Best VPNs for School

Best VPNs for School and College

Last updated on January 8, 2020 Comments: 68
Many schools have taken it upon themselves to set restrictions on internet content, in an effort to keep their students (and faculty) focused and on-task.

By using a VPN, students and faculty alike can circumvent these blocks and get the information they need.

It creates an environment where the computer that you are on doesn’t think that you are located there and therefore allows you to access the blocked websites.

For the most reliable VPN to access restricted content at school, we recommend ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN offers a special deal – 3 months free and 49% savings on their annual plan.

If you are looking for a free vpn without putting down your credit card, we recommend Hotpot Shield.

(WARNING): Some school campuses will block access to the VPN provider page for you to subscribe.

If you don’t want to read the whole article, here’s our list of the best VPNs for School:

  1. ExpressVPN Great for Speed, top-notch security, large server network and keeps your anonymity and privacy.
  2. NordVPN Has double VPN, six simultaneous connections, above-average privacy features.
  3. Surfshark Large network of servers, No data or bandwidth limits, Unlimited simultaneous device connections.
  4. Cyberghost Has super-fast speeds, an excellent customer support team, and 100% money-back guarantee.

Best VPNs For School

#1: ExpressVPN -Special Deal (3 months free for yearly plan)

Express VPN logoExpressVPN has been tested on campuses and succeeded at torrenting and unblocking Netflix, accessing Hulu, and streaming BBC iPlayer.

Students can also access social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat safely, as this service offers the highest level of security in the field, which means your personal information is completely safe while using your school’s public WiFi.

They’re also anti-data logging and ensure the anonymity of your connection on their end as well, thus protecting your browsing information completely from anyone who wants to go poking around. Express VPN is quite fast. Download and upload speed differences were negligible when using Express vs. a regular connection.

They have servers in 78 countries. One of the few criticisms of Express is that each subscription comes with ‘only’ three simultaneous connections, one for desktop and one for a mobile device. This is less than NordVPN offers, but it should be noted that Express supports all operating systems and is a top choice as iPhone and iOS VPN, apps for Android VPN, Windows VPN, and Mac VPN.

They also offer a great money-back guarantee. If you’re unhappy with the service, you have 30 days to ask for a refund. If you decided to stick with them, though, and want to save, Express VPN has a really good referral program. For every person you refer who signs up, you get one month free, which is nothing to scoff at.

ExpressVPN is without a doubt our preferred VPN for many applications, and we also recommend it for bypassing content blocks at school. Sign up with ExpressVPN here.

For more details on this VPN service, you can visit our ExpressVPN review.

#2: NordVPN

NordVPN LogoNordVPN is a great way to get around annoying content blocks, especially if you use multiple devices, as it offers users a total of six simultaneous connections without any additional charges.

All five connections are uncapped with unlimited bandwidth, which is pretty rare. When tested, NordVPN showed a slight speed drop-off compared to a normal connection without a VPN, though it’s still fast enough for streaming.

They have servers in over 60 countries worldwide, which is about standard for the industry.

NordVPN does not data-log its users, going so far as to ensure the anonymity of your connection on their end as well, making it entirely untraceable.

If law enforcement demands information, the company can’t give them data they don’t have. Note that the company has a referral program that users should take advantage of.

If you get a friend to sign up, you’ll get a 20% discount on your service. In addition, you can enjoy one of the cheapest monthly cost in the market of $3.99/month with their 2-year plan with their 2-year special of 66% discount and a 30-day money back guarantee.

One of the few downsides with NordVPN is that it isn’t compatible with Linux, though you can use it with more standard operating systems such as Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.

Another issue is their refund policy. We highly recommend you sign up with NordVPN today for a fast, secure and easy-to-use VPN system. Have a look at our NordVPN review for more details.

#3. Surfshark

Surfshark is an ideal VPN provider to use when you are looking to browse the internet when you are at school or at college.

One of the reasons that we loved it as a VPN and highly rated it was that it provides such a high level of protection when users are connected to the internet through any means, but specifically a public WiFi. This is imperative when using your computer or mobile device in a school location where hackers and cybercriminals look to take advantage of the public networks to get hold of a person’s sensitive information and data.

Additionally, and importantly, Surfshark has such good technology in place that it allows users to bypass censorship that a school’s public Wifi may have put in place, so that users can still access all their favorite social media accounts and internet sites. This means Surfshark still allows school users to access their Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts – amongst many more.

We also liked the fact that you can connect any number of devices you may have under one subscription plan which is great news if you are a student with limited funds. Plus, students are more likely to have several types of device that run different types of software. Surfshark can be used with Chrome or Firefox extensions as well as having apps for macOS, Windows, Linux, and Fire TV Stick. It can also be downloaded onto iOS or Android.

As for the price, Surfshark comes in at the cheapest VPN, Its plans start from as low as $1.99.

Finally, we like to see a no logs policy as standard – regardless of why a user wants a VPN. For students, a no logs policy, which Surfshark has thanks to being based in the British Virgin Islands, is imperative so that none of their online activity is recorded anywhere.

If you are a student in need of a good value VPN provider, look at Surfshark today.

#4: CyberGhost

CyberGhost logoIf your main objective is to get around content blocks, few do a better job of beating the system than CyberGhost VPN. Its encryption is airtight, so nobody can see what you’re up to.

That coupled with the speed of its connection makes it a tough competition to beat. If you’re still not sure how VPNs work, this is a good company to go with.

It has a great customer service team, with representatives available 24/7 to answer your questions via live chat or email.

They’re incredibly fast at responding to users’ questions too, with average email response times in less than 30 minutes. And now CyberGhost has a special deal! CyberGhost has an amazing 7-day free trial.

Their “try before you buy” deal can’t be beaten – not only do you get all the premium features of a paid account (most free VPNs impose limits), but you don’t have to put down a credit card.

It is 100% commitment free! If you aren’t sure if you need a VPN, CyberGhost is the best option! They also have a great worldwide network of servers, so even if you’re studying abroad, you can use their service.

If you’ve ever tried to check Facebook on your phone at a school campus before, you know that those server blocks usually apply to WiFi-enabled devices as well.

Luckily for you, CyberGhost VPN is compatible with every device you can think of. You can even use it on more than one at a time. Plus, CyberGhost VPN has a 30-day money back guarantee, so if you decide it’s not for you, you get a month to get your refund, no hard feelings.

And keep in mind that in terms of price, CyberGhost has the best value for your money at only $3.50/month with their 18 months subscription plan and such great features.

So whether you’re a teacher or a student, CyberGhost VPN is the way to go for getting around those annoying content blocks, and keeping nosy snoopers out of your web activity. More features on this VPN can be found on our Cyberghost review.

Why are Websites Blocked at School?

According to the American Association of School Librarians, 98% of America’s schools filter the online content available to students.

The school boards have set up various content blocks with the best of intention, mainly to protect children from ‘harmful content’, though this more often than not, includes even the most innocent of domains resulting in highly restrictive internet access.

Along with social media, pornographic and other harmful sites, there are many other popular sites including the likes of YouTube, Wikipedia, Google Translate , and even music streaming sites such as Pandora, that end up on the list.

With so many sites blocked, content that students may need to access for school projects and research is often hindered.

Schools argue that the website filtering and blocking are a means of protection, a moral imperative to shield students from the unsafe content floating across the web and to keep a high standard of online security.

Other than a moral drive, there’s also monetary reasoning involved – government programs such as the E-rate program provides discounts for schools through the purchasing of several communication services and products.

For schools to receive the federal funding they so need, schools need to adhere to the internet filters set out by the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) or face exclusion.

With teachers often far away from the computer labs in schools, the filtering becomes the only means of control, but it can be argued, has this control been taken a step too far?

Using a VPN, you can not only get around these irritating content blocks but keep your browsing totally private, so your activity cannot be tracked or monitored, even by the IT guys!

Why do You Need a VPN for School?

Students are subject to their school’s “Acceptable Use” restrictions when surfing the internet on campus. Schools impose a variety of restrictions that can inhibit users from doing things like visiting social media sites, streaming TV shows and movies, torrenting, and even checking email.

While draconian in nature, schools do this in an effort to keep students focused on their education, as well as network safety and bandwidth considerations. But schools are supposed to be environments where knowledge is shared freely and not censored. As well, these resources are essential for any student.

Now restrictions can be circumvented with the use of a VPN. Still on the fence? Here are three reasons to get a VPN for school:

Maintain a safe connection to public Wi-Fi. While in school, you are most likely using the school’s Wi-Fi. And while it is password protected, other people using the Wi-Fi can easily and maliciously hack your computer and cause irrevocable damage, like deleting term papers and notes, as well as holding your computer “ransom” for an outstanding fee most students cannot afford. Also, if you bring your laptop to a café to do school work, you can be easily hacked. A VPN not only protects but encrypts your traffic so those with ill-intentions cannot find you.
Unblock streaming and video game sites. Many schools ban these sites because they can eat up bandwidth and throttle the entire network. When you log into your VPN, you can bypass these restrictions and watch Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming sites, as well as play games.
Use torrenting sites. Most schools warn students of the danger of P2P sharing, and many universities even have rules against its use; levying harsh punishments regarding copyright infringement. With a VPN, you can choose a different server and the school will never know that you are using a torrenting site.
As mentioned above, you will most likely be blocked from the VPN page if you are on school campus. Here is what you should do:

Workaround to Unblock the VPNs on School Campus

Solution #1: Head on over to your favorite café or even a friend’s place, and use their non-campus internet connection to download a VPN.

Solution #2: If you can’t get off of campus, that’s okay. What you can do is turn your phone into a mobile hotspot! In just a few short steps, your device becomes a secure Wi-Fi network, which you can connect your computer to instead of the campus’ internet connection. Just keep in mind that any data you use as a mobile hotspot will be deducted from the total amount of data in your plan. Also, do not disable the password feature, or else anyone can hop on your makeshift Wi-Fi network.

  1. Check to make sure the mobile hotspot feature is activated in Settings.
  2. Click on ‘Wireless and Networks’ and choose ‘More Networks.’
  3. Choose the ‘Mobile Hotspot’ option. (Here’s a tip: because this feature uses a lot of power, keep your phone plugged into a charger.)
  4. Wait a few seconds and you will see a notification message regarding your new Wi-Fi connection.
  5. Now you can connect, visit the VPN site of your choice, and download the VPN. Your university will never be the wiser!

If you aren’t sure how to do it on your phone, this is a great page that offers “how to make a hotspot” simulations of all the latest phones. And don’t forget to turn your mobile hotspot off when you are done. Let us know in the comments below if this has helped you!

How to Choose a VPN for School and College

There are some things to consider when choosing the right VPN for school or college which include the following:

  1. Zero logs
  2. Fast speeds
  3. Incredibly strong encryption
  4. Being able to access geo-blocked content
  5. Cost

Port Blocking

If you have trouble unblocking your VPN in school you will have to get around the port block. To fo this you will need to run OpenVPN on port 443. This will allow you to slip through the encryption library and get around firewalls.

Deep Packet Inspection

Torrenting is something that college students can only dream about unless you have a VPN and know how to get around some of the restrictions in place. Colleges can block VPNs with firewalls being able to detect your encryption tools via Deep Packed Inspection. This can easily be bypassed by hiding your encryption protocols.

Why a Free VPN is Not Enough

A free VPN might seem enticing especially on a student budget, but the risks are just now worth it. There has to be a way to turn a profit for any VPN, either paid or free, so when you’re paying for a quality service, you know what information is being collected, but free VPNs usually keep your data for anywhere between 14 to 30 days which includes your geodata as well as your MAC address.

Snooping on your history is also something that you can count on when using a free VPN with your information being sold to the highest bidder.

How to Setup a VPN for School

To set up your chosen VPN all you need to do is download the app for your device and get things going. If you’re having trouble with the school’s system rejecting your connection you might have to look for a VPN that has a few different protocol options, with tunneling through SSL usually working in getting around some pretty difficult barriers.

Bottom Line for School VPNs

There is nothing more irritating than being on a school campus and facing endless, seemingly random content blocks.

Even something as simple as checking your e-mail can be impossible thanks to the rigidity of the content filters.

No matter what kind of device you’re using, if a school uses content blocks on your network, you won’t get through them without a VPN. By using a service like ExpressVPN, you can count on features like:

  • 24/7 customer support
  • Intuitive interface
  • High speed
  • User anonymity

Use a VPN like ExpressVPN at your school and watch content blocks melt away at your fingertips!

Article comments

yo says:

the vpns are blocked by school

Christopher B says:

Exactly all of them

John C. says:

Cyberghost VPN turned out to be the best choice for me as a student. It’s affordable and helps me get around blocks which our school Wi-Fi server imposes. However, I’m trying to talk my friend into signing up.

Maria D says:

This is a great article as it highlights some of the renowned VPNs used all over the world. However, do the VPNs solve unlimited access issues that are bothersome for many? For instance, even after using these VPNs, some websites are still unreachable from school as they have geo-restricted content. This means that if a student who is a VPN user is in the UK and connects to a US server on his VPN, he might be limited. This is because to access the website (for instance, UK Zattoo service), he needs to be seen as coming only from the UK. The student might then need to switch servers which could be inconvenient for those seeking rapid and diverse reconnects. Doesn’t that still restrict students from having unbound access to information they wish to surf on the internet?

ST Editor says:

Thanks for the insightful question! Accessing geo-restricted content is a great perk for VPNs, but can also be a bit of a downside. However, some VPNs offer a feature called ‘split tunneling’ which allows you to create two connections to the web–one with the VPN, and one without. This gives you the ability to select which web traffic is directed through your VPN tunnel, and which isn’t. You can thus access both local and geo-restricted websites without having to switch back and forth between servers. While you may still need to change servers in some situations, split tunneling can help solve your access problem. Hope this helps!

Mark T says:

Friends are saying to me that VPN download iOS won’t work. Should I use different system like Android? Will I get the same result or is it different?

ST Editor says:

Hi Mark,
There are excellent VPN services for both Android and iOS. We tested and approved these on both the following reviews: VPN for iPhone and iOS devices and VPN for Android. Please have a look 🙂

David says:

I go to a west coast school that is VERY liberal. I mean to the point where students have held demonstrations against President Trump, etc. The overlords in our IT department went a step further and blocked any sites that have anything positive or even neutral to say about the President or the Republican Party, because the idea of free thinking is apparently banned at our college now.

Anywho, I can attest that NordVPN is good for getting me around these blocks. NordVPN will help us MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!

Daisy says:

Hell NO!! not in my college….All the students were blocked from using VPN. I have tried all the tricks I saw online but unfortunately none worked for me. I feel bad about it. If I may ask, is there any other way out sir?

ST Editor says:

Hi Daisy,
I thank you for your input. We actually ran a survey on the page in order to see how many students had that exact problem, and it turns out that depending on the State/City, the very fact of being in the campus blocks you from the VPN page itself. We tried several techniques, but unfortunately these didn’t help. What we can suggest is to sign up outside of the campus and already be online via the vpn service when you enter school. There shouldn’t be any problem then. Please follow the guidelines in THE WORKAROUND TO UNBLOCK THE VPN SERVICE PAGE ON SCHOOL CAMPUS above.

Vivek says:

Great Information shared by the Author but can you suggest me any ways to access vpn if a school/college
ban the all the vpn sites and my phone network are not available inside campus.

Ruby Islam says:

Well explained! This post is exactly what a learner needs to know about the VPN for school. Superb informative. Sometimes, the restrictions are too much to tolerate and these VPNs are really effective in such situations. is a helpful site for upgrading our knowledge!

shahzad waheed says:

I was banned from surfing Youtube in my university and was unable to watch even informative videos. Our university had a rule of not allowing any student to use any website that is out of their portal which was kinda boring. So, I decided to bypass this restriction and guess what? I used Express VPN and now I not only surf videos but can even log in to my FB account, thank!

DONNA says:

Trying to access a blocked websites from school is really stressful. We sometimes need to get grab some legit data for homework it is always difficult. This post is really helpful. I personally have tried cyberghost VPN and I love it

LIZZY says:

Thanks for your article. It gave me insight on the importance of Vpn. I make use of PureVPN and it has been working for me.

Abby says:

What do i do if the site for VPN is blocked and i cannot access the website to put up a VPN

Bryan says:

Hi Abby,
We tried to help our users with this as we realized that school campus IT administrators block certain sites like Youtube, Snapchat,etc. They’ll therefore block the VPN site since they know the VPN will enable you to overcome that issue. What I suggest you do is try clicking on ExpressVPN on this page – the URL has been adjusted so that you can access the page. If it still doesn’t work, I strongly recommend you access the VPN site when you are out of the school campus and register. Once you launch the software, you should be able to use it within the campus at any time based on your subscription.

Let me know if this helps.

heyitzme says:

HI,, need help.. Looks like my wifi service provider has blocked all vpn access too.. So i cant access internet when i turn on vpn,, What can i do . Thanks

Bryan says:

Hi there,
Thank you for reaching out.
Can you please give me a direct email where I can get you in touch with the service technical department?
Please send at
Thank you very much, hope to hear from you soon!

Darryl says:

I have tried downloading a few vpn eg:tunnel bear at home before using it in school but it did not work how?


your article is helpful for me thank’s………..

Ian says:

My school blocks them by categorizing it as security.proxy what could I do.

tryig says:

My school blocks alot of websites including these vpns with lightspeedsystems can you help me. I can’t even acess my gmail please help.

tryig says:

well im trying to get a free vpn just so I can play roblox but every time I try all the vpn websites are blocked by my school. The blocker thing is called light speed systems. Please help. ;ccc I can’t even acess them because they are blocked by lightspeed.

mariexo says:

My school blocks vpn and proxy sites how can i bypass that ?

Lennon Sherard says:

Well, it seems none of these work, because my school has Lightspeed Mobile Filter downloaded forcefully on all the Chromebooks, blocking the sites. I have tried proxys and VPN sites, but alas, everything is blocked. Do you know of a website that isn’t blocked by Lightspeed? (Oh by the way, I can’t do anything about Lightspeed, and I’ve tried everything).

EraySp says:

Hey Lennon!

Try making or using another account next to your school account!
Only your school email is blocked from downloading from the chrome web store !

John Barnard says:

I have a vpn at my school and I was used to get passed it with a vpn called free vpn. They somehow blocked all vpn’s even the ghost one. Is there still a way to get around it?

morgan williams says:

well my school has all the vpn websites blocked, so i cant get on anything. i dont see how they blocked ALL OF THEM. any suggestions ?

Tamia says:

I’ve downloaded and setup cyberghost at home and i’ve come to school and tried to connect to it while connected to my school wifi but it says “Service Not Reachable, It seems that you cant reach the CyberGhost system. Please ensure you’ve a working internet connection and retry.” My connection is working, i can access the internet so i don’t know why it won’t work. If my school has blocked VPN’s is there anything else i can try?

Lyndon Seitz says:

Hello Tamia,

It might be best to contact the VPN’s customer support team to see if they can find any solutions.

Unfortunately, if a VPN won’t work there might not be many options available to you. Other VPNs might be more useful, but I could not tell you if your school is blocking them or not.


Oli says:

My school has blocked the use of VPN’s and Proxies, I did find one port which they did not block which was the port 3128. They have now blocked this one as well. What would you recommend I do, I have tried all kinds of proxies and VPN’s but they never work. Any advice?


Anonymous User says:

My school blocks all installations and downloads, is there a portable version i could download onto a flash drive that would work?

Soren says:

I’ve attempted to use numerous VPN apps on IOS but have encountered nothing but failure. I am able to download and use the apps but cannot actually connect to a VPN. I believe the school is blocking this somehow but I am unsure. Is there a way to use a VPN that cannot be blocked or is this an end to my shenanigans?

anonymous user says:

can you do one for light speed its mostly used and hard to bypass

Alfonzo says:

HotSpot shield works for me at my school

Lost Sons says:

my schools block is just too good, curse you calallen isd xP

gnurt says:

My school blocks vpn. I have tried many vpn but none work. I blocks openvpn too.

Lyndon Seitz says:

Hey gnurt,

Did you try contacting the VPN’s customer service? They often have a solution which can help.


Sage says:

All of the VPNs you gave are all blocked for me.

Lyndon Seitz says:

Hey Sage,

Have you tried contacting their customer service? Do you know how your school is blocking the VPN?

Casey says:

All of the vpns that I try to use at my school are blocked, blocked in a sense of not connecting, when you try to use the Vpn app the connecting option never goes away. I’m not sure why this is happening I was hoping you could help me.

Lyndon Seitz says:

Hey Casey,

I believe the VPN customer service department for the VPN you’re attempting to use would be more helpful than myself.


claston says:

why will it not work!!!!!!!

Lyndon Seitz says:

Hello Claston,

What problem do you have with the VPN? Have you tried contacting you service provider’s customer service?


Mike says:

I have downloaded a lot of VPN’s (including CyberGhost) but they do not work…

Lyndon Seitz says:

Hello Mike,

Could you explain in a little more detail how they are not working? Have you tried contacting the customer service of any of the VPNs you tried out?


Lizzie says:

I need something for my school, but they have like every proxy website and proxy blocked.

Lyndon Seitz says:

Hey Lizzie,

Do you think you could tell me a bit more about the methods they use to block proxies? Thank you.


Mario Garcia says:

Ok so non of this is working out is it possible I go home get it all set up there then come back to school and see if it works then?

Lyndon Seitz says:

Dear Mario,

Depending on how your school manages to block VPNs, that could very well work.


sam says:

My school blocked downloading a vpn what do i do

Lyndon Seitz says:

Which VPNs did they block downloading? Unfortunately this is a bit of complex situation since I’m not certain what exactly your school did.


pikachu_gamer says:

i have tried everything and i still cant get through sometimes when i try to use a proxy it cant get through or it will say Website contains prohibited proxy content. someone plz help out

Lyndon Seitz says:

Hey there,

Unfortunately I’m not exactly sure how much I can help you. School systems vary greatly and they might be sophisticated enough to notice proxy servers. You can try different options or you can see if there are people or resources that can know more about the situation to help you.


blake says:

none of these work for me….

Lyndon Seitz says:

Hey Blake,

Sorry to hear that, what seemed to be the problem? Did you try contacting the customer service phone or email of any of the services you used?


Ty says:

None work fro me either

Alex says:

Our school block VPN’s how do I bypass this?

Lyndon Seitz says:


If they block you installing a VPN then try some proxy sites. Although they are less dependable than a VPN you might be able to find one that works.

Meloetta says:

VPN MASTER seems to be effective against my school, but its android only as far as I know. Its on the play store, but you probably could find it through a google search.

destiny pringle says:

i need to block my school from blocking me on you tube how do I do that?

Jen says:

Destiny, great question. A VPN can certainly help you with that. Check out the information on this page:
You’re sure to find a solution.

James N says:

I’m blocked from downloading vpns at my school using. Monderd cromebook what should I do???

Lyndon Seitz says:

Hey James,

It depends on how you are being blocked. Could you download it elsewhere and use it once it is installed?


James N says:

Well like my school just blocked all vpn service eh I’m useing a chromebook from Google that is controlled by an administrator called so what is the best vpn service to use?

Lyndon Seitz says:

Hello James,

I would like to refer you to our best VPN for Chromebook page.

Otherwise, I might recommend contacting customer service for the service that you’re using, as they have much more experience working around these sorts of problems than myself.


Ren says:

Use Ultra VPN. It’s definitely better than Ghost VPN.