Are you using a VPN service? Are you getting an error message while accessing websites or apps? If your answers to these two questions are positive, then your ISP is blocking your VPN service.
We all know using a VPN service comes really handy not only when we want to access some geo-restricted content, but it also encrypts our traffic and protects our privacy. But what if you are blocked by your ISP for using a VPN service? What are the reasons? And how to resolve it?
Let’s find out!
- 1 What is a VPN?
- 2 Why is my ISP Blocking VPN?
- 3 How is VPN Blocked by ISP?
- 4 How to Resolve it?
- 5 Final Remarks on Why is my ISP Blocking VPN
What is a VPN?
Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a type of internet tool that allows you to encrypt your traffic from your ISP and gives you a safe space for your internet chores. By using a VPN, you can stay rest assured, about your internet privacy.
A VPN can be considered as the middle man which encrypts your data before sending it to your ISP. It is not only interested in keeping your internet activity safe, but it also helps to bypass those geo-restricted websites or streaming services, so that you don’t have to limit your territory.
Although VPN services are blocked by Internet Service Providers, there are a few reasons which I will be discussing in the next question.
Why is my ISP Blocking VPN?
So, there is a 100% possibility that your ISP is blocking your VPN, and there are a few valid reasons for that. So, I am going to state those reasons for your better understanding.
#1. Your ISP is worried about your Internet Activity:
So, this one is the very first reason that can cause your ISP to block your VPN connection. Most of the times Government entities and law enforcement order’s the ISPs of a region or country to block websites that fall into the category which are illegal in many regions.
Therefore, your ISP blocks a VPN to ensure you are not carrying out any illegal activity.
#2. They hate when you bypass bandwidth throttling:
Ever seen a drop in your internet speed? If yes, then your internet connection is facing bandwidth throttling. Bandwidth throttling is carried out by your ISP to limit your data usage. So, if you are streaming any content or downloading large files, your ISP tends to slow down your internet speed.
If you are using a VPN service, you can bypass this bandwidth limit easily, but as it is against ISP’s terms, it blocks your VPN connection to ensure that you don’t bypass the set bandwidth limit.
#3. They can’t Sell your data while you are on VPN:
Most of the ISPs have a partnership deal with the advertising companies, so whenever you try to access any information through their service, they steal your information and data, to pass it to the advertising agency’s/companies, so that they can serve you ads accordingly.
Although, if you are on a VPN connection, your data is encrypted from start to end, and therefore ISPs are unable to gather data about your visits or inputs. Thus, an ISP tries to block your encrypted connection.
#4. Your ISP hates VPN services:
Generally, this is not the case, but sometimes your ISP can be the only reason for your VPN block. In this case, ISP behaves like a stalker that always wants to spy on its user’s activity. Thus, by using a VPN service, one can encrypt the entire internet traffic, which then restricts your ISP from peeking into your online activity.
Therefore, to overcome this restriction your ISP is blocking your VPN.
#5. Government Pressure:
As we all know the internet is a vulnerable place, and we all must have come across some of the incidents where terrorists use a local ISP service to carry out a terrorist activity like carrying out a virtual terrorist meet or planning a remote attack.
And if these terrorists are using VPN, then it is near to impossible to track their terrorist activities, which can cause great havoc.
Thus, this is another reason why ISP blocks VPN.
#6. School and Office Policy:
We all have been in this situation and have done the deed of either accessing our favorite streaming service, social media sites or downloading media using the office’s/school’s Wi-Fi connection. But schools and offices have their own policy about internet usage and therefore they impose blocking on unwanted sites by informing the ISPs.
Although a VPN enables students or employees to bypass that restriction easily, an ISP blocks out the VPN connections using blocking methods to restrict you.
#7. Political Agenda:
This might be the worst reason if your ISP blocks your VPN connection. Some countries like China prohibit internet users to access websites like Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, YouTube, or even Pinterest.
And VPN enabling access is something that is not entertained; therefore, ISPs in China have a strong firewall that blocks VPN services.
How is VPN Blocked by ISP?
So, after knowing the reasons behind VPN blocking done by ISP, we should now get a sneak peek at how ISP initiates VPN blocking.
- By blocking VPNs IP address:
Most of the ISP providers use this commonly used tactic to block VPN connections. They do it by detecting a set of IP addresses that are allotted by VPN services to the users, and then bulk blocks them. Every VPN service provider provides a common IP address to the users, which makes it easy for your ISP to detect a VPN IP address. This method is also followed by most streaming services to block VPN.
- By blocking specific ports:
Every virtual tunneling protocol uses a specific port that your ISP is allowed to block. If they detect a non-essential commonly used port by VPN service, then they can easily block and shut down your VPN connection.
Ports like port 1994 block’s OpenVPN, and port 1702 blocks L2TP.
- By using Deep Packet Inspection:
Deep Packet Inspection (DIP) can also be used to analyze traffic and block incoming VPN IP addresses. It works by analyzing the header and the payload, and generally, the payload consists of your VPN IP address.
Therefore, when a VPN service is enabled, it leaves a signature while encrypting a data packet, which can be detected by DIP.
- By using QoS filtering:
Apart from DIP, if an ISP is allowed to use the QoS filtering method by the government, then it slows down unwanted traffic to the point where the connection faces time out and hence a user is left with a blocked VPN.
- By blocking signup pages of VPN services:
Some ISPs seriously don’t want VPN implementation on their network so they block the website or sign-up page of the VPN service itself, so that the user is unable to access it.
How to Resolve it?
No one likes a VPN block, especially if they are genuinely concerned about their online privacy. So, if your VPN is blocked you can always follow these simple yet effective steps to resolve it.
- The easiest way to resolve a VPN block is to get a new VPN IP address. No ISP can block all the available IP addresses. Plus try getting a VPN service that provides dedicated IP addresses which will be really helpful to avoid VPN blocks.
- If you are blocked on the port, the best way to resolve the VPN block is to use port 443. This port is an HTTPS port, and no ISP can block it because if they do, they will end up blocking the entire internet access.
- Use a VPN service that offers obfuscated servers. An obfuscated server helps in hiding VPN traffic by camouflaging it as a regular internet traffic.
- Don’t use PPTP protocol as it is least secure and can be easily blocked by ISP providers. Instead use OpenVPN, IKEv2, Wireguard, or SSTP.
- Changing DNS can also help in bypassing the ISP VPN block. Although it will only bypass the ISP block leaving your traffic unencrypted.
Final Remarks on Why is my ISP Blocking VPN
So, whether you are a general internet user who wants to bypass geo-restrictions to watch your favorite shows or who cares for your online privacy, Virtual Private Network (VPN) is the ultimate solution to encrypt your traffic and hide from the prying eyes of your ISP.
Although sometimes, some Internet Service Provider (ISP) can block your VPN connection, which can be a real pain in the ass. Thus, to bypass the VPN blocking you should first analyze the above-mentioned reasons and then follow the given solutions to resolve them.