Most people across the globe have no issues accessing YouTube, except in countries where the platform is blocked, such as China and North Korea. But no matter what country you’re in, some YouTube content is geo-restricted, so you can only watch it if you’re in the right region. If you’d like an easy way around this when you are traveling abroad, you’re in luck. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) can help you trick YouTube into giving you access to otherwise blocked content.
A VPN encrypts all of your web traffic and sends it through a secondary server. The trick is that you get to choose the location of that server. Then your real IP address is replaced with one from that location. For example, if you’re in the UK and connect to a US VPN server back home, you’ll get a US IP address, and it will appear to YouTube that you’re located in the US. The encryption aspect means that no snoopers such as network administrators, internet service providers, or hackers can see what you’re doing online.
Once you’ve got your VPN set up, accessing region-locked YouTube videos is trivially simple.
How to bypass YouTube region block
Below is a step-by-step guide to bypassing YouTube region blocks with a VPN. It’s quick and easy to do, even if you’ve never used a VPN before.
Here’s how to watch blocked YouTube videos in your country:
- Select a suitable VPN provider and subscribe. We recommend NordVPN.
- Download the correct VPN client or app for your device. Desktop clients are available on the VPN provider website and iOS and Android apps can be downloaded from their respective app stores.
- Connect to a server in the appropriate country. For example, if you’re trying to unblock UK content, connect to a UK server.
- Navigate to the video you want to watch and enjoy!
If you run into issues, try clearing your browser’s cache and cookies and reloading the page. If you’re still unable to watch, check with your VPN’s customer support team, as there may be specific servers you need to use for unblocking YouTube.
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Can every VPN change your country on YouTube?
YouTube doesn’t actively block VPN traffic like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. That said, not every VPN will work with the platform. For example, some give away your location by leaking your real IP address. With the wrong VPN, you may find yourself still presented with one of the following errors:
This video is not available in your country.
The uploader has not made this video available in your country. Sorry about that.
We’ll go into more detail below, but these are our top picks for a YouTube VPN that works:
Best VPNs to change YouTube country:
- NordVPN: The best VPN for YouTube and other streaming sites. Superfast VPN with a large network and excellent unblocking abilities. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark: Best budget option. A reliable VPN with no connection limit.
- ExpressVPN: Fast, reliable, and secure. Easily bypasses restrictions.
- CyberGhost: An ever-expanding VPN that’s fast and very easy to use.
- Hotspot Shield: This no-logs provider offers speedy, secure connections, and great customer support.
- IPVanish: Fast enough for watching YouTube without buffering and in HD. Apps are secure and privacy is paramount.
- PrivateVPN: Unblocks tons of streaming sites and keeps no logs.
When you’re choosing a YouTube VPN, you need to consider various factors, such as whether it’s suitable for streaming and the quality of the customer support. We based our selection of the best VPNs for YouTube on the following criteria:
- Unblocks YouTube
- Has a large selection of servers
- Pegs fast speeds for streaming HD video
- Uses strong encryption
- Keep no logs of user-identifying data
- Provides 24/7 customer support
The best VPNs for YouTube – At a glance
We’ve compared the most important features for the top VPNs here. Prefer to read the in-depth reviews? Start with NordVPN – our #1 choice for YouTube.
|No value||NordVPN||Surfshark||ExpressVPN||CyberGhost||Hotspot Shield||IPVanish|
|Website||www.NordVPN.com||www.Surfshark.com||www.ExpressVPN.com||www.Cyberghost.com||www.Hotspotshield.com||www.IPVanish.com||YouTube reliability||1||2||3||4||5||6||Streaming reliability||Excellent||Excellent||Excellent||Good||Good||Good||Streaming services||YouTube|
|Devices Supported||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Smart TVs, Routers||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android||Avg Speed (Mbps)||100+ Mbps||323.6 Mbps||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps||100+ Mbps|
|Best deal (per month)||$2.99|
SAVE up to 68% + GET 3 months FREE
Get 2 Months FREE with a 2-year plan
SAVE: 49% on the annual plan
SAVE 84% on the 2 year plan + 4 months FREE
SAVE 77% on the 3 year plan
SAVE 77% on the 2 year plan
Best VPNs to bypass YouTube region blocks
Here is our list of the best VPNs you can use to change your IP address and watch YouTube videos blocked in your country:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN is a our top pick for a YouTube VPN. This provider operates a very large network of more than 5,500 servers in 60 countries and is another one that works in China. It outperformed all other VPNs in our speed tests. Aside from YouTube, NordVPN can help you securely access lots of sites, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer.
This true no-logs provider protects your information with military-grade encryption, a kill switch, and leak protection. Extras include automatic wifi protection and servers optimized for double VPN and P2P. You can use NordVPN on up to six devices at a time and apps are available for Windows, Linux, MacOS, iOS, and Android. Some routers are configurable as well.
- Blazing speeds
- Works with YouTube and other platforms
- Strong security features
- Keeps no logs at all
- Provides prompt support
- Desktop app can take some getting used to
BEST VPN FOR YOUTUBE:NordVPN is our first pick. It easily unblocks YouTube, enables secure access to a ton of sites, and comes with lots of security extras. A 30-day money-back guarantee is included making this a risk-free option.
Check out our full review of NordVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark is budget-friendly and one of the best VPNs we’ve come across in terms of streaming ability. It works with YouTube as well as multiple Netflix catalogs, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu. Surfshark operates a network of over 3,200 servers in more than 60 countries and even works in China. Speeds are great, making streaming a breeze.
This VPN packs the standard security features of its top competitors, along with extras including automatic wifi protection and split tunneling. No logs are maintained. A big perk of a Surfshark subscription is the ability to connect an unlimited number of devices simultaneously. There are apps for Android, iOS, Linux, MacOS, and Windows, and you can configure the VPN to some routers.
- Adept at streaming
- Unlimited connections
- Works in China
- Top-notch customer support available 24/7
- Some servers tend to be slow
BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark can provide access to YouTube and lots of other platforms. It’s fast and reliable, and keeps no logs. This VPN includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our in-depth Surfshark review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN has great speeds and a network of more than 3,000 servers spanning 94 countries. This VPN imposes no data caps or bandwidth limits meaning you can stream as much as you like. It works reliably in China so you can even watch YouTube while visiting the country. Plus, ExpressVPN will enable you secure access to tough-to-crack sites like Netflix US and UK, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu.
ExpressVPN packs all the security features you need, including strong encryption, leak protection, and a kill switch (dubbed a “network lock”). It doesn’t keep logs of any information that could be used to identify you. This provider allows torrenting and accepts bitcoin payments.
Apps are available for Linux, Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. ExpressVPN is compatible with select routers and even has its own custom router firmware. Five devices can be connected at one time.
- Excellent streaming capabilities
- Fast speeds for streaming HD video
- Large number of server locations
- Strong security and privacy features
- Priced a little higher than some rivals
WATCH TV SAFELY:ExpressVPN is another solid choice for bypassing YouTube region blocks. It’s fast, secure, and reliable, and comes with excellent customer support. ExpressVPN plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of ExpressVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost’s server network is ever-growing, and there are now more than 6,000 in 90 countries. Speeds are plenty fast enough for streaming and there are no limits on data or bandwidth. Within CyberGhost’s app, select servers are labeled with the streaming services they are optimized for, including YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and more.
CyberGhost is another no-logs provider that has your back when it comes to security. 256-bit encryption is coupled with perfect forward secrecy, and a kill switch and leak protection are built-in. Desktop clients are available for Windows and MacOS, and mobile apps for iOS and Android. CyberGhost is configurable with Linux and some routers. Plans come with a seven-device limit.
- Easy-to-use apps designed for streaming
- Very fast speeds
- Huge server network
- Lacks some advanced settings options
STRONG ALL-ROUNDER:CyberGhost apps are easy to get started with and give you access to a huge network of fast and reliable servers. This provider offers a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our in-depth review of CyberGhost.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
Editor’s Note: Hotspot Shield is owned by Pango, Comparitech’s parent company.
Hotspot Shield is growing its network and currently runs more than 3,000 servers in over 80 countries. It can provide secure access to YouTube and other platforms, such as Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. Fast speeds are attributed to Hotspot Shield’s proprietary “Catapult Hydra” protocol, which is used by several top cybersecurity firms.
This provider doesn’t disappoint when it comes to security. It offers plenty of features to protect your data, including strong encryption, leak protection, perfect forward secrecy, and a kill switch in all apps. No user-identifying logs are maintained. Each paid plan allows for up to five simultaneous connections and there are apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. The VPN can be configured with Linux systems and select routers.
- Great speeds for watching HD video
- Works with YouTube and other platforms
- Strong security
- Large server network
- Customer support could be improved
FAST AND RELIABLE:Hotspot Shield was super fast in testing and proved to be a very reliable VPN. The company honors a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read the full review of Hotspot Shield.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish has a loyal following of users utilizing its network of over 1,000 servers. This provider works with multiple sites, including YouTube, as well as Netflix and several others. IPVanish is particularly popular with torrenters and Kodi users. It has fast speeds and provides an Android APK that you can download directly to your device.
Security features include 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and protection against leaks. IPVanish maintains no traffic or connection logs. It offers a generous limit of 10 simultaneous connections under one plan. Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android, and you can configure the VPN with Linux and certain routers.
- Fast speeds for streaming
- Bypasses YouTube region blocks
- No-logs provider
- Doesn’t work with as many platforms as rivals
FAST AND SECURE:IPVanish is fast and secure, and will let you stream as much YouTube as you like. Plans come with a 7-day money-back guarantee.
See our full review of IPVanish.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN is another provider with excellent versatility and fast speeds to boot. This small VPN consistently performs well in streaming tests, securely accessing YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and more. Although it only has around 200 servers, these do cover 60+ countries, so you get a good choice of locations. PrivateVPN works in China.
This privacy-focused provider keeps no records of user data, so your online activity can’t be exposed. Security features include strong encryption, a kill switch (Windows only), and protection against leaks. PrivateVPN offers apps for most major operating systems: Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. It’s compatible with Linux and select routers via manual configuration.
- Fast, reliable connections
- Keeps no logs
- Provides strong security
- Small network of servers
- Live chat isn’t available 24/7
BYPASS RESTRICTIONS:PrivateVPN is a small yet robust VPN with many of the most important features you get with a larger provider. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Delve into our full review of PrivateVPN.
YouTube VPN testing methodology
With hundreds of consumer-facing VPNs available on the market, it can be extremely hard to tell which service is worth your time (and money). Many unscrupulous VPNs lie about the level of protection they provide or make false claims about their speeds and features. This can make the experience of getting a VPN confusing and frustrating.
At Comparitech, we use a carefully devised VPN testing methodology to review dozens of market leading VPNs. This allows us to directly compare the world’s leading providers to find the very best for a specific purpose. During our tests, we check that the VPN is secure by performing important DNS leak tests, for example.
We also check that the VPN works with popular services like YouTube, Daily Motion, Netflix, iPlayer, Hulu, etc. Below, we have included some of the important features we looked for when testing VPNs for YouTube:
- Fast speeds for streaming: We run speed tests on all the VPNs we recommend, ensuring that they provide the performance you need to stream in HD on YouTube and other popular streaming platforms. We also check that the VPN provides fast VPN protocols suitable for data intensive tasks such as torrenting and videoconferencing.
- Global server network: We have recommended VPN services that have a wide choice of servers in the US, Europe, Asia, and elsewhere in the world to ensure you can always get the best speed and unblock as many international services as possible. All of our recommendations have servers in over 50 countries.
- Apps for all platforms: For a VPN to be useful, you must be able to install it on all your devices. Ur recommended VPNs for YouTube will let you stream on Windows, macOS, iOS and Android devices. Plus, our recommendations let you install and use the VPN on multiple devices simultaneously. Some even allow unlimited connections to let you share your account with friends and family.
- Advanced features: Not all VPNs provide a wide choice of features. TO give you the best experience possible, we look for VPNs that provide lots of useful features at the best possible price point. We look for obfuscation, split tunneling, double-hop connections, port forwarding, P2P optimized servers, ad blocking, malware protection, Smart DNS, and other advanced VPN features.
- Strong security: For a VPN to protect your digital footprint and prevent online tracking and surveillance, it must have robust security features. We test for IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks to check that the VPN is providing the privacy levels it claims. We also look under the hood for robust VPN protocols such as OpenVPN with well implemented AES encryption and a kill-switch.
- Reliable customer care: All of our recommendations go the extra mile to help their users. They have guides and FAQs on their website to help with using and setting up the VPN. They also have live chat and email support to let you ask questions whenever you need to.
YouTube VPN FAQs
Can I use a free VPN to bypass YouTube region blocks?
A free VPN isn’t a good idea for most use cases and definitely not for this one. These services aren’t suitable for streaming as they suffer from slow, laggy connections that may drop at any time. This means you’ll have an extremely poor streaming experience, if you even get to stream anything at all.
Another issue is the low data and bandwidth limits imposed by free VPN services. You’ll only be able to watch a snippet of content before you reach your cap, and then you’ll have to wait until the next day, or even next month, before you can stream more.
Free VPNs come with other problems, too, including their shady business tactics. While many create a revenue stream by serving you a ton of ads, others will collect your information, including browsing data, for sale to advertisers. Security is a concern too, as most free VPNs don’t use nearly the same level of encryption their paid counterparts do.
We recommend skipping these all together and opting for a reliable VPN provider that delivers on all fronts.
Why is YouTube content blocked by region?
There are two main reasons the YouTube content you’re trying to access may be region locked: licensing agreements or uploader preference.
If the content is subject to a licensing agreement (with its copyright holders), that agreement will often only apply to specific regions. Then it’s up to YouTube or the owner of the content to ensure that the content is not available in other regions. In other cases, the uploader may simply decide to only broadcast their content in certain regions.
Negotiations between YouTube and rights holders are fluid and deals are liable to change. For example, fans of Danish music were recently disappointed after YouTube removed 500,000 titles from its library in Denmark. The reason behind this? Talks between YouTube and music publishers and songwriters in the country fell through and the two parties failed to reach a deal. YouTube subsequently followed through on its promise to remove over half a million videos, including content from stars like Lukas Graham and Volbeat.
What if I still can't access the content I want?
Have you tried a VPN from the list above but still can't access the videos you want? It's possible that YouTube has removed the video entirely. There are a huge number of reasons YouTube might remove content, usually because it violates one of the platform's many rules and regulations. These include restrictions around hate speech, misinformation, dangerous content, harassment, and more.
Since YouTube doesn't always pick up on offending content right away, videos could be up for weeks or even months before being removed. This explains why you might have viewed the content before or have been provided a YouTube link that doesn't work.
Will a VPN help me bypass YouTube blocks?
Are you in a country where YouTube is blocked entirely? A VPN can help.
In China, the “Great Firewall” acts as a filter, controlling the internet traffic that passes in and out of the country. The government uses it to censor content and block access to sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. However, if you’re using a VPN (one that works well in China), you can connect to a VPN server in a different country and bypass these restrictions. This will allow you to enjoy YouTube as if you were located somewhere else. The same applies in other countries that block YouTube, such as Iran and North Korea.
Which streaming devices can I watch YouTube videos on with a VPN?
The VPNs for YouTube recommended in this guide provide apps for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. Some also have apps for Firestick devices and VPN-compatible routers. This means that you can set up the VPN to work with any of the devices you own. Setting up a VPN connection on a router makes it protect every single device on your network with the VPN. This is perfect if you own devices that won’t let you install VPN directly.
If you want to stream YouTube with your VPN on a smart TV, you may be able to install the VPN directly depending on what kind of smart TV it is. Alternatively, if you own a smart TV, set-top box, or console that will not allow you to install the VPN directly, you can opt to share your VPN connection via a virtual wifi hotspot. We have guides for setting up Windows and Mac computers as a VPN hotspot.
I'm traveling. Will a VPN help me unblock YouTube abroad?
Yes. Depending on where you travel, it is possible that some or all of YouTube may be restricted. In China, North Korea, Iran, Sudan, and Turkmenistan, for example, the entirety of YouTube is banned.
In Germany, certain music videos are unavailable because of an ongoing dispute between YouTube and a German performance rights organisation. Other countries, such as Brazil and Turkey, have implemented YouTube restrictions at one time or another.
In addition to these national restrictions, it is possible that certain videos may be blacked out abroad due to licensing restrictions. As a result, you may need to connect to a server in the US (or elsewhere) to regain access to specific videos.
All of our VPN recommendations have servers in countries where YouTube is available to allow you to get around any restrictions you may experience abroad.
Is using a VPN to watch YouTube videos legal?
Using a VPN to access YouTube is not illegal in most places. That said, a few countries block YouTube for political, religious, and moral reasons (China, North Korea, Iran, Sudan, and Turkmenistan). As a result, it is worth checking those country’s laws before unblocking any YouTube videos.
Please note that nothing in this article makes up legal advice, and you should always do your own research before bypassing government restrictions. That said, foreigners visiting a foreign country who want to watch YouTube should generally be safe to do so as long as they use a secure VPN that provides strong privacy levels.
Are VPNs fast enough to stream YouTube videos?
Yes. All the VPNs recommended in this guide were handpicked because they have super-fast servers that work to stream on YouTube and other popular streaming platforms.
However, it is important to note that the vast majority of VPNs have sluggish server networks that are not suitable for streaming. Therefore, it is important to subscribe to a fast VPN if you want to stream without interruptions.
All the VPNs recommended for YouTube in this guide have a money-back guarantee. This means you can test the VPN to stream YouTube abroad completely risk free.
Why does YouTube censor videos?
There are a few reasons why YouTube decides to censor videos on its platform.
One reason is to comply with local laws and regulations. In some countries, certain topics are sensitive or taboo, and YouTube doesn't want to risk running afoul of the authorities by hosting controversial content. Using a VPN can help overcome this restriction.
Another reason for censoring videos is to protect younger viewers from inappropriate material. YouTube is used by people of all ages, and it wants to ensure its content is suitable for everyone. Sometimes that means censoring videos that might be too graphic or explicit for younger users.