- It's already well-known and widely accepted that VPNs are the ultimate rockstars when it comes to online privacy and unblocking geo-restricted content.
- However, sometimes the VPN itself can get blocked by clever firewalls.
- When this happens, obfuscation-friendly VPNs may have the upper hand, so read on for more details.
It’s already well-known and widely accepted that VPNs are the ultimate rockstars when it comes to online privacy. You can use them to anonymize your online identity and keep it that way, and even secure your connection.
Additionally, VPNs are also great at circumventing geo-restrictions. So even if you’re in a restrictive country that imposes censorship on various websites, VPNs could help you bypass this limitation.
Bottom line is, VPNs have come a long way to accommodate some of our biggest needs. On the other hand, so did VPN detection techniques.
- Private Internet Access - Access content across the globe at the highest speed rate.
- NordVPN - Secure multiple devices and enjoy stable connections anywhere.
- SurfShark - Price convenient VPN service with all-rounded security features.
- CyberGhost - Connect to thousands of servers for persistent seamless browsing.
- ExpressVPN - Browse the web from multiple devices with increased security protocols.
How does VPN work?
When you use a VPN, your Internet traffic will be encrypted, from your machine all the way to the VPN exit point. But that’s not a straight line, by any means, since your connection may bounce multiple times up until the exit point.
Here’s a (hopefully) accurate depiction of the connection scheme while using a VPN:
Your Machine - VPN client - Secure Tunnel - VPN Server - Destination (e.g. website, service, game)
Your Internet traffic is encrypted, so technically it should be safe from anyone who would try to access it. But the fact that it’s encrypted makes it an easy target for VPN blockers.
Thus, VPN-focused firewalls will definitely give you a hard time if you encounter them.
To avoid any confusion: while your traffic is encrypted, it stays private. Nobody can see it without having the decryption key/algorithm. However, the fact that it’s encrypted is very visible to whoever wants to restrict it.
Can VPN be blocked?
To keep it short, yes, various services can install VPN firewalls that restrict you from accessing them through a VPN.
Due to the fact that VPNs encrypt traffic, locating them isn’t too difficult for these firewalls. And blocking them, of course.
But all isn’t lost just yet. Some VPNs offer obfuscation, which is a clever technique to bypass this inconvenience. What obfuscation does is disguise the encrypted VPN traffic, so that it passes as regular traffic.
Unfortunately, not a lot of services embrace obfuscated servers. Therefore, you may not be able to access certain websites or region-restricted services with non-obfuscated VPN servers.
This is a list with VPN banned countries, so you need to choose your servers carefully:
- North Korea
Why are VPNs blocked?
The most legitimate reason for a website blocking VPN access is to prevent illegal or annoying behavior. The issue with this method is that it punishes more innocent people than criminals.
For example, multiple people have logged in to PayPal using the same IP address.
While this could indicate that people are using a VPN service during tax season, it could also indicate that some wild hacker has compromised a hundred different accounts. Even if it may infringe on people’s right to privacy, blacklisting that IP address is probably a good idea.
What is the best VPN that can’t be blocked?
This is not exactly an accurate question, since, with enough effort, even obfuscated VPN servers can be blocked. However, having obfuscated servers as a VPN provider is definitely a step in the right direction.
So what we’re going to do is give you a list of the best services that offer obfuscated servers. Keep in mind that they might not work 100% of the time, but using a VPN with such servers can increase the odds of your VPN circumventing a block.
|Product Name||Obfuscation||Company Name|
|ExpressVPN||Stealth servers||Express VPN International Ltd.|
|Private Internet Access||WireGuard VPN protocol||Kape Technologies.|
|NordVPN||Obfuscated Servers||Tefincom & Co., S.A.|
|Surfshark VPN||Camouflage Mode||Surfshark LTD|
|VyprVPN||Chameleon protocol||Golden Frog GmbH|
|IPVanish||Scramble OpenVPN traffic||StackPath, LLC|
|TunnelBear||Stealth VPN||McAfee, LLC|
|Windscribe VPN||Stealth VPN||Windscribe Limited|
|VPN Unlimited||KeepSolid Wise||KeepSolid Inc.|
As you can see, there are plenty of services to choose from. Any of these services might get you past VPN blocks, including the Great Firewall of China and other such restrictions.
We chose the winner after conducting extensive testing with VPNs in gaming, streaming, torrenting, and large file downloads that require a lot of bandwidth.
ExpressVPN bypasses third-party blocking by using smart DNS over HTTPS. You can also use this VPN to run DNS leak tests and monitor your IP address on the website. Furthermore, the encryption protocols used by ExpressVPN are the best for making it an unblockable VPN.
Can a WIFI network block VPN?
It’s fairly common for public hotspots or corporate guest Wifi to place restrictions on what you can do with the service.
The reasons include a desire to charge you for a premium WiFi service, a desire to save bandwidth for more customers, and legal concerns.
Is implemented by a simple firewall that restricts outbound communication, typically to Web ports such as TCP 80 and 443.
It could also be a Web proxy that allows only Web browser traffic regardless of port. Your best bet is to see if your VPN supports TCP 443, or to use an SSL VPN or a cloud-based private access solution.
What to do if your VPN has been blocked
If your VPN is being blocked, you can try some tricks to make your VPN undetectable and bypass the restriction.
Keep in mind that it’s not always clear why your VPN is being blocked, so you may have to experiment with the settings.
- Run DNS leak test with ExpressVPN – See whether you leak information to avoid being detected.
- Switch servers – Specific locations based on needs or Smart location and Recommended locations.
- Change Protocols – Chose the protocol differently when streaming, gaming, or torrenting.
VPNs can be blocked, but it’s harder if they’re obfuscated
So, to wrap it up, VPN traffic can be easily located and blocked if needed. However, if you’re using a VPN with stealth (obfuscation) capabilities, it’s less likely to happen.
Obfuscation technology, whether it’s servers or protocols we’re talking about, is a great addition to regular services. It masks VPN traffic as regular traffic so that it’s harder to locate and restrict.
Your connection is not secure - websites you visit can find out your details:
- Your IP Address:
Companies can sell this information, alongside your location and internet provider name, and profit from it by serving targeted ads or monitoring your data usage.
We recommend Private Internet Access, a VPN with a no-log policy, open source code, ad blocking and much more; now 79% off.