VPN for TikTok
do they work and which is the best TikTok VPN to avoid the ban?
Is using a VPN the answer when it comes to a potential US ban?
So that means an estimated 80 million TikTok users in the US that will no longer be able to access and share lip-syncing videos, viral dance routines and comedic stunts on their smartphones.
Or does it? The shape-shifting, geo-spoofing nature of virtual private networks – or VPN – could offer US TikTok users a lifeline to ensure that they’re not denied access to the latest videos from Charli D’Amelio, Addison Rae, Zach King, Loren Gray and the like.
Why does Donald Trump want to ban TikTok?
In short, national security. The Trump administration fears that Chinese company ByteDance – which owns TikTok – may have deep associations with the ruling Communist Party in China and, as such, there is a risk that the personal data of millions of Americans could end up in the hands of the Chinese government.
On July 31, Donald Trump told the press: “As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States.” And while that hasn’t yet happened, it’s thought still to be possible…and soon.
Much depends on the progress of Microsoft’s planned purchase of TikTok and the computing giant’s promises to bulk up the platform’s security. That might be enough to either delay the ban or ensure that it’s only temporary in nature, pending completion of Microsoft’s acquisition.
How would the TikTok ban work?
As of yet, no solid announcements have been made around how the TikTok ban may be enforced in the US. But we would expect that the government would carry out similar measures to India, which would involve blocking access to TikTok at the highest network level.
Alternatively – or, indeed, in addition to that – the White House may demand that the Apple App Store and Google Play Store completely remove and delist the TikTok app.
We wouldn’t expect TikTok to take the ban lying down, of course, and it would likely challenge it via the courts.
How can a VPN get around the TikTok ban?
The use of VPNs has become a commonplace way to ‘spoof’ the IP address of your laptop, smartphone, streaming device – even your router. That’s because they reroute all of your internet traffic via a secure server somewhere entirely different – that could be in your home country or somewhere else. So it’s no surprise that internet VPN search has surged since Trump’s comments.
For example, you could change location of your IP address to somewhere outside the US. This would effectively make your computer think it’s in another country. That’s why VPNs for Netflix have become so popular (despite VPN use being against the service’s Ts&Cs) – if you know that a Netflix catalogue somewhere else in the world has a show or film you want to see, but it isn’t being shown on Netflix in your home country, then utilising a server in the other country will have you watching in no time.
However, VPNs may end up not being a silver-bullet solution to the issue.
NordVPN, one of the world’s most popular providers, told us:
“VPNs can allow US users to access TikTok, however, this depends on how the ban is enforced.
If the app, for example, is illegal in the country – official app stores are forced to remove it and it gets much more difficult to download the app.
“Apps and websites as well can be blocked by ISPs. These two measures can be applied separately or together.”
So if the TikTok app becomes delisted, it’s likely that even using a VPN when in the US will be little help.
That said, you don’t have to use the dedicated app to enjoy watching TikTok videos. Many of the most popular videos can be found via the TikTok website – either on your computer or your phone. That could be a much more viable option to use together with a VPN, if the TikTok ban takes effect.
What are the best TikTok VPNs?
If the TikTok ban does happen and you’re happy to continue following the platform’s videos on a non-app basis, then you should make sure that you’re getting the best VPN for the job.
1. ExpressVPN: best overall VPN in the world
Of the hundreds of VPNs that we have reviewed, ExpressVPN tops the lot. Its pure speed and watertight strength are a great start, and then there’s the sheer amount of global servers it has in over 90 countries, plus support for tonnes of devices (including iOS and Android) with easy-to-use apps.
It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and if you use the following link, you can claim 3 months FREE with an annual plan.
2. NordVPN: emphasis on security and anonymity
NordVPN has its no-logging policy audited by PricewaterhouseCooper every year to show the world that it has its users’ anonymity at the heart of what it does. It has a gargantuan network of around 5,000 servers around the world, really potent streaming service unblocking and feature-filled mobile apps, too.
3. Surfshark: cheap and cheerful VPN option
Surfshark’s stature in VPN circles has grown massively over the last year or so. In part, that’s because it has a really friendly interface making it super-simple to use. But it may also have something to do with its eye-catching prices – it comes in at less than $2 per month if you’re happy to commit to its 2-year plan – and the fact a single subscription can be used on as many devices as you wish at once.
How to change your phone’s location with a VPN
Once you’ve picked out a VPN and downloaded it (all of the three above have excellent mobile VPN apps), the rest is easy:
Open the VPN app on your phone.
Turn your VPN on – it will be obvious how from the user interface.
Select your server location. So if you’re inside the US, choose a server location somewhere that TikTok isn’t banned – pretty much anywhere except India!
Head to the TikTok website and take it from there…
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