Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) encrypt your internet connection to bypass parental controls and access blocked websites on your devices.
VPNs can also keep parents, guardians, and network admins from seeing the sites you visit or other internet activity.
Despite that, not all parental controls can be bypassed by VPNs.
So, continue reading to learn which parental controls on Wi-Fi you can and can’t bypass with a VPN and how to properly set up your VPN.
How to Setup a VPN to Bypass Parental Controls on Wi-Fi?
You’ll need a reliable Virtual Private Network (VPN) to bypass parental controls on Wi-Fi networks and access all the apps you want. Also, you should always enable the kill switch, connect to the correct protocols, and choose a suitable server.
I’ll briefly discuss how to set up your VPN correctly below.
Enable the Kill Switch
An enabled kill switch prevents the parental control app/software from sensing you if the VPN connection randomly drops. Likewise, suppose your parents or guardian monitor the network. In that case, they won’t see you’re circumventing their blocks.
Here’s how to enable the kill switch:
- Choose a reliable VPN. I recommend NordVPN for bypassing parental controls.
- Go to “Settings.”
- Select “Kill Switch.”
- Toggle “Internet Kill Switch” on.
Some VPN providers, like NordVPN, don’t have a kill switch setting in the iOS app. However, it’s enabled by default when you connect to a server.
Still, ensure you have/don’t have the setting on your iOS or Android device instead of assuming it’s not there.
Choose a Suitable Protocol
The WireGuard protocol or its equivalent (such as NordLynx for NordVPN) is the first protocol option to consider.
However, if the parental control software has a firewall setup, you may need obfuscation protocols. Most VPN providers offer this feature under the OpenVPN protocol.
For ExpressVPN, though, you get obfuscation on all protocols.
Here’s how to choose a preferred protocol.
- Launch your preferred VPN provider. I’ll use NordVPN for this example.
- Go to “Settings.”
- Select “Auto-Connect.”
- Toggle off “Choose a VPN protocol and server automatically” to manually choose the preferred protocol.
- Select “NordLynx” for mild parental blocks or “OpenVPN (TCP)” to bypass firewall/more severe blocks.
- Optional: If you chose “OpenVPN (TCP),” click “Advanced” and toggle “Obfuscated Servers (OpenVPN (TCP)).”
Connect to a VPN Server
After enabling the kill switch and choosing a suitable protocol, complete the process by connecting to a preferred VPN server.
Here’s a stepwise guide to help you:
- Return to the home page and search for a preferred server. I’ll use Spain for this demonstration.
- Optional: If using obfuscation, select “Obfuscated Servers” under “Specialty Servers.”
- Click the preferred location. Wait for NordVPN to assign you the best server in the chosen location automatically.
- Test for leaks (go to www.ipleak.net).
- Bypass parental controls.
If you’re unsure what server to connect to, read this straightforward guide to VPN server locations.
You’ll also find insights on whether your country is safe to connect to.
How to Choose the Right VPN to Bypass Parental Controls?
Not all VPNs are great for defeating parental control settings.
I tested 21+ VPNs, and only a few could bypass Circle by Disney and other parental control software.
Here are the core features shared by the VPNs that worked:
- Reliable encryption. The working VPNs use AES 256-bit encryption to tunnel your data, preventing the parental control software from restricting your internet activity.
- Multiple servers. The best VPNs will have servers in your home country and abroad. Thus, you retain access to local content and can unblock international content too.
- Kill switch. Otherwise, your network admin or the parental control software can notice your circumvention tactics if the VPN connection drops.
- No-logs policy. Since your network admin can’t see what you’re doing, they might contact the VPN provider to collect that data. Fortunately, the VPN providers don’t collect the data, either.
- Speed. The last thing you want is for a VPN to bypass parental blocks, but you’re suddenly getting slow streams on Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, or other networks.
- Ease of Use. From setup to application, your VPN should be seamless.
- Multi-platform compatibility. So, you can avoid parental controls on your smartphones, PCs, and gaming consoles with one VPN.
Best VPNs to Bypass Parental Controls on Wi-Fi
Considering the selection criteria discussed above, these VPNs came out on top after my parental control bypass tests.
NordVPN – Reliable Encryption to Bypass Parental Controls
Connect to any of NordVPN’s 5400+ servers in 59 countries to bypass local parental controls and unblock internationally-available content in the same breath. Here are some reasons why this VPN tops my list:
- AES 256-bit encryption protects your internet activity from the parental control software and network admins.
- A decent country count, so you stand a higher chance of getting a server in your country.
- Double kill switch on the PC app. That shows utmost dedication to your privacy.
- An audited no-logs policy, so NordVPN won’t tell your network admin what you were doing when you bypassed the parental control settings.
- Fast VPN (especially over its NordLynx protocol) to stream Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and other content in HD.
- You can set up the VPN to bypass parental controls in under five minutes.
- Enjoy NordVPN on PCs, mobile devices, supported smart TVs, select routers, and streaming devices like Roku, Amazon Firestick, etc.
- Six simultaneous connections to bypass parental controls on multiple devices.
Despite that impressive feature list to bypass parental controls, NordVPN is surprisingly affordable.
Plus, you can enjoy exclusive NordVPN deals to save more on your subscription.
Surfshark – Bypass Parental Controls on Unlimited Devices
Surfshark allows you to circumvent parental controls on unlimited devices under the same subscription without bandwidth throttling.
It also offers other exciting features:
- Servers optimized for 1Gbps – 10Gbps speeds. So, bypass parental controls and stream Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, or browse the web faster.
- 3200+ servers in 95 countries to unblock content behind the parental control firewall from your country and abroad.
- Industry-standards AES 256-bit protocol to ensure your network admin or the parental control software can’t interfere with your live traffic.
- Kill switch settings in the PC and mobile apps.
- Audited no-logs policy for better privacy against your network admin, even if they go snooping around.
- Easy to set up on PCs, mobile devices, streaming services, select smart TVs, and routers. You’ll be up and running in minutes.
You’d expect a VPN that offers unlimited simultaneous connections with no speed cap to be expensive. Surprisingly, Surfshark is the most affordable VPN listed.
However, don’t forget these Surfshark discounts to lower the price further.
PrivateVPN – Fast Stealth Service to Defeat Firewall Blocks
PrivateVPN might not have a lot of servers, but each one is potent enough to defeat parental controls. Likewise, it offers the fastest Stealth VPN option on the list, ensuring you bypass stricter parental controls without losing speed.
Here’s an overview of what to expect from PrivateVPN:
- Industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption makes it impossible for parental control software to restrict your internet usage.
- 200+ servers in 63 countries to bypass parental controls.
- Stealth VPN that disguises your VPN traffic to unblock firewall-level parental controls. Thankfully, you don’t lose much speed.
- Works with PCs, mobile devices, Kodi, and routers. Setup is straightforward
PrivateVPN has a conservative pricing plan, considering you can use it on ten devices simultaneously.
Despite that, don’t miss out on these PrivateVPN deals for an even better value.
How Does a VPN Bypass a Parental Controls App?
Parental control software is often installed and configured on the internet network level.
The software maps itself to the network by identifying that network’s IP address/IP range and applying its settings to devices connecting to the web via those IP addresses.
Some parental control software also goes to the DNS level, poisoning DNS requests to banned websites.
That’s where a VPN comes in.
A reliable VPN assigns you a new IP address after connecting to a remote server. Thus, your device bypasses the router/network’s IP address and exchanges data with the VPN-assigned IP address instead.
That way, the parental control software can’t see the data exchange, preventing it from restricting your internet access.
Likewise, VPNs assign you new DNS addresses from their privately-managed DNS library. That gives you an extra layer of reliability since the parental control software is completely locked out of your internet activity.
Is a VPN Better Than a Proxy for Bypassing Parental Controls?
Proxy servers can also be used to hack parental controls and get access to some blocked websites. However, they’re not as reliable as VPNs.
Most popular proxy sites don’t encrypt your IP or DNS addresses, exposing you to parental control software blocks. Likewise, they lack strong encryption to defeat specific anti-circumvention and firewall block setup in some parental control software.
On the flip side, reliable VPNs are great at encrypting your traffic, assigning secure IP addresses, unblocking content quickly, and bypassing firewalls in parental control apps.
What Type of Wi-Fi Parental Controls Can a VPN Bypass?
Here’s a quick overview of the kinds of parental control settings a VPN can help you bypass:
- Content filtering. Get around filtered websites, keywords, and other queries blocked by the parental control app by connecting to a VPN server.
- Online censorship. Bypass censorships of specific websites, website groups, and other online content with a VPN. You may need obfuscation protocols here.
- Firewalls. Whether it’s set on the network/router or device level, connecting to a VPN will help defeat firewalls. Again, you may need obfuscation protocols.
- Network-related restrictions. Suppose your ISP offers apps to the network admin to monitor and restrict your internet access. In that case, a VPN will render those useless.
However, as great as a VPN is, it can’t bypass all forms of parental controls.
Continue reading to learn what to do in those cases.
What Type of Wi-Fi Parental Controls Can't a VPN Bypass?
Before you get a VPN to tackle parental controls, ensure your VPN can help the restrictions. Here are some cases where your VPN may not work alone or at all:
- Browsing history monitoring. Your VPN can’t delete device-specific history, so anyone with physical access can see it. Combining a VPN with private/incognito browsing mode is best here.
- Download history monitoring. A VPN will hide your live download traffic, but it can’t hide the download history on your devices. So, remember to delete those/use Incognito browsing mode.
- Device-related restrictions. If your device can’t access the internet, there’s little to nothing a VPN can do.
- Time restrictions. While a VPN will bypass website blocks, it may not extend the time limits set on the network.
7 Other Ways to Bypass Parental Controls
Besides using a VPN, you can try these other methods to bypass parental control software settings. However, these methods are often limited, and you’ll get the best functionality from a VPN instead.
Still, here goes:
- Use in-app browsers. Browsers built into apps like Facebook, Twitter, etc., can bypass some parental controls if the main app isn’t blocked. However, you can’t enter your own URLs in these in-app browsers.
- Factory-reset your device. A factory reset will turn off parental controls if the parental permission setting is device-specific. However, the administrator account may show that a device has removed its settings.
- Delete and reinstall the app. Thus, the network admin account shows that the app is on the device, but the parental control app won’t be active anymore. Still, they may notice that the parental controls aren’t active anymore.
- Use mobile data. Since the parental controls are set up on the Wi-Fi network, connecting through mobile data may work. But this won’t work if the parental restrictions are installed on the device too.
- Use alternate Wi-Fi networks. This works on the same principle as mobile data above. So, the same drawback applies here too.
- Use an ethernet cable. Sometimes, parental control settings over Wi-Fi don’t affect an Ethernet connection on the network. However, it’s difficult to hide an ethernet cable.
- Use a proxy website. Certain restricted and censored websites maintain mirror platforms/proxy sites that often fly under the radar. Thus, you get the same content from the lookalike site.
Can You Stop Family Link Supervision With a VPN?
You can bypass some FamilyLink supervision with a reliable VPN like NordVPN.
Connecting to NordVPN’s servers allows you to bypass FamilyLink’s content blocks and hide your internet traffic and activity from your parents.
However, you can’t bypass the remote lock function or screen time settings on the Family Link app with a VPN. In that case, you’ll have to access the controlling device to unlink your devices or modify the parental control settings.
Frequently Asked Questions
VPNs aren’t equipped to bypass screen time since it’s usually a device-specific setting rather than a network-related one. Thus, you’ll have to get physical access to the parental control device to change the time limit settings or remove your device from the affected network.
The easiest and fastest way to bypass parental control settings on Wi-Fi is using a VPN. The VPN app encrypts your internet connection, assigning you a new IP address to avoid content blocks and defeat censorship from the parental control app.
Alternatively, use proxy servers, in-app browsers, an ethernet cable, proxy websites, alternative Wi-Fi networks, or spoof your device’s MAC address, among other sometimes-reliable methods.
NordVPN provides an easy-to-use Android phone app that bypasses parental controls restricting the websites you visit, content you can download, and search results. The VPN provider also encrypts your internet traffic, making it impossible for network admins to see your internet activity with your newfound freedom.
However, NordVPN (or any other VPN provider) is helpless against remote device locking, screen time, and other device-specific limits.
iPhone users can bypass network-related parental controls by installing a reliable VPN like NordVPN to encrypt their internet traffic.
Connecting to NordVPN assigns them a new IP address over which they can access blocked content.
However, you can only bypass device-specific restrictions like screen time limits by deleting the parental control software or modifying the settings on the parental control device.
You can remove parental supervision altogether on your Nintendo Switch to access blocked games and content by resetting the parental control settings, using the SALT tool to reset the master key, or resetting your console to factory settings.
Also, bypassing this kind of parental control setting with a VPN is challenging since the Nintendo Switch can’t download a native VPN app, and the restrictions are device-specific.
Wii U’s parental controls are best bypassed by entering the parental control PIN and removing the settings altogether. If you don’t have the PIN, you could remove the controls using the online SALT tool to get a master key that resets the parental controls.
Sadly, a VPN may not work here since you can’t download a native VPN app on your Wii U, and the parental controls here are device-specific.
Installing a VPN on your device is the easiest way to bypass network-related parental controls without a password. The VPN encrypts your internet connections, circumvents parental control filtering, and grants you access to blocked websites/platforms.
Browse the Unfiltered Internet
Parental controls settings restrict your internet experience and dampen your reach on the global web.
Fortunately, a VPN is the best bet with minimal drawbacks against most network-based parental controls over Wi-Fi. This is where NordVPN comes in with an array of servers, reliable encryption, and speed to grant you access to restricted platforms.
So, enjoy these NordVPN discounts while they last to start breaking the online shackles and spread your internet wings.