Bypass YouTube lock – that’s how it works

“This video is not available in your country” – for years, this reference to YouTube has made music video fans long faces. Since YouTube mother Google reached an agreement with GEMA on rights exploitation at the end of 2016, blocked YouTube videos have hardly been an issue. But “actually” is the decisive point here! There is still YouTube content, which is limited to certain regions by the creators. Like any other website, YouTube recognizes your whereabouts by your IP address. For example, if a video or livestream is limited to the US market, users with a European IP address cannot access it. The same applies if, for example, you want to watch a video on holiday that is limited to Germany. This so-called geo-blocking is annoying. But there are ways and means to deal with it: We’ll show you how you can lever out YouTube blocks.

Can I bypass a YouTube ban at all?

The question of whether bypassing a country with a VPN is legal or illegal is not an easy one to answer. There is broad agreement that circumventing geoblocking measures from Germany is not the same as circumventing expensive copy protection measures. To date, no case is known in which the use of appropriate measures such as some VPN services or proxy services has been prosecuted.

The situation is different if YouTube is to be accessed in a country that forbids access to the platform by law. Examples of these restrictions are Iran, North Korea and China. Anyone who violates a YouTube ban while travelling to such a country can be punished according to local laws.

Irrespective of the legal situation at the state level, the circumvention of YouTube bans can also be interpreted as a violation of Google’s own terms of use. These are constantly adapted by the YouTube makers. Theoretically there is a danger that YouTube could block the account if it bypasses country restrictions. In countries where YouTube is banned, bypassing web-blocks can become a legal problem.

Bypassing YouTube blocking via VPN

The most elegant way to watch blocked YouTube videos is to use a VPN. A VPN service forwards all of a PC’s data traffic – including accessing websites such as YouTube – via a VPN server. The highlight: If such a server is located in a different country, the called website does not see your personal IP address, but that of the server. If, for example, a YouTube video is limited to the USA, you can watch it by surfing via a US VPN.

In addition, VPN services increase surfing security by encrypting all traffic. Especially in public WLANs, the use of such VPNs is recommended anyway. Among the commercial VPN services we can recommend NordVPN or Mulvad. Such subscriptions cost between 30 and 50 Euros per year and offer access to countless servers worldwide. This article explains how to install and use a VPN service.

VPN services like NordVPN assign a foreign IP address to your computer with one click. Geoblocking can almost always be handled with it.

In addition to chargeable VPNs, there are now also a number of free VPN services. These often offer only a limited range of functions and limit the monthly traffic, but for occasional YouTube videos or even one or the other livestream the offers are often sufficient. Recommended are for example the free offers of Cyberghost VPN, Tunnelbear or VPNHub, the free VPN offer of… Pornhub (more about the VPN offer of Pornhub can be found here).

Using a VPN service is easy. Most providers provide desktop programs or apps for Android and iOS for this purpose. After logging in, you only need to install the appropriate VPN software, log in to your account and select a server. As soon as the connection is established, you are surfing the Internet with a foreign IP address. Now simply visit YouTube and view the locked video.

Bypass YouTube blocking via proxy

In addition to the VPN method, a YouTube lock can also be bypassed more easily: Use a proxy server. The basic concept of this method is similar to the VPN solution. You redirect the call from YouTube via a server that is equipped with an (usually foreign) IP address. In contrast to VPN, the entire network traffic is not encrypted here, but in practice proxies are usually sufficient to circumvent simple web blocks.

Users of the Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox browsers can access a variety of proxy extensions. In our experience, Proxtube for Firefox and ProxFlow for Chrome do the best job. Both automatically ensure that your IP address comes from US space when you call YouTube and bypass annoying locks.

Extensions like Proxflow bypass YouTube locks fully automatically.

If you don’t feel like installing a browser extension for the occasional YouTube trip, you can also unlock individual videos via practical websites. Zalmos, for example, provides a solution for this. The web proxy allows you to access any page via a proxy. The most important services, including YouTube, can be accessed with a single click. Proxysite works similarly well. These pages are also ideal for unlocking YouTube on a smartphone or tablet without having to adjust the complete configuration. Services like Proxysite unlock sites like YouTube directly in the browser.

Use YouTube Music and YouTube Premium in Germany?

Unlocking individual videos and streams on YouTube is not a major problem. But what about the new payment models YouTube Music and YouTube Premium? YouTube offers advertising-free access to music and videos on the platform for a monthly fee – but unfortunately not in Germany. For example, YouTube Music is currently only available in the USA, Australia, Mexico and some other markets. However, the hope of accessing the service via a US IP address is quickly vanishing. Google also requires an address and a credit card in the respective country when registering. If these are not available, access is denied. But there is hope: YouTube is already announcing the launch of YouTube Music in Germany. So here it is: patience is the order of the day.