a desktop computer, a laptop, or a phone or tablet – which encrypts the data packets which you send over the internet. These encrypted packets are sent to a server in the country of your choosing where they are decrypted and sent on their way to their original location.
This means that it appears to any websites you visit as if you are accessing them from wherever the server that you are connected to is located. For example, if you’re in Turkey and you can’t use SoundCloud, you just need to use a VPN to connect to a server in the US and then you’ll be able to access everything on SoundCloud as if you were in the US and listen to any song you want.
What Else Can You Do with a VPN?
You can see that a VPN is extremely useful for unblocking SoundCloud. But there are several other things that you can do with a VPN too:
- Get around region locks on other sites. You can use the same technique we just described to unblock other websites like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and many more. For any site which has restrictions on what content you can access from certain locations, you can spoof your location to be able to access the version of the site that you want.
- Improve your security. You know there are all sorts of dangers when you go online. If you use unsecured networks like the public Wi-Fi networks available at cafes, airports, or libraries, then you could be vulnerable to hackers who try to steal credit card information, passwords, or other personal data. Using a VPN will ensure that no one other than you is capable of seeing your internet activities.
- Download in safety. If you’re going to download music or other materials from the internet, then you need to be careful. Your ISP may be observing your activity, and if they catch you downloading copyrighted content then you could be liable for a fine or for prosecution. If you use a VPN, your traffic will be secured so that your ISP can’t tell if you’re downloading or not.
The Best VPNs for Unblocking SoundCloud
We looked into the best VPNs to use for unblocking SoundCloud, and we judged them based on these factors:
- Servers in lots of different locations. In order to get around region locks, you’ll want to find a VPN provider which has servers in many different locations. This way, you’ll be able to access content from many different countries.
- Fast and reliable connections. When you’re listening to songs on SoundCloud you want the experience to be smooth and seamless with no waiting time for songs to buffer. For this, you need a VPN with fast connections.
- Strong security. As well as getting around region locks, your VPN can and should provide you with enhanced security for your browsing. To ensure this, we look for VPN providers who offer strong 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy to stop anyone from snooping into your browsing records.
- Easy to use software. Each VPN comes with its own software from the provider, and we look for software which is clean, easy to use, and has extra features like DNS leak protection and a kill switch to prevent you from accidentally downloading using an unsecured connection. We also like to see software support for multiple platforms so that you can secure all of your devices while paying for just one service.
When we took these factors into consideration, we came up with this list of the best VPNs for unblocking SoundCloud:
One of the world’s most popular VPNs is ExpressVPN, and we can see why. A big strength is the variety of platforms that it supports, from both newer and older versions of Windows (including Windows RT, Windows XP, Widows Vista, and Windows 7, 8, and 10) to Mac OS, Linux, and Android.
When you want to spoof your location to get around region locks, ExpressVPN has more than 1000 servers in 145 locations in 94 different countries, so you’ll always be able to find a server in the country that you want. There are also features included in the software like a speed test which will help you to find the fastest server in whichever region you are looking in.
The service has strong security as well, with 256-bit AES encryption which is almost impossible to crack, meaning your data will be safe. The company also has a no-logging policy so can know that your privacy will be protected.
IPVanish is known for its lightning-fast connection speeds, which are perfect when you want to use the web unencumbered. You’ll easily be able to stream music or music videos over these fast connections with no waiting time.
The software supports a variety of platforms, including Windows 7, 8, and 10, plus Mac OS, Linux, and Android. The security is strong, with 256-bit encryption to keep you secure and a comprehensive no-logging policy to protect your privacy.
There is a large network of 850 servers in more than 60 countries, so you’ll be able to spoof your location from anywhere in the world that you want in order to be able to access SoundCloud. However, the VPN service does have some problems operating in China, so we recommend that Chinese users try one of the other VPNs recommended instead.
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Users who travel a lot (or who are based in China and want to use SoundCloud) should definitely take a look at NordVPN. It’s one of the top VPN services for travelers, as it will let you get around region locks of all kinds and to access the content you want from wherever you are in the world.
As well as strong encryption and a no-logging policy for security, NordVPN has protection against VPN detection software like that used by the Chinese government to censor the internet. If you want to use the internet freely in China, then NordVPN will work even when other VPNs won’t.
The software supports the Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7, 8, and 10 operating systems as well as Mac OS, Linux, iOS, Chrome OS, Android, and Windows Phone. Whichever device you are using to access SoundCloud, you’ll be able to install NordVPN software in order to access the songs you want to listen to.
The server network is massive, with 1070 servers in 60 different countries so you’ll easily be able to unblock SoundCloud and other websites.
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Another great option for frequent travelers or those who are extremely concerned with their online security is VyprVPN. Similarly, this is another service which is popular with users who live in or are travelling through China.
This provider offers a special Chameleon double encryption, which means that your metadata like the origin and destination of your data packets is encrypted as well as the data itself. This is what allows VyprVPN to get around China’s VPN detection which prevents many VPNs from working there. But this isn’t a problem with VyprVPN. If you want to listen to SoundCloud in China, you just need a Chameleon-protected VyprVPN connection to a server in the US, and you can listen to all the songs you want.
The company takes security very seriously and has a strict no-logging policy along with the strong encryption that you’d expect. The international network of more than 700 servers in 70 different countries is generous enough to meet all of your location spoofing needs. And the software can be installed on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, as well as your TV and your router.
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SoundCloud is an amazing website that’s a great place to discover up and coming DJs, bands, and other musicians. You’ll find music of all genres there but it’s best known for its selection of EDM and dance tracks, and you can use it to stream any song on the site for free. While it is unfortunate that more and more regional access restrictions have appeared since 2016, a VPN will help you bypass these lockouts for a full-bodied SoundCloud experience.
Which is your favourite VPN for SoundCloud? Is it one of the providers we mentioned, or is there another which you prefer? Let us know in the comments below!