Unblocking YouTube at Work or School

Here's what to do when you have no access

When you access the internet via a computer network, such as one provided at work, school, or a local cafe, you might find that some websites, such as YouTube, are blocked. This is typically done either to preserve network bandwidth or discourage unproductivity. If you need to access YouTube or another favorite blocked site, you have some options.

Unblock YouTube With a Web Proxy

The easiest and most accessible way to unblock YouTube or another favorite website involves using a web proxy. This process allows you to visit an unblocked site and have it request the blocked site for you. From the network’s perspective, you are accessing the unblocked website the entire time.

  1. Select a reliable web proxy, such as Hidester, Hide Me, ProxySite, or KProxy.

  2. Go to your chosen web proxy's site and type in the website URL you'd like to visit.

  3. Many proxies will provide a drop-down box to select a country from which you'll appear to be web surfing. Choose a country. (For example, the material you want to access may be available only from a certain location, so you'd select that country)

  4. Hit Enter and begin browsing the website.

This won't work if your web proxy has been blocked by network administrators who don't want users to bypass filter systems. If your web proxy is blocked, try another or try a VPN solution.

Unblock YouTube With a VPN

Use a virtual private network (VPN) to access restricted content instead of a web proxy. VPNs are similar to web proxies because they masquerade the actual website you're trying to visit. They involve a bit more setup, but also increase overall security by encrypting your web traffic.

  1. Install the required software. Consult the provider's support documentation for exact instructions.

  2. Head to your favorite web browser and access YouTube or another site. Remember, your data is fully encrypted.

If using a VPN doesn't work, understand that your network administrator is trying to provide a safe and productive work environment and may have made both web proxies and VPNs inaccessible.

Use Your Own Private Network

An alternative to unblocking a site on your work or school network is to obtain that content via your own private network. Many smartphones and their respective carriers now offer mobile data tethering, which allows you to connect your laptop or other devices directly to your cellular network via a hotspot. This method can cost quite a bit depending on your carrier, but it's a worthy option if you feel you must access certain content.

Or Just Don't Access YouTube

While it can be exciting to access content like YouTube or Netflix at work or school, these sites likely are blocked for good reasons. Watching streaming video services can put a lot of pressure on a network’s bandwidth. That means you're potentially slowing down the network’s overall speed for everyone else.

Additionally, some websites might require plugins that could pose a security risk to the system as a whole. So while you might not like your network administrator’s decision, it might be best to abide by their ruleset.