If you’re in a country facing US trade sanctions, you may find access to GitHub restricted or that the site is blocked entirely. Countries affected include Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria. Fortunately, there’s a way for you to access GitHub despite it being blocked. In fact, you can use a VPN to unblock all kinds of region-locked websites and services, not just GitHub.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) encrypts your device’s internet traffic and routes it to one of the VPN’s servers in a location of your choosing. For example, by connecting to a server in the US (a country in which GitHub is available), you’ll receive a US IP address. The GitHub site will be unblocked as it will appear as if you’re accessing the site from within the US.
Too short of time to read the full article? Here’s a quick summary of the best VPNs to unblock GitHub:
Best VPNs for GitHub:
- ExpressVPN: Our top pick for unblocking GitHub. Servers in 94 countries. Fast, reliable connections. Easy-to-use apps and 24/7 support. Secure with encryption.
- NordVPN: Best budget VPN for accessing GitHub. Over 5,600 servers worldwide. No-logs VPN with 24/7 support. Specialty servers for improved privacy (double VPN).
- CyberGhost: 5,900 servers in 90 countries for unblocking GitHub. Very fast speeds. Connect up to seven devices simultaneously. Security includes a strict no-logs policy.
- IPVanish: Up to 10 simultaneous connections. Use it to unblock GitHub anywhere. Quick and easy to connect to servers. No-logs VPN with 24/7 live chat support.
- PrivateVPN: Very fast servers for browsing and streaming. Works well with GitHub. Beginner-friendly desktop and mobile apps. Encryption ensures your data’s security.
- Surfshark: Connect an unlimited number of devices simultaneously. Servers in 60 countries for accessing GitHub. Excellent apps, 24/7 support, and a no-logs policy.
You might be wondering how we go about choosing the best VPNs for accessing GitHub when it’s blocked. After all, there are many VPNs (free and paid) on the market. We only selected VPNs that were able to meet the following criteria:
- Servers in countries in which GitHub is available (US, UK, Australia, etc)
- Fast, reliable servers for browsing and streaming
- Strong security with encryption and no-logs policy
- Live chat and email support, ideally available 24/7
- Beginner-friendly apps for desktop and mobile
- A money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free
Best VPNs for GitHub
Here’s our list of the best VPNs for GitHub to access it when it’s blocked:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN has servers in 94 countries which makes it incredibly easy to access GitHub. The entire network consists of more than 3,000 servers in countries including the USA, UK, Australia, and Japan. Better still, this VPN offers unlimited bandwidth which is ideal for browsing as well as streaming and torrenting. As well as GitHub, you’ll find ExpressVPN works well with many popular streaming services including Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
A single ExpressVPN account lets you secure as many as five devices simultaneously. The apps are extremely user-friendly, allowing you to connect to a server in seconds. You’ll also find 24/7 live chat and email support available should you need it. Security is another of ExpressVPN’s strong points: this VPN service uses 256-bit AES encryption to keep your data safe. There’s also protection from DNS and IPv6 leaks and a kill switch. Best of all, ExpressVPN protects your privacy by logging no personally identifiable information.
You can unblock GitHub via the ExpressVPN apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux. There are also browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox as well as firmware for routers.
- Over 3,000 servers in 94 countries for unblocking GitHub
- Unlimited bandwidth for uninterrupted browsing
- Also unblocks popular streaming services including Netflix
- Very user-friendly apps and browser extensions
- Live chat support available 24/7
- Strong security features including encryption and a kill switch
- Somewhat expensive compared to its rivals
BEST VPN TO ACCESS GITHUB:ExpressVPN is our #1 choice. Fast, consistent servers for browsing and streaming. Servers in 94 countries for accessing GitHub. User-friendly apps and browser extensions. Uses encryption to secure your data. 24/7 support. Try ExpressVPN risk-free thanks to the 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full ExpressVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN stands out by offering an impressive network of more than 5,600 servers — far more than most VPNs on the market. This means you have many options when it comes to unblocking GitHub. There are also plenty of different server types, some of which (Double VPN and Onion Over VPN) offer even greater online security. Unlike some VPNs, NordVPN offers 24/7 support via live chat, meaning help is always there, should you need it.
With NordVPN, you can connect as many as six of your devices simultaneously. Indeed, you can secure a wide range of devices thanks to the healthy selection of apps and browser extensions offered. This is a no-logs VPN that employs 256-bit AES encryption, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and a kill switch to protect your data. NordVPN is headquartered in Panama where it isn’t subject to any mandatory data retention laws.
NordVPN can be downloaded for the following operating systems: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and Android TV. Browser extensions are offered for Chrome and Firefox. Compatible routers require manual configuration.
- A vast network of 5,600 servers for easy unblocking of GitHub
- Specialty servers for P2P sharing as well as for improved privacy
- 24/7 support via live chat and email
- Protects your privacy with its strict no-logs policy
- Variety of easy-to-use apps and browser extensions
- Servers in some countries can be a little slow
BEST BUDGET VPN:NordVPN has over 5,600 servers in 60 countries. Easy to unblock GitHub. Very secure service with a strict no-logs policy. Connect six devices simultaneously. Also offers 24/7 live chat support and specialty servers for P2P sharing. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full NordVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost has a server network that has rapidly grown to become one of the largest on the VPN market. You can use this service to unblock GitHub from anywhere thanks to its 5,900 servers in 90 countries. What’s particularly impressive is that CyberGhost also offers very fast connections and unlimited bandwidth. This means that you can also use it to live stream your favorite TV shows, movies, and sporting events without any noticeable buffering or lag.
Another reason to consider CyberGhost is its 45-day money-back guarantee; this is far longer than most VPNs offer. 24/7 live chat-based support is available, plus you can connect up to seven devices simultaneously. CyberGhost keeps you safe using 256-bit AES encryption, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and automatic kill switch. There’s also a strict no-logs policy and independently-operated “NoSpy servers”, for even greater security.
CyberGhost apps are available for desktop (Windows and Mac), mobile (Android and iOS), as well as Amazon Fire Stick and Android TV. Browser extensions are available for Chrome and Firefox. Manual installation is required for use with Linux and routers.
- Easy to unblock GitHub thanks to 5,900 servers in 90 countries
- Very fast speeds for browsing, streaming, and torrenting
- Includes a generous 45-day money-back guarantee
- Lets you connect up to seven devices simultaneously
- Headquartered in Romania – outside 5/9/14 Eyes jurisdiction
- Unreliable in China and the UAE
- Doesn’t unblock all major streaming sites
OVER 5,900 SERVERS:CyberGhost has a vast network of 5,900 servers spread across 90 countries, making it easy to access GitHub. Very fast and reliable servers. 24/7 live chat support and up to seven simultaneous connections. Strong security with a no-logs policy. 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full CyberGhost review.
Money-back guarantee: 7 DAYS
IPVanish allows you to unblock GitHub in countries such as Cuba and Iran. You can find IPVanish servers in dozens of countries worldwide. With over 1,300 servers and 40,000 IPs on offer, this VPN is great for accessing all sorts of geo-restricted websites and services. One of the best features of this particular VPN is that it allows you to have up to 10 simultaneous connections.
Connecting to an IPVanish server is quick and easy thanks to the “QuickConnect” feature that helps you find the best server based on your location. This VPN also offers impressive security, in part thanks to its strict no-logs policy. Further security features include 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and protection from DNS and IPv6 leaks.
Signing up with IPVanish provides you with access to apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire TV. Manual setup is needed for use with Linux and routers.
- Offers more than 40,000 IPs for accessing GitHub
- Connect up to 10 devices simultaneously
- Makes it quick and easy to connect to the fastest available server
- Includes 24/7 live chat support
- No-logs policy and encryption helps you stay anonymous online
- Struggles to unblock some popular streaming services
- Headquartered in the US which is a Five Eyes member
10 SIMULTANEOUS CONNECTIONS:IPVanish lets you access GitHub when it’s blocked. What’s more, it lets you connect up to 10 devices simultaneously. Offers 1,300 servers and 40,000 IPs. 24/7 support and plenty of security features to protect your privacy. 7-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full IPVanish review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN is one of the faster VPNs on the market, allowing you to browse GitHub or stream the likes of Netflix without interruption. Overall, this VPN’s network consists of around 100 servers. While this is relatively small, these servers are spread across 60 countries, making it easy to unblock GitHub from anywhere in the world. Indeed, PrivateVPN is excellent at unblocking all sorts of region-locked websites and services.
This VPN is particularly suitable for novices thanks to its beginner-friendly desktop and mobile apps. There is live chat support and even free remote help and installation should you need it. A PrivateVPN account lets you secure up to six devices simultaneously, all to unique IP addresses. Your security is taken seriously, as evidenced by PrivateVPN’s use of 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch. A strict no-logs policy also serves to protect your privacy online.
PrivateVPN offers apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. However, you’ll need to follow manual setup instructions in order to use PrivateVPN with Linux and routers.
- Very good at unblocking region-locked websites, GitHub included
- Fast servers for streaming the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video
- Beginner-friendly desktop and mobile apps
- Keeps your data safe with encryption and no-logs policy
- A small network of only 100 servers
- Doesn’t offer any browser extensions
HIGH SPEED SERVERS:PrivateVPN offers fast servers for browsing, streaming, and torrenting. Works with GitHub in countries including Cuba and Iran. Very easy-to-use apps for desktop and mobile platforms. Protects your privacy with encryption and no-logs. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full PrivateVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark excels at getting around geographic restrictions, including those of GitHub (it also unblocks Netflix). This VPN is ideal for sharing with family because it allows an unlimited number of simultaneous connections. Offering over 1,000 servers in 60 countries, Surfshark provides plenty of choice. In fact, there are even servers optimized for P2P file-sharing as well as MultiHop (Double VPN) servers that offer an extra layer of privacy.
There’s no shortage of features with this VPN. You’ll find 24/7 live chat support, an ad and malware blocker, and even an option to choose which websites and apps can bypass the VPN. Security is another area in which Surfshark offers impressive variety; there’s 256-bit AES encryption, a strict no-logs policy, DNS leak protection, and a kill switch. Surfshark even offers an optional “privacy beyond VPN” feature, alerting you if your email address is leaked and allowing you to search the web without ads or logs.
You can use Surfshark apps to secure your Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, and iOS devices. There’s also an app for Amazon Fire TV and browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. It can be used with select routers but this requires manual installation.
- Servers in dozens of countries for accessing GitHub anywhere
- Allows unlimited simultaneous connections
- Customer support available 24/7 via live chat
- Very secure service thanks to no-logs policy, encryption, and more
- A smaller network of servers (although it is growing)
- Occasionally slow servers
UNLIMITED CONNECTIONS:Surfshark lets you connect an unlimited number of devices simultaneously – great for sharing with family. Unblock GitHub and many popular streaming services. 24/7 live chat support, beginner-friendly apps, and a strict no-logs policy. 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full Surfshark review.
Can I use a free VPN to unblock GitHub?
We don’t recommend free VPNs for a number of reasons. For one, there’s no guarantee that the free VPN you download will be able to unblock GitHub. Furthermore, the average free VPN typically has a very small network of servers. This means high server load and slow speeds as a result. Indeed, the slow connections are particularly noticeable when streaming and torrenting.
If you’re trying to access GitHub in a country in which it’s blocked, you should look for a VPN that protects your privacy. Unfortunately, most free VPNs fail to do this. One of the main concerns is that some free VPNs log your data before selling it to third parties. Even if this isn’t the case, you may well find that your data isn’t encrypted or protected from leaks. Overall, free VPNs lack the performance and security you need and aren’t worth your time.
In which countries is GitHub blocked and why?
GitHub CEO Nat Friedman confirmed on Twitter “GitHub is subject to US trade law, just like any company that does business in the US.” US government sanctions are applied to the following countries: Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria. According to a GitHub support page, developers in the sanctioned countries will be restricted to only the most basic features of the service such as “limited access to GitHub public repository services”.