TikTok is now banned in India, and other countries, including the US, Australia, Pakistan, and Japan have considered similar bans. Despite its parent company being from China, TikTok is unavailable in the country, and a Chinese version called Douyin is used instead. If you’re wondering how to unblock TikTok, you will need to use a VPN.
We’ve covered the potential risks to cybersecurity that TikTok users face and why some authorities are eager to ban it in a separate article, so we won’t rehash those arguments here. Instead, we’ll focus on how to access TikTok from any country with a VPN.
Short for Virtual Private Network, a VPN is a service that encrypts your internet connection and routes it through an intermediary server. This server acts as a middleman between your device and the content you want to access; in this case, TikTok. By connecting to a VPN server in another country, you can access apps, websites, and services that are otherwise unavailable in your own country.
How do I unblock TikTok with a VPN?
There are a couple of ways that a country might ban TikTok. In China, for example, internet service providers block access to TikTok servers, making the app unusable. In India, app stores are required to remove TikTok, so unblocking it means you must access another country’s version of Google Play or the Apple App Store.
If your internet service provider or network administrator is blocking access to TikTok, sign up for one of the VPNs recommended below and follow the instructions below.
Here’s how to unblock TikTok if your ISP is blocking access:
- Download and install a TikTok VPN app onto your device, we particularly recommend NordVPN.
- Open the VPN app and select a location in a country where TikTok is not blocked
- Connect to the VPN
- Open TikTok and start using it as you normally would
If TikTok is unavailable in your app store, see sections further down on how to change app store locations on iOS and Android.
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Not all VPNs are equal. To unblock TikTok in India (or any other country where it’s blocked), you’ll want a VPN that meets the following criteria:
- Fast speeds for uninterrupted video streaming
- Strong security and no logs of your activity
- Plenty of servers in countries where TikTok is not banned
- Apps for iOS and Android
- Money-back guarantee
If you just want a quick VPN recommendation, here’s a summary of our top picks:
Best VPNs for unblocking TikTok:
- NordVPN: 1 choice VPN for unblocking TikTok. Can access almost anything, including other social media apps, news sites, and streaming platforms. Top-of-the-line security and fast speeds. Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
TIP In our testing we found that the cheapest NordVPN plan (Standard) works perfectly for TikTok.
- Surfshark: The best budget VPN that can unblock the TikTok app even in countries on the blocked list. Works with other social media networks and strong encryption protects your internet traffic.
- ExpressVPN: The fastest VPN we’ve tested yet. Unblocks TikTok on school networks and in restrictive countries like China. Has advanced security features, including a no-logs policy.
- CyberGhost: An array of servers in more than 90 countries, so you can watch your favorite viral videos from anywhere in the world. Has incredible speeds and military-grade encryption.
- IPVanish: Strong security and unlimited devices on a single plan. Perfect for watching or sharing content on TikTok even in places where the app is blocked.
Best VPNs for TikTok
Here’s a detailed list of the best VPNs to unblock TikTok from India, China, or any other country:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN is our top recommendation. One of the fastest VPN’s we’ve tested, it’s perfect for streaming endless TikTok videos no matter where you are in the world. It even works in China. NordVPN’s strict zero-logs policy and airtight security mean your online activities are always protected. 24/7 customer support is available via live chat if you need it.
Like ExpressVPN, NordVPN works with plenty of popular streaming sites like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, and Disney+.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, and Linux. You can connect up to six devices at once.
- One of the fatest VPNs we’ve tested
- Servers in 60+ countries
- Good for streaming
- Zero logs
- Occasional unreliable server
BUDGET CHOICE:NordVPN offers one of the best user experiences for a fraction of the price, plus it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full NordVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark was made to unblock region-locked content, and TikTok is no different. With more than 3,200 servers in 60 countries, you can access a wealth of content from around the globe. Everything you do online is protected by strong encryption and a no-logs policy.
Surfshark lets you securely access Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and much more from abroad.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Linux. There’s no connection limit, which makes it a great choice for a family or group of housemates to share.
- Ideal for streaming
- Good speeds
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Strong security
- Some slow speeds
- Smaller server network
ACCESS TIKTOK ANONYMOUSLY:Surfshark lets you stream video from TikTok and other sites safely and privately. It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full SurfShark review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
With servers in 94 countries, ExpressVPN makes unblocking TikTok is easy. It’s among the fastest VPNs we’ve tested to date. Every connection is secured with the latest in VPN encryption and privacy standards, and every server is optimized for speed. Customer support is available around the clock if you run into any issues. ExpressVPN can unblock TikTok from inside mainland China.
In addition to TikTok, ExpressVPN works with a huge range of region-locked services, including popular streaming services like BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, and certain wi-fi routers.
- Fast connections
- Servers in 94 countries
- 24/7 live support
- Great for streaming
- Very secure
- A bit more expensive than the competition
BEST VPN FOR TIKTOK:ExpressVPN lets you access TikTok from any country with ease. If you’re not satisfied, take advantage of the risk-free, 30-day, money-back guarantee.
Read our full ExpressVPN review to find out more.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost prides itself on its ability to unblock just about anything so TikTok bans are no match for this VPN. You can choose your favorite streaming service right from the app and access it in seconds from anywhere in the world. Speeds are fast and consistent, and there’s no data cap, so you can unblock TikTok and watch videos to your heart’s content.
Security is strong, too, and CyberGhost doesn’t store any identifying user logs.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Linux.
- Easy unblocking
- Good for streaming
- Servers in 60+ countries
- Not as fast
- Doesn’t work reliably in China
UNBLOCK TIKTOK:CyberGhost lets you access TikTok from anywhere without a hitch. It comes with a generous 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full CyberGhost review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish is a VPN that emphasizes privacy and security above all else. It includes the latest, strongest encryption without sacrificing speed or ease of use. Users can safely access TikTok from any country.
IPVanish allows an unlimited number of simultaneous connections on a single plan, so it’s a good option if you want to share with family or friends. It also works with a fair number of streaming sites including Netflix.
Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
- Strong security and impressive speeds
- No logs
- Round the clock support
- Not as good for streaming
- Doesn’t accept Bitcoin
GOOD VALUE:IPVanish secures your connection and unblocks TikTok without a hassle. It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full IPVanish review.
Can I unblock TikTok with a free VPN?
We don’t recommend using free VPNs. They lack the performance and security of paid VPNs, and offer far fewer locations to connect to. Many free VPNs monitor your online activity and collect personal data to sell for advertising revenue. They typically impose data caps or bandwidth limits, which can prevent you from using TikTok. This is why we recommend either making the most of free-trials or choosing a low-cost paid VPN provider with a privacy-first policy.
Choosing the best VPNs for TikTok: our methodology
Not every VPN is suitable for TikTok. For instance, some might not be fast enough to stream HD video, and others may not be able to unblock the service in countries where it’s unavailable. That’s why we thinned the list of contenders with a strict set of must-have criteria. Below, you’ll find the characteristics that all of our top VPNs for TikTok share:
- Network size: Generally, the more servers you have to choose from, the better. That’s because closer servers minimize your connection’s latency, resulting in higher overall performance. Further, large networks usually mean more stable speeds at peak times.
- Speed and reliability: Because TikTok videos are super short, they don’t require extremely fast internet speeds. However, for seamless playback, you’ll need decent performance, which is why we only recommend VPNs that excel in our speed tests.
- Unblocking capabilities: At some point, you might want to watch something else. Our international team tested the VPNs above with popular services like Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+, and Hulu to see just how well they handled strict regional restrictions.
- Security and privacy: VPNs are primarily digital privacy tools, so we only recommend those with 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, leak protection, and a no-logs policy. Of course, if a service offers even more advanced features or something like an anti-censorship mode, even better.
- Ease of use: We prioritize VPNs that are easy enough for beginners to use, with apps for a wide range of platforms. That means we want to see one-click connection, live chat-based customer support, and ideally, an easy way to bypass country-wide blocking.
- Price: We’ll never recommend a service that charges more than it’s worth. Further, we always include details on available discounts, deals, or money-back guarantees to make sure you never pay more than you absolutely have to.
If you’d like to learn more, we have a whole post detailing the different stages of our VPN testing process.
What Countries Have Banned TikTok?
With the exception of India and Afghanistan, few countries have banned TikTok. However, a number of countries such as Norway and the UK) have implemented partial TikTok bans, typically on governmental devices. This is due to security and privacy-related concerns surrounding TikTok’s parent company and its links to the Chinese government (and that user data such as browsing history could be shared between the two).
Here’s a list of countries that invoked either full or partial bans of TikTok:
Full TikTok ban
Partial TikTok ban
- The Netherlands
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
- United States
Could TikTok be banned in the US?
Theoretically, anything could be banned. For instance, in 2021, then-President Trump signed an executive order seeking to stop Americans from using WeChat, AliPay, and several other Chinese apps. This was later scrapped by President Biden, though the debate is far from over.
In February 2023, US lawmakers decided to ban TikTok from government-owned devices, citing concerns about the app’s data-collection practises and the possibility of the Chinese government being able to access sensitive user data or push misinformation.
In a bid to prevent further crackdowns, TikTok’s CEO, Shou Zi Chew appeared before Congress shortly afterward. Unfortunately, several lawmakers appeared to have a tenuous grasp on the topic, asking questions like “Does TikTok access the home wifi network?”. Chew claimed that TikTok collects the same amount of data, or less, than competing social media platforms but that isn’t exactly comforting given what we know about sites like Facebook.
There are essentially three options here. First, the government could make a complete U-turn and decide not to ban or restrict access to TikTok in any way. This seems unlikely given its actions lately, but stranger things have happened.
Alternatively, in exchange for keeping TikTok available in the US, the government could demand that ByteDance, the platform’s Chinese parent company, doesn’t sell its stake to an American company. The Chinese government has already said it could veto this, effectively making it a dead end.
Finally, with neither side willing to budge, TikTok could be banned in the US. Most likely, this would see it delisted from app stores and search engine results. However, as we’ve seen time and again, these limitations rarely prevent people from accessing their favorite services. For instance, even in China, which has arguably the most advanced internet censorship system in the world, there are millions of people who use VPNs to freely access the wider internet.
Can I use a VPN to access TikTok in Montana?
For TikTok fans in the US, the recent news that TikTok has been banned in Montana, and will need to be pulled from app stores there by next year, is bound to come as a shock. Is this the start of a snowball effect that will see TikTok banned in more states?
At the moment it is too early to predict what might happen, however, it seems likely that the law signed by the governor of Montana will be challenged, and could even be overturned.
Anybody in Montana who is worried about losing access to TikTok is reminded that they can use a VPN to pretend to be in a different US state or country. This will make you physically appear to be outside of Montana (or even outside of the US) to continue using TikTok normally.
Lawmakers in the US are increasingly worried about the privacy and security concerns caused by TikTok and its parent company ByteDance. As a Chinese company, ByteDance is legally required to share all user data with the Chinese government.
China’s national security law creates the legal basis for all user data, including the contents of TikTok reels and private messages to be monitored by the Chinese government, which creates very serious privacy concerns for its users.
US lawmakers are also opposed to, and concerned about, the potential for misinformation and pro-Chinese propaganda to be disseminated via the platform.
Ultimately, we believe that individuals should have the right to use TikTok if they want to. That said, we do urge caution when using all social media platforms (not just TikTok), due to the fact that they can easily leverage user data for profiling purposes.
If you want to be able to continue using TikTok in Montana, we recommend that you install a secure VPN and connect to a state where TikTok is not yet banned. This will allow you to continue using the service to communicate with your followers.
TikTok VPN FAQ
How do I change my Google Play country?
If TikTok has been removed from Google Play in your country, here’s how to switch to another country’s version of Google Play so you can download it:
- On your Android device, open your VPN app and connect to the country you want to switch to
- Open the Google Play app.
- Tap Menu (three horizontal bars) > Account.
- Under Country and profiles, you’ll see the option to Switch to the country you’ve chosen with your VPN. To do so, you’ll need a local form of payment for that country. If you don’t have one, consider buying a prepaid debit card for that country.
- The Google Play Store will automatically change to the new country within the next 24 hours.
Note that you can only change your Google Play country once per year, and you may lose access to your account balance and previous purchases.
How do I change my Apple App Store country?
If TikTok has been removed from the App Store in your country, the easiest way to get TikTok is to create a new Apple ID. This will let you choose a new country without being physically present or entering a local payment method.
Alternatively, here’s how to change an existing Apple ID to a new country:
- On your iOS device, open the VPN app and connect to the country you want to switch to.
- Open the Settings app.
- Tap your name, then iTunes & App Store.
- Tap your Apple ID, then View Apple ID. Sign in if prompted.
- Select Country/Region > Change Country or Region.
- Choose the country that your VPN is connected to.
- Agree to the terms and conditions.
- Select a local payment method. If you don’t have one, consider buying a prepaid debit card for that country.
Note that you might lose your existing store credit and purchases when switching countries.
Is it safe to use TikTok?
Generally speaking, TikTok carries similar risks to other major social networks. Check out our detailed analysis of the potential security threats posed by TikTok.
Is it legal to access TikTok with a VPN from a country where it's banned?
It is probably not illegal to access TikTok even in countries where it’s banned. Those bans typically apply to internet service providers and app stores, not individual users.
Disclaimer: we are not legal experts and every country’s laws are different. Nothing we’ve said above should be considered legal advice. You should check your local laws before using TikTok in a banned country.
Is TikTok banned in India?
Yes, TikTok is among hundreds of popular apps banned in India due to their affiliation with China. Fortunately, using a VPN will help to bypass the ban.