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7 Best VPNs for School and College in 2022

Updated on: April 8, 2022

If you are tired of being limited by your school network restrictions, join the club! The best VPNs for school WiFi networks can help you access blocked websites in no time.

If you are reading this article, you have probably already fallen victim to those cumbersome internet restrictions on your school or college network.

Unfortunately, it is very common for school network administrators to put blocks on network traffic, limiting sites on which students have come to depend like Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and even YouTube as well as torrenting sites, and even streaming services.

Though it might seem like school networks block students unfairly, these blocks are usually rooted in good intentions, like the goal of trying to help keep students focused on their studies instead of on their addicting social media platforms and streaming sites. We all know how tempting it is to open up Amazon Prime Video or Netflix just when we are meant to be studying for the big exam!

But what if you are finished with all of your work and want to take a much-deserved break from your reading, writing, and cramming in order to cram in some of the missed episodes of your favorite show on Hulu? Or what if you are in the middle of a project that would benefit from some research on YouTube?

For all sorts of reasons, many students feel that the decision to access whatever sites and platforms they choose should fall on them, not on the school network administrators.

If you are fed up with these restrictive blocks on your school’s network, and ready to take back control over your web activity, there is a way. The most simple way to access social media, streaming services, torrenting sites, or any other blocked online destinations is to use a reputable Virtual Private Network (VPN) for school.

A VPN works by allowing you to connect to a server outside of your school network, hiding your location and IP addresses, and making it appear that you are accessing the web from another location entirely.

VPN services also protect your online privacy, sending your internet traffic through an encrypted tunnel to a VPN server in a different location.

Though there are many VPNs on the market today, not all of them offer the same features, and some will even put you at risk instead of protecting you online. In order to ensure that you choose the right VPN service for use at school, we have done the research for you.

Keep reading to learn the top VPN providers for school that will get you access to your favorite go-to sites and platforms from school whenever you choose.

In a Hurry? Here Are the 7 Best VPNs for School WiFi

After testing over 50 VPNs on the market, here are the 7 best VPN services on which you can rely to get you open internet access even on your school campus:

  1. ExpressVPN: Best school VPN, with fastest speeds, obfuscated servers, and broad network.
  2. NordVPN: Double VPN, no-logs policy, and the ability to break through school firewalls.
  3. Surfshark: Secure VPN connection and unlimited simultaneous devices on one account.
  4. CyberGhost: Affordable VPN for school WiFi, with a 45-day money-back guarantee.
  5. UltraVPN: Fast VPN for school with unlimited bandwidth.
  6. Private Internet Access: Huge server network with good server coverage.
  7. IPVanish: Fast speeds and good security features for school WiFi.

How to Use VPN Services on School WiFi

If you are looking to use a VPN service on your school WiFi network, the process is easy to navigate, even if you are a VPN newbie.

Here are the steps to begin using a VPN for your school’s WiFi:

  1. Pick a reputable VPN provider, like ExpressVPN, and subscribe to the plan that best fits your needs. We recommend opting for the longest-term plan in order to lock in the lowest subscription fee.
  2. Download the best VPN app for your device, which will need to be done from outside the school network since VPN websites will likely be blocked from access at school.
  3. Open your VPN app and connect to a server in a server location of your choice. Remember that the closer the VPN server is to your actual location, the faster your connection will be.
  4. If you are still not connected after these first few steps, clear your cookies and cache and try again.
  5. If you still find that you are blocked from accessing your sites on your school network, you can open the live-chat feature that your VPN provides and chat with your VPN’s customer service team in seconds. A representative will be able to troubleshoot your issue in no time.

Why You Need a Virtual Private Network for Your School 

As the breadth of the internet expands, schools are trying more and more to reign in student internet use and to control the content that their students are able to access in school buildings and on campuses.

This means that, even if you are out of class, you may find that your school has blocked social media apps, streaming services, and even YouTube, which students commonly use nowadays for school projects.

If it is necessary for you to access Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Netflix, YouTube, or any other blocked platforms from school, a VPN can help you gain access despite your institution’s blocks.

VPNs can help students bypass these restrictions by allowing them to conceal their real IP addresses, making it appear that they are outside the school’s domain even if they are on campus, easily gaining access to sites and platforms that are ordinarily blocked.

The problem is that many schools also block VPNs in order to minimize these work-around that students are learning. This means that you will need to use a premium VPN provider that stays ahead of IP blocks in order to ensure that there are always IP addresses available that can break through these restrictions.

Our VPN list, below, is a peek at the VPNs that have been tested and have proven effective at breaking through school firewalls consistently and reliably.

How to Choose the Right VPN for School or College WiFi

If you are looking to choose the best VPN for school WiFi, there are important features to take into account before choosing any VPN provider.

Here are the features:

☑️ Unlimited data:

Choosing a VPN with unlimited data and no caps on bandwidth ensures that you can use your streaming, torrenting, or social media site without running out of data and ending a session.

☑️ Top security features:

Features like a no-logs policy, AES 256-bit encryption, and a Kill Switch will ensure that your identity and information remain private and protected at all times.

☑️ Affordable price:

Choose a provider that offers an affordable subscription price and a money-back guarantee to users to test the service before committing. This guarantee also makes it clear that the VPN company stands by its service.

☑️ Reputation for unblocking geo-restriction content:

Make sure to pick a VPN that has a proven track record for being able to bypass geo-restrictions and access the sites you are trying to reach. Some VPNs are simply not successful at bypassing Netflix blocks and others have very few servers in the countries you need to access.

☑️ Good speed and stable connections:

Choose a VPN that has a reputation for having proven fast speeds and reliable connections so you are not always experiencing buffering and lag, and your connections are not interrupted when you are in the middle of streaming or browsing.

☑️ No user logs:

If you are using your VPN at school for any questionable activity, such as visiting torrenting sites, it is important to make sure that your activity cannot come back to bite you. Choose a VPN that has a strict no-logging policy and that uses RAM-only servers that are erased each time your server reboots.

*VPNBrains does not condone any illegal activity online.

7 Best VPN for School and College Wi-Fi

We have tested out dozens of VPNs to find the ones that work best for accessing your content, despite the restrictions on your school networks.

Based on our research, here are the best VPN services:

Devices compatible with ExpressVPN
Company Location: BVI
Servers: 3000+
Countries: 94
Connections: Up to 5
Speed: Great
Torrenting: Yes
Logs: No
Free Trial: 7 Days for Mobile
Live Chat Support: Yes
Money Back: 30 Days
Netflix: Yes
Price: From $6.67/month

ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN on our list, with over 3,000 servers in more than 94 countries worldwide.

This is also the best VPN for schools when it comes to breaking through network restrictions to access blocked services and streaming platforms from anywhere in the world.

When we tested ExpressVPN on various college and school campuses, it could easily gain access to streaming sites like YouTube, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Netflix (over 20 libraries!), as well as to all the popular social media platforms.

ExpressVPN offers top online security, like militarygrade encryption, a strict nologs policy, DNS leak protection, and a Kill Switch that will cut your internet connection in the event that your VPN fails, keeping your IP addresses from being leaked at any time.

You can connect ExpressVPN to all major operating systems, and you can connect up to five devices simultaneously to a single user account, so you and your dorm-mates can access social media and streaming sites simultaneously on the same account.

While ExpressVPN does not offer a free plan to users, it does offer a 30day moneyback guarantee, which gives users plenty of time to test this service before being locked into a long-term plan.

Pros:

  • Obfuscated servers
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Supports torrenting on all servers
  • Kill Switch
  • Top online security
  • Best speeds
  • 24/7 live-2. chat support
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • No free plan
  • Pricier subscription

2. NordVPN

Devices compatible with NordVPN
Company Location: Panama
Servers: 5200+
Countries: 60
Connections: Up to 6
Speed: Great
Torrenting: Yes
Logs: No
Free Trial: No
Live Chat Support: Yes
Money Back: 30 Days
Netflix: Yes
Price: From $3.71/month

NordVPN is another great VPN option for bypassing any restrictions at school or on campus, with 5,500+ servers in over 60 countries, including more than 1,970 located in the US, which bodes well for students in the US looking for a fast local VPN connection.

To keep yourself protected against any threats on your school WiFi network, NordVPN offers militarygrade encryption, a Kill Switch, double VPN, and DNS leak protection.

Whichever device you use at school, NordVPN will be compatible, as it works on your Android and iOS devices and your Mac and Windows computers, and you can connect up to 6 devices to a single user account simultaneously.

Using NordVPN, you can unblock websites and streaming platforms like Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Netflix, as well as social media platforms and more, all from your school networks.

You can test out NordVPN before committing to a long-term plan with its 30day moneyback guarantee, and you can cancel if you choose at any point just by connecting to the livechat support network of representatives.

Pros:

  • Double VPN feature
  • Top security features
  • 24/7 live-chat support
  • Private DNS servers
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Desktop app can be glitchy

Devices compatible with Surfshark
Company Location: BVI
Servers: 3200+
Countries: 65
Connections: Unlimited
Speed: Good
Torrenting: Yes
Logs: No
Free Trial: 7 Days (Mobile Only)
Live Chat Support: Yes
Money Back: 30 Days
Netflix: Yes
Price: From $2.49/month

Surfshark is the best VPN for school if you are a student on a tighter budget, costing only a little over $2 per month for a VPN subscription.

For this small cost, you get the same great features as ExpressVPN and NordVPN, including top security features like a Kill Switch, AES 256bit encryption, and a nologs policy, and it even offers its own built-in ad/malware blocker.

Surfshark has over 3,200 servers spread across over 65 countries and is easily able to unblock streaming sites, like Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and more, with minimal buffering and interruption.

You can use Surfshark on any devices that you happen to use at school, and this VPN actually gives you an unlimited number of connections at once on a single user plan, so you can use your VPN to stream blocked content at school while your roommates use the same account to bypass blocks.

Surfshark also gives users a chance to test it, with its 30day refund guarantee, which is like using a free plan for the entire first month, with no strings attached.

Pros:

  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 live-chat support
  • Great privacy and security features
  • No-logs policy

Cons:

  • Slower speeds
  • Some buffering
  • Some server inconsistency

Devices compatible with CyberGhost
Company Location: Romania
Servers: 7200
Countries: 91
Connections: Up to 7
Speed: Good
Torrenting: Yes
Logs: No
Free Trial: 24 Hours
Live Chat Support: Yes
Money Back: 45 Days
Netflix: Yes
Price: From $2.25/month

CyberGhost is another extremely affordable VPN for students on a budget, offering a really large network of more than 7,700 servers in over 90 countries, giving it almost as broad a reach globally as ExpressVPN.

CyberGhost offers AES 256bit encryption and a nologs policy and it can be used simultaneously on up to 7 devices at once, which makes it a great option for students connecting multiple devices at once (which is the case for pretty much every student these days, right?).

While many VPN services offer a money-back guarantee, CyberGhost is the only one on our list that offers a 45day refund guarantee, which is 50% more time than the other VPNs allow.

Pros:

  • 7 simultaneous connections
  • Option for dedicated IP address
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • No-logging policy
  • Good for streaming

Cons:

  • Won’t work in China

Devices compatible with UltraVPN
Company Location: USA
Servers: 100+
Countries: 90
Connections: Up to 6
Speed: Average
Torrenting: No (But Support P2P)
Logs: No
Free Trial: No
Live Chat Support: No
Money Back: 30 Days
Netflix: Yes
Price: From $2.99/month

UltraVPN is a much smaller VPN, with only around 100 servers spread across 50 countries, but it offers great speeds to users and has servers available on each content around the world.

Because it is more expensive than some of the VPNs higher up on the list, our suggestion is to go with one of the above services, especially if you are concerned about your privacy online.

You see, while ExpressVPN and Surfshark are located in the privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands, and NordVPN is based in privacy-friendly Panama, UltraVPN is headquartered in the USA, which is a member of the 5 Eyes Information Sharing Alliance.

Even though UltraVPN has AES 256bit encryption and a nologs policy, it is hard to completely entrust your privacy to a VPN that could potentially be forced to hand over your private information.

Pros:

  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Servers across continents
  • Fast speeds

Cons:

  • Headquartered in USA
  • Small server network

Devices compatible with PIA
Company Location: USA
Servers: 29,000+
Countries: 78
Connections: Up to 10
Speed: Good
Torrenting: Yes
Logs: No
Free Trial: No
Live Chat Support: Yes
Money Back: 30 Days
Netflix: Yes
Price: From $2.69/month

PIA is an extremely affordable VPN, currently costing only $2.03 per month for a 3-year plan.

PIA has more than 30,000 servers spread across over 84 countries around the globe, offering loads of IP addresses to help you connect to content outside your school network.

Using this VPN, users get built-in malware blocking (MACE), WireGuard protocol, split tunneling, Kill Switch, and AES 256bit encryption.

Students using PIA will be able to connect up to 10 devices at once to the same VPN account, which is an impressive number!

You can test PIA for up to 30 days with a moneyback guarantee

Pros:

  • Dedicated IP
  • Port forwarding
  • 10 simultaneous devices
  • 24/7 live-chat customer support

Cons:

  • Based in USA

IPVanish
Company Location: USA
Servers: 1900+
Countries: 75
Connections: Up to 10
Speed: Average
Torrenting: Yes
Logs: No
Free Trial: No
Live Chat Support: Yes
Money Back: 30 Days
Netflix: Yes
Price: From $3.33/month

IPVanish has user-friendly apps and top security protocols, with no data retention, 256bit encryption, OpenVPN, and a Kill Switch to ensure your data is never leaked.

If you want to use your VPN for torrenting, IPVanish supports P2P sharing on all of its more than 2,000 servers in more than 75 countries worldwide.

The downside to IPVanish is that it won’t consistently unblock geo-blocked content on popular streaming sites like Netflix, but it can unblock BBC iPlayer consistently if this is your main goal.

Another plus of this VPN is that, like Surfshark, it offers users the chance to connect any and all devices to your VPN account with no limits.

A drawback of this VPN is that if you have any questions or troubleshooting needs, you can access support by email or by phone, but not via live chat support like the other VPNs on this list.

Pros:

  • No device connection limit
  • Military-grade encryption
  • 4K streaming speeds
  • No limit on bandwidth
  • P2P supported on all servers

Cons:

  • No live-chat support
  • Won’t work with Netflix consistently

Can I Use a Free VPN Service for School WiFi?

While it might sound appealing to use a free VPN to help break through your school WiFi restrictions, even the best free VPN services will likely prove incapable of doing this job.

In fact, not only are free VPNs risky, but many will even make money off of you by inserting tracking cookies so they can sell your browsing history for a profit to the highest bidder.

Some premium VPNs offer a free version of their plan, but these plans come with limits, like a much smaller server selection, limited security features, and often data/bandwidth caps so that you cannot access the content you are trying to access for more than an hour or so at any one time.

Instead of using free VPNs, our recommendation is to use a premium VPN from our list, above, all of which offer you a money-back guarantee.

While a money-back guarantee is not the same as a free plan, using a premium VPN with a refund guarantee is a more reliable way to get a free VPN trial, and you can cancel at any time within the first 30 days (or 45 for CyberGhost) if you choose to do so.

FAQs

Why do schools not allow VPNs?

The reason why educational institutions often do not allow VPNs for school is to keep students from torrenting, accessing streaming platforms, and accessing social network sites.

VPN blocks have prevented students from accessing many of these platforms.

Will my school know if I use VPN?

While it is sometimes detectable that you are using a VPN, your web traffic and activity will not be detectable to your school.

If you are using a VPN with obfuscated servers, however, you can appear to be using the web at school appearing to be normal web traffic.

Is using a VPN at school Illegal?

No. Using a VPN at school, or elsewhere, is not illegal in most countries.

The only problem that can arise is if a student uses a VPN service to access content that is not only blocked by the school, but also by the authorities, internet provider, or the government. In a situation like this, using a VPN does not make otherwise illegal activity legal.

Conclusion

If you are trying to unblock school WiFi, all you have to do is use one of the VPNs that we have recommended above.

While all 7 of the VPNs on our list are good choices, our top recommendation is ExpressVPN.

ExpressVPN is the most foolproof choice for students who want to make sure that they can connect to whichever site or platform they choose whenever they choose, with no server trial and error required. ExpressVPN offers the best privacy and security features, the best speeds, and the broadest server network, spanning almost 100 countries worldwide.

Remember that you will need to subscribe to a VPN from outside your school network since most schools will block these VPN sites from your access. If you have not had the chance to download your VPN from outside your school network, a workaround is to use your mobile data on your school campus so that you can access your VPN site, download your app, and then connect back to your school’s WiFi network.

If you want to try ExpressVPN for up to 30 day with no strings attached, go right ahead!

VPN service
Features
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  • Great for HD/4K streaming.
  • Chrome, Firefox & Edge extensions.
  • 24/7 live chat support.
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Best Value
  • Fast speeds.
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  • Uninterrupted streaming.
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$11.95
$3.71 /mo
Save 60%
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