How to Unblock Instagram at School

Posted on May 18, 2022 by Julia Olech

Imagine this: it’s been a long morning at school and you take out your phone to relax. You wait 30 seconds, but your Instagram feed isn’t loading. Your school could be one of the reasons. Schools often block Instagram to stop you from updating your stories.  
Don’t worry though — there’s hope. I’ll show you multiple ways of unblocking Instagram on your phone, laptop, and Chromebook. Better yet, these methods work inside your school’s four walls as well as in libraries or offices!

5 Best Ways to Unblock Instagram at School (and Other Public Spaces)

1. Scroll Through Instagram Using Mobile Data

Pros of Using Mobile Data:Cons of Using Mobile Data:
👍 Doesn’t require you to install a separate software.
👍 Extremely easy to use.

👎 Limits your monthly data allowance.
👎 Works only if you have signal.
👎 Lets you use Instagram only on mobile devices.

The easiest way to browse through Reels without a problem is to disconnect from Wi-Fi and use your mobile data. Because your phone isn’t reaching Instagram through the school network, the firewalls can’t block it.

Scrolling through Instagram eats into your data allowance very quickly, so you may run out of data in a few hours. You could fix this with an unlimited data plan, but they can be pricey. Depending on your location, your feed may take forever to load due to a weak or non-existent signal too.

2. Unblock Your Instagram Feed With a VPN

Pros of Using a VPN:Cons of Using a VPN:
👍 Stops people from snooping on your connection to Instagram.
👍 Works with Instagram on every device.
👍 Prevents advertisers from tracking your interests.
👍 Offers money-back guarantees.
👎 Requires you to subscribe to use.

Using a VPN is the best way to unblock Instagram at school. A good VPN connects you to an independent DNS, masks your traffic behind encryption, and changes your IP address. This makes you completely invisible online, which means your school won’t stop you from sending DMs to your celebrity crushes. 

A high-quality VPN like PIA works on your phone and PC, so download PIA’s app to use Instagram anywhere without being detected. It even comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test it with Instagram risk-free.

3. Bypass Instagram Blocks Through Proxy Servers

Pros of Using Proxy Servers:Cons of Using Proxy Servers:
👍 Easy to set up and use.
👍 Doesn’t require installing a separate software.
👍 Swaps your IP address, so your school can’t track you.
👎 May be blocked by school firewalls.

Proxies give you easy Insta access by redirecting your traffic through their servers. This changes your IP address, gives you a new virtual location, and hides your online activity. 

Since your device connects to a separate server before reaching your feed, the school router recognizes only that you’re using a proxy. 

Annoyingly, most educational organizations are now blocking this workaround, blocklisting a majority of popular proxies. Another downside is that you won’t be able to use the Instagram app on your phone as proxies only work within internet browsers.

4. Connect to an Instagram-Friendly DNS Server With Smart DNS

Pros of Using Smart DNS:Cons of Using Smart DNS:
👍 Doesn’t slow down your traffic.
👍 Easy to set up.
👎 Doesn’t give you online protection.
👎 Doesn’t always bypass Instagram blocks.

You can bypass Insta blocks by using a different DNS server with a Smart DNS. Doing so goes around your school’s DNS filtering as your device won’t search for Instagram’s IP address within the blacklisted database. Instead, it’s redirected to access a separate, social-media-friendly DNS server.

However, Smart DNS doesn’t always work as it doesn’t hide your traffic.  Your school may sometimes recognize your connection and block it, even if the method worked for you before.

5. Use the Tor Browser to Easily Post Instagram Stories

Pros of Using the Tor Browser:Cons of Using the Tor Browser:
👍 Gives you anonymous access to your Instagram feed.
👍 Not always blocklisted by schools.
👎 Takes a long time to upload and download Instagram photos.
👎 Gives you access to disturbing content on the Dark Web.
👎 Tor nodes are public, which makes it easier to block than proxies.

Despite the belief that it only works on the Deep Web, the Tor Browser lets you access any website you have a URL to — including Instagram. 

Tor keeps you anonymous by rerouting your traffic through multiple servers (aka nodes). These servers are spread across many countries worldwide, making it impossible to trace your traffic. Since your traffic hops from country to country, it stops your school from seeing you’re catching up with your DMs.
If you use Tor, be prepared to wait a few minutes for Instagram to open and an additional 60 seconds for your feed to load. Rerouting your traffic through many nodes takes a lot of time, so your speeds will get annoyingly slow.

VPN vs. Proxy — Which One is Better for Unblocking Instagram?

Considering the pros and cons, it’s clear that proxies and VPNs are the best at unblocking Instagram. Still, proxies often fall short compared to VPNs. 

Though they seem to work similarly, VPNs are pumped-up proxies. A VPN applies heavy protection to your traffic as soon as you connect. This includes military-grade encryption, which turns your Instagram scrolling into a series of hashes your school can’t decipher. 

A VPN also stops your connection from accidentally revealing you’re liking a photo of your crush with a kill switch and leak protection that blocks your traffic if the VPN tunnel is ever compromised.

Proxies don’t offer such anonymity — they simply change your IP address and hope for the best. 

Many free proxies don’t follow no-logging policies in order to collect and sell your data: they earn money at the cost of your identity. At PIA, we stick to strict no logs rules to ensure your Instagram details stay out of our servers. Even if anyone requested your details, there’s nothing to share.

What’s the Best VPN to Unblock Instagram at School?

So, what do you really need from a VPN to unblock Instagram with ease while you’re on your lunch break?

  • Fast speeds: Your VPN should provide you with the best speeds to let you open Instagram instantly whenever you want to.
  • Multiple servers in your location: More connections prevent buffering and lagging on Instagram as they’re unlikely to become overcrowded with users.
  • Tight security features: To sneak undetected by your school’s IT department, a VPN needs military-grade encryption, private DNS servers, a kill switch, leak protection, and more. 
  • No Logs policy: This makes sure your favorite hashtags, Reels, and login details are never stored on VPN’s servers.
  • Wide device compatibility: Instagram has an app and browser access, so your VPN should work with iOS, macOS, Windows, Android, and Chromebooks.

Download Private Internet Access to unblock Instagram at school as soon as you walk through the gates. PIA gives you fast story updates and lagless Reels anywhere. Plus, the 30-day money-back guarantee lets you test all PIA’s features with Instagram without risk.

How to Set Up a VPN on Your Device to Unblock Instagram

Install a VPN on Your Mobile Devices

  1. Download the PIA app.

  1. If you already have a PIA subscription, click “Login.” Otherwise, create a new account.
  2. The app will ask for permission to access VPN configurations. Press “OK” and accept the subsequent pop-ups.

  1. Hit the big power button to connect to local PIA servers.

  1. Open Instagram and start updating your friends!

Set Up a VPN App on Your PC 

  1. Visit Private Internet Access and select a plan.
  2. Sign in to your account and navigate to the “Downloads” tab.
  3. Select your computer’s operating system and tap “Download”.

  1. Follow the instructions in the Installation Wizard.
  2. Open the VPN app and log in.

  1. Choose a VPN server to connect to and tap on the big power button.
  2. That’s it! You can now view all photos and videos on Instagram.

Use a VPN for Instagram on Chromebook

Unlike your mobile phone and PC, Chromebooks don’t support native VPN apps. However, you should be able to follow the same steps for mobile, as Chromebooks are compatible with most Android apps from the Google Store.

If that doesn’t work, you can rely on PIA’s Smart DNS to bypass network restrictions in your school. 

  1. Subscribe to PIA and log in to your account.

  1. Tap on the “Smart DNS” tab in your user dashboard.
  2. Add a new device to your account. To do so, click on the “+” sign, find your device type, and input the Smart DNS code in your device settings. 

Why Do Schools Block Instagram and Other Social Media?

Most schools block Instagram as it takes students away from their work. While teachers could resort to other methods, blocking social media is usually the easiest way to “motivate” you. 

Instagram is also a breeding ground for cyberbullying. According to security.org, 21% of students experience online harassment on social media. Out of these, 61% deal with mean comments on Instagram, making it clear why schools block it.

Instagram has been known to worsen body image issues. A Wall Street Journal article revealed that the platform made 32% of teen girls feel worse about their appearance. This often leads to eating disorders and mental health issues.

Aside from the impact of cyberbullying, many US schools can get discounted services for tracking and limiting internet usage due to the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). So, blocking Instagram essentially saves your school money.

How Do Schools Monitor and Block Online Traffic?

When you’re using the school’s Wi-Fi, the IT department sees every app you visit. It means they can stop your request and block access to blacklisted platforms. That’s why you see an “Access Denied” error when you try to open Instagram.

FAQs

How do I unblock social media at school?

The same way you’d unblock Instagram! Use your mobile data for a quick scroll or connect to a VPN for unlimited access. Just tap on a server and log in to Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, or other apps when you’re at school. It works outside of your establishment too. 

If you’re not sure which server to use, contact PIA’s friendly support team and we’ll be happy to help you.

What’s the best way to unblock Instagram?

A VPN is the best way to access Instagram. PIA has apps for all major platforms, so you can unblock Instagram on any device you take to school. It’s also very easy to use as you only need one click to turn it on and it won’t make your traffic unusably slow. 

How can I unblock Instagram on a school computer or iPad?

To unblock Instagram on the school’s computer or iPad, try any of the methods below:

  • Use PIA VPN. It’s the easiest and safest solution for unblocking any website on your iPad.
  • Use a VPN browser extension: This lets you use Instagram in Chrome, Opera, and Firefox without installing a VPN app.
  • Connect to a proxy server: As it works only within the browser, it’ll hide your Instagram login from the school’s IT team.
  • Turn your mobile into an internet hotspot: That way you’ll disconnect from Wi-Fi and use your mobile data to scroll through Instagram.
  • Make the most of a USB Toolkit: Just load a portable web browser on a USB and plug it into the school device to use Instagram.

Can I use a free VPN to unblock Instagram at school?

Free VPNs are extremely slow, making Insta stories take forever to load. Some of them also have poor security and may even actively collect and sell your data.

What’s the best VPN to unblock Instagram?

Though many VPNs work with Instagram, PIA is our top recommendation due to its premium features and reliability

Alongside military-grade encryption, PIA protects your social media activity with leak protection and a Kill Switch. This prevents your connection from accidentally revealing that you’re using Instagram. I find it useful especially on patchy Wi-Fi networks at schools.  
Download PIA VPN and access Instagram anonymously risk-free for 30 days!

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