How to Unblock WhatsApp with a VPN

Last updated on June 29, 2021

Getting around geographical restrictions to connect with your family and friends on apps like WhatsApp is becoming more challenging.

Countries are tightening their internet censorship laws and cracking down on their messaging features but a way around that is with use of a reliable VPN. We recommend ExpressVPN to bypass those restrictions; it’s safe, reliable and affordable.

It’s hard to find the right service to stay connected with your friends, family and even co-workers while abroad. WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging platforms in the world that runs on the internet – telephone service is closer to becoming a thing of the past.

With free calling to almost anywhere in the world, it is easier to contact those who matter. As nice as that sounds, not every country allows access to WhatsApp, and some users have looked to other alternatives in order to gain access.

In this article

Where is WhatsApp Blocked?

In countries like China, accessing WhatsApp can be considered unlawful due to strict government-issued censorship laws. Censorship is so strict, it is commonly referred to as ‘The Great Firewall of China.’

For decades, China has been known for blocking search engines, news sites, and social media sites and apps. While video and photo sharing features had already been blocked on WhatsApp, 2017 saw the communist state block WhatsApp outright. (Adding it to the growing list of other VoIP apps banned, including Skype and Viber.)

And they’re not the only ones who have blocked access to WhatsApp. The app is also blocked in:

United Arab Emirates

Because the UAE wants its 80% expat population to sign up with local, fee-based services like Etisalat and Du, WhatsApp and other VoIP services are blocked.

North Korea

North Korea and privacy don’t go together very well – encrypted traffic is difficult to monitor. Because of its end-to-end encryption, WhatsApp has been illegal in North Korea since 2018.


Pretty much every messaging app is blocked in Iran. But WhatsApp was banned in May 2014 because of the app’s supposed “Zionist connection” (no doubt antisemitic sentiment aimed at Mark Zuckerberg, the head of the company).


Only licensed VoIP providers can be used in Qatar and WhatsApp is on the blocked list. You can still use it for messaging, but WhatsApp calls are jammed.


Lockdowns on applications that encrypt traffic internet censorship are rife in worn-torn Syria. That means WhatsApp and other messaging apps are a no-go.

How to Run WhatsApp through a VPN

If you are traveling to one of these countries or live there and want to use this popular messaging service, you are not alone. That’s why VPN’s are so useful. Virtual private networks are meant to be the key to unlock WhatsApp restrictions.

A VPN for WhatsApp encrypts your internet traffic and routes it to a server located anywhere of your choosing. So, you can be in Jordan and access the app as if you were in the U.S.

This sort of virtual tunnel is an untraceable path to gain access to content restricted in your current country. That means you will be able to make and receive calls and messages on WhatsApp while in a restricted country.

You just have to download a reliable VPN, connect to a country where it is unrestricted and use WhatsApp freely.

Geographical restriction problem solved!

A VPN is the perfect answer to ‘how to unlock WhatsApp’. It’s safe, reliable and when you do your research to find a really reliable one, you can be sure your connection will be smooth and untraceable.

How to Unblock WhatsApp with a VPN in 3 Simple Steps

  1. Download the VPN of your choice, either from the Google Play Store (Android), or the App Store (iPhone).
  2. Open up the VPN app on your mobile device, turn it on and select a location. (Anywhere that WhatsApp isn’t blocked will work just fine.)
  3. Open up WhatsApp and start chatting with family and friends. You can create groups, send unlimited text and video messages, post videos, and leave audio messages.

Best VPNs to Unblock WhatsApp Calls and Message Service

We’ve tested out the best VPNs to unblock WhatsApp and came up with some useful findings. Time to get busy and find the best option for VPN WhatsApp apps to unblock WhatsApp.

#1 ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is our first choice as the best VPN for WhatsApp. The service is compatible with iOS, Android, Windows, Blackberry and more. That also means it’s available as a WhatsApp VPN for iPhone and a WhatsApp VPN for Android. If you need a server in a location where WhatsApp isn’t blocked, ExpressVPN has them in spades – over 140 locations and over 1,500 available servers. With all these servers, you can guarantee fast speeds and minimal, if any, lag time.

The service starts at $12.95 for a one-month subscription and $9.99 for a six-month subscription. The best deal is with their 15-month subscription (one year + three months free) that runs $6.67 per month. Although not a free VPN for WhatsApp, users still have the option of a 30-day money back guarantee. ExpressVPN does the best job as the VPN WhatsApp app.

ExpressVPN for WhatsApp

#2 NordVPN

Helping users get past geographical restrictions and connect through chat apps is one of the primary features of NordVPN. With the promise of secure browsing while even on the go, the service works with iOS and Android devices. For one month of service with NordVPN, users pay $11.95. For the six month plan, it is $7.00 per month, the one year plan comes in at $6.99 per month, and their cheapest price comes with a two-year subscription at $3.99 per month. NordVPN offers a 30-day money back guarantee so if you don’t like the service, you can get a refund and it’s like you had a free VPN for WhatsApp.

NordVPN for WhatsApp

#3 PrivateVPN

With PrivateVPN, unlocking WhatsApp is possible across all operating systems. With a user-friendly interface, this service is a great option at an affordable price. A monthly subscription is $10.95 a month, three months at $6.75 per month, and for 15 months (one year + three months free) for $2.98 per month. With a 30-month money back guarantee, it’s easy to say they have the confidence to gain you access to use your messages as you please.

PrivateVPN for WhatsApp

#4 IPVanish

Easy to use and reliable, IPVanish is a great choice for unblocking WhatsApp. The service has a great seven day back money guarantee and promises secure browsing when covered by their service. Priced at one month for $10.00, three months for $8.99 per month, and their yearly price of $6.49 per month, it is an affordable option that is effective and able to bypass blocks.

IPVanish for WhatsApp

VPN for WhatsApp Troubleshoot

ISP Troubles

Internet Services Providers (ISPs) don’t like people circumventing their blocks. Here are two common ways that ISPs can shut out VPN users and how you can get around the WhatsApp VPN problem:

Blocking VPNs

Not only do they block content, but ISPs can also block known VPNs. As soon as they find an IP associated with a VPN server, they block it. Get in touch with your VPN provider to find servers that still open, allowing you to use WhatsApp.

Blocking ports

Even if you get around the blocked servers, your ISP might have blocked the ports that WhatsApp uses. Ports are the channels in which your devices communicate to outside systems, so it’s like your ISP setting up a roadblock. Your ISP can reroute the traffic to WhatsApp through a different port – kind of like taking a back road.

DNS Leak

If your VPN leaks your IP, your ISP can figure out who you actually are. This happens with free-to-use VPNs or if you have intermittent service that causes your VPN to drop. Using reputable VPNs (like the ones suggested above) with a kill switch will stop DNS leaks and keep you hidden.

Public Wi-FI Blocking WhatsApp

You might find that many public Wi-Fi hotspots block services like WhatsApp and Snapchat, meaning you need a VPN for WhatsApp and other popular applications. This is usually for security reasons, but using the best VPN for WhatsApp available to you will get around those issues.

Curious how to get around it? Follow these steps.

  1. Sign up with the best VPN for WhatsApp available
  2. Download and log into the VPN software onto your device
  3. Connect to a foreign VPN server
  4. Enjoy access to WhatsApp and other social media platforms

It’s as easy as that.

Conclusions regarding VPN for WhatsApp

To ensure you have the best VPN service for going around internet restrictions of some countries, you should analyze the pricing and compatibility options.

That’s why we recommend ExpressVPN as the best VPN app to unblock WhatsApp because of price, ease of use, and compatibility across all operating systems.

A parting piece of advice: be aware that if you decide to travel to China – because the country has banned VPN apps in the iStore, you will have to download the VPN before you travel.

Happy traveling and check back with us soon for more on how to unblock WhatsApp.

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