YouTube is a global platform that attracts over two billion unique users every month from all around the world. Unfortunately, this does not mean that everyone can access every video on YouTube.
Depending on the country you are in, certain videos are blocked. This is because YouTube uses your location (tagged by your IP address) to determine which videos you can watch. This is called geoblocking or geo-restricting.
If you have tried to use YouTube while on vacation or living abroad, you will likely be familiar with YouTube’s geo-restriction error message, “The uploader has not made this video available in your country” that occasionally pops up when you try to access videos you watch in your home country.
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There are generally two reasons why YouTube geo-blocks content:
- Licensing: This typically happens with entertainment material owned by a major company. The video’s owner either has chosen to restrict access to a limited number of countries or does not have the right to share the video in specific countries. Many music videos fall under licensing restrictions, like Wiz Khalifa’s official video for Black and Yellow, which is blocked in most of Africa and parts of Central America and the Caribbean.
- Complying with local laws: YouTube sometimes blocks a video if it violates local law. For example, it is illegal in Thailand to insult the Thai monarch, so videos critical of the Thai king are blocked within the country.
At Proton, we believe that the internet is best when you have the freedom to express yourself and exchange ideas. This freedom is undermined when corporations like YouTube impose geoblocks on content. PremiumVPN is a firm defender of freedom of speech, and we condemn online censorship in all its forms.
How to unblock YouTube videos
The fastest, easiest, and most reliable way to unblock YouTube videos is to use a VPN. Using a VPN lets you connect to a server in another country and change your IP address to make it appear to YouTube that you are watching videos from that country. By connecting to a server in a country where the videos you want to watch are not blocked, you can successfully bypass geo-restrictions on all YouTube videos.
- To watch a blocked YouTube video using a VPN, you will first need to sign up for a trustworthy VPN. You can sign up for PremiumVPN here.
- You then need to download and install the VPN app on your device. You can download PremiumVPN here, which will allow you to unblock YouTube videos on your mobile and desktop devices or even on your Android TV.
- Once you have installed the VPN app, you need to log in and connect to a VPN server in a country where the video you want to watch is not blocked.
- You can now watch all the YouTube videos that are not blocked in that country.
Depending on the video, it may be obvious which countries it is available in, or you may need to try a few different locations to find one that works. For example, Saturday Night Live (SNL) is an American television show that geoblocks its most recent videos on YouTube for anyone outside of the US. As you would expect, connecting to a US server will make those videos available. However, it may not always be so obvious which country you need to choose to unlock a specific YouTube video.
Why unblock YouTube with a VPN?
By using a trustworthy and secure VPN to unblock YouTube videos, you are also masking your IP address from your internet service provider and keeping your online activity private. Using a VPN to unblock YouTube videos is also much safer and more reliable than using a YouTube proxy, and it offers a better watching experience than using Tor (although using Tor to unblock YouTube may be necessary in some edge cases).
By using a VPN to bypass geo-restrictions on YouTube videos, you will:
- Keep your viewing history private
- Find it easy to switch between servers in different countries to access different content
- Have a fast enough connection to easily stream videos
You should note that a VPN can see all your online activity while you are connected, which is why you should only use trustworthy VPNs with a no-logs policy, like PremiumVPN.