How to Watch Blocked YouTube Videos, Explained

Many YouTube videos have content restrictions and are locked by region or location, but there are a few workarounds to access the content you want.

Content on Youtube may be blocked in some regions due to content restrictions, however, there are a few workarounds that allow viewers to watch the content despite the restrictions. In some cases, user privacy could be improved as a result. Content restrictions based on location or region are nothing new. In fact, dating back to the days of DVDs, many discs featured digital rights management (DRM) software that restricted where content could be played. On an older DVD, the DRM software required that the disc be played on a DVD player or player sold in the same region. In the age of digital media, similar restrictions on access to content remain. It is now easier than ever to bypass these restrictions and enjoy content regardless of viewer location.

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It’s important to start by noting a misconception regarding access to region-locked content among Apple users. With the release of iOS 15 in the summer of 2021, a feature was announced called “iCloud Private Relay” which aims to protect user data from internet service providers and telecommunications companies. It’s easy to think that this feature could be a workaround for accessing region-locked content on YouTube. In order to comply with the same content restrictions that restrict videos, Apple does not offer this feature in its private relay service. Although the service is an easy way for Apple users to protect their privacy, it surprisingly won’t help when they try to access blocked YouTube videos.


Related: YouTube Premium Cost: Here’s How Much You’ll Pay For Ad-Free YouTube

Instead, users looking to watch region-locked content will need to use a virtual private network (VPN). Essentially, a VPN channels a user’s Internet activity through another server to hide the originating IP address of the user accessing the Internet. These types of networks have significant privacy benefits because Internet service providers, online websites, and even employers (in some cases) may not know a user’s browsing history. More importantly, most VPN services have servers all over the world. This means that users can choose the country or region in which they prefer to channel their online business. This feature allows viewers to access region-locked content from anywhere in the world.


How to Use a VPN


Text VPN over LAN

It is actually possible to set up a virtual private network without using any third-party service. However, since the goal is to spawn a computer in a different location, this would require having servers in different locations. For this reason, it is better to use a third-party service. These companies offer a subscription-based VPN that includes a variety of features, the most common of which is the ability to choose the location through which a user’s online activity is routed. After signing up for one of these services, viewers just need to choose the location where the YouTube video is locked. For example, if a user is in Europe and tries to access a video in North America, all they need to do is select a North American server to access the YouTube video.


VPNs aren’t the only way to access blocked YouTube videos, but they are the most legal way to bypass content restrictions. Otherwise, there are websites that can download YouTube videos regardless of user location. It is important to note however that in almost all jurisdictions this is piracy and downloading copyrighted content is not recommended. The only totally legal way to download YouTube videos is through the company’s premium subscription service. VPNs are by far the best method for watching YouTube videos blocked in other regions, and the privacy features are an added bonus.


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Source: Private Internet Access

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About the Author

Shirley K. Rosa