Can VPN be blocked? What’s the best unblockable VPN?

Vlad Constantinescu
by Vlad Constantinescu
VPN Expert & Privacy Advocate
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  • 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.
  • Check out our best VPNs that can help you protect your online privacy.
  • Visit our Unblocking Hub to learn more about using VPN to unblock various services.
Can a VPN be blocked?

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.

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.

So it’s quite common for certain services (Netflix, YouTube TV) to apply restrictions to VPN users.

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.

Is your VPN blocked in Windows 10? Check our article and see what you can do about it.

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.

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 your odds of your VPN circumventing a block.

Product NameObfuscationCompany Name
NordVPNObfuscated ServersTefincom & Co., S.A.
Surfshark VPNCamouflage ModeSurfshark LTD
VyprVPNChameleon protocolGolden Frog GmbH
IPVanishScramble OpenVPN trafficStackPath, LLC
ExpressVPNStealth serversExpress VPN International Ltd.
TunnelBearStealth VPNMcAfee, LLC
Windscribe VPNStealth VPNWindscribe Limited
VPN UnlimitedKeepSolid WiseKeepSolid 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.

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.

FAQ: Learn more about blocking VPN

  • Is my VPN being blocked?

If you’re using VPN and can’t access geo-restricted content websites or services, there’s a chance that your VPN has been spotted and actively blocked.

  • Will a VPN block all downloads from being seen?

Yes, if you’re not subject to malware, a VPN can shield all Internet traffic (including downloads/uploads) from prying eyes.

  • What is the best VPN?

If you need to find a great, trustworthy VPN for your Windows PC, make sure to take a look at our best VPN recommendations.