Best VPN for Unblocking TikTok in 2020: Do VPNs Work With TikTok Ban In the US?

A couple of months back, India became the first country to officially ban TikTok. And now, the United States of America is following the same lead, soon to restrict access to both TikTok and WeChat. As one could imagine, this has created quite a commotion among hundreds of millions of users of these two Chinese apps.

We’re sure you have already started thinking about possible solutions if TikTok gets banned in your country. And as soon as you begin searching for a solution, you’ll see that VPNs will usually come out on top.

TechNadu’s team has years of experience dealing with VPNs. And with this said, we want to offer our take on this situation. If you’re wondering how VPN apps work, whether they’re capable of unblocking TikTok in the US and elsewhere, and how this should be done, know that you’ve come to the right place!

First, we will be answering a series of pressing questions about the current situation surrounding TikTok, around the world, and especially in the US. Then, we’ll give you on-point recommendations, as the following table of contents shows (feel free to use it to jump to a specific point).

So, let’s get started. Here’s everything you need to know about unblocking TikTok in any part of the world, in addition to our recommendations for the best TikTok VPN services.

Which Countries Have Already Banned TikTok?

As of right now, only two countries have officially banned TikTok – India and the USA.

However, several countries have either announced their intention to block this Chinese app or have opened investigations into potential privacy violations regarding TikTok. These countries include Australia, Japan, Turkey, Indonesia, Pakistan, and the European Union.

India

India has become one of the most aggressive countries when it comes to blocking apps and digital services.

In the last couple of months, the country has banned Chinese apps in several waves, with the latest high-profile victim of this ban being PUBG Mobile. And as you already know, TikTok was one of the first Chinese apps to be banned in India, which happened back in June 2020.

Before being banned in India, TikTok reportedly had 200 million users in the country and was available in 14 languages. In terms of the effect on TikTok’s revenue, this could force the app to lose $6 billion due to not being present in India.

The USA

A few days after TikTok’s ban in India, the USA announced similar measures. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that the USA is looking at following India’s path. The reason for this decision was in TikTok being accused of collecting private information about its American users and sending that data back to China.

A lot has happened since the announcement made by Pompeo. Pressured by the US government, TikTok entered talks with Microsoft to sell its US-related operations. Later on, companies like Walmart and Oracle expressed their interest, with these talks still being underway.

However, any talks between American companies and TikTok have had a deadline set to September 15th. And considering we’re past that date now, the Trump administration has now decided to ban both TikTok and WeChat, starting September 20th.

Australia

Following the latest events coming from the US, TikTok was investigated over security concerns in Australia as well. This Australian Prime Minister has directed the country’s intelligence agencies to investigate the amount and type of personal data that TikTok is harvesting from users.

The investigation ended in early August, with the conclusion that “there’s nothing to point that security interests are being compromised, or Australian citizens are being compromised.” Therefore, TikTok users in Australia are safe for now – however, TikTok is being continuously watched.

Japan

Japanese lawmakers are also concerned about the potential risk of Chinese apps. It’s reported that proposals are in the works, with a plan to submit these to the Japanese government as soon as any definite conclusions are reached.

Interestingly enough, China warned Japan last month that banning ByteDance’s app would have a “large impact” on bilateral relations. We were previously told that Japan might enforce a TikTok ban in September, but it looks like this decision has been postponed.

Turkey

In late July, Turkey implemented new laws to control platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Based on those laws, the country’s Personal Data Protection Authority has officially launched an investigation into TikTok to explore how the app uses personal data.

Indonesia

Interestingly enough, Indonesia has already banned TikTok in the past once. The reason for that decision was that TikTok was found to host “pornography, inappropriate content, and blasphemy.” However, the country has overturned that ban in the meantime.

Pakistan

A few weeks ago, Pakistan issued a “final warning” to TikTok, citing the same reasons as Indonesia and other countries. This country has already banned an app named Bigo Live, made by Bigo Technologies. This is another major blow to TikTok, the most downloaded app in this country (which has 40 million Internet users).

The European Union

Back in June, the European Union decided to place TikTok under its spotlight. The app is being investigated due to concerns about its (in)ability to protect children’s data. This investigation is still ongoing, but it will be certainly be influenced by similar events from around the world.

As you can see, there’s a real possibility that TikTok might be banned across numerous countries. This is precisely why it’s time to start thinking about the best VPN for TikTok, as well as about VPNs for other Chinese apps that might face the same future.

What Are the Latest Developments in the US? Is Trump Really Going to Ban TikTok in America?

TikTok Banned Google Search Suggestions

Throughout the last couple of months, Donald Trump has been adamant about his decision to ban TikTok in the USA. The situation culminated in late July when Trump stated that TikTok would be prohibited in the country within 24 hourswith an executive order or that.”

This was precisely when reports about Microsoft’s intentions to acquire TikTok appeared online. Some of those reports said that these talks were put on hold due to “mixed signals from the government,” as Trump admitted that his administration had been intimately involved in discussions between the two companies.

On August 2, Microsoft published a blog post stating that the company has until September 15, 2020, to strike a deal with TikTok. The company also indicated its interest in acquiring TikTok’s business in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

However, despite Microsoft’s best intentions, ByteDance (the owner of TikTok) rejected this offer at the eleventh hour, on September 13. Among other bidders, Oracle and Walmart remained – and reportedly, these talks are still in progress.

Despite recent developments, the Trump administration decided to follow through on its promises to ban TikTok if no deal is reached before September 15. As reported by Reuters, the US Commerce Department is about to officially introduce a ban on TikTok and WeChat.

Starting September 20, the US Commerce Department will “de-platform” the two apps in the country, with Apple and Google being asked to remove TikTok and WeChat from their app stores.

This is just the first of many measures to become active over the next month and a half. If no agreement is reached with TikTok before November 12, 2020, this application will be completely banned, once ISPs are ordered to block TikTok-related traffic as well.

In case you’d like to read the full order of the US Department of Commerce regarding the TikTok ban, make sure to click on the provided link.

This means that starting September 20, you won’t be able to download or update TikTok using Apple’s iOS App Store and Google’s Play Store. If you have the app installed on your device, you’ll be able to use it – until November 12, which is when both TikTok and WeChat should stop working.

It’s also interesting to mention that many US-based companies and government agencies have already banned TikTok within their organizational structures. For example, companies like Amazon and Wells Fargo have instructed their employees to delete TikTok from company devices.

In addition, the US Department of Defense employees were told to uninstall TikTok (which happened back in December 2019). The same happened in the US Army.

Can VPNs Really Unblock TikTok in Countries That Have Banned the App?

Yes, in the majority of cases, a powerful VPN can unblock TikTok, in addition to many other digital services. However, no technology is perfect, as there are always exceptions.

Further Reading: What Are VPNs / How VPN Applications Work

To help you understand how VPNs work in this case, we’ll need to explain how VPNs overcome bans related to geo-restrictions. So, keep on reading.

How VPNs Help You Bypass Banned Apps?

First, you need to understand how this technology works. In essence, there are three steps to unblocking any digital service by using a VPN service, as follows.

  • Step 1: First, you launch a VPN application on your device. We’re not talking only about your computer, as VPNs have apps for smartphones, tablets, media streaming devices, and plenty more, so you can unblock TikTok on any device that it supports.
  • Step 2: Then, you connect to a server using the VPN’s interface. This happens by clicking on a server’s name, and you’ll also see its country of origin. Your VPN will connect to that server, change your IP, and create a leak-free tunnel for your data.
  • Step 3: Now, you can proceed to use TikTok or any other app. That’s because your IP address will be checked, and it will appear that you’re in a country with access to this app or service. This is also how you can download TikTok to your smartphone, by using either Apple ID or Google Account registered in a country where the app is available.

Are VPNs Bulletproof Solutions to Unblocking Banned Apps?

There are different ways that a country can block access to a digital service. With this said, let’s go over some of the main types of blocks, and see whether a VPN is the right solution.

  • IP Address-Based Blocks: TikTok can be forced to leave the USA by blocking IP addresses. This is the most widespread method of imposing geo-blocks, and it’s also the easiest one to overcome. A reliable VPN should help you unblock TikTok in this case.
  • GPS-Based Blocks: This is a bit trickier type of ban, as it involves checking your device’s GPS information. VPNs have recently begun developing tools to scramble GPS data, with the most successful effort coming from Surfshark. Keep in mind that overcoming GPS-based blocks can be done on Android only, for now.
  • Device ID-Based Blocks: Here, we have the most rigorous type of restricting access to digital services. This means that if you’re a current user of TikTok, there’s no way to access it after the ban since your device’s ID is already tied to your TikTok username. The only way to overcome this ban is to use a VPN to install TikTok on a new device.
  • DPI Inspection-Based Blocks: Finally, we have a type of ban where a country inspects all Web traffic. This is what’s been happening in China for a long time now, and we’re talking about the country’s Great Firewall. However, we also know that VPNs can help you in this case, as there’s a number of those designed to battle against DPI (deep packet inspection) scanning.

TikTok App Icon iOS

It all depends on whether a country simply bans an app or makes certain apps illegal. And also, you need to keep in mind whether VPNs are legal and allowed in your country.

So, here are the possible scenarios.

  • Scenario 1 – A Country Bans an App: There could be many reasons why an app could be banned. In the case of TikTok, India and the USA have decided to ban the app due to security concerns (at least officially). Both Google and Apple were forced to remove TikTok from their App Stores. Most importantly, there are no reports of someone getting into trouble for trying to use a VPN to overcome this obstacle to accessing the app.
  • Scenario 2 – A Country Bans an App + VPN Services: Here, we have China as a good example. This company has banned a series of Google-made products. And also, it’s trying to regulate VPN services as well. However, even with these efforts, the fact is that numerous Internet users in China still use “banned” apps by relying on VPNs.
  • Scenario 3 – A Country Makes an App Illegal to Use: This is the most restrictive method that includes declaring an app illegal. For example, some Middle Eastern countries have banned gambling and pornography apps. Consuming this content is considered illegal. Therefore, using a VPN isn’t an excuse to break any country’s laws.

Speaking in general, using a VPN to overcome geo-restrictions shouldn’t get you in trouble. Of course, this doesn’t apply to types of content that your home country considers illegal.

Further Reading: Where Are VPNs Illegal? / Are VPNs Legal or Illegal to Use?

What’s the Best VPN That Gives You Access to TikTok?

And now, we’re ready to give you some on-point recommendations. These are the 5 best VPNs for unblocking TikTok from anywhere in the world.

1. CyberGhost VPN

Servers
Countries
Apps
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Chrome
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PlayStation
Apple TV
Xbox
Amazon Fire TV
Samsung Smart TV
All game consoles
All smart TVs
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

When choosing a VPN, you need one that deserves your full trust. After all, your chosen VPN will handle all your incoming and outgoing Web traffic, so using one that respects your privacy is imperative in this case. This is why we think CyberGhost is one of the best TikTok VPN services right now.

CyberGhost VPN is genuinely a transparent VPN service that has managed to build a trustworthy relationship with its customers. It logs no personally identifiable data, while also releasing regular transparency reports – so it won’t only unblock TikTok but also make sure that you’re invisible on the Internet.

One of the trademarks of CyberGhost is its widespread server network. Having thousands of servers across the entire world, you’ll get to easily change your IP address and unblock TikTok on any device. This also means you can count on fast performance.

This VPN comes with numerous exciting features included in its affordable price. To learn more about this, make sure to turn to our CyberGhost VPN review.

  • TikTok Unblocking via Apps: YES (iOS and Android).
  • TikTok Unblocking via a Web Browser: YES (on all supported platforms).
  • Supported VPN Protocols: OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, PPTP, IPsec, WireGuard.
  • Money-Back Guarantees: 45 days.

2. Surfshark

Servers
Countries
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Mac
iOS
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Chrome
Firefox
Apple TV
Amazon Fire TV
All game consoles
All smart TVs
Parallel Connections
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Even though it doesn’t have the same age as our other recommendations, there are plenty of reasons to believe that Surfshark is one of the best TikTok VPN apps. If you’re looking for a robust VPN that’s also incredibly easy to use, you will love what this VPN offers.

First of all, Surfshark comes with polished apps for all currently popular devices, so if you’re accessing TikTok via one of its apps, or perhaps via its website, the process of unblocking should be smooth. Just connect to a server, and Surfshark will do everything on its own.

Let’s also not forget to mention that this VPN has a few tricks up its sleeve. There’s no limitation to how many devices you use at the same time. And also, this VPN can spoof your GPS location, which is handy for GPS-based blocks.

We could spend quite some time talking about this VPN. So, it would be best to recommend you to read our Surfshark review.

  • TikTok Unblocking via Apps: YES (iOS and Android).
  • TikTok Unblocking via a Web Browser: YES (on all supported platforms).
  • Supported VPN Protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2.
  • Money-Back Guarantees: 30 days.

3. NordVPN

Servers
Countries
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Windows
Android
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iOS
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Chromebook
Chrome
Firefox
PlayStation
Xbox
Amazon Fire TV
Nintendo Switch
All game consoles
Chromecast
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

NordVPN is a well-known name in the world of VPN services. It’s been around for many years now, being very proactive in terms of protecting its customers. This is a hugely powerful VPN that comes with highly optimized performance.

First of all, know that NordVPN is a no-logs VPN service. It means that your privacy is protected in the best way possible. This VPN is also coming up with new technologies quite often, such as its recently implemented NordLynx protocol.

What this means is that unblocking TikTok is easy. You’ll get to use thousands of servers, many of which are optimized for specific tasks. For example, you can use obfuscated servers to unblock TikTok without leaving a single trace of your whereabouts.

To get a more profound sense of whether this VPN aligns with all your needs, we can offer you our hands-on NordVPN review. Make sure to read it carefully.

  • TikTok Unblocking via Apps: YES (iOS and Android).
  • TikTok Unblocking via a Web Browser: YES (on all supported platforms).
  • Supported VPN Protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, NordLynx.
  • Money-Back Guarantees: 30 days.

4. PureVPN

Servers
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Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
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Linux
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Chrome
Firefox
PlayStation
Xbox
Amazon Fire TV
Chromecast
Roku
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

PureVPN might not be the toughest VPN out there. However, when it comes to unblocking apps and websites, you will love what this VPN offers. Since it is known as being one of the most reliable VPNs for Chinese users, you already understand that PureVPN knows plenty about going over all kinds of access restrictions.

This VPN won’t only let you access TikTok from anywhere in the world, but it will secure your online traffic so that no one can see what you’re doing online. While doing so, PureVPN won’t store any of your personally identifiable data, as proven by independent audits.

Among other features, PureVPN protects against tracking by trying to manage cookies, device IDs, IP mapping, and geolocation. It even supports P2P file sharing and media streaming. And lastly, it offers an affordable trial account, so you can test-drive it risk-free.

We wouldn’t want to overwhelm you with plenty of information and VPN terms. Therefore, if you want to know more about this VPN, turn to our PureVPN review.

  • TikTok Unblocking via Apps: YES (iOS and Android).
  • TikTok Unblocking via a Web Browser: YES (on all supported platforms).
  • Supported VPN Protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2, SSTP, L2TP, PPTP.
  • Money-Back Guarantees: 31 days.

TikTok Not Working With a VPN? Try These Solutions!

As noted earlier, there are different ways for a country to block access to apps and websites. Depending on those bans’ technical complexity, you’ll see that TikTok might sometimes not work – even when using a VPN application.

However, know that you can always access a source on the Internet that’s been banned. It just means that sometimes you’ll need to put in a bit of extra work to make this happen.

So, if you still can’t access TikTok using a VPN, here are some possible solutions.

  • Change Your Device’s App Store Region: To access and download TikTok via your device’s App Store, you need to visit a version of that App Store where TikTok is available. Here’s how to change your Apple ID country/region, as well as how to change your Play Store country. Keep in mind that you’ll need a VPN for this task. And also, you can change a Play Store country only once per year.
  • Register for a New Apple/Google Account: If you’re experiencing issues trying to change your App Store’s country, you should try registering for a new account. While signing-up, make sure to select a country where TikTok isn’t blocked. Later on, use a VPN when trying to access the app.
  • Try Accessing TikTok via a Web Browser: Some TikTok users from India have reported that despite the TikTok app being unavailable, they have managed to access the platform via its website. So, fire up your VPN and try to access TikTok via a mobile Internet browser on your iOS or Android device.
  • Try Accessing TikTok on a New Device: If there’s a device ID-based ban, it’s impossible to access TikTok if you’ve used it before. The only solution is to use a new device with a new Apple/Google ID, along with a VPN service.

This is where we conclude our guide to the best VPNs for TikTok in 2020. We’d love to hear your feedback, so please share it with us via the comments section. And of course, don’t forget to share this article online if you think it’ll help other TikTok users as well.

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