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How to Use TikTok in India After Ban (2022 Guide)

September 10, 2022

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TikTok, the popular social media app, is owned by a Chinese company, leading to concern that the information shared on it could find its way into the hands of the Chinese government. Therefore, many countries have decided to censor or entirely ban its use.

In India, TikTok and 58 Chinese apps (including UC Browser, WeChat, etc.) have been banned since June 2020 (including its web version, tiktok.com). Indian officials justify the ban as a way to protect national security and the privacy and online data of Indian citizens.

Thankfully, you can bypass this TikTok block by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

In a Hurry? Here’s How to Use TikTok in India After Ban

What Is TikTok?

Tiktok is a social media app that allows users to create, upload, watch, and share very short (15-second) videos, filmed on mobile phones. People can then browse through the videos on the app, which are categorized for ease of use, and interact with them on their phones.

TikTok is owned ByteDance, an Internet technology company, founded in 2012 and based in Beijing, China.

In 2017, the TikTok server became available on iOS and Android in several world markets, including China. In August 2018, Tiktok merged with Musical.ly and became extremely popular and available worldwide, currently having over a billion users.

One of the reasons for the rising popularity of TikTok’s apps is that it’s used by celebrities and influencers like Will Smith, Jessica Alba, Jimmy Fallon, and many more. A new phenomenon, “Tiktok celebrities,” has arisen as people who often stream their own videos on Tiktok are becoming famous (e.g. Loren Gray, Charlie D’Amelio, Zach King, and many others).

Why Was TikTok Banned in Some Countries?

Several countries have banned TikTok or announced an intention to do so soon. Most cite their reasons as being concerned about national security, as they fear that data from TikTok could be shared with the Chinese government (“data mining”), even though TikTok has denied this.

India has entirely banned TikTok and other popular Chinese apps, like UC Browser (see the section below for details), and so has Pakistan (mainly due to claims of indecent content that offends the sensitivities of Muslim viewers).

The USA (especially ex-President Trump) appeared to be on the verge of banning TikTok too, ostensibly due to national security concerns unless the American branch of TikTok is bought out by Microsoft or another US company.

Indonesia and Bangladesh have sporadically blocked TikTok, but haven’t publicized the reasons, and Japan and Australia are also considering a ban.

Why Is TikTok Banned in India? 

India has already placed a total ban on TikTok, officially because it’s considered to pose a threat to cybersecurity, national security and integrity, and the privacy and data of India’s citizens.

Actually, the ban on 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok, came into effect just after a border dispute in June 2020 between China and India in the disputed border territory of Ladakh. Additional Chinese and Indian troops were sent to the area and there were clashes that resulted in the death of several Indian soldiers.

As India was one of the biggest foreign markets for TikTok, with over 120 million users, this ban on TikTok in India was a major blow to China.

At present, TikTok remains banned in India.

How Do I Use TikTok after the Ban?

All TikTok users who signed up for the app prior to the ban are still able to access its content, even though it is banned in India.

New users cannot go onto the App Stores or Google Play to download the TikTok app. They have to use a VPN if they want to go onto TikTok in India on their computers or phones.

To use a VPN to access Tiktok, you’ll need to carry out a factory reset on your mobile phone because TikTok’s app is blocked by the hardware ID. When you do a reset, your phone wipes out your hardware IP, allowing you to access the TikTok app in India or any area where there is a TikTok ban.

Read on to learn exactly how to access TikTok in India with a VPN.

Risks of Using TikTok

TikTok users tend to view it as being harmless fun, but it’s important to acknowledge that governments wouldn’t outlaw it without justification.

There are risks associated with using TikTok, including some issues around security in certain versions of the app. TikTok tries to fix these but, until they manage, information is very vulnerable to hacking or misuse when you connect to TikTok.

There used to be another concern as TikTok needs a particular level of access in order to work, including access to an iOS 14 clipboard that was utilized to identify if a user was copying a comment to many accounts on the same phone or computer. This issue was resolved when Apple addressed the problem and eliminated the feature.

In some countries, there are issues around censorship of TikTok content, and there are also concerns about underage, vulnerable children using the app.

How to Protect Yourself While Using TikTok  

If you are a TikTok fan but want to make sure that you are safe while using it, there are several settings that can be adjusted to enable this. These include:

☑️ Enabling restricted mode.
☑️ Only using a private account.
☑️ Opting out of personalized data.
☑️ Switching all safety settings to Friends.
☑️ Not using the allow others to find me option.

It is particularly important to ensure that children who use TikTok utilize all these adjustments.

3 Best VPNs to Unblock TikTok Videos in India

If you want to use Tiktok in India or any other area where it is not available, you need a premium VPN. Here are our top picks:

Devices compatible with ExpressVPN

Our first choice VPN to unblock TikTok (or any of the Chinese apps that have been banned) in India is ExpressVPN.

As this VPN has a huge server network spanning more than 94 countries, it will not be a problem to find a VPN server in a country that doesn’t ban TikTok. It provides the fastest connection speeds and excellent security features including a Kill Switch, militarygrade encryption, a nologs policy, and split tunneling.

You can log in to 5 devices simultaneously and ExpressVPN is compatible with almost every device or one of the desktop platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, etc.

Pros:

  • High level of privacy and security
  • Extensive network of servers
  • Extremely quick connection speeds
  • 24/7 customer support
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • More pricey than competitors

2. NordVPN

Devices compatible with NordVPN

If you want to watch TikTok in India after the ban and access your TikTok account, NordVPN is highly effective at allowing you to access blocked content and will let you open TikTok and view your favorite TikTok stars.

You can easily unblock TikTok in India and connect to a server because this VPN has a huge server network of over 5,200 servers in 60 countries, and great speeds.

In terms of security, your online safety and privacy are assured as Nord VPN offers a double VPN, a high level of encryption, a Kill Switch, split tunneling, and a nologs policy.

Pros:

  • Reasonable price
  • Large server network
  • Good security and privacy
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Slower than ExpressVPN
  • User Interface issues

Devices compatible with Surfshark

Surfshark is a very reasonably priced VPN but still allows you to unblock TikTok on your device in India. It has an extensive network of servers in more than 60 countries that will let you open TikTok and allow you to connect on almost any device and on an unlimited number of devices simultaneously.

To protect your online security, it has Multihop, CleanWeb, a strictly enforced nolog policy and Camouflage mode.

Pros:

  • Most affordable premium VPN
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Good security features
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Slower to connect
  • Some server trial and error needed

Official Statement from TikTok Regarding Its Ban 

In response to concerns about security and data sharing expressed around the world, the company that owns Tiktok vehemently denied the allegation that the Chinese government can access information that is provided by any TikTok user.

Nikhil Gandhi, the head of TikTok in India, posted this on his blog:

We have not shared any information of our users in India with any foreign governments, nor have we used such data in any manner that would compromise the integrity of India. Further, even if we are requested to in the future, we would not do so.”

Earlier, TikTok accused President Trump and the US government of making unfounded allegations against it and definitively stated that the app presents no security threat at all.

How to Install TikTok in the Countries Where It Was Banned 

If you are a fan who really wants to unblock TikTok, there are ways to access TikTok in banned countries.

Either you can open Chrome or any other browser and then use a VPN to go onto the browser version of TikTok or you can find the app/website outside the official mobile app stores/Play Store.

How to download and install TikTok on Android

It is much easier to download and install TikTok on Android mobile devices than on an iOS device as one can search online on one’s phone browser (open Chrome or any other browser) or the official TikTok APK file and sideload it onto one’s phone/ device.

This is easy and effective but only allows you to download one specific version of TikTok. If and when an update comes out, you’ll have to go through the same process again to get the updated version, and won’t be able to update the app from the App Store.

As long as you ensure that you download APK files from a reputable source and that you install the correct file on your device, they are safe to use.

Try to find the TikTok APK file on AndroidAPKsBox or on Apkpure.com Go into settings and enable the security option that lets you install 3rd party apps and then watch videos on TikTok.

How to download and install TikTok on an iPhone

To access TikTok on your iPhone, if you live in one of the banned countries, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the App Store / Play Store and click on the top left of the screen, where you will see your profile picture (make sure that you click only on the top left).
  2. Go into the Account setting and select your name and email address.
  3. Choose Country/Region and then press the Change Country or Region button.
  4. Search the drop-down menu for a country in which TikTok has not been banned and select it.
  5. Press Agree to accept the Terms and Conditions.
  6. Select None as the payment method.
  7. Enter an address in the country that you chose in the section that asks for the billing address.
  8. Finally, press on Next and then on Done.
  9. Now you have updated your location in the App Store and can now find, install, and connect to TikTok’s app on your iPhone or iPad.

Can I Use a Free VPN to Access TikTok?

No one wants to pay for a VPN if they can get it for free, so it’s tempting to try to use a free VPN service.

However, every business needs to make a profit, so ads tend to disrupt your viewing if you use a free service, and the VPN might actually sell your information to a third party for a few bucks, severely compromising your online security and safety.

Also, a free VPN often cannot manage to open TikTok, and your viewing is often ruined by buffering, delays, and poor quality.

We urge you to sign up for a reputable VPN, like those mentioned above.

When Will TikTok App Officially Return to India? 

The ban in TikTok in several countries seems to be affected by the politics in the region, so it is challenging to predict how long it will last.

However, at this point, due to the difficult relationship between China and India, it seems likely that the ban will not be lifted anytime soon and that TikTok will not be officially available in India for a long time.

If concerns about security persist, more countries may decide to include TikTok in the list of banned apps. Meanwhile, the situation is being researched and TikTok’s responses to such concerns are being considered.

TikTok Alternatives That Work in India 

Fans who want to use TikTok in India but who cannot access TikTok, as it is banned, can choose to use alternative apps that offer similar content.

These may not have all the same features as TikTok, but they are a way to share videos that are created by users and to interact with other enthusiasts.

These alternatives include:

☑️ Vigo Video: Allows you to make 15-second videos, like TikTok Videos, and share them with others and also to live stream and interact with videos made by others. This is available for Android and iOS and is easy to use as the videos are well categorized.

☑️ Lomotif: Allows you to create videos, like TikTok videos, and also lets you use hyper-lapse on videos, create montages and collages, edit video clips together, create slideshows, and add music. This app lets you use a built-in editor to edit your videos and you can add stickers, filters, GIFs, and emojis, and has a community section that allows you to find friends who are using the app and upload videos. Lomotif is available for both Android and iOS.

☑️ Doobido: This Very popular Indian social app allows you to share videos with your friends, create your own profile, and make your own content for your followers. It gained popularity since the decision was made to ban TikTok. Videos are put into categories, so you can easily find them and the app can be installed on both Android and iOS devices.

FAQs

Which countries banned TikTok?
At present, only India and Pakistan have imposed a total TikTok ban, but Indonesia and Bangladesh have banned TikTok videos at times, and the USA and Japan are considering banning it, too.
Is TikTok safe for TikTok users?
There are definitely some questions around the security of data on TikTok, and one has to ensure that one is well protected when using it. At the same time, however, if you use a VPN, your safety is assured.
Is it safe to use a VPN with TikTok?
Yes, if you access TikTok using a VPN, it is safe to access TikTok.

TikTok will not ban you from using its app with a VPN, even if you use TikTok in India, as it cannot detect that you are in India, since you will be able to watch TikTok videos by connecting to one of the VPN servers that is in a country that allows you to download TikTok.

When you watch TikTok in India using a VPN, your actual IP address and location are hidden and fully protected.

Is TikTok banned in the USA
No, it isn’t. You can watch TikTok videos and are currently able to access TikTok in the USA, but the US government is concerned about potential security risks associated with the app and it may be banned in the future.

At present, negotiations are underway for an American company to buy out TikTok’s operations in the USA, which would ameliorate the issues and prevent the USA from joining the banned countries.

Is TikTok banned in the EU?
TikTok hasn’t yet been banned by any government in the European Union.

However, since July 2020, it has been scrutinized by data-protection groups in the EU that are concerned about its privacy policy and the way in which it uses and stores the information about its users.

Conclusion

If you want to watch TikTok (or other apps that are banned) in India or in other areas where it is one of the Chinese apps that have been banned, you can do this by changing your settings in the iOS App Store/Play Store or by downloading the app on your device through an APK file.

Alternatively, you can use a VPN, as a VPN will disguise your real IP address and allow you to use TikTok in India or in other areas where you cannot otherwise connect to or access TikTok.

If you are a new user, you need to ensure that you implement the steps we have provided in this article.

Final words: Be alert to the possible privacy risks associated with using TikTok, as there is usually a good reason why a government would outlaw a website or app, usually due to data collection issues. Be sure to protect the privacy of your data and to be careful what you share by using a VPN with strong safety and security features, like ExpressVPN.

Now, have fun as you watch amazing content or make your own on TikTok video!

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