On March 26, 2019, Article 13 of Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive was passed. With that event, YouTube started blocking more content online. That was not at all good news for billions of viewers online for whom YouTube is the de facto source of content, be it funny cat videos or cringe videos from across the world, or step-by-step tutorials.
So, it is not unlikely to come across videos that you simply cannot see. You may encounter messages like “Video Unavailable. The uploader has not made this video available in your country.”
What do you do in situations like those? How do you access the video that is blocked? There are a few tricks that you can apply. Let’s take a look at them one by one.
Use a VPN Connection
A VPN is your best bet for unblocking any YouTube content. VPNs can bypass geo-restrictions with ease, make your traffic look like originating from a different country. So, if you want to access content that is blocked for you and available for users in a particular country or a set of countries, you can quickly connect to a VPN server in that country and access the video.
There are several benefits of using a VPN connection for unblocking YouTube content. Here is what you should know:
- You can unblock YouTube content restricted in your country.
- You can protect your identity from the prying eyes of the government and hackers.
- You can access streaming content from services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc. that are known for putting geo-restrictions in place.
- You can play online games that are not yet available in your country.
- You can securely use a public network without the fear of getting hacked.
Yes, you can get free VPNs, but they are just ridiculous. It is better that you go for a paid option. ExpressVPN should be the obvious choice, but if cost bothers you, you can look at NordVPN or SurfShark. If you want other options, there’s CyberGhost, Hotspot Shield VPN, PrivateVPN, Private Internet Access, TunnelBear, etc.
If you don’t want to spend money on a VPN subscription, you can always go ahead and download the YouTube video in question.
Sure, you cannot watch it on YouTube, but online services can help you download the YouTube video. All you need is to paste the video’s URL in an allotted area, and the service will extract the video and download a copy of it in your local drive.
While this may sound interesting, there may be issues. For instance, downloading a very long video will not only take a lot of time but also, if you are on a metered connection, you may be running short of the bandwidth allowance.
Again, there is no guarantee that those online services will manage to extract all videos. Some of them may even ask you to get a premium subscription to download as many videos as you want.
Use Tor Browser
Simply download the Tor Browser and install it. Once installed, use it to visit YouTube, and you can watch the video. People often look at Tor (Onion Router) as an alternative to VPNs.
Tor Browser will hop your outgoing data over several relay nodes. This will hide your true IP address.
YouTube server can see only the exit node. In case the exit node falls in a country that YouTube doesn’t block, you can watch the video.
But again, there is some element of trial and error here. In case the exit node falls in a country that YouTube blocks, you cannot watch the video. You have to close the tab and the browser and restart the process hoping that the exit node falls in a country that YouTube allows.
Use a Proxy
You can even use a proxy service to hide or mask your IP address to access the restricted content on YouTube. However, you need to understand that a proxy server will only mask your IP address. It cannot encrypt the outgoing data.
Use a Chrome Extension
If you don’t know how to use a proxy, no need to feel sad. Not everyone can know everything. You can still use the power of proxy via various Google Chrome browser extensions such as YouTube Unblocker. Such extensions link the browser data to a proxy server and then use the masked IP address to access YouTube.
That’s all! One of the above methods should work. I always recommend using a VPN over any other method because of the added security that comes with it.
Today, privacy is a major concern, and a VPN is the solution to all those concerns. However, make sure that you are choosing the VPN service wisely. A VPN located in a country that is a member of the 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, or 14 Eyes alliance is always a threat to your privacy!