To get YouTube unblocked for school, you have a few different options, these are:
- Use an onion browser like Tor
- Use a VPN
- Use proxy sites
- Use your mobile hotspot instead of the school connection.
- Ask permission from your network administrator.
- Download the videos before you attend school.
Some of these options may not be available on school computers but most of them will work with your personal laptop. For a deeper dive on each of these, read on.
Why Do Schools Block YouTube?
YouTube is used by billions of people worldwide, making it one of the largest video platforms on the internet. People can freely share their videos, meaning not all of them are meant to be seen in work or school environments. Employees or students can get distracted during work or school if they can access social media sites or YouTube. This is why many school networks block access to YouTube from computers.
Bandwidth is another potential reason in some places. Having hundreds of people watching HD videos at the same time on one network can cause speed and reliability issues.
However, there are several reasons why you may wish to have unblocked YouTube sites for school. You may be learning a new concept in school, or your job requires learning about a specific product or term. No matter the reason, knowing how to have unblocked video sites at school can be extremely useful.
How to Watch YouTube on a School Computer
There are several ways in which you can have YouTube unblocked for school. Let’s take a look at some of them.
1. Tor Browser
Tor Browser is a web browsing software that protects the user’s anonymity online by using a network of servers that help block third-party ads and trackers which prevent someone from monitoring your connection. This can be a great solution for having YouTube unblocked at school.
Let’s take a look at how you can install and use Tor Browser on your computer:
- Open the default browser on your computer and head over to the Torproject website. Here, you can select an installer for the operating system you’re currently using. The installer will begin to download.
- Click on the Tor Browser installer when it’s done downloading, which will take you through the installation process. After you select the language and the installation location, the installer will install the browser onto the computer.
- After installing the browser, click to launch the browser from the desktop or start menu.
- On the browser startup screen, click to check the Always connect automatically option, which will connect the browser to the Tor network on every startup.
- Click on Connect to establish a secure connection with the Tor network. After a few moments, you will be taken to the main Tor homepage.
- Type in the URL for YouTube in the search bar and click on Enter, which will load the site.
Often, your browser may fail to connect to a particular website leading you to believe it is blocked on the network. You can try using an alternate browser to see if the websites load up properly in these cases.
2. Virtual Private Networks (VPN)
Virtual Private Networks are a network technology that lets you make a private, secure connection to other networks over the internet. VPNs can protect the user’s security and privacy by encrypting the traffic and hiding the original IP address. VPNs can bypass internet censorship and access YouTube or any other website, even if it has been blocked on the school network.
You can download a software-based VPN that encrypts all outgoing and incoming network traffic. We have a list of some of the best VPN software for use in 2023 later in this article. However, you can install a simple VPN browser extension if you just wish to unblock YouTube on the browser.
You can download a VPN extension on Google Chrome from the Chrome Web Store. Here is how to do this:
- Open Google Chrome and head over to the Chrome Web Store.
- Click on the search bar towards the screen’s left side, search for “VPN” and press Enter.
- Find and click on the VPN you wish to install in the search results.
- Click the blue Add to Chrome button on the extension’s page here.
- This will show a permission dialog towards the top of the browser window. Here, click on Add extension, which will automatically download and install the extension to the browser.
To access the extension, click on the icon towards the top right part of the screen. If you’re looking to block websites instead of unblocking them, feel free to check out our guide on how to block websites on Chrome.
3. Proxy Sites
Proxy servers act as a middleman between the client’s computer and a website. Proxies can be used to bypass website blocks on the school network. However, many school networks block proxy service websites too, which means it’s best if you create a list of proxy sites and try using them to see which ones work on your school’s computers.
When a proxy site loads up on the web browser, simply type “www.YouTube.com” into the address bar, which will take you to the YouTube page. One thing to note is that the site may take considerable time to load as proxy servers are considerably slower.
4. Wireless Hotspot
Schools usually block websites on a network level, meaning you can use another internet connection to have YT unblocked. There are two ways in which you can use this. You can create a wireless hotspot on your mobile that you can connect to using the WiFi adapter on the computer. If you wish to have a wired connection, you can use a data cable to connect your smartphone to the computer and use the USB tethering option to connect to the internet directly.
As the computer will be using the internet from your smartphone, any network restrictions will be removed, and you can have websites like YouTube unblocked at school. However, this will use the smartphone’s data, so it may cost you extra unless free data is included in the plan.
5. Ask For Permission
Most institutions have an IT admin that is in charge of taking care of the hardware and any network activities. The admin generally has the authority to unblock YouTube, so it is often the best idea to go to them and ask for YouTube access on the computer.
This can be easily done for schools utilizing Google Classroom via G-Suite as they can do it for specific users’ devices or browsers. This also means that you won’t have to ask for permission again as long as you log in using the same device and account.
6. Download Videos
You can also download videos you need to view using another connection before going to school. Downloading a video at home lets you have it lined up when planning a lesson or presentation. This way, you won’t have to worry about internet or network restrictions since the video will be stored locally.
Depending on your device, you can use software or online websites to download YouTube videos. You can use 4KDownload for computers, while on Android and iOS, you can use TubeMate and Documents, respectively.
If you don’t wish to install any software, you can check out our guide on how to download YouTube videos without any software.
Best VPNs of 2023
You can use VPN software to have YouTube unblocked on your school computers. Here are some of the best VPN software for use in 2023.
Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access is one of the largest VPN services, as it offers access to around 30,000 servers based in 78 countries. It is among the cheapest VPN services costing $39.95 per year. Although other VPNs in this list offer many features, PIA is the better choice for individuals simply looking to bypass website restrictions.
It uses AES-256 encryption, considered the gold standard while providing fast speeds and great security. You also have the option to have a dedicated IP address for an additional $4.25 per month.
NordVPN is a VPN service that is both secure and fast and has unique features. It’s among the most secure VPNs available, with AES-256 encryption, an ad and malware blocker, and the double VPN service known as multi-hop connections. NordVPN has the tools users need to hide their online presence.
NordVPN’s regular subscription is $67.35 per year, which is fair considering the variety of features, including allowing for six connected devices, and access to over 5,000 servers in over 55 countries.
NordVPN offers a wide range of VPN add-ons, such as NordLocker, a file encryption service; NordPass, a password manager; and, most significantly, a dedicated IP address that can help bypass the YouTube block on school networks. People living in the US can also use Incogni, which collaborates with data brokers to assist with the removal of private details from 3rd-party databases.
ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs tested, resulting in losing less than two percent of the internet speed. The apps for this VPN for Android and iOS have been designed with streamlining, which connects faster without any stutters. The button on the landing screen allows you to quickly connect, with the sole option being a drop-down server location selector that defaults to your nearest city.
Its other options, such as privacy and security tools, account and settings, and the support page, are kept under a three-bar option at the top of the screen on the left side. It has also included an IP address checker, a password generator, and two leak testers.
Surfshark is unique for several reasons. Split tunneling allows you to send only specific application traffic through the VPN, and multi-hop connections, which bounce the tunnel around numerous servers for further protection.
Surfshark has a network of over 3,200 servers priced at $59.76 annually. It also has features like CleanWeb for ad-free online browsing, Camouflage Mode for limiting ISP eavesdropping, NoBorders mode to use the VPN in restricted places, and more.
The regular subscription also enables an unlimited number of devices to run simultaneously. Surfshark does not provide dedicated IP addresses, but it does allow you to connect manually to a restricted number of shared static IP addresses for free, which could be useful for accessing work documents. This feature itself might make it ideal for users with specialized workflows.
Hotspot Shield is the VPN with the most user reviews and is one of the most popular VPN options. It has excellent streaming and a free version, which has gained a higher user base. However, the free version has some strict limitations, such as a throttled connection speed, a single device slot, and a 500MB data limit per day.
The paid version costs $95.99 a year, which removes the restrictions. Users with the Premium package can connect up to five devices, including routers. It can also access the spam call blocker option, antivirus protection, and a password manager.
A family plan costs an extra $4 per month and allows accounts for up to five members who can connect five devices simultaneously.
Because of their limited options, free VPNs are generally not considered usable. Most free VPN services have issues with user tracking, which then sells private user data to advertisers. However, Windscribe offers a usable and free option that does not ask you to sacrifice your privacy or security.
Although the free version limits the features, you can always add more data and locations with a monthly subscription. It grants you access to up to 69 countries’ servers with the simple, upfront payment of $49 per year.
Related: Top 23 Best Mac Apps to Install for Productivity, Entertainment, & More
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Use a Free VPN to Unblock YouTube?
Free VPNs allow you to unblock YouTube and other restricted sites with ease. However, you should be aware that free VPN software is often unsafe as it may not offer as much security as a paid one. Some VPN services can also gather and sell user data to advertisers, so using paid VPNs is a better option.
Why Does My School Block YouTube?
There are multiple reasons why school networks may block access to YouTube. Blocking YouTube prevents students from accessing and watching irrelevant and distracting videos unrelated to their learning activities. This also helps save bandwidth and optimizes the school network performance.
Wrapping Up How to Have YouTube Unblocked for School
The most effective from our list of ways to get YouTube unblocked for school will depend on your network and which type of computer you use. Many school computers won’t allow you to install software like Tor browser or a VPN so you may be stuck with asking permission from the network admin, trying to find proxy sites, or downloading videos in advance. On the other hand, a VPN is the safest option to use on your own computer.
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Chris is a spreadsheet expert and content writer for Productivity Spot and Spreadsheet Point. He has a double Bachelor's Degree in Teaching and has been working in the education industry for over 11 years. His experience makes him adept at breaking down complex topics so that everyone is able to understand.