With the passing of Article 13 of the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive on March 26th, 2019, YouTube will be blocking a lot more videos online. Whether you want your daily dose of cute cat videos or a step-by-step video guide for a software installation, YouTube is your go-to place no matter where you are in the world. With almost 5 billion videos being watched every day, YouTube has just the right content for everyone.
With such a wide collection, sometimes finding the right video can be difficult. And it can be annoying if you finally find the video you want to watch and click on it, only to get this message:
“Video unavailable. The uploader has not made this video available in your country.”
Makes you want to watch the video even more, doesn’t it? The forbidden fruit of YouTube.
Why is the YouTube video blocked?
The video might be blocked because of any of the two reasons:
- Due to licensing restrictions, the video owner has made the content visible to only certain countries
- The video might be blocked because of local legal restrictions
With new copyright laws like Article 13, local legal restrictions have the potential to affect the entire internet. If only there was a way to watch that video. The good thing is, there is not one but many ways to unblock YouTube and watch the video of your choice. Here are some of them.
How to Unblock YouTube: Use a VPN
The simplest way to unblock YouTube is by using a VPN. The VPN will reroute your request through one of their own servers, which means the receiving website (YouTube in this case) will think that the request originated from the VPN server.
So if you’re on the Germany VPN server and want to watch a video that’s only available in the US, you can simply switch your connection to a US VPN server and watch the video easily.
Tor hops your data over a number of relay nodes, so your original IP is hidden. The YouTube server will see the address of only the exit node. If the exit node is in a country that’s not blocked from watching that video, you can unblock that YouTube video with this method.
The problem with Tor is that it’s very slow and you can’t reliably choose what country your exit node will be in and what videos might be blocked or unblocked. Hopping data over several nodes additionally drops the speeds, which makes watching YouTube a pain in the neck – especially at higher resolutions.
Use a Proxy
With a proxy, you can hide your IP and access blocked YouTube videos. However, a proxy doesn’t encrypt your traffic, which makes it an unsafe choice. It’s better to use a VPN instead, that changes your IP and encrypts your data as well.
You can also use a browser add-on such as YouTube Unblock to unblock videos on your browser. These add-ons link your browser data to a proxy. So basically, an add-on works with a proxy to unblock YouTube for you.
Download the video
There are some websites that will help you download YouTube videos. So if you cannot open the video because of YouTube restrictions, just go to a downloading website and download the video. Once it’s available on your device, you can watch it offline.
While a VPN is the easiest and fastest way to access blocked YouTube videos, you can use any of the methods given above.