Best VPN on School WiFi that Blocks VPN (Bypass Firewall)
Note: If your school only blocks websites, but doesn’t block VPNs, you may want to refer to The Best VPN for School guide.
In addition to blocking a large number of websites including Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, Imgur, Instagram, YouTube, Netflix and Hulu, college WiFi networks might also block VPN services that are known to lift Internet restrictions and unblock social media & entertainment websites.
VPNs can be blocked using the following methods:
- VPN protocols use specific ports (OpenVPN: 1194) that are blocked by college firewall while HTTPS/HTTP ports are open
- School uses advanced filtering methods: Deep Packet Inspection (DPI)
Port Blocking method is the most common. Essentially, schools and colleges block all ports that are not necessary to browse the Internet which is why any application or service that uses a different port gets blocked. Encrypted traffic (HTTPS) uses port 443, unencrypted traffic (HTTP) uses port 80. For this reason port 443 and 80 are always open.
While default configurations of OpenVPN, IPsec/L2TP, PPTP do not use any of the above, SSTP is the only encryption protocol that works on port 443 by default. Accordingly, SSTP is the best protocol to use on networks that require port 443 for regular Internet browsing activities. Unlike PPTP, SSTP is also a very secure protocol, but it only works on Windows.
It’s also possible to forward OpenVPN via port 443, but not all VPN providers allow port forwarding. Most VPN providers that we listed below, nevertheless, have this feature in their desktop software (mobile devices do not support port forwarding).
Hence, if the school firewall only blocks ports that encryption protocols are using, choosing a VPN that offers SSTP protocol or allows OpenVPN port forwarding to port 443 (maybe port 80) is the best way to bypass the firewall and gain unrestricted Internet access.
The second method to block VPNs is by using a highly advanced firewall that works similar to the Chinese Firewall. Essentially, the firewall can detect encryption tools using Deep Packet Inspection method. This means that OpenVPN port forwarding is not enough because the firewall can distinguish regular HTTPs traffic from OpenVPN traffic and selectively block the latter.
The only way to bypass DPI is to “hide” or “mask” encryption protocols. There multiple ways to accomplish this, the most common of which is sending OpenVPN over SSL and OpenVPN over SSH tunnels. Chameleon (VyprVPN), StealthVPN (TorGuard VPN) and SoftEther (Hide.me) are custom encryption protocols specifically designed in a way that mask VPN traffic and make it undetectable to the firewall. Since all your traffic looks exactly like regular browsing (HTTPS), your school will not be able to tell that you are using VPN. More info on this in The Best VPN for China guide.
MONTHLY PRICE: 11.95 USD
ANNUAL PRICE: 2.75 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 6.95 USD
ANNUAL PRICE: 2.91 USD/mo
PIA is a leading zero logs VPN provider with a massive amount of servers (over 3,000) that deliver excellent speeds and a very reliable service. PIA NAT Firewall does a great job protecting from cyber attacks, built-in Kill Switch and DNS leak protection features secure connection from unexpected data leaks. PIA software offers switching between UDP and TCP connections types, port forwarding to 443, 80, 110, 53, 8080, 9201. For faster streaming and torrenting, PIA allows using 128-bit or 256-bit encryption level. To read a full PIA review click HERE.
MONTHLY PRICE: 4.99 USD
ANNUAL PRICE: 29.99 USD [promocode]
Offering over 1200 servers in 48 countries, all mainstream protocols and 5 simultaneous connections, TorGuard rightfully earned its place as a top VPN provider. No Logs TorGuard features advanced security features such as Kill Switch option that ensures no data leaks when the connection drops. Their SOCKS5 and http proxy is an excellent feature for high-speed multimedia streaming and torrenting as it integrates with the main BitTorrent applications. To read a full TorGuard review click HERE.
MONTHLY PRICE: 12.95 USD
ANNUAL PRICE: 6.67 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 9.95 USD
ANNUAL PRICE: 59.95 USD
Hide.me is one the most popular VPN providers on the market with servers in USA, Canada, UK, Europe, Asia, Australia. Based in Malaysia, Hide.me is a zero logs company that has custom software with a built-in Kill Switch and DNS Leak protection. The provider accepts Bitcoin along with about 100 other payment options and does an excellent job in providing fast secure encrypted network, hence, keeping its position as the best VPN service. To read a full Hide.me review click HERE.
MONTHLY PRICE: 10.95 USD
ANNUAL PRICE: 2.49 USD/mo
PureVPN is a proud owner of a massive 500 servers network in over 120 countries with over 60 server locations specifically optimized for torrenting. Hong Kong based PureVPN is a security conscious provider with infrastructure protected behind NAT Firewall. Kill Switch feature guards the users from unencrypted data leaks when the internet connection drops. In case you want to limit your VPN use to specific websites/services only, Split Tunneling feature lets you decide which applications to send through unencrypted channel and which one to secure with a top-notch VPN service. To read a full PureVPN review click HERE.
MONTHLY PRICE: 9.95 USD
ANNUAL PRICE: 45 USD
VyprVPN is a leading VPN provider with over 700 ultra fast servers worldwide. Unlike most VPN providers, VyprVPN doesn’t rely on 3rd party hosting – they own and manage all VPN servers by themselves. In addition to a zero logs VyprDNS service that defeats DNS censorship, VyprVPN is an excellent provider to bypass even the strictest firewalls that block VPN connection. VyprVPN custom software is very reliable and protects users from various IP leaks, including IPv6. VyprVPN infrastructure is amazingly fast with their server clusters located in close proximity to major gaming servers which enables VyprVPN to offer not only faster speeds for streaming, but also lower ping times and a better overall gaming experience. To read a full VyprVPN review click HERE.
MONTHLY PRICE: 4.55 EURO
ANNUAL PRICE: 35.10 EURO
AirVPN is an Italian VPN provider created by privacy activists whose main goal is data protection. AirVPN has over 100 servers in 23 countries that have Perfect Forward Secrecy through Diffie-Hellman key exchange DHE. Essentially key negotiation is performed every 60 minutes to avoid data breach if the key is compromised. Additionally, AirVPN offers OpenVPN over SSH and OpenVPN over SSL that mask OpenVPN and make the use of encryption tools invisible to some of the most advanced firewalls. To read a full AirVPN review click HERE.