5 Best VPNs for School & College Students in 2023

Most schools and colleges provide their students with free WiFi so that they can do their assignments and research. However, schools usually block sites like Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Netflix, and others. So, students can't use them while they're at school. Still, there’s a way for you to bypass this network block and access any site you want. The trick is to get a VPN for school.

VPNs can help you unblock websites, apps, and content on the Internet. Additionally, they can keep your identity safe and prevent your school from seeing what you do online. 

However, you should know that only the best VPN providers are able to unblock content. So, when choosing a VPN, you need to ensure it has adequate content-unblocking capabilities.

But how do you set up a VPN for school WiFi? What is the best VPN for school and college students? You can find the answer to both of those questions in this article.

So, let's jump right in!

How to Use a VPN to Get Around Blocks at School

To use a VPN that works at school, you need to connect to one of the VPN's servers and encrypt your Web connection. Here's everything you need to do:

  1. Subscribe to a suitable school VPN (we recommend ExpressVPN).
  2. Download and install the VPN app on your device(s).
  3. Open the app and log in to your account.
  4. Connect to a VPN server (pick a nearby one for the best speed).
  5. That's it! Now you can browse freely and access whatever you need.

Best VPN for School and College

When choosing the best VPN to use at school, the following criteria need to be considered: strong encryption – a feature that encrypts your Internet connection to prevent third parties from accessing your personal information; content-unblocking capabilities – which allow you to unblock sites restricted by your school; no-logs policy – VPNs with such a policy in place ensure that no one can access your browsing history; kill switch – which ensures that your device doesn't connect to the school WiFi if your VPN connection drops.

Based on the criteria mentioned above, the top 5 VPNs for school are:

  1. ExpressVPN – Our #1-Rated VPN for School (Best Overall)
  2. NordVPN – Best School VPN for Mobile Devices
  3. CyberGhost VPN – Best VPN for Students Studying Abroad
  4. Surfshark – Best VPN for School to Share with Your Classmates
  5. PIA – Most Customizable VPN for School

1. ExpressVPN – Our #1-Rated VPN for School (Best Overall)

Editor's Pick
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Android
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Kindle
Nook
Chrome
Firefox
PlayStation
Apple TV
Xbox
Amazon Fire TV
Roku
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for school networks thanks to its military-grade encryption and strict no-logs policy. 

It ensures complete privacy and total anonymity, which is ideal for students because they can freely browse the Web while in school with this VPN. Since ExpressVPN has a strict no-logs policy, your school network’s admins won't be able to see what you're doing online.

In addition to these strong security features, the provider also has strong content-unblocking capabilities. Thus, it allows you to unblock virtually every site, app, and streaming platform that is blocked by your school.

ExpressVPN is also the fastest VPN on the market, according to our tests. That means it will allow you to browse the Internet with lightning-fast connection speeds even while you're at school. So, even if the VPN server you choose is far away from you, you will still be able to browse the Internet at super-fast speed.

With ExpressVPN, you will have your pick of servers and locations since the provider lets you connect to 3,000+ servers in 94 countries. You can use it on 5 devices simultaneously, meaning you can connect your phone, tablet, and computer while at school. And if you have any problems, you can contact ExpressVPN's customer support 24/7 and get help.

PROS

  • Military-grade encryption.
  • Top-tier performance.
  • Excellent unblocking capabilities.
  • User-friendly UI.
  • Helpful customer support.

CONS

  • 5 simultaneous connections.

2. NordVPN – Best School VPN for Mobile Devices

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

NordVPN is another great school VPN you can use, offering excellent security features and keeping you safe online. Thanks to its military-grade encryption, no-logs policy, and other advanced security features, it prevents third parties, including your school, from seeing what you're doing online. 

The provider has a large server fleet, with more than 5,500 servers in around 60 countries. So, you can choose your optimal location and unblock many country-specific sites with it.

NordVPN is a beginner-friendly VPN, meaning anyone can use it, not just computer science students or those with prior technical knowledge. You can connect to this VPN from up to 6 of your devices simultaneously and do your schoolwork without any restrictions, no matter what type of device you use.

The provider is especially good to use on mobile devices because its mobile app is super straightforward and works with both iOS and Android. Also, the app has a “Quick Connect” button which allows you to connect to a VPN server with just one click. 

When it comes to speed, NordVPN performs well and is one of the fastest VPNs on the market. However, it is not as fast as ExpressVPN.

Lastly, it offers 24/7 customer support via live chat, which you can access via its website.

PROS

  • Strong encryption.
  • Advanced security options.
  • Great for mobile users.
  • Great for media streaming.
  • Suitable for beginners.

CONS

  • Servers in ~60 countries.

3. CyberGhost – Best VPN for Students Studying Abroad

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Windows
Android
Mac
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Chrome
Firefox
PlayStation
Apple TV
Xbox
Amazon Fire TV
Samsung Smart TV
All game consoles
All smart TVs
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

CyberGhost has one of the largest server networks in the VPN industry. It has 9,000+ servers in 90+ countries worldwide. That is why it is suitable for those who are studying abroad. So, no matter where you're from, the chances of finding a server located in your home country are pretty high with CyberGhost.

This provider also has great content-unblocking capabilities, meaning that you can use it to unblock thousands of sites blocked by your school. And while you're doing that, you won't have to worry about your teachers finding out what you're doing on the school's WiFi. 

This capable VPN for school will protect your Web history and information from third parties. In other words, it will prevent your school from finding out what you do on the Internet while you're there.

You can also access various streaming platforms and social media apps with CyberGhost while at school. Up to 7 devices can be connected simultaneously, including phones, computers, and tablets.

In addition to all the standard features mentioned here, CyberGhost also offers other ones, like its own antivirus app. The app can be useful to students who download materials from all sorts of sites online and use third-party external hardware, like USB sticks from classmates.

Finally, we’ll note that CyberGhost comes with a 45-day money-back policy. On top of that, you can always count on its 24/7-avilable support via live chat. 

PROS

  • Vast server network.
  • Excellent customer support.
  • 7 simultaneous connections.
  • Great for streaming and gaming.
  • 24/7-available support.

CONS

  • Slower connection speeds.

4. Surfshark – Best VPN for School to Share with Your Classmates

Servers
Countries
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Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chrome
Firefox
Apple TV
Amazon Fire TV
All game consoles
All smart TVs
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

Surfshark is a VPN that you can use on unlimited devices simultaneously. That's why it is great for students who want to share a VPN with their classmates and colleagues. You can connect from your phone, laptop, and computer and unblock many sites and apps that your school doesn't allow.

This VPN will keep you and the people you share it with safe and hide your data from others. Also, it will block your school from finding out which sites you access and whether you're watching a movie or browsing Twitter during school hours. 

Surfshark has great unblocking capabilities and is great for students who want to stream movies, shows, and similar content at school. It is one of the fastest VPNs on the market, beating CyberGhost and coming close to ExpressVPN's speed results.

In addition, the provider has over 3,200 servers in around 100 countries. All of them are zero-knowledge servers, which means they follow a strict no-logs policy that prevents even Surfshark itself from viewing your Internet history.

Finally, if you ever need assistance or have a question regarding your VPN, you can contact Surfshark at all times via its live chat.

PROS

  • Unlimited simultaneous connections.
  • Great customer support.
  • Excellent security.
  • Suitable for beginners.
  • Servers in 100 countries.

CONS

  • Can take a while to connect.

5. PIA – Most Customizable VPN for School

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chrome
Firefox
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

Private Internet Access (PIA) offers unique customization opportunities that not many school VPNs do. It is suitable for students who want to tweak their VPN settings. 

With PIA, you can customize your level of encryption, fine-tune your VPN protocol, and make many other similar changes to your VPN connection. All those changes can be made before and after you connect to your school's WiFi network.

The provider has thousands of servers in its infrastructure. The servers cover 84 countries worldwide, which is great for those who want to access foreign sites and apps.

PIA is not the fastest VPN on the market. However, you can dabble with the settings and optimize your VPN to make it faster. Otherwise, if you don't know how to optimize it, you will experience slower connection speeds.

When it comes to security, PIA comes with all the necessary measures students might need to protect themselves while using their school's WiFi. Its strict no-logs policy and strong encryption will hide your identity online and prevent teachers and school administrators from seeing what you're doing.

Lastly, PIA offers excellent customer support, which is available via its 24/7 live chat, a knowledge base, and written guides. You can request a refund via its live chat up to 30 days after you subscribe and get a full refund for the services you bought. 

PROS

  • Many advanced features.
  • Customization freedom.
  • Massive server infrastructure.
  • Strong security measures.

CONS

  • Not very suitable for beginners.
  • Slower connection speeds.

Why Do I Need a VPN for School and College?

You need a VPN for school and college to unblock sites and apps that are blocked by your school. Getting a school VPN is also beneficial for other reasons, including the following:

  • Access learning materials online – As mentioned above, schools block online platforms like YouTube, for example. YouTube is filled with learning materials on hundreds of subjects that you can use to learn and understand your courses. Since this site is blocked, you won't be able to access those materials without a VPN.
  • To download learning and research materials – Most schools also ban torrenting, meaning that students can't download files or documents for their assignments and projects. With a VPN, you will be able to download whatever you want.
  • Unblocking streaming services – Streaming services are also usually blocked on school WiFi networks. However, with a VPN, you can unblock different streaming services like Netflix, Apple TV+, Disney+, and more and watch your favorite movies or shows to relax while you're on a break.
  • Protecting your data – School WiFi networks are usually used by hundreds, if not thousands of other students and are not very safe. If you want to protect your personal and financial information, you need a suitable school VPN.
  • Anonymity – If you don't want your school to know what you're doing online, you can encrypt your Web connection and hide your Internet history with a school VPN.

Why Do Schools Block Everything?

Schools block everything because they want to prevent their students from seeing content that might be considered inappropriate or distracting. However, there are a few other reasons why schools block certain sites and apps:

  • Decrease the amount of bandwidth used – Sites like YouTube, Netflix, Apple TV+, etc., use a lot of bandwidth, resulting in network throttling. Also, downloading files from the Internet uses a lot of bandwidth.
  • Keep students focused – Many schools block social media platforms because they can distract students and keep them from focusing on their studies.
  • Prevent bullying – Social media platforms can be used to harass people online. To prevent that, schools block them so that students don't use them as much.

Can I Download a VPN at School and College?

Yes, you can download a VPN at school and college. You can do so by downloading the VPN app from the provider's official website. Then, you need to create an account and connect to a server.

However, if your school has stronger restrictions, you might not be able to download the VPN app. In that case, you can use your mobile data as a hotspot or use a proxy service to download the app.

Can't Bypass a School Firewall Using a VPN? - Here's How to Fix It!

If you can't bypass a school firewall using a VPN, you can try using a different encryption algorithm and see if it works. If it doesn't, you can try a few other solutions:

  • Get another VPN – Not all VPNs can bypass a school firewall. So, it is imperative that you get a reliable VPN that offers high-quality services and strong security features, like DNS leak protection, traffic obfuscation, and IPv6 leak protection.
  • Switch between different protocols – You can try different tunneling protocols in your VPN settings until you find one that can bypass your school's firewall.
  • Turn on traffic obfuscation – By turning on traffic obfuscation, you will conceal the fact that you're using a VPN, which might help you bypass the firewall.

Can I Use a Free VPN for School?

Yes, you can use a free VPN for school. However, free VPNs are not very secure, so we strongly recommend against using them.

Most free VPNs make money from selling their users’ data to third parties. So, if you use such a VPN, your data will be compromised.

Also, a free VPN will not be able to unblock any content if your school uses certain VPN protections. And even if it doesn't, most free VPNs do not have the ability to unlock much content. For example, they might not be able to unblock Netflix, Disney Plus, and other similar services.

Furthermore, free VPNs have small server infrastructures and do not cover many locations. This can be an issue since the servers will be overcrowded, and your connection will be very slow. So, you might have to wait a long time just to open a website, let alone download something.

Instead of using a free VPN, it would be best to use a premium VPN because it will provide you with all the features you need to unblock sites and other content at school.

Final Thoughts

Using a VPN for school will allow you to browse the Internet freely, even when you're in class. With a VPN app, you can access everything your school has blocked and download learning materials to help you with studying.

The VPN will also keep you safe and prevent your school network administrators from seeing what you do online. However, you must choose a powerful VPN with adequate security and unblocking capabilities.

We recommend ExpressVPN as it’s the best VPN money can buy and has the capacity to unblock virtually everything. Also, it has military-grade encryption, which will always keep your personal information safe.

FAQ

Is VPN Good for School?

Yes, a VPN is good for schools. It can help you access all kinds of learning materials your school might have previously blocked. And it will do so while protecting your personal data from third parties.

Are VPNs Allowed in School?

Every school is different, so whether they allow VPNs depends on their policy. So, before you decide to use a VPN, you should check your school’s policy on VPNs.

Can Schools Ban VPNs?

Yes, schools can ban VPNs. They can ban students from using a VPN on their computers. However, they can also ban you from using a VPN on your personal devices while you're connected to the school's WiFi.

Will My School Know if I Use a VPN?

Yes, your school will know if you use a VPN. However, it won't know what you're using it for or what you download.

Can You Get in Trouble for Using a VPN at School and College?

Yes, you can get in trouble for using a VPN at school and college. Namely, if it is against school policy to use a VPN, you will get in trouble. If it's not, you won't.

Which VPN Is Unblocked at School?

The best VPN that is unblocked for school is ExpressVPN. Other unblocked VPNs for school include NordVPN, CyberGhost, Surfshark, and PIA.

That concludes our guide on the best VPN for school. If you have any questions or remarks, don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments section below. Thanks for reading! 

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