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How to bypass and work around VPN blocks when you can't access websites
Photo © Tero Vesalainen |
Tech tips

Why you can’t access some sites while you’re on a VPN and what to do

Presented by ExpressVPN

Presented by ExpressVPN

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Let’s say you’re browsing the web with a VPN. You’re protecting your privacy, so you’re confident that hackers and advertisers can’t track you. Then you try to go to a site and it just won’t load.

This can throw a wrench into your productivity when you’re working. Or it can ruin your mood when you’re trying to have fun online. Tap or click here for free games you can play right from your browser.

If you want to bypass those infuriating errors that say “The page you are looking for can’t be found,” we can help. Here’s what to do when a VPN stops site access.

Why you can’t access certain content with a VPN

There are a few reasons why you can’t access certain apps or websites when your VPN is on. First, you may be dealing with connectivity issues. Perhaps the VPN you’re using is having server issues.

It could also be that the app or online service you want to access can’t connect to your VPN’s server. Then again, some sites go out of their way to block connections from VPN servers.

The site owners aren’t trying to make your life harder. They block VPNs to cover their backsides. (Legally, not literally.)

Many websites block VPNs because they don’t want to break their contracts. To put it simply, lots of VPN users want to bypass geo-blocking features.

Say you want to watch content that isn’t available in the U.S. If your favorite show is available in the U.K, you can connect to a server there so your internet can access that show. Tap or click here to unlock international Netflix to access more movies and shows.

Streaming services don't want you to work around VPN blocks. We can help you unlock international movies and shows blocked in your home country.
Using a VPN gives you more options for family movie nights. | Photo © Monkey Business Images |

Streaming sites don’t like this very much. It lands them in hot water with the production companies they team up with. Here’s why:

  • Streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu have long and complicated contracts with production companies.
  • Those contracts may involve location limits as part of licensing contracts. Production companies often have stipulations like, “You can stream this show, but only in Canada since we don’t want it in the U.S.”
  • Certain websites/services, like PayPal, Venmo and CashApp, identify users for legal purposes through their IP addresses. This is used to resolve problems such as fraud.

Streaming sites don’t want to violate the clauses in their contracts. They want to cover themselves and avoid legal trouble. Thus, they block VPNs.

RELATED: Watch free movies online from these streaming services

Let’s look into some other possibilities. Perhaps a site you’re visiting has outdated security certificates, which a VPN may interpret as being malicious.

Don’t disable your VPN; you need it for safety and privacy protection. If you’re dealing with issues like this, there are a few easy fixes you can try first.

How to work around VPN blocks

Tech issues are a common culprit. Here are a few tech tips to try:

  1. Switch servers: Maybe you’re connected to an international server the site doesn’t like. Before you do anything else, you should switch between various servers. The issue may be as simple as the site not wanting traffic from that country.
  2. Turn off threat detection: Only do this if you’re sure the site you’re trying to connect to is trustworthy. Go into your VPN and turn off cybersecurity features designed to stop you from accessing dangerous sites.
  3. Add exceptions: Sometimes, false alarms cause errors. For example, maybe the domain owner didn’t upgrade their certificates. This can raise red flags for your VPN, which then blocks the site.
  4. Restart your device: Maybe your computer needs a restart. Tech issues running in the background can block sites. Resetting your device can fix the issue.
  5. Clear your browser cache: Maybe some cookies are getting in the way. You can also update your browser — a good practice regardless.
  6. Switch to a different browser: If you’re using Google Chrome, give Edge or Firefox a try. Sometimes, websites and browsers don’t get along well.
  7. Use an incognito window: It’s worth a try. Tap or click here for 3 ways incognito mode can save you.

Maybe the VPN you’re using isn’t the best. We can help with that.

Our top VPN pick

Now that you know how to work around VPN blocks, let’s see if you need to upgrade. When you’re looking for VPNs, you’ll find a lot of options. Our pick is ExpressVPN. Kim trusts it and so should you.

Aside from helping you bypass geo-blocks, VPNs also protect your privacy from Big Tech corporations. These companies are supposed to safely handle our personal online data, but now they’re getting into the political game.

In other words, Big Tech companies want your data. They can match your internet activity to your identity or location by using your public IP address. Here at the Komando HQ, we don’t want any part of that and neither should you.

With ExpressVPN, no one sees your IP address. No one.

Protect your privacy. Get three months free when you sign up for one year at

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