best vpn to unblock whatsapp

WhatsApp has a huge focus on privacy and security, it uses end-to-end encryption so no one but you and your recipient can read your messages. While this level of privacy is very impressive, the high level of security has led to the app being banned in some countries. This can be frustrating for travelers and residents who want to use the free and secure app while in restricted countries. Luckily a VPN is a simple solution that will gain you access to WhatsApp anywhere.

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) encrypts all your device’s internet traffic (including WhatsApp messages and video calls) and routes it through a server in a location of your choice. This not only provides greater security but also helps you bypass geographic restrictions in countries where WhatsApp is blocked.

In this article, we explain exactly how to access WhatsApp from anywhere with a VPN and the best VPNs for the job. We’ll go into more detail about each provider later on, but in case you’re short on time, we’ll start with a quick summary.

Best VPNs for WhatsApp:

  1. NordVPN Our #1 VPN for WhatsApp. Encrypts all traffic and keeps no logs. Mobile apps work great with messaging and VoIP services and are easy to use. Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. Surfshark Best budget alternative VPN. With no connection limit, decent speeds, and a major focus on security, Surfshark makes it easy to use WhatsApp safely from anywhere.
  3. ExpressVPN Fast and secure. Effortlessly unblocks WhatsApp and most other VoIP and messaging apps from anywhere. Servers in 100+ countries. 24/7 customer support.
  4. CyberGhost Beginner-friendly VPN with easy-to-use apps, 24/7 support, impressive unblocking abilities and a vast network of over 10,000 servers in 100+ countries.
  5. PrivateVPN This is one of the fastest VPNs around and comes with several advanced security features. It keeps no logs whatsoever and easily unblocks WhatsApp abroad.
  6. Private Internet Access Excellent set of security credentials. Reliable and secure for WhatsApp and other messaging services and includes an unlimited connection limit.

TIP In our testing we found that the cheapest NordVPN plan (Standard) works perfectly.

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Where is WhatsApp blocked, and why?

WhatsApp features end-to-end encryption, which means all messages are encrypted on the sender’s device and remain encrypted until they arrive on the receiver’s device. Anyone who happens to intercept messages in transit–be it an ISP, hacker, government entity, or even Facebook–will not be able to decrypt their contents. WhatsApp uses the encryption suite developed by Whisper Systems, which makes the much-lauded and privacy-focused Signal messaging app.

This level of privacy is excellent for users, but some governments and law enforcement agencies argue that it protects activists, journalists, dissidents, criminals, and terrorists who can use the app to communicate secretly. As a result, WhatsApp has been banned, either temporarily or permanently, in over a dozen countries, including:

  • Bangladesh
  • Brazil
  • China
  • Egypt
  • Ethiopia
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Montenegro
  • Saudi Arabia
  • The Gambia
  • Turkey
  • Uganda
  • Zimbabwe

In some countries, WhatsApp’s voice calling (VoIP) feature is often blocked while the rest of the app is left open. VoIP allows users to make voice calls over the internet, similar to Skype, which is also blocked in some countries. WhatsApp voice calls are blocked in:

  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain
  • Morocco
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Uzbekistan

Telecom companies in several countries have lobbied their respective governments to restrict WhatsApp as well. Because WhatsApp serves as a substitute for traditional calls and SMS, it cuts into the profits of legacy telcos.

How we selected the top VPNs for WhatsApp

There are an endless number of VPNs on the market, all promising the earth. Finding the ones that actually work for what you need them to can be tricky and time-consuming. Well, we’ve done the leg work for you and narrowed the choices down considerably by only including VPNs that meet the following non-negotiable criteria:

  • Wide network of global servers in countries where WhatsApp is unrestricted
  • Speeds fast enough for uninterrupted VoIP calling and streaming
  • Strong security and privacy protocols
  • Keeps no usage logs
  • Mobile apps available, including Android and iPhone/iOS
  • Good value for money and a money-back guarantee

This is just the highlights of what we look for in the VPNs we recommend. You can read more about our testing criteria in the methodology section below.

The best WhatsApp VPNs: at a glance

We’ve compared the most important features of the top VPNs here. Prefer to read the in-depth reviews? Start with NordVPN – our #1 choice for WhatsApp.

No valueNordVPNSurfsharkExpressVPNCyberGhostPrivateVPNPrivate Internet Access
WebsiteNordVPN.comSurfshark.comExpressVPN.comCyberghost.comPrivateVPN.comPrivateInternetAccess.com
Ranking to unblock Whatsapp:123456
Avg Speed (Mbps)100+ Mbps100+ Mbps100+ Mbps100+ Mbps39 Mbps73 Mbps
Server countries611001051006391
Devices SupportedWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, LinuxWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire TVWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Smart TVs, RoutersWindows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, AndroidWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TVWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux
Popular Sites Unblocked95%88%86%85%85%70%
Best deal (per month)$3.39
SAVE 67% on a 2 yr plan + gifts
$2.29
Save 79% + Get 2 Months FREE
$6.67
SAVE: 49% + 3 months free
$2.19
SAVE 83% on the 2 year plan
$2.00
Save 85% on a one year plan + 24-months free
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SAVE 82% on the 2 yr plan

Best VPNs for WhatsApp

WE aim to bring you the most accurate and helpful VPN recommendations possible. To do that, we personally use and test every VPN to ensure they’re up to our standards and yours. The following reviews are the result of those first-hand experiences. Let’s take a closer look at the ones that impressed us.

Here’s our list of the best VPNs for accessing WhatsApp from anywhere:

1. NordVPN

NordVPN Feb 2024 unblocks whatsappTested Feb 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Background FireTV

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

NordVPN is our top recommendation if you want the best VPN for WhatsApp. Thanks to their global network of thousands of servers, NordVPN gives you access to WhatsApp and other services from anywhere in the world. With NordVPN, you get military-grade encryption that uses 256-bit AES to protect your online communications. You can also connect to a double VPN or Tor over VPN for even more advanced security features.

NordVPN automatically routes your DNS requests through its own secure servers, which prevents any potential DNS leaks that could reveal your location. Their apps work on Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android, so you can stay connected across multiple platforms.

NordVPN’s subscription allows for six simultaneous connections, which makes it an excellent choice for families, offices, or shared households. On top of that, NordVPN supports popular streaming services like US Netflix and Hulu and boasts impressive connection speeds.

Pros:

  • Securely access a wide range of geo-locked sites
  • Customer service available via 24/7 live chat
  • Kill switch keeps data safe even if your connection drops
  • Faster than any other VPN we’ve tested
  • Impeccable security credentials
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Takes slightly longer to connect via desktop apps

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST VPN FOR WHATSAPP:NordVPN is our #1 choice. It unblocks all major VoIP, social media, and chat apps with ease, including WhatsApp, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Skype, and more. Allows up to 6 simultaneous connected devices. Great privacy and security credentials. A 30-day money-back guarantee makes it a risk-free deal.

Read our full NordVPN review.

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2. Surfshark

Surfshark unblocks whatsappTested Feb 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Surfshark.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Surfshark is a young provider making a big splash in the VPN space by allowing users to connect an unlimited number of devices at the same time. That’s not the only card in its hand, though: Surfshark offers the security and online privacy you need to use WhatsApp from any country. It works in both the UAE and China. The company doesn’t store any logs and uses top-notch encryption.

If you want to access streaming sites securely, Surfshark has you covered. It reliably works with Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer, among others. 24/7 live chat support is available when you need it.

Apps are available for Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, Android, and Fire TV.

Pros:

  • Provides a secure, encrypted connection
  • Servers in 100 countries
  • Works in the UAE and China
  • Strong security and privacy policy
  • Connect all of your devices at once

Cons:

  • Apps devote a lot of space to features that can’t be used without an additional monthly payment

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark is ideal for sharing with family as it allows unlimited simultaneous connections. Reliable servers and user-friendly apps. No-logs VPN with 24/7 live chat support. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full Surfshark review.

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3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN unblocks whatsappTested Feb 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.ExpressVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ExpressVPN is fast, and servers are available in 100+ countries. It’s capable of accessing WhatsApp from anywhere, along with other VoIP services and a wide range of streaming platforms, including US Netflix and Hulu.

ExpressVPN offers cutting-edge security at every stage, including 256-bit encryption and perfect forward secrecy. The company keeps no logs of your activity or source IP address. DNS leak protection is built in so your true location is never revealed to your ISP, and the company operates its own private DNS servers.

Apps are available for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux (command-line).

Pros:

  • Strong security and privacy features
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • User-friendly apps for major mobile and desktop platforms
  • Operates over 3,000 servers in 100+ countries
  • Zero logs policy

Cons:

  • More expensive than some of its competitors
  • Lack of advanced features

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

RELIABLE SERVICE:ExpressVPN is a fast and reliable choice. It works well with WhatsApp and other apps, boasts reliable connections, and has a huge range of countries available. Great privacy features and keeps no logs. Plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

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4. CyberGhost

CyberGhost unblocks whatsappTested Feb 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.Cyberghost.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

CyberGhost is a top choice for unblocking WhatsApp thanks to its extensive server network, robust security features, and user-friendly apps. With over 10,000 servers in more than 100 countries, CyberGhost offers a reliable and stable connection to bypass any restrictions and access WhatsApp seamlessly, even in countries where it is blocked.

CyberGhost delivers impressive speed performance with unlimited bandwidth and allows you to connect up to seven devices simultaneously. In addition, if you ever encounter any issues or have questions, their 24/7 customer support team is available via live chat and email to provide assistance.

Security is a priority for CyberGhost, as they employ AES 256-bit encryption, an automatic kill switch, DNS leak protection, and a strict no-logs policy. CyberGhost offers easy-to-use apps for all major platforms, including Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.

Pros:

  • Beginner-friendly apps
  • No logs policy and strong encryption
  • Works with Netflix, Hulu, and other popular services
  • Very easy to get help with any issues
  • 45-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Doesn’t provide much control over advanced features
  • Doesn’t work reliably in China

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

USER-FRIENDLY CHOICE:CyberGhost employs specialized servers for the task at hand, a kill switch on all platforms, and AES encryption. Plans include a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full CyberGhost review.

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5. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN unblocks whatsappTested Feb 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.PrivateVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

PrivateVPN is an up-and-coming provider that offers all the security and features you would expect from a veteran player. It works in both China and the United Arab Emirates. The company stores zero logs about its users and employs uncrackable encryption. Perfect forward secrecy ensures that even if your encryption key is compromised, it can’t be used to decrypt past sessions. Leak prevention comes baked into all of the apps, but a kill switch is only available on the Windows version.

PrivateVPN is also great for securely accessing streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more. The apps are novice-friendly and simple to set up.

Apps are available for Windows operating systems, macOS, iOS, Android, and Amazon Fire TV. You can connect up to 10 devices at a time.

Pros:

  • Provides a secure, encrypted connection
  • No logs policy
  • Fast servers
  • Allows 10 simultaneous connections

Cons:

  • Support staff are good, but only operate during European business hours
  • Fewer servers to choose from than other providers higher on this list

Our score:

4.5 out of 5

HIGH-SPEED SERVERS:PrivateVPN has particularly fast servers making it a great option for WhatsApp calls.Very easy to use and offers live chat support. Secure with encryption. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full PrivateVPN review.

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6. Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access unblocks whatsappTested Feb 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • Background FireTV

Website:  www.PrivateInternetAccess.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a top contender for unblocking WhatsApp in 2024. With its impressive array of 10,000 to 35,000 servers spread across 84 countries, PIA unblocks WhatsApp and offers expansive global content access. It also works with streaming services like US Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu. And it lets you connect all your devices simultaneously.

Its commitment to security is evident through 256-bit AES encryption and the inclusion of both OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols. A staunch no-logs policy and PIA’s DNS leak protection bolster your online privacy, ensuring your real IP address remains hidden. The VPN’s “MACE” feature is a game-changer, effectively blocking ads, trackers, and malicious websites at the DNS level, thus enhancing your browsing experience and security.

Available on Windows, macOS, and Linux VPN desktop applications, PIA’s versatility is noteworthy. Its 30-day money-back guarantee offers peace of mind, allowing you to test its services without any financial risk.

Pros:

  • Doesn’t collect logs
  • Offers numerous options for personalizing the settings
  • Has no connection limit

Cons:

  • Based in a Five Eyes country
  • Doesn’t offer a stealth mode

Our score:

4 out of 5

HIGHLY CUSTOMIZABLE:Private Internet Access has servers in 84 countries, doesn’t log your activities and includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our full Private Internet Access review.

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Using free VPNs to access WhatsApp

While we know that free VPNs are tempting, it is highly unlikely that you’ll find one that can reliably bypass a countrywide restriction on WhatsApp. A government that can block WhatsApp can just as easily block a VPN server, and free VPNs have too few resources and too little incentive to keep their servers off of these government blacklists. Paid VPNs are much better positioned to do so.

China and the UAE actively block most VPNs, even paid ones. However, the paid VPNs we recommend above have the expertise and resources to stay a step ahead. They also offer live customer support to users who experience any issues accessing WhatsApp.

Even if a free VPN grants access to WhatsApp, that access might not be secure. Free VPNs often come with security risks, such as subpar encryption and no leak protection to prevent snooping third parties from monitoring your connection. Additionally, most free VPNs have a limited range of servers to choose from, limit available bandwidth, and cap data.

We recommend avoiding free VPNs on Google Play and the App Store. These apps often track and log what you do online, inject advertisements, and can even infect your device with malware. And if the police come knocking on their door asking for information on a specific user, they aren’t going to risk their business to save someone who uses their app for free.

How to run WhatsApp through a VPN

Don’t worry if you’ve never used a VPN before, they are surprisingly user friendly. Just follow the instructions below, and you’ll be all set up to use to use WhatsApp anywhere in no time.

Here’s how to unblock WhatsApp and make calls with a VPN:

  1. Select a VPN provider – we recommend NordVPN.
  2. Download and install the VPN apps, making sure to get the correct versions for your devices.
  3. Run the app and select a server in a country where WhatsApp is not blocked, such as Europe or the US.
  4. Hit the Connect button, open WhatsApp, and use it as normal.
  5. If you’re having problems, try connecting to a different server or contact your VPN’s support team for more help.

Finding the best VPNs for WhatsApp: our Methodology

Every VPN is different, and while this means that there’s a service for every situation, it also makes it tricky for newcomers to decide which one to use. That’s where we come in: we’ve carefully considered the most important things a VPN should offer for accessing WhatsApp anywhere, and used this criteria to filter out unsuitable services until only the best were left.

  • Security: We assess each VPN’s encryption scheme and test connections for various data leaks.
  • Logging policy: We pour over each VPN’s terms of use and privacy policy for any language or lack thereof that could indicate the collection of personally identifiable data when using the VPN.
  • Speed: We measure and record download speeds while connected to VPN servers worldwide and only recommend the fastest VPN services.
  • Streaming: We check whether each VPN can access popular streaming services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Prime Video, HBO Max, Disney+, and Paramount+.
  • Customer service: Our reviewers contact each VPN’s customer service as secret shoppers to gauge response times and quality.
  • Ability to bypass censorship: We check whether the VPNs can connect in countries with heavy censorship, like China and the UAE.

Want to know more? You can read more in our article detailing our VPN testing methodology.

Using WhatsApp with a VPN: FAQs

Is using a VPN to unblock WhatsApp legal?

Using a VPN to unblock WhatsApp is completely legal unless you’re in a country where VPNs are explicitly illegal. That includes the UAE and Iran, among others.

Disclaimer: Although we’ve spent hours researching this topic, we are not legal experts. As such, nothing we’ve said above should be taken as legal advice. We encourage you to consult local laws or perhaps even seek a professional’s opinion before attempting to use WhatsApp in a place with VoIP restrictions.

Is WhatsApp’s encryption secure?

WhatsApp’s encryption is based on the same source code as Signal, the end-to-end encrypted private messaging app highly regarded by cybersecurity experts. Only the intended recipient of a message can decrypt its contents, so not even Facebook or WhatsApp can access your conversations.

That being said, WhatsApp does make some minor compromises in security for the sake of convenience. When you change phones, for example, your encryption keys are renegotiated so that you can still access messages that were stored on your old phone. That renegotiation opens up a vulnerability that could allow someone at Facebook to read a user’s messages.

I'm connected to a VPN but WhatsApp is still blocked. What should I do?

One of three things is likely to be causing this problem.

The first is that your internet service provider or mobile carrier, on behalf of the government, has blocked the IP addresses of known VPN servers. If this is the case, you won’t be able to access anything online while using the VPN, not just WhatsApp.

If this happens to you, contact the customer support of your VPN provider and ask them which servers to use to unblock WhatsApp in your country. Most will have a range of servers you can specifically use that haven’t been blacklisted by authorities.

The second possible cause could be that you’re leaking DNS requests. DNS, or domain name system, is used to correlate a domain name with a web server IP address. For example, when you type comparitech.com into your URL bar, a DNS request is sent to look up which IP address this website has been assigned. That request gets sent to the nearest DNS server, which is normally operated by your ISP. Most government-led internet censorship is conducted at the ISP level.

A DNS leak occurs when the DNS request is sent outside of the VPN tunnel to your ISP instead of your VPN provider’s DNS servers. This reveals the real destination of your web traffic, and the ISP blocks the connection accordingly.

To get around this, ensure your VPN offers DNS leak protection (all of the providers we recommended above do). You may need to enable it in the app settings if it’s not on by default. Additionally, you can try disabling IPv6 on your device.

Finally, your ISP could be blocking traffic traveling to or from specific ports used by WhatsApp. Your VPN app might support port forwarding, which will route traffic from WhatsApp through a different port. Consult the provider’s website or customer service.

Will a VPN patch the WhatsApp backdoor?

Short answer: no.

Long answer: First off, WhatsApp doesn’t have a backdoor so much as it has a minor vulnerability in its end-to-end encryption scheme.

Here’s how it works: when you send a message on WhatsApp, it is encrypted before it leaves your phone, sent through the internet, and never decrypted until it lands on the recipient’s phone. Only the recipient’s phone contains the key that can decrypt the message. Private keys are generated and exchanged between users before any messages are ever sent.

But if the recipient changes their phone, they no longer have the encryption key necessary to decrypt messages. This can result in messages that are never delivered. In a compromise of security in favor of convenience, WhatsApp implemented what many critics allege is a backdoor. The key exchange is renegotiated without the recipient’s knowledge, and the backlog of messages are re-sent. WhatsApp users can toggle a preference in their settings to let them know if the recipient has changed phones and the keys have been renegotiated, but this is not enabled by default.

The result is that if someone simply turns off their phone or is disconnected from the internet for any period of time, WhatsApp–and ergo Facebook–could fake the existence of a new phone and private key in order to read someone’s message history.

To do this, one would need WhatsApps explicit compliance and a specific target. This is not something that can be exploited through any sort of mass dragnet surveillance or by hackers without WhatsApp’s help. So for most people, it is not a concern. If you feel you are being targeted to such a degree, you can find more details on this issue and read up on available WhatsApp alternatives.

Back to our original question, a VPN will not protect you in any way from this vulnerability. The exploit would have to occur on WhatsApp’s servers, not on your internet connection or device.

Will a VPN protect me from being arrested for using WhatsApp?

Short answer: No.

Long answer: There have been several news reports from multiple countries about people being arrested for posting or sending illicit content on WhatsApp. This content is often labeled defamatory, libelous, explicit, or even contains information about planned coup d’etats.

Please realize, however, that the government did not hack WhatsApp to get this information, nor steal it in transit as it made its way across the internet, nor cooperate with WhatsApp to obtain the contents of someone’s WhatsApp messages. WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption system protects against these sorts of snooping.

Instead, authorities obtained the information in one of the following two ways:

  • Someone in a WhatsApp group or private chat tipped off the police
  • The police seized the phone and, if necessary, coerced the owner to unlock it

That’s it. There’s no hacking going on here.

Why do I need a VPN for WhatsApp?

In some countries, WhatsApp is blocked. In China, for example, WhatsApp is completely inaccessible, and in other countries just the VoIP (voice and video calling) features are disabled. Messages won’t be sent or received and the app might be removed from local app stores.

A VPN lets you access WhatsApp and all of its features normally. It also hides the fact that you’re using WhatsApp from your ISP and authorities.

Why is WhatsApp blocked in certain countries?

Several countries have blocked WhatsApp for different reasons, such as government control over information, security concerns, and competition with local telecom companies. Some of these countries view WhatsApp’s high level of encryption as a possible threat to national security since it could obstruct surveillance efforts. Meanwhile, others see WhatsApp’s free messaging and calling services as a rival to traditional telecom providers.

Can I use a VPN for WhatsApp on any device?

You can use a VPN for WhatsApp on any device that has VPN software support. Numerous reliable VPN providers have apps available for various platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. Some VPNs even provide browser extensions and router configurations, enabling you to secure all devices connected to your network. This guarantees that you can use WhatsApp safely and without limitations, whether using a smartphone, tablet, or computer.