YouTube is the world’s largest video streaming site, and over five billion videos are watched on there each day. On Android, YouTube has the largest mobile audience reach of any app in 2020, and viewership continues to grow rapidly.
But it’s not always possible to view the YouTube videos that you want. Schools and workplaces often block the site to reduce bandwidth costs and minimize distractions. Some countries, such as China, block YouTube nationwide. Plus, when users upload videos, they can choose for them to be only available in certain regions. This is where an Android VPN comes in.
The easiest – and, pretty much only – way you can unblock YouTube on Android is with a VPN. The best VPN services mask what you’re doing from your internet service provider and government, and route all your internet traffic through a remote server. If you install a VPN that supports YouTube unblocking, you can watch any YouTube video from anywhere.
Downloading and installing a VPN on Android
The Google Play Store has hundreds of VPNs, but we strongly advise choosing a VPN that’s well known and trusted. All your internet traffic will be routed through the VPN server, and most free VPNs sell your browsing data to third-party companies for advertising purposes – and many don’t put stringent measures in place to ensure your privacy and safety.
In this example, we’ll use ExpressVPN, a VPN service that performed well in our extensive testing. Begin by visiting the provider’s website and signing up for an account. You’ll need to enter your name, email address, and payment details. ExpressVPN has three plans: monthly, six-monthly, and annually. Some other VPN services will give you a free trial month, during which you can use a limited set of features.
After signing up, you’ll receive a welcome email. Open this email on your Android phone, and choose the link to install the Android ExpressVPN client from the Google Play Store.
Now, sign into the client using your ExpressVPN username and password. You’ll be asked to install the VPN settings on your phone the first time that you start it up, so press OK.
How to unblock YouTube
Now you can unblock YouTube whenever you want by switching on the VPN. If there is content that you want to watch and it’s only available in a particular country, choose that country from the list of VPN locations and hit Connect. You’ll be able to view the YouTube video without trouble.
If you just need to get around a YouTube block imposed by your school or workplace, you can use your home country for the VPN location. This will help you get the fastest connection and keep latency to a minimum.
What VPN should I get for unblocking YouTube on Android?
YouTube doesn’t use the strongest geo-blocking algorithms out there, so most VPNs can be used to view the YouTube videos of your choosing. Free VPN services typically won’t work, though, as you don’t get enough traffic to view much video content. You want a VPN that has clients for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Smart TVs, games consoles, and routers, so you can watch YouTube on other devices too. We also advise choosing a VPN with many servers around the world, so you can view content that’s only available in those regions.
ExpressVPN is the best YouTube VPN available.
ExpressVPN is the #1 VPN for unblocking YouTube. With 3,000+ servers in 94 countries, it's got a huge network, and it delivers great speeds all over – and can even unblock other streaming services like Netflix, iPlayer, Peacock, Hulu and more.
ExpressVPN also has one of the strongest levels of security that we’ve ever seen on a VPN, and no logs are stored of your browsing activities. There’s even a Privacy and Security Tools menu on Android, so you can check that your IP address is hidden and that you don’t have any DNS leaks. It’s easy to recommend ExpressVPN as the top Android VPN overall.
You'll have 24/7 live chat support for the unlikely situation that anything goes awry, and you'll also get a 30-day money-back guarantee to test it out. On top of that, Tom's Guide readers can claim three months free on an annual plan. What's not to like?
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Richard is a technology writer with over 20 years experience in website development, marketing, and SEO. A graduate in Computer Science, he has lectured in Java programming and built software for companies including Samsung and Walmart. Richard writes for TechRadar, IT Pro, Tom's Guide, and PC Gamer.