NordVPN is restricted in 13 countries, including China, North Korea, Russia, and the Middle East. Governments primarily enforce these restrictions because NordVPN prevents surveillance and censorship.
The blocks utilize Data Packet Inspection (DPI), a method that detects VPNs in internet traffic. Some governments also force VPN providers to violate their no-logs policy.
This is why NordVPN removed its Indian servers in 2022.
Read this guide to learn where NordVPN is blocked and how to use it without triggering alarms!
Where Is NordVPN Restricted?
NordVPN is fully or partially restricted in China, Russia, Belarus, Turkey, Iraq, the UAE, Oman, India, Iran, Egypt, Turkmenistan, North Korea, and Uganda.
Here are the details:
The Great Firewall of China blocks VPNs. But you can use NordVPN’s obfuscated servers to access restricted sites and apps within China without getting caught.
However, you can’t open the NordVPN website in China to download the app, so get APK or PC NordVPN files from a trusted friend outside China.
Alternatively, use NordVPN’s secondary domains or unregulated Wi-Fi in Chinese hotels. But beware that Chinese authorities randomly search phones to check for VPNs.
In 2017, Russia banned all unapproved VPN services, including NordVPN and alternative domains. Furthermore, you can’t access Russian content abroad since NordVPN lacks Russian servers.
However, you can use NordVPN inside Russia if it’s installed on your device before traveling there. Alternatively, people living in Russia can get the app files from a trusted outsider.
But as it stands, NordVPN won’t comply with the demands of the Russian government, as that puts users at risk. To avoid detection, stick to obfuscated servers, especially if you do risky work like investigative journalism
NordVPN was banned in Belarus in 2015, and you can’t open the NordVPN website from within the country. Worse, citizens can be fined up to $120 if caught accessing such restricted websites, though protesters are fighting this censorship.
Fortunately, you can get a NordVPN APK and PC app files from someone outside Belarus. This allows you to use obfuscated servers to access foreign content without alerting Belarusian authorities.
NordVPN isn’t illegal in Turkey, but it’s heavily restricted.
To support free speech, NordVPN included Turkey in its Emergency VPN assistance. This allows people under repressive regimes to request NordVPN access in dire situations. Furthermore, NordVPN shares discrete links like cn-nord.info that you can use to download the app.
Iraq restricts VPNs like NordVPN, but the country still has a weak telecommunications network despite recent infrastructure investments.
So, the ability to block NordVPN is inconsistent.
However, using services like NordVPN is punishable with varying jail terms.
So, ensure you download NordVPN from alternative sources and use obfuscated servers to bypass restricted content in Iraq.
6. United Arab Emirates
The UAE government discourages using services like NordVPN, with penalties ranging from heavy fines of up to AED 2,000,000 to imprisonment.
Thus, if traveling to the UAE, download and install NordVPN before you arrive and use obfuscated servers.
While VPNs aren’t outlawed in Oman, you need the government’s permission to use a service like NordVPN. Additionally, using VPNs to access content that doesn’t conform to the country’s moral standards attracts jail sentences and huge fines.
Like the others on this list, you can bypass these restrictions by downloading NordVPN before traveling to Oman, getting the files from a trusted outsider, or using NordVPN’s secondary sites.
NordVPN shut down its Indian servers in 2022 when the government ordered all VPNs to collect and store user data. The punishment for going against this directive attracts a jail sentence of up to 5 years, plus fines.
However, you can still access the NordVPN website in India and install the apps.
Still, use obfuscated servers or Double VPN to make tracking harder.
NordVPN is banned in Iran, so you can’t access the NordVPN website to download the app. Furthermore, you can be jailed for 91 days to 2 years or fined between 5,000,000 and 40,000,000 Rials for using the service.
To avoid this, download NordVPN before going to Iran or get the program files from a friend. You can also request mirror sites from NordVPN support through email (email@example.com).
Services like NordVPN aren’t banned in Egypt, but you can be jailed or fined for using NordVPN to access LGBTQ-related content or sites that criticize the government.
So, use obfuscated servers in Egypt to hide your online footprints and bypass any VPN blocks.
NordVPN is completely blocked in Turkmenistan. Citizens are only allowed to use a government-owned network called Turkmenet, and breaking this directive can result in jail time. Further, some citizens are forced to swear on the Koran to never use VPNs.
In fact, dozens of people were arrested for VPN use in 2020 after authorities raided cybercafes and electronic repair shops. Most were jailed for up to 20 days with huge fines.
Thus, to use NordVPN in Turkmenistan without detection, install the apps before traveling there and stick to obfuscated and double VPN servers.
12. North Korea
Like Turkmenistan, you can’t use NordVPN in North Korea, as it’s heavily censored. Citizens can only access a limited version of the internet through a nationally controlled intranet called Kwangmyong.
Possible penalties if caught using a VPN include heavy fines and imprisonment.
You can still install NordVPN on your devices before traveling to North Korea, but that’s risky since your devices could be checked, and you could be denied entry.
If you risk it, consider hiding the VPN app in a Secured Folder (etc.).
You can use NordVPN in Uganda by installing it on your devices and connecting to any server to bypass all forms of government censorship.
However, the Ugandan government is known to shut down the internet and arrest people for VPN use during elections. Thus, install NordVPN before/after elections and use obfuscated servers.
How to Connect to NordVPN in Restricted Countries on Windows?
Follow these steps to connect to NordVPN in restricted countries on Windows:
- Subscribe to NordVPN.
- Download and install the VPN on your device.
- Open the app “Settings” by tapping the gear icon near the bottom right corner, then tap “General,” go to “VPN Protocol,” and switch to NordLynx protocol.
- Connect to a server of your choice and access any website and app.
- If you run into connection issues, switch to OpenVPN, then use Obfuscated servers to bypass possible VPN blocks.
How to Connect to NordVPN in Restricted Countries on macOS?
- A window titled “Add Certificates” will appear on your screen. Tap “Add” for the certificate to be added to the login keychain. Make sure the “Keychain” section is changed from iCloud to login.
- Search “NordVPN Root CA” in the search box and right-click it. Select “Get Info” from the dropdown list.
- Click the Trust dropdown menu.
- Now click the “When using this certificate” option, and find “Extensible Authentication (EAP)” and “IP Security (IPsec).” Select “Always Trust” for both. Maintain the default “no value specified” for the rest of the fields.
- You’ll be prompted to enter your Mac password to complete the process.
- Now click the Apple icon at the top of your screen and select “System Preferences.” Go to “Network.”
- At the bottom far-right of the small window that appears, tap on the three-dotted sign (…). Then, choose “Add VPN Configuration” and select “IKEv2.”
- Take note of the following addresses and IDs.
- In the Display name, type “NordVPN.” In the Server address and Remote ID, enter the information from the screenshot above.
- Enter your Shared secret, which in this case is your macOS password. Leave the rest of the options as-is and tap “Create.”
- You’re now connected to NordVPN. You should see the NordVPN icon at the top.
How to Connect to NordVPN in Restricted Countries on Linux?
Setting up NordVPN to connect on a Linux device in a restricted country is simple.
Here’s a detailed guide for avoiding local internet restrictions on strongSwan.
How to Connect to NordVPN in Restricted Countries on Android?
- Launch the VPN.
- Click “Profile” near the bottom right corner.
- Tap the gear icon in the top right corner to open “Settings.”
- Tap the Protocol tab.
- Ensure the VPN is on OpenVPN protocol (TCP or UDP).
- Tap on the “Specialty servers” option next to an icon resembling a blue folder.
- Scroll down and tap “Obfuscated” to open the server list.
- Connect to any. Now, you can use NordVPN in restricted regions.
How to Connect to NordVPN in Restricted Countries on iOS?
- Tap “Done” to complete the installation.
- Open “Settings,” then tap on “General” and “VPN.”
- Tap on “Add VPN Configuration.”
- You will see several fields. Compete them with the following details:
- Type: IKEv2
- Description: Any preferred name for the VPN connection
- Server: server IP from the list below
- Remote ID: server hostname from the list below
- Local ID: Leave empty
- User Authentication: Username
- Username: Your NordVPN service credentials
- Password: Your NordVPN service password
- Proxy: Off
- For your server IP and Remote ID hostname, choose any pair:
- Tap “Done.”
- Return to “Settings” and enable the VPN connection by tapping the toggle switch. That’s it.
Other Ways to Bypass NordVPN Restrictions?
Besides the above setups, you can bypass NordVPN restrictions in countries like China and Turkmenistan through the following methods.
Some VPN blocking methods focus on ports used by VPN connections, and since each VPN protocol uses different ports, you can switch to a new protocol.
To do this, follow these steps:
- Launch NordVPN.
- Open ”Settings” by clicking the gear icon in the bottom left corner, then tap “General” and the “VPN Protocol” tab.
- Switch to another protocol besides the one that’s blocked.
Change DNS Settings on Your Device
You can manually change your device’s DNS settings to NordVPN DNS server addresses to bypass VPN blocks. For macOS:
- Open “System Preferences” and go to “Network.”
- Choose the Network interface you’re using and tap on “Details.”
- Open the “DNS” tab.
- Tap on the plus sign “+” near the bottom.
- Enter the two DNS server addresses. The current ones are 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11 (they change constantly), and press “OK.”
Connect to the Newest Servers
NordVPN constantly removes and adds new servers. When the VPN is blocked on a network, you can bypass this by connecting to newly added servers.
Each NordVPN server comes with a number before it alongside the # symbol.
Newer servers usually have the highest server numbers.
For example, “United States #5058” is newer than “United States #5050.”
Use Double VPN
NordvPN offers Double VPN, which routes your traffic through two servers, encrypting everything twice for double security.
To activate Double VPN on NordVPN:
- Launch NordVPN.
- On the left panel, scroll to the bottom until you see the “DoubleVPN” option.
- Tap on it once, let it route, and re-route your traffic through two servers. You’re now protected with two layers of encryption.
Different penalties are imposed when caught using NordVPN illegally, depending on your country. You can get jailed in highly restrictive countries like Turkmenistan and North Korea. In the UAE, you can be fined if you use NordVPN to access banned sites like Pornhub or online gambling. Therefore, know the rules of each country you travel to before unwittingly breaking serious laws.
Bypassing NordVPN Blocks in Restricted Countries Is Possible
NordVPN is a reliable VPN, but it’s blocked/restricted in 13 countries like China and Russia. Luckily, there are reliable methods of getting around this.
As the guides above demonstrate, you can manually set it up on different devices or switch to obfuscated servers and Double VPN.
However, be aware of VPN laws in any country you visit to know the appropriate measures. Remember to grab your NordVPN subscription with these fantastic deals to safely use it in any restricted country.