How to unblock Snapchat with a VPN
Heidi Finigan | Last Updated:
VPN Streaming Expert
Before Instagram and Facebook stories, there was Snapchat. This popular messaging app was the first social media platform to popularize the sharing of limited-time photo or video messages between users, and even today more than 4 billion Snapchats are sent each day. However, not everyone can join in the fun – the app is blocked on many school and office networks, as well as in countries such as China and Saudi Arabia.
You don’t need to be frustrated by these unfair restrictions though. By using a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, you can easily unblock access to Snapchat or any other virtual chat website that you prefer. A VPN service does this by encrypting your traffic through a second server, which hides what you’re doing online from your network administrator, and also disguises your true location from government authorities looking to block Snapchat users from their specific countries. Best of all, this extra layer of encryption can also keep your Snapchat messages more secure!
Set Up your Snapchat VPN
Convinced to start using a VPN? We have the perfect guide for you below on how to quickly get set up.
- Subscribe to a secure VPN service – we love using NordVPN for Snapchat due to its low cost and high security.
- Download the VPN program from your service provider’s website, and install it onto your Snapchatting device of choice.
- Login to your VPN account through the installed app.
- Connect to an available VPN server. Make sure that this server is in a country where Snapchat is not banned.
- Great, you’re all finished! Open Snapchat (create an account and add some friends on there if you don’t already have one) and enjoy your new VPN-protected Snapchat experience!
Our Top VPN Recommendations for Snapchat
Feeling spoilt for choice from the many different VPN providers to choose from out there? We’ve got you covered: here are our two top picks for the VPN provider you should use for Snapchat
- Supported Devices:
NordVPN is a great all-rounder VPN service provider. They combine speed and security with very reasonable subscription costs of only $3.67/month for a 12-month plan. If you’re living in a country where Snapchat is blocked, or if you’re simply on a workplace network which restricts Snapchat use, you can take advantage of NordVPN’s massive network of 5,400 servers in 65 different countries to easily connect to a different server where Snapchat is free to access.
And if keeping your Snapchat messages private is your main concern, rest assured because it is NordVPN’s as well. All of your internet activity is encrypted with military-grade AES 256-bit encryption when it passes through their servers, the same high-level encryption algorithm used by US intelligence agencies to protect top-secret information.
While it is nearly impossible for this encryption to be hacked into, NordVPN is even prepared for this remote possibility by pairing their encryption with Perfect Forward Secrecy. This technique constantly changes the encryption key used to protect your data, meaning that even if one encryption key is compromised, the hacker can still only see a small portion of your Snapchat messages.
NordVPN is incorporated in Panama, keeping them out of the legal reach of authorities from other countries. The country has no data retention laws and is not party to international information-sharing agreements, a perfect environment for keeping your private information secure.
You can also enable NordVPN’s Kill Switch to stop any accidents from leaving you unprotected. This convenient feature can either automatically disconnect you from Snapchat, or drop your entire internet connection, when it detects that you’ve left the VPN network for any reason.
Below are the latest NordVPN subscription prices, current as at August 2021:
- Supported Devices:
ExpressVPN is our second choice for Snapchat users. While its subscription plan would set you back a little more, with its cheapest one coming in at $8.32/month for a 12-month plan, they have the reputation of being one of the fastest and most secure VPN providers. They use entirely RAM-based servers, which wipe all data on them on each start-up. Even should their server locations get physically raided, none of your personal information can be recovered by the raiders.
ExpressVPN’s servers are also obfuscated, which disguises your VPN connection as a normal internet connection to anyone potentially monitoring your internet use. This feature is essential if you’re trying to use Snapchat in a country where either the messaging app or VPN services are banned by the authorities.
Conveniently, ExpressVPN also makes it easy to set up split tunneling on both your smartphone and computer device. This means that you can keep Snapchat on your VPN connection, while still using apps like your email and online banking on a normal connection to avoid verification issues.
Below are the latest ExpressVPN subscription prices, current as at August 2021:
Am I allowed to use a VPN with Snapchat?
Yes! There is nothing in Snapchat’s Community Guidelines which say that VPN use is not allowed. The Snapchat team themselves have even described VPNs as a good way to protect your privacy on the internet.
That being said, there have been cases where Snapchat users were temporarily network banned after using a VPN; this often happens because someone on the same VPN server broke Snapchat rules, resulting in the entire VPN server being banned from connecting to Snapchat. If that happens, you can simply hop over to using another VPN server, or wait out the temporary ban while things get sorted out.
How do I unblock Snapchat on school WIFI?
School networks often block users from accessing websites related to social media or online gaming, but a VPN can get you around these bans. Simply download and install a VPN service onto your Snapchat device and connect to a secure VPN server before opening Snapchat. A VPN’s encryption would keep your internet activity a secret from network administrators, defeating any filters they have in place. For further details, take a look at our “Set Up Your Snapchat VPN” section above!
Does a VPN make Snapchat more secure?
Yes, VPNs can help you stay even more secure on Snapchat. While Snapchat has introduced end-to-end encryption for your photo snaps since 2018, the text-only messages and group chats on Snapchat are not protected by this encryption. Using a VPN allows you to make sure that all messages you send on Snapchat stay private.
Additionally, Snapchat does not publicly disclose how their encryption works, or even what type of encryption protocol they run. That’s why we recommend using a trusted VPN service with top-of-the-range military-grade AES 256-bit encryption on top of Snapchat’s own encryption.
Is a free VPN good for Snapchat?
In most cases, no. Free VPNs usually suffer from having slower speeds, much more limited server locations and bandwidth limits, all of which can lead to a poor experience. However, the biggest danger lies in the fact that some free VPN services make money by collecting user information, and selling them to the highest bidder. It’s counterproductive and dangerous to use a VPN to protect your privacy on Snapchat, only to end up with a provider who actively steals your information and spreads it online.
Snapchat is not as secure as it appears: text messages and group chats on the platform are unencrypted, and it is unclear what sort of encryption they do use to protect snapchatted pictures. If you live in a country where Snapchat is banned, or simply want to use the app in greater privacy, a VPN service is your friend. Our preferred VPN provider is NordVPN for its reasonable cost and well-rounded performance, while ExpressVPN is our second choice for its many convenient features.
Here are some other chat related websites that you may also be interested in finding more information about: