Access Blocked Dating Sites with a VPN
There used to be a bit of a stigma surrounding online dating but much of that has fallen by the wayside. These days, somewhere in the region of 50 million people have tried online dating, using one of the 7,500 or so sites that exist around the world. While it may not seem like the most romantic start to a relationship, online dating is producing more and more happy couples and is responsible for around 20% of today’s romantic matches.
Unfortunately, if you’re either working overseas or traveling for business, you may have to put your online romance on hold as some countries block dating websites as part of their internet censorship policy.
The countries with the most stringent constraints include North Korea, China, Iran, and Cuba so, if you’re headed for any of these destinations, you might want to invest in a VPN, not just to carry on searching for your perfect love-match online, but so you can abreast of the latest events at home.
With restrictive authorities blocking everything from social media sites to news, music to dating, you need a VPN just to keep in touch and to safeguard yourself against government surveillance.
How to Unblock Dating Sites with a VPN
Installing, setting up and connecting using a VPN is much easier than finding your soulmate online. Unblocking a dating site so you can begin that search is similarly straightforward. Once your VPN is up and running, click on a server outside the country that you’re in and then navigate to your favorite dating site.
While some websites are geographically restricted, this is rarely the case when it comes to online dating sites, however, if you want to access the profiles of people who live near you, you’ll want to connect via a server in your home country so you reach the correct version of the site.
The Best VPNs for Unblocking Dating Sites
#1: ExpressVPN – The Perfect Match
Most people will fall in love with ExpressVPN at first sight simply due to its slick appearance, superfast speeds, and dependability. Compatible with nearly every device under the sun, ExpressVPN can give you access to your favorite online dating sites from your laptop, tablet, or phone. With a huge network of servers covering every inch of the Earth, ExpressVPN can guarantee a speedy and consistent connection from any location. While other lesser beings are still battling with China’s impressive internet lockdown, ExpressVPN has been navigating the Great Firewall since some of its rivals were still in nappies.
Not only will ExpressVPN keep you connected and actively engaged in your search for “the one”, but it will also protect your privacy by encrypting all your traffic with cutting-edge encryption levels. Another added bonus is that, should you want to keep your online dating activity private for any reason, ExpressVPN will ensure no logs are kept and that your browsing history remains for your virtual eyes only.
#2: NordVPN – Big and Strong
If you want a big strong partner to protect you in the scary virtual world, then NordVPN is the answer. Not only will NordVPN unblock dating sites, but it will also do it from any location thanks to its enormous network of over 5,000 servers. NordVPN is a popular choice among those who travel frequently because its server distribution is so widespread, it guarantees access and stable connectivity.
NordVPN has a user-friendly graphic interface that enables you to connect to a server in a specific location or simply opt for the fastest one available. The creators of NordVPN have combined superior technology with ease of use, making it ideal for those who want to focus on their love life, rather than the intricacies of cybersecurity. Ideal for the long-term relationship, NordVPN offers competitive deals on two and three-year subscriptions which, while off-putting for the commitment-phobe, are great value for money.
Read more about NordVPN in our extensive review here.
#3: Surfshark – The Biggest Fish in the Sea
There may be plenty of fish in the sea, but few are as fast and effective as Surfshark. As new a new potential match, Surfshark has gained a lot of attention thanks to its offer of unlimited simultaneous connections. What that means for you is that, while you’re browsing profiles on Match.com using your smartphone, you can be simultaneously updating your own profile on OKCupid using your laptop.
Although Surfshark is something of a small fish in a big pond, with just 500 servers in its international network, it still manages to produce competitive speeds and reliable connections. Even when it comes to circumnavigating the technologically advanced restrictions in China, Surfshark has proved adept and reliable. Surfshark uses the same encryption and security protocols as ExpressVPN and, like ExpressVPN, is situated in the privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands. Competitive pricing makes Surfshark a compatible choice while its limited server network may work against it when it comes to gaining access to blocked dating sites from more remote areas in, for example, North Korea.
Read more about Surfshark in our extensive review here.
#4: CyberGhost – A Friend with Benefits
CyberGhost is not only committed to giving you access to whatever you content you like, from wherever you are in the world, it also keeps things as simple as possible. From the outset, CyberGhost is user-friendly and effective. It has an impressive global network of over 3,500 servers and, although coverage may be a little lacking in Africa, CyberGhost has the rest of the world covered.
Using CyberGhost’s Unblock Basic Websites function, you can easily add your favorite online dating sites to the list and connect to them with just one click. Every time you do that, CyberGhost will ensure no logs are kept of your activity, all your traffic is encrypted, your IP is hidden behind a fake one, and the kill switch and leak protection are both activated. This means you can search for your perfect man or woman with complete peace of mind, knowing you’ve dodged the restrictions and are invisible to any online surveillance of government scrutiny.
CyberGhost is competitively priced and simple to use but doesn’t quite match up to the impressive standards set by our two top VPNs for unblocking dating sites.
Read more about CyberGhost in our extensive review here.
Why You Should Use a VPN for Online Dating
A VPN isn’t simply there to get you into blocked websites – like your perfect date, it has a host of other attractive features that prove invaluable in today’s cyber-crime-infested world. A VPN can give you the following benefits:
1. Personal Privacy
When you sign up to a dating site, the chances are you’ll be asked to share a wealth of personal information. While this is essential if you’re to have a successful online dating experience, it does make you vulnerable to hackers and other cybercriminals.
Unfortunately, not every with a profile on a dating site, and especially not those on a free dating site, is necessarily looking for love and statistics indicate that around 10% of all profiles on free dating sites are actually scammers looking to make a quick buck.
While a VPN can’t protect you against falling in love with the wrong person and being duped, it can prevent your private data from ending up in the wrong hands. Your login details are particularly vulnerable which is why the best VPNs for online dating should include a password generator that can give your dating account an extra layer of protection.
2. Unknown Location
By hiding your IP address behind a counterfeit, a VPN protects information about your geographical location as well, which helps protect you against potential stalkers and other unsavory characters you may meet online. Another benefit is that, without your IP address, many of the sites that would track your movements and use that information for targeting advertising, are unable to do so, meaning you can move around unseen and avoid unwanted spam and unwanted adverts.
Another benefit to creating a fake IP address is that it could save you money on online dating subscription charges. For example, subscribing to Match.com will cost you $20.99 per month if you sign up for a one-year subscription using a US IP address. If, however, you connect via a server in the UK, a six-month subscription will cost you just £9.99 per month, the equivalent of around $13, saving you $11 per month!
3. A Secret Affair
There are many different reasons people don’t necessarily want the world to know that they’re visiting online dating sites. Although the sad reality is that somewhere in the region of half of all online daters are actually already in some kind of relationship and about 11% are married, keeping online dating secret from your significant other isn’t the only reason to use a VPN to mask your activities.
People who are flat-sharing might not want their friends to find out about their online dating profiles, and we all know how cruel siblings can be about our private lives, so, sometimes, keeping your love life private is the best way to go.
Although much of the stigma about online dating has dissipated over recent years, that doesn’t stop friends or colleagues from teasing you about it, which is why many people use a VPN to keeping their online dating activities a secret from their nearest and dearest.
3 Crucial Online Dating Tips
While a VPN can protect you many levels, it does have its limitations and certainly won’t be much use to you if you’re on a date with someone you feel you can’t trust. You can’t rely on technology to provide all the protection – you have to be accountable too! At the very least, be aware of these following dangers and how to avoid them.
1. Danger: Malware
Malware is an umbrella term for malicious software that can infect and disrupt your device. By visiting a site that contains malware, you’re at risk of infection, and, unfortunately, that includes some popular online dating sites.
Check to see if your VPN app includes a malware protection feature and, if not, read up on our recommended anti-virus software and sign up for one, putting another brick into your cybersecurity wall.
2. Danger: Catfishing
A catfish is a person who creates a false identity on a social media or online dating site with the intent of establishing deceptive relationships.
Most importantly, if you suspect someone isn’t who they say they are, trust your instinct and don’t purpose the relationship. Other red flags that someone’s not telling the truth include:
- Too good to be true – rich, successful and drop-dead gorgeous? This should have your alarm bells ringing
- No images – if there are no photos and the person is reluctant to share any with you, encourage them to have a web chat instead. If they still refuse, just back away! Who knows what they might be hiding?
- Money requests – if anyone you’re chatting to online openly asks you for money, you should be suspicious. If it’s someone you’re thinking about a relationship with, walk away immediately – it obviously not your heart they’re after!
3. Danger: Going Offline
While some people truly are looking for love on an online dating site, others are looking for victims. Research indicates that online dating makes you more vulnerable to the possibility of sexual abuse of some kind and that 1 out of every 10 sex offenders meet their future victims through online dating platforms.
These are scary statistics which is why taking every precaution when meeting someone face-to-face for the first time is a must. Meeting someone for the first time is always nerve-racking and, even though you may have been chatting online for months before your first meeting, you need to remember that you’d don’t really know this person.
This is the ultimate stranger danger and that’s why you should always meet in a public place where you can get out of an uncomfortable, or dangerous situation, quickly. You should also ensure you always have enough cash on you to call a taxi so you know you’ve got an escape route if you need one.
It’s a good idea to tell a friend where you’re going and when you’re likely to be home so they can keep tabs on you and even call to check on you at specified times during the evening.
Lots of people are finding love online and you can too – you just need to make sure you use a top VPN to access the best online dating sites and use your common sense when it comes to meeting up with someone in the real world.
Although a VPN can’t protect you in a bar or restaurant, it can give you international access to your favorite online dating sites, protect your account information and dating profile against cybercrime, and hide your IP address, reducing unwanted advertising and the risk of any spurned potential love interest stalking you online.
The best VPNs for accessing online dating sites will give you international access, secure browsing, and should have the following features:
- Well-distributed network of servers
- Industry-standard encryption and protocols
- Cross-platform compatibility
- No-logging policy
- Good customer support, preferably including a live chat service.
Online dating does carry certain risks but having the proper cyber security software in place gives you protection online while following our tips above can help protect you against other, more terrestrial, threats.
With a VPN you can continue searching for your soulmate whether you’re in Texas or Timbuktu so there’s no reason to put your love life on hold for the sake of a business trip.