It's unlikely but if you've ever been bored in class, you probably tried to access social media sites, using your school's ultra-fast WiFi.
Social networks were inaccessible, right?
No Instagram stories, no Facebook updates, zero quick-pics on Snapchat...You can't even do an angry tweet about how bad this whole situation is!
While this may seem like an unavoidable inconvenience, there's actually an easy way to get around it - a VPN.
Using a VPN as a school internet unblocker can help you bypass your school's internet restrictions and connect to the sites you access freely at home. But with so many VPN options, it's essential to choose the best VPN for school WiFi.
And to help you out, I've decided to put together a small but extremely useful list to help you out. Here are the best VPN options for the school WiFi:
- NordVPN (Top-notch security and privacy features)
- ExpressVPN (Very fast server performance)
- ProtonVPN (Includes a totally free option)
From $2.99 /month
If you've been researching VPNs for a while, you've probably heard of NordVPN - this Panama-based VPN provider is considered one of the top performers in the industry.
If you're looking to bypass your school's WiFi platform, you must use a VPN provider that has strong security protocols and encryption. NordVPN uses AES 256-bit encryption to help you keep your data secure - this same encryption standard was once used by the US Military for data security.
The benefit of a strong encryption standard is that it creates a 'tunnel' that can help you bypass your current school's ISP (Internet Service Provider).
Not only does it give you unrestricted access to the sites you're looking for, but it also helps protect you against hackers that target large WiFi networks - such as school WiFi hotspots, looking for some spicy pictures.
Just think about your bank accounts and the pictures lurking in your laptop's or phone's storage. Are you willing to share it with criminals?
"Location, Location, Location"
If you've heard the above saying, it was probably in reference to property investment. But the same standard is true when deciding on a new VPN for your school WiFi.
If you want to access WiFi from a variety of different locations, you need to work with a VPN that has servers in countries around the world. This is especially true if you live in a country that also restricts certain websites.
NordVPN has over 5,000 servers in over 60 countries. Which means that you can access the internet from almost anywhere on earth.
Best of all, I tested NordVPN's servers on Netflix to see if could bypass geographical locks. NordVPN servers all allowed me to access Netflix and its overseas catalogs!
Better yet, if one of its servers is underperforming, you can simply switch to another one - NordVPN has tons of different servers in each of its host countries. But there's a chance this will never happen. All around the world, NordVPN has some brilliant performance. For me, the download speeds only went down from 80Mbps to 71.2Mbps - that's almost 90% speed retention rate!
Prices Even a Student Budget Can Afford
The other component that makes NordVPN attractive is its pricing structure. If you're on a tight student budget, you probably can't afford to shell out a lot of money each month for a VPN that works at school.
With NordVPN, purchasing a long-term subscription can reduce the cost of this service substantially. Some of its packages are as cheap as $2.99 per month - these prices are accessible on almost any budget!
- Strong encryption standards
- Access to a huge number of servers with a large country list
- Affordable price points
- Works with Netflix and other content providers
- Strong performance standards
- $2.99 price only accessible if purchasing a long-term package
From $8.32 /month
ExpressVPN is another leading VPN provider that offers exceptional features for school WiFi hotspots. This VPN service is based offshore in the British Virgin Islands - a jurisdiction chosen for its internet privacy laws.
If you liked the sound of NordVPN's encryption, you'll also be pleased to hear that ExpressVPN uses AES 256-bit encryption as well. You won't need to worry about your school or hackers knowing what you're up to on WiFi - you can browse, chat or keep up with the news/Kardashians with ease.
ExpressVPN is best known for its performance. This is one of the fastest VPN providers I've ever tested. Typically, my internet download speed clocks in at around 72 Mbps - and after connecting to ExpressVPN, I barely lost any of connectivity performance.
Its best servers clocked in at 61.1 Mbps - this is an over 80% download speed retention rate. If you can currently stream HD videos on your school's WiFi, you'll be able to continue to do so once you're connected to ExpressVPN.
Thousands of servers, dozens of countries
Don't worry about not being able to access overseas servers on ExpressVPN. You have access to over 2,000 servers in over 90 countries when you purchase one of its subscriptions.
While ExpressVPN has fewer server options than NordVPN, it has an even larger list of countries. If you need flexibility in terms of server locations, I can't recommend ExpressVPN enough.
Accessing media via your school's WiFi is also easy when you use ExpressVPN. I tested its servers extensively on Netflix and found I was able to access Netflix content in various different countries via its platform.
Netflix is one of the toughest content providers to bypass, so this is a testament to ExpressVPN's ability to go undetected with online content providers!
- Strong encryption for users
- Large server and country list
- Access to Netflix for streaming content
- Strong reputation in the industry
- Offshore jurisdiction
- Price may be a bit out of range for a student budget
From $0.00 /month
The last of the VPNs that I suggest for school WiFi is ProtonVPN. Unlike NordVPN and ExpressVPN, this VPN provider is headquartered in Switzerland - a European country with a reputation for valuing banking and internet privacy.
Experts on Internet Privacy
ProtonVPN's founders are the same team of data security experts that developed ProtonMail - a famous encrypted email service also based in Switzerland. It is actually one of the most recognized end-to-end encrypted email services in the world.
While ProtonMail only started in 2014, it has already grown to over five millions users worldwide.
If you're looking for a VPN developed by individuals with a deep understanding of encryption, you can't go wrong with ProtonVPN.
This VPN service also uses AES 256-bit encryption - you can benefit from military-grade encryption when you connect using this service. This is plenty of encryption strength to keep away hackers and snoopers.
ProtonVPN is another VPN provider that ensures strong performance when you're connected to the internet. Since many school WiFi hotspots aren't very fast, it's essential to have a VPN provider that can retain as much speed as possible.
As mentioned previously, my typical internet download speed is around 80Mbps. After I connected to ProtonVPN's servers, my download speed clocked in at 58.6 Mbps. This means its servers retained around 75% of my download speeds!
Again, if you can stream content using your school's WiFi without a VPN, you shouldn't have any problems once you're connected.
A complete package - just not for free
ProtonVPN also has a range of other features that help it stand out from the crowd.
As a paying customer, you'll benefit from an awesome customer support team that offers live chat support for any technical issues that arise. ProtonVPN also provides access to Netflix and other online content providers.
It also fully supports torrenting on its servers - a great feature if you're looking to download content via P2P networks at school.
However, there's a kicker - things like P2P services and Netflix streaming are not available on a free ProtonVPN plan. If you only wish to access social media and do regular browsing, this free VPN is going to be perfect. But if you wish to do more advanced tasks, you will have to pay. There is no free lunch!
- Founded by security experts
- Strong encryption for users
- Good performance and speed
- Free plan available
- Fewer servers than NordVPN and ExpressVPN
- Limited free plan
Choosing the Best VPN to Unblock Your School WiFi
Now that you know how to bypass school WiFi, which service is right for you?
If you're purchasing a VPN on a student budget, you need to make the right decision the first time. So, to help you answer this question, below are the primary benefits of each VPN service mentioned in this article.
- NordVPN is best for those who want an affordable service that offers the best overall features.
- ExpressVPN is best for those who want a VPN that prioritizes performance and server locations.
- ProtonVPN is best for those who want a free VPN option.
Overall, all the options right here are great value for money and will help you bypass all the content blocks commonly used by educational institutions.
The 3 options right here range in price and features, so I have no doubt that you can find the most suitable option for your specific needs. Good luck browsing!