What to do if Your VPN is Blocked

What to do if Your VPN is Blocked

Has your VPN been blocked? This can be a result of actions or policies put in place by your internet service provider, workplace or university, or by firewalls on airplanes. Circumvention and encryption tools like VPN are used around globe to enable access to content and websites, but can you do anything about networks that block traffic relayed via VPNs?

The good news is that there are several strategies available to unblock your VPN. Even if the VPN you use can’t get through a firewall, we can tell you about some ‘stealth VPNs’ that can still get through!

Why are VPN’s blocked and who does it?

Computers enable us to do all sorts of things, but they can also be set up to exert more control over users and their online activities. Here are the most common areas where VPNs are limited:

  • – The workplace. Employers may block unauthorized VPN services so that staff can’t be distracted by spending time on Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites. They want to know what staff are using the internet for, and what communications you are sending. There are tools that use a VPN that will unblock sites so you can access them at work, but this could breach your terms of employment, so be careful.
  • – Schools. Most schools now have internet access, but there are good reasons for them to restrict what students, and especially younger students, do on the internet. It’s not uncommon for VPNs as well as social media and gaming websites to be blocked in schools.
  • – Closed countries. Some countries, such as China, the United Arab Emirates and Iran, feel the need to limit what their citizens can read and participate in beyond their borders. The internet presents a problem because it provides free access to culture and information, and enables communication. Firewalls, such as the one dubbed ‘The Great Firewall of China’, are set up to block access, including VPNs that facilitate it.
  • – Public Wi-Fi (in-flight, or in hotels), for example. You may have had trouble connecting to sites like Netflix, Spotify or Hulu, or speeds are massively slowed down. There’s a reason for this. In-flight services such as GoGo, and hotep pay-per-day services may block VPNs to steer you towards paying for in-flight or in-hotel movies.

Here’s the solution!

VPN traffic can’t be blocked unless it’s recognized as VPN traffic in the first place. There are ways to disguise VPN traffic so it usually can’t be blocked. VPN providers have invented ‘Stealth’ VPN technology to do this. This disguises or scrambles your VPN traffic. The result is that either it can’t be identified as VPN traffic, or it can be encrypted so it looks like regular TLS traffic (that stands for ‘transport layer security’).

There are two excellent ways to unblock your VPN service, no matter what network you’re on:

#1. Run Open VPN on port 443.

Standard SSL/TLS encrypted traffic often uses port 443. This is the encryption protocol when you access websites that require relay of sensitive data (such as financial details and account numbers). OpenVPN already uses the SSL encryption library so you can slip through most DPI firewalls by switching to port 443. To do this you need to switch the port or use a dedicated server location that already uses it. Your VPN tech support should be able to help you set it up.

#2. Use Obfuscation or StealthVPN.

VPN protocols may still have a data packet ‘header’, that allows a firewall to recognize VPN traffic even if you’re using port 443. With Stealth or Obfuscation technology, the packet header, which is like a fingerprint, can be smudged so it can’t be recognized. A bit of research should enable you to identify VPNs with stealth/obfuscation technology that you can access where you are.

Here are some VPNs with stealth/obfuscation technology: IPVanish, Proxy.sh, Torguard, VyprVPN and VPN.ac.

Need Help With Your IT?

Get Tech Support

Want more? Check out some of our reviews

Leslie Wolfberg
Leslie Wolfberg

5 out of 5 stars

Can’t say enough about the competent staff at Quikteks! Responsive and extremely helpful, they take the frustration out of all our computing issues. They have smartly guided our business into the right equipment and computer structuring. What was once a huge headache is no longer, thanks!

Neil Wagman
Neil Wagman

5 out of 5 stars

These guys are terrific! They manage all of our IT needs and do it with a smile on their face. We have never had an issue with response time, the managed services they provide or cost/billing.

A real pleasure to work with.

Anthony DeVincenzo
Anthony DeVincenzo

5 out of 5 stars

ALWAYS FAST AND RELIABLE. HELPED ME OUT A FEW TIMES WITH MY BUSINESS.

David Greene
David Greene

5 out of 5 stars

Quikteks consistently delivers a high quality service. My company’s technology has never run smoother. I highly recommend using them.

Steven Greene
Steven Greene

5 out of 5 stars

I have used Quikteks for all of my firm’s IT needs including server, PC, backup and phone system for years. They are terrific! Fast response time when issues arise and always reasonably priced.

Gray Murphy
Gray Murphy

5 out of 5 stars

Thank you for your great tech support! Highly recommend.

Nancy Auferio
Nancy Auferio

5 out of 5 stars

We rely upon Quikteks for all of our IT services as well as website development and maintenance. Every member of their team is top notch! Would highly recommend them to any business. And, our website just blew us away!

Brian Snerson
Brian Snerson

5 out of 5 stars

Quikteks has always been there to help me with technology issues and questions. They are very responsive and extremely knowledgeable. I would highly recommend them to my clients and friends.

Andy Lieberman
Andy Lieberman

5 out of 5 stars

Thank You Quikteks for being there again. Your support and service is greatly appreciated. All-Ways knows we can count on you whenever we pick up the phone or email the Quikteks team. You always have the answer we need. Thanks Andrew!

Steven Caggiano
Steven Caggiano

5 out of 5 stars

We have had several IT companies before Quikteks so we definitely can give an honest opinion. We have experienced a very high quality of care and expertise as well as a partnership approach. We recently moved to a new location and they were with us every step of the way. The owner, Nick Tammaro, personally came to sit in on meetings with the GC to make sure everything on the IT side was going right. He went out of his way to supply us with data techs to rewire a few temp offices so we had no down time. His staff is always available and work tirelessly to resolve issues as well as being proactive to reduce unforeseen problems. I would highly recommend them.

Join Our Newsletter

Receive office technology tips, how-tos, keyboard shortcuts and more directly to your inbox.