It’s hard to imagine life without Facebook. Most of us have a love-hate relationship with the ubiquitous social media app but also admit that it occupies a central role in our lives.
Unfortunately many schools, colleges, and workplaces block Facebook in an effort to limit bandwidth use as well as to make sure people concentrate on their core tasks and remain undistracted. Some countries like China and North Korea have banned the service completely. Others, like Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Qatar restrict the use of Facebook Messenger in order to prevent residents accessing the voice and video chat features. The only way to get around this is by installing a VPN.
If you don’t want to read the rest of this article, here’s our list of the best VPNs that’ll unblock Facebook:
Short for Virtual Private Network, a VPN masks your true location by encrypting all the traffic flowing to and from your device and tunneling it via an intermediary server. Network administrators will be unable to determine your browsing activity. Hence even if you’re logged on to your college or work wifi, using a VPN will help you unblock Facebook.
Here’s what you need to do to access Facebook:
- Pick a VPN that’s best suited for you
- Navigate through the options and select a plan
- Download the companion apps
- Open the VPN app, login, and select a server preferably outside your country of residence
- Once the connection is established, open Facebook and use it like you normally would
What are the best VPNs for Facebook?
To help you out we’ve compiled a list of the best VPNs that work with Facebook flawlessly. They’re ranked on the following factors:
- Speed and stability of service
- Large number of server locations across the world
- Strong encryption parameters so your location remains hidden
- Apps for Android and iOS
- Provision for simultaneous connections
- Ease of use
ExpressVPN is a favorite with privacy enthusiasts because it seamlessly combines military-grade encryption protocols with a fast, efficient product. Its design is easy on the eyes and the service works without any glitches.
There’s a robust selection of servers to choose from – with over 1,500 servers spread across 94 countries. The app also includes a ‘smart location’ option, which is a server that ExpressVPN feels is best suited for you based on your current location.
Encryption standards are hardy – the company leverages OpenVPN with 256-bit AES as default. 4,096-bit DHE-RSA keys are identified by an SHA-512 hashing algorithm. In layman’s terms, these are stringent and designed to keep your data secure.
There’s minimal retention of user data. The only threadbare data logging are the servers people connect to and the dates they log on. Individual IP addresses are not recorded. Embedded within the product is a ‘network lock’, which temporarily blocks internet access if the connection drops unexpectedly, thereby adding an additional layer of security.
A single subscription grants access to three devices simultaneously – making it a handy option to split the overall bill with friends. Apps for both Android and iOS are available as well as desktop clients for Windows and MacOS.
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Here’s our review of ExpressVPN.
NordVPN is considered to be a veteran in the VPN business because it’s been around for over a decade. It’s a recommended option for power users who want a bunch of customizable options and servers designed to enhance each aspect of your browsing experience. But even beyond these bells and whistles, NordVPN offers speed, stability, and ease of use in an affordable package.
Like IPVanish, NordVPN can also be categorized as a logless VPN service. User data simply isn’t stored at all. The policy has served it well in the past – authorities have sent it multiple requests for data but there wasn’t anything on internal servers that could identify users.
All internet traffic is encrypted via 256-bit AES and 2,048-bit DH keys. DNS leak protection is enabled by default. A single subscription grants access to six devices which is among the highest we’ve seen in paid VPN packages.
There’s a wide list of servers to choose from – a total of 1191 spread across 61 countries. You can also pick one based on what you would like to do on the web, such as torrenting, anti-DDoS, video streaming, or ultra-secure privacy.
Apps for both Android and iOS are available as well as a desktop client for Windows and MacOS. In our user review, we noticed that the apps could be a bit cumbersome to use, but the service won’t crash or bug.
Read our full review of NordVPN.
IPVanish checks all the boxes when it comes to a fast VPN that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg and is equipped with rigid encryption standards. It’ll do its job quietly and efficiently with little to no interruption during your Facebook newsfeed scrolling.
The company is an example of a completely logless VPN. This means it’s almost impossible for your activity to be traced back to you because IPVanish simply refrains from storing any user data at all. Its own employees won’t be able to see what you’re doing on the web.
Like ExpressVPN, there’s an internet kill switch included too – meaning web traffic will never slide back to a decrypted status even if the connection drops.
As for encryption standards, IPVanish uses 256-bit encryption on the OpenVPN protocol by default, SHA512 authentication, and a DHE-RSA 2,048-bit key exchange with perfect forward secrecy. The latter feature means that even if your account is compromised, all past web sessions will remain encrypted and secure.
There’s an option to choose between 850 servers spread across 60 countries.
IPVanish allows five devices to connect at one time, which is very generous and breaks down the cost per user to an extremely manageable sum. Cash-strapped students looking to unblock Facebook through a VPN should be pleased.
Furthermore, there are apps for both Android and iOS as well as desktop support for Windows and MacOS.
Many users find it an excellent option for Kodi because it allows them to download the Android APK directly to their device. The interface is also remote control friendly for Kodi devices that lack a keyboard and mouse.
Read our full review of IPVanish.
Cyberghost Pro is a no-frills VPN service that’s one of the cheaper providers in this list so it might appeal to users who want a quick fix. The product isn’t equipped with a plethora of options but the core standards of speed and encryption are more than adequate.
The firm is registered in Romania and has an internal policy of not storing any user data. Romanian law doesn’t impose any kind of mandatory data retention either, so it seems like the provider is covered on the privacy front. But there was a bit of a management shuffle recently – Cyberghost Pro was acquired by an Israeli firm a few months ago–that might change the scenario. We’ll update this article if we notice anything.
For a relatively inexpensive VPN, Cyberghost Pro has solid encryption standards. It uses 256-bit AES encryption on the OpenVPN protocol which is considered robust. There are 1,048 servers at the time of writing, spread across 27 countries. Unblocking Facebook shouldn’t pose a challenge.
The premium version grants simultaneous access to five devices on a single plan. The company supports both Android and iOS and there’s native software for Windows and MacOS, too.
Read our full review of Cyberghost Pro.
VyprVPN has a legion of loyal fans around the world due to the fact that it has some of the most impressive encryption standards in the business. The service complements this approach with 24/7 online customer support, free 3-day trial, and a large server network.
There is a bit of a logging policy, however. Specifically, VyprVPN will store “the user’s source IP address, the VyprVPN IP address used by the user, connection start and stop time and total number of bytes used.”
But we haven’t come across any instances of data leakage from the firm’s end. At the same time, VyprVPN claims content of communications, i.e. the site’s users visit, won’t be recorded.
The company is very popular with users in China where it easily unblocks the Great Firewall. It physically owns and manages entire data centers – as opposed to other providers that opt for a combination of renting and outsourcing servers – helping it control and stabilize traffic.
All traffic is encrypted via the OpenVPN protocol, 256-bit AES encryption, 2,048-bit RSA keys without perfect forward secrecy, and SHA256 authentication. An internet kill switch is included.
Over 700 servers are spread across the world and a subscription to a VyprVPN Pro account allows up to three devices to connect at the same time.
Apps are available for both Android and iOS as well as a desktop client for Windows and MacOS.
Read our full review of VyprVPN.
Zenmate is best known for its free VPN extension for Chrome, but it also offers a paid product that has a larger selection of servers and better encryption standards.
In our review we found the service to be somewhat mixed. Browsing speeds and video streaming was decent but, alarmingly, there were a bunch of DNS leaks. Some users may find that disconcerting. There is an initial 14-day free trial though so you can test the service safely and make a decision whether you would like to stick with it.
If you subscribe to a premium package, you’ll notice that there are over 1,000 servers available.
Encryption standards are decent. Zenmate uses 128-bit AES encryption in conjunction with 2,048-bit RSA keys and SHA 256 for authentication. An internet kill switch is included. It also has a policy of not storing any user data.
Apps are available for both Android and iOS as well as a desktop client for Windows and MacOS.
Read our full review of Zenmate.
Free VPNs that can unblock Facebook
Over two billion users login to Facebook at least once a month. Frightening statistics aside, some users may not want to splurge for a paid VPN especially because they’re not forking over any cash to use Facebook itself.
But we think you should reconsider that thought. Free VPNs are vastly inferior to paid options. If you’re trying to unblock Facebook at your workplace or school you’ll need to use a VPN that has robust encryption and doesn’t impose things like bandwidth throttling or data caps. The last thing you need is for your network administrator to find out that you’re accessing restricted sites – this scenario is far more plausible when you sign up for a random free VPN that you found online.
It’s also important to remember that free VPNs aren’t exactly free. They monetize by making you the product – inundating you with advertisements and, in some cases, inserting tracking cookies in your browser to mine browsing data and sell it to third-party sites.
At Comparitech, we believe it’s in your best interests to stay clear of free VPNs when trying to access Facebook.
Some VPNs to avoid
One of the implicit factors of using a VPN is the assurance that your private data will be protected and safeguarded throughout. After all, that’s a major reason why VPN providers exist in the first place.
Unfortunately, not all VPN companies impose these rigorous standards. The ones we’ve recommended in our list pass the test, but here’s a few that might not:
Israel-based Hola, which built a peer-to-peer VPN extension for Chrome, once had a leviathanic user base of 50 million. But it chose to undo the good work by turning users into individual foot soldiers in a massive botnet army. What this meant was that a part of your bandwidth was used for Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, promoting copyrighted content, and pornography.
2. Hotspot Shield
Hotspot Shield’s a well-known name in the free VPN business because it’s been around well before the time that VPNs became a trend. However, it seems like it’s also fallen into the trap of engaging in unethical activity in order to make a quick buck.
In July a privacy advocacy group said the company had a history of forcefully inserting tracking cookies in user data and selling it to third-party advertisers. The group added that Hotspot Shield redirected e-commerce traffic to partner domains. This meant that each time a user typed in a request to a site like macys.com, he/she was redirected instead to another, similar domain where Hotspot Shield could earn profits if a sale went through.
It’s important to note that these are still allegations and a firm decision hasn’t been made – the Federal Trade Commission is currently investigating the issue. But we believe that you should avoid Hotspot Shield until it is able to prove that it is innocent.
This is a pretty recent incident so some details might not be available yet, but it is alleged that notable VPN company PureVPN collaborated with the FBI to identify Massachusetts resident Ryan Lin, believed to be stalking an unnamed 24-year-old woman.
Ryan moved in with this woman and two other roommates after finding an advertisement on Craigslist. He was able to access her Apple iCloud and Google Drive account from where he apparently downloaded personal data and used it for a variety of abhorrent acts such as revealing lurid details to coworkers and spoofing her identity to make death threats. He used a VPN to cover his tracks, thinking that authorities won’t be able to crack down.
Even though PureVPN has a stated policy of not tracking any user data, the company was still able to identify Ryan and hand over incriminating information to the FBI.
We don’t condone using a VPN to break laws or engage in unethical behavior. But we do believe that VPN providers need to be open and transparent with users. Companies can’t claim one thing and do another because that means there’s more than what meets the eye.
Should I use Facebook via a VPN?
It’s easy to dismiss Facebook as just another social media tool where users waste their time scrolling through pictures or watching cat videos. That negates that fact that many users depend on Facebook for their daily media consumption and to search for vital information on businesses, hospitals, restaurants, and cinemas.
Facebook Messenger is also a powerful tool to make free audio and video calls as well as to stay in touch with friends and family. Some parents may think it’s necessary to communicate with their kids – after all, over two billion people are regular users.
When institutions block access to Facebook, the only possible course of action is to use a VPN. We don’t think you should go crazy and spend your entire day on the social media site, but there’s nothing wrong in accessing it for a specific purpose.
What do I do if Facebook is blocked in my country?
Countries like China and North Korea block Facebook outright. Some other places, such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar stop users from engaging in Facebook’s VoIP (voice and video chat) features. If you’re looking for a solution to this problem, then follow the steps given in the next section and Facebook should work normally.
How do I use Facebook on a VPN?
1. Settle on a service
We’ve outlined what we think are the six best options for unblocking Facebook with a VPN but you need to decide which provider works best for you. The important factors to consider are pricing, security, and choice of servers. You can also read the entire review of each service – links are given at the bottom of each mini-review.
Once you’ve made up your mind, just click on one of the links, register for an account, and sign up with your credit card information.
2. Download the native software
Once the initial registration process is over, you’ll likely get a confirmation email from the VPN company with your login information. Proceed to download the apps for your phone or the relevant desktop client and install them.
When the downloads are complete, clear the cookies in your web browser and restart your device.
3. Open the VPN app
Click on your VPN provider’s app after your device has refreshed. Put in the login information sent to you by the company and select a server. Try not to select one from a country/region that has blocked Facebook in the past – safe bets will be to choose one from Europe or North America.
4. Use Facebook normally
Wait a few seconds for the connection to be established. When this is successful, there should be a green notification icon in the taskbar or on the top of your smartphone screen. Now you can open Facebook and use it without any restrictions.
Facebook is censoring posts in my country. What do I do?
In some cases, Facebook has been accused of quietly acquiescing to government demands to block access to sensitive content. This could be political or economic in nature and isn’t restricted to just a handful of countries.
We understand how frustrating it can be when you’re denied access to information and prevented from uncovering the truth. The best way to overcome this problem is to spoof your location via a VPN.
The next time you feel that your government and Facebook are working together to restrict content, then we believe it’s time to sign up for a VPN. Follow the steps in the previous section to make it appear you’re accessing the social media site from a country outside your current location. That should do the trick.