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6 Best VPNs for School: Unblock Wi-Fi Affordably

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Surfshark is the best VPN for beating school Wi-Fi limitations.

It’s affordable for students, has a sufficient number of servers, is equipped with obfuscation, and is compatible with regular student devices like smartphones and PCs.

But Surfshark isn’t the only tool.

There’s also NordVPN with obfuscated servers, IPVanish with Stealth VPN, CyberGhost with an extensive server network, and AtlasVPN, the best freemium option.

And for the students whose parents are on the Forbes list, ExpressVPN is a premium option with amazing features.

Ready to find out how to beat school Wi-Fi restrictions? Let’s roll!

The Best 3 VPNs for Unblocking School Wi-Fi

OBFUSCATED SERVERS
NordVPN
NordVPN devices

NordVPN has over 5,000 servers for bypassing Wi-Fi blocks. It has obfuscated servers for hiding VPN activity from the school network administrator. It also packs fast speeds for streaming and torrenting and can work on multiple portable devices.

4.6/5
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BEST OVERALL
Surfshark
Surfshark Devices

Surfshark offers unlimited device connections. Students can share the same account. It’s also the cheapest, has Camouflage Mode, fast speeds, and can work on smartphones and PCs. Furthermore, it has over 3200 servers for unblocking restricted school Wi-Fi.

4.8/5
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BEST FOR BEGINNERS
CyberGhost
cyberghost supported devices

CyberGhost has the largest server network, ideal for bypassing any restrictions on a school network. The connection speeds are enough to handle streaming and torrenting. It’s also compatible with Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows.

4.6/5
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By the end, you’ll know how to beat school network filters using a VPN without getting in trouble.

Want to Stream TikTok Videos in Math Class? Here’s What You Can Use

All work without play can make anyone want to scream. Itching to pop into TikTok real quick? Here’s a quick look at the 5 best VPNs for school.

  1. Surfshark – Best Overall + Fastest Connection Speeds
  2. NordVPN – Best Overall With Obfuscated Servers
  3. CyberGhost – Largest Server Network + Great Device Compatibility
  4. IPVanish – Advanced User Interface + Scramble Feature
  5. AtlasVPN – Best Free VPN With Server Swap
  6. ExpressVPN – Automatic Obfuscation With User-Friendly Interface

The Best VPNs for Unblocking Wi-Fi Affordably in School

Schools resort to blocking distracting websites and services from the school Wi-Fi to limit time-wasting and distractions. The following is a breakdown of how to beat these restrictions without getting in trouble.

Surfshark - Best Overall + Fastest Connection Speeds

Location Servers Connections Average Speeds Best Deal
The Netherlands 3200+ Unlimited 27Mbps $2.49/Month

Ability to Bypass Blocks

surfshark locations 1

Surfshark has over 3,200 servers in 95 countries.

The VPN server count is a little short of NordVPN, but enough to unblock streaming services, torrenting sites, and anything blocked by the network admin.

Surfshark may lack specialty servers like CyberGhost and NordVPN, but that doesn’t impact the unblocking ability. I accessed region-restricted services like Qobuz, Paramount Plus, and Hulu.

You can even surf the deep web without problems from your internet service provider.

Obfuscation

Surfshark’s obfuscation is called Camouflage Mode.

It makes any VPN connection look like regular internet traffic on the outside, throwing off any network administrator hunting for students using VPNs.

However, unlike ExpressVPN’s automated obfuscation, Camouflage Mode only works with the OpenVPN protocols.

Connection Speeds

surfshark connection speeds

This VPN provider gave me 27Mbps on average.

What stood out the most was that this was consistent across all protocols. The speeds don’t suffer much for you to attain obfuscation like they do with NordVPN.

These fast connection speeds and unlimited bandwidth could handle 4K streaming and torrenting without issues.

Therefore, If you want to do something constructive like downloading class tutorials from YouTube or distract yourself with Hi-Fi music streams while in class, Surfshark has the speed for that.

Affordability

Surfshark is the cheapest among all VPN services, perfect for students on a budget (they always are). But that’s not even the best part.

Surfshark is one of two options with unlimited device connections.

You can have many devices linked to the same account without adding another dime. You could practically have your entire class bypassing school network restrictions through one account.

Add these fantastic discounts to the mix, and you’re practically getting Surfshark for free.

Device Compatibility

Surfshark is compatible with all portable devices like other VPN providers on this list. A student just needs a connection to the school Wi-Fi and an Android, iOS, Windows, or Linux device.

Pros

Cons

NordVPN - Best Overall With Obfuscated Servers

Location Servers Connections Average Speeds Best Deal
Panama 5500+ Six 26Mbps $3.99/Month

Ability to Bypass Blocks

nordvpn country list

You can use NordVPN’s extensive server network to switch to another server outside the school area and quickly access anything you want.

You can catch your favorite anime on Crunchyroll from anywhere on your school Wi-Fi. Even students in heavily censored places like China can use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter without detection.

But this isn’t just limited to accessing entertainment services like Netflix or social media. You can also unblock valuable research sites from other schools in other regions.

Obfuscation

nordvpn obfuscated servers

The school network administrator is likely aware that tech-savvy students will try to beat the blocks.

NordVPN’s obfuscation will hide traces of a VPN from your traffic, making detection hard. Getting caught accessing the wrong website is enough grounds for suspension, and we don’t want that!

However, unlike ExpressVPN, with automated obfuscation across all servers and protocols, you’ll have to manually activate obfuscated servers from the settings. It only works with OpenVPN.

Connection Speeds

nordvpn connection speeds

NordVPN is among the fastest VPNs on this list, and I averaged speeds of 26Mbps. But, there’s an internet speed pitfall where obfuscated servers are concerned.

NordVPN’s obfuscated servers are painfully slow.

I only managed 5Mbps, which won’t do you good if you want to stream or torrent at school. Choosing between super speeds at the risk of being caught or slow speeds with the benefit of a super veil is a tightrope to walk on.

However, with 26Mbps on regular servers, I could stream 4K movies and shows and rush through huge downloads in minutes. You’ll be better served using standard servers if the school isn’t strict on VPN use.

Affordability

NordVPN isn’t the cheapest option, but compared to ExpressVPN, the price plan is pocket change for a student, with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

There are two ways a student can tackle this. Either take advantage of these discounts or pool resources with five other students to take advantage of NordVPN’s six simultaneous device connections.

Device Compatibility

NordVPN is compatible with macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS devices. Since students primarily use PCs and mobile phones in school, bypassing blocks without anyone getting suspicious is easy.

You could even hide in the washrooms with your device and stream the afternoon away.

Pros

Cons

CyberGhost - Largest Server Network + Great Device Compatibility

Location Servers Connections Average Speeds Best Deal
Romania 8800+ Seven 20Mbps $2.99/Month

Ability to Bypass Blocks

cyberghost for streaming servers

CyberGhost currently has over 8700 servers worldwide, the largest network on this list and perfect for anyone looking to unblock school WiFi.

Like NordVPN, it has specialty servers, but in CyberGhost’s case, they’re dedicated to streaming and torrenting.

CyberGhost is also adept at dealing with heavy censorship, ideal for student VPN users in China looking for a way to safely access banned social media sites like Facebook or streaming platforms like Netflix.

The dedicated streaming servers are optimized for specific platforms.

They range from HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, Netflix, etc. This is convenient and easy for beginners.

Obfuscation

CyberGhost doesn’t have obfuscation, and that’s a bummer considering its extensive server network and fast speeds.

The chance of getting caught using a VPN by a determined network administrator is very high. So only go for this if you’re sure you won’t get in trouble using a VPN.

Connection Speeds

cyberghost connection speeds

CyberGhost averaged 20Mbps across streaming, torrenting and regular servers. I used the IKEv2 protocol, as it’s faster.

This was still slower than NordVPN, Surfshark, and ExpressVPN, but you shouldn’t have problems downloading or streaming HD content.

You may have buffering issues for 4K videos, though.

Affordability

CyberGhost is well within the affordable range of most students and allows for up to 7 device connections.

That’s more than ExpressVPN and NordVPN. It shouldn’t be hard to link up with six other students to pay for one account and use it without limitations.

You can also use this discounted VPN subscription to get the best deal.

Device Compatibility

CyberGhost works with all standard devices used by students—Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and Linux.

As long as you’re within range of the school network, you can access all the restricted websites without trouble from any device.

Pros

Cons

Atlas VPN - Best Free VPN With Server Swap

Location Servers Connections Average Speeds Best Deal
United States 750+ Unlimited 20Mbps $1.89/Month

Ability to Bypass Blocks

atlasvpn all servers

AtlasVPN has the smallest server network, with just 750 in 43 locations. This limits the freedom you may have to bypass school Wi-Fi blocks, especially in places where the restrictions are stricter.

The small number of servers also means performance isn’t as good as CyberGhost, for example. Fewer servers potentially lead to overcrowding, and this affects speeds. But, you can still beat blocks with this to some extent.

The saving grace is that AtlasVPN has a free version that gives users three free locations in the US and Netherlands.

However, premium Atlas has streaming dedicated servers like CyberGhost. With this, you can unblock streaming platforms from the US like Netflix, HBO Max, or Hulu.

Obfuscation

atlasvpn safeswap feature

AtlasVPN doesn’t offer obfuscation. That was even confirmed by a customer care rep I contacted.

However, AtlasVPN has a feature called SafeSwap that gives users multiple IP addresses that constantly rotate as they use the VPN.

This not only boosts your privacy but makes detecting your VPN activities very hard. The network admin may know you’re using a VPN but won’t have enough time to pin your exact location as you’ll have switched to another IP.

Connection Speeds

atlasvpn connection speeds

AtlasVPN was surprisingly fast, with average speeds of 20Mpbs when IKEv2 combined with streaming servers. This is faster than IPVanish and on par with CyberGhost. Not bad for a VPN with a limited server network.

This may not get you a smooth performance when watching 4K content, but anything 1080p and below will be flawless.

Waiting times during downloads should be bearable too.

Affordability

AtlasVPN is the only option here with a free version (Not to be confused with a free trial). But it’s limited in most aspects.

For example, you only get three locations. However, that may be enough if all you want is access to TikTok or Reddit.

However, for more serious needs like streaming and downloading, you’ll need to buy the full version, which isn’t expensive. You can bump that price down by using these fantastic deals.

Device Compatibility

AtlasVPN has native apps for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, so students can rest easy knowing they can access what they want from any corner of the school without anyone looking over their shoulder.

Pros

Cons

IPVanish - Advanced User Interface + Scramble Feature

IPVanish website
Location Servers Connections Average Speeds Best Deal
United States 2000+ Unlimited 7Mbps $3.33/Month

Ability to Bypass Blocks

ipvanish server locations

IPVanish has about 2,000 serversThat’s less than all the other options except AtlasVPN. But considering the needs of the average student who just wants to beat Wi-Fi blocks, it’s enough.

The servers are well distributed, giving access to blocked streaming sites or learning resources from other regions. It worked well with HBO Max, and I could also open academic websites only available in specific countries.

Obfuscation

ipvanish openvpn options

IPVanish’s obfuscation is called ScrambleLike Camouflage Mode, it bypasses data packet inspections by disguising all the fingerprints that can be used to identify VPN traffic. It works with the OpenVPN protocol only.

Scramble functions on Windows, macOS, Android, and Fire TV devices, so iOS and Linux users aren’t lucky. Additionally, it’s not as foolproof, and anyone determined enough (like China) can sniff you out.

But for something as simple as a school network, it should get the job done.

Connection Speeds

ipvanish connection speeds

With average speeds of 7Mbps, IPVanish is the slowest option on this list. This may not be a big deal for a beginner, but you’ll be limited to streaming SD content and have to deal with long download waiting times.

On the flip side, if all you want is to read manga in class or watch funny clips on social media platforms like TikTok, IPVanish will get you there without a hassle.

But you can kiss 4K content goodbye because this simply won’t cut it.

Affordability

ipvanish subscription prices

Besides the superb usability, IPVanish made it to this list because of the price point. It’s in the same bracket as Surfshark, perfectly ideal for students who have to balance their finances for the semester.

Another redeeming aspect is that IPVanish, like Surfshark, supports unlimited device connections. School and college students can link their devices through the same account, saving them money.

The icing on the cake is the ongoing discount you should take advantage of right now.

Device Compatibility

IPVansih has native Windows, iOS, Android, and macOS apps.

All these are devices common around schools. This also means you can access what you want from anywhere discreetly and conveniently.

Pros

Cons

ExpressVPN - Automatic Obfuscation With User-Friendly Interface

Location Servers Connections Average Speeds Best Deal
BVI 3000+ 5 24Mbps $6.67/Month

Ability to Bypass Blocks

ExpressVPN has over 3,000 servers in 94 countries, which keeps rising.

So unblocking restricted school networks is easy on any device you’re using. The servers are well distributed, allowing you to access social media sites, streaming platforms, academic journals, etc.

ExpressVPN is also very good at dealing with the heavy censorship in China or Russia. I easily watched Hulu and HBO Max shows, which are restricted outside the US.

Reddit and Facebook are blocked in China, but ExpressVPN can get you through. The possibilities are unlimited.

Obfuscation

ExpressVPN has automatic obfuscation on every server and protocol.

This is better than what Surfshark and NordVPN offer, as they require manual activation, with the obfuscation being limited to specific protocols.

With ExpressVPN, you only need to launch it and go about your business without worrying about network admins sniffing you out.

Connection Speeds

expressvpn connection speeds

ExpressVPN is among the fastest VPNs, and I averaged 24Mbps, a good return on the investment. This is an ideal speed for fast torrenting and smooth streaming, and depending on your base internet speeds, you may get even more than this.

IKEv2 is the fastest protocol, but others like OpenVPN UDP and Lightway UDP can also give you impressive speeds. Play around with them until you find optimum speed.

Affordability

The price tag was the only thing that kept ExpressVPN from the top spot, considering it ticked all the other boxes. Frankly, it’s beyond the affordable range of a regular student.

Connection slots up to five devices may help subsidize this amount, but it would make more sense to just go with something like Surfshark.

If your dad is a hedge fund manager and you eat caviar for breakfast, here are some great discounts that can help you save extra money for your vacation in Bali.

Device Compatibility

ExpressVPN is compatible with major operating systems in portable devices like all other options. You can use it on Android, macOS, Windows, and iOS. The user interface is immaculate and simple, even for a new user.

Pros

Cons

Buying Guide for the Best VPN for Schools and Colleges

Here are quick pointers to help you find your ideal VPN for unblocking school Wi-Fi.

  • Ability to bypass blocks: The VPN has to bypass the network block, achieved through large server networks with many options. So go for a VPN with more servers like CyberGhost over an option like AtlasVPN.
  • Obfuscation: Unblocking restricted serves is half the job; you must ensure you don’t get caught since you’re flouting school rules. You need a VPN with obfuscation to hide traces of VPN from Deep Packet Inspection. Some, like ExpressVPN, have an advanced obfuscation framework that works with all protocols and servers.
  • Connection speeds: Most students don’t bypass blocks to read academic journals (some do). A majority go for streaming platforms, social media sites, and downloads. All these require fast speeds, so you must use a fast and stable VPN. Some of the best VPN services like CyberGhost and AtlasVPN have streaming dedicated servers.
  • Affordability: The luxury of splashing money on an expensive VPN like ExpressVPN isn’t there for most students. It’s more sensible to go for the cheapest VPN that gets them what they want, like Surfshark. You should also pay attention to device connection slots. More slots mean you can combine resources with others to get a premium VPN to sort out everyone.
  • Device compatibility: A good VPN should have a native app for commonly used devices. Smartphones and PCs make up a majority of student devices, so a VPN compatible with these will go a long way in providing solutions for beating school Wi-Fi blocks.

Can I Use a Free VPN to Bypass Blocked School Wi-Fi?

You can use free VPN services to bypass blocked school Wi-Fi. AtlasVPN is a good free VPN that can be used for this purpose. However, using a free VPN is not recommended for several reasons.

Free VPNs are often less reliable than paid ones. They may have slower speeds and connection issues.

Second, free VPNs may collect and sell your data. They may sell your browsing data to advertisers or use it for other purposes without your consent. This is a major privacy concern.

Finally, free VPNs can’t handle malware. This is a serious security risk, as malware can infect your device and steal your personal information. You should consider using a paid VPN service instead. Paid VPNs are more reliable and offer better speeds and privacy.

How to Use a VPN on School Wi-Fi Networks?

  1. Get a Surfshark account and download the app.
get surfshark account
  1. Launch and connect to the right server location.
surfshark all locations
  1. Enjoy school Wi-Fi without any restrictions.
hulu home

Can I Access VPN Websites at School?

Many schools also block access to VPN websites. This is because VPNs can be used to bypass the school’s internet filtering system and access blocked content.

If you try to access a VPN website at school, you will likely see a message saying the site is blocked. You can access the site if you use a proxy server or VPN that the school’s network does not block.

However, using VPNs to bypass internet filtering is illegal in many countries. Additionally, your school may take disciplinary action if they find out you’re using a VPN to access blocked content.

Why Do Schools Block Websites and Apps?

It’s no secret that schools block specific websites and apps on their networks. But why do they do this? For example:

  • Many schools block websites and apps to protect their students from inappropriate content.
  • Some websites and apps can be distracting or addictive, interfering with a student’s learning.
  • Schools want to ensure that students use their time wisely when they are supposed to be learning.
  • Websites and apps may be blocked because they can pose a security risk.
  • Some schools want to avoid any potential legal liability from allowing students to access certain types of content.

How Do Colleges and Schools Block Websites?

There are a variety of methods that colleges and schools use to block websites.

The most common method is to use a proxy server that will intercept all requests made to web servers and redirect them to a different server, which will then return the requested content to the user.

Another common method is to use a firewall that will block all web traffic from specific IP addresses or ranges of IP addresses. This is often used to block websites that contain malicious content or are known to be sources of spam.

Colleges and schools can block access to specific websites by adding them to a blacklist. This blacklist can be maintained by the college, school, or a third-party service.

When users try to access a website on the blacklist, they will be redirected to a different page, typically displaying an error message.

FAQs

Surfshark is the best option for Chromebook users at school.

It has a strict no-logs policy, ensuring your privacy is always protected.

You also get a kill switch and DNS leak protection, ensuring your data is always safe. Furthermore, it’s compatible with several popular streaming platforms, so you can access your favorite content while at school.

Surfshark is an excellent option for laptop users at school. It can bypass any firewalls or filters your school put in place, allowing you to access the internet freely. Moreover, it has obfuscation, so your online activity is private and secure. It’s also the cheapest around, something a student can afford.

NordVPN is the best VPN for school on iPhone because it is fast, secure, and easy to use. With NordVPN, you can unblock websites and apps, protect your internet traffic, and access content that is blocked in your country.

The school can detect if you are using a VPN. They can detect and block VPN traffic if they have implemented network security measures.

However, if you are using a reputable and well-encrypted VPN service with obfuscation like ExpressVPN or Surfshark, it will be very difficult for them to tell that you are using a VPN.

Surfshark is the best VPN for bypassing school Wi-Fi. It can unblock various websites and services, including YouTube, Facebook, and Netflix.

Additionally, it offers obfuscation through Camouflage Mode to hide VPN use from the school network administrator. It’s also fast enough to handle streaming and torrenting and offers unlimited device connections.

To top it off, it’s affordable.

Like any other website, a school can block a VPN. Schools can block websites they deem as inappropriate for students. If a school has decided to block VPN access, students will not be able to use them while on school grounds.

However, students can still use VPNs if they connect to the internet from home or another location outside school.

Final Word

The excellent news about blocked school Wi-Fi is that they don’t use advanced blocking methods like totalitarian governments. This opens up opportunities for students to beat them and Surfshark still is my best recommendation.

NordVPN comes a close second for its obfuscated servers, and CyberGhost also has a shout with its extensive network server. You can also rely on IPVanish, AtlasVPN, and ExpressVPN.

Lastly, don’t forget to get your Surfshark subscription with these discounts!

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