Snapchat is a popular multimedia messaging app used by more than 200 million people per day. With it, you can share photos and videos with friends and family, and add a little fun with filters, lenses and other effects.
As innocent as it sounds, though, Snapchat is often blocked. We’ll go into the reasons for that later, but one of our best VPN for Snapchat picks will help you unblock Snapchat.
By using a virtual private network, you’ll be able to bypass school, workplace and even country blocks. In this article, we’ll go over what you should look for in a Snapchat VPN, why Snapchat gets blocked and why using a free Snapchat VPN isn’t always a good idea.
The Best VPN for Snapchat
- NordVPN — Excellent security, great for strict country blocks, fair pricing
- Hide.me — Free plan with 10GB of data, decent speeds
- Windscribe — Free plan with 2GB of data that can be increased, cheap build-a-plan option
- ExpressVPN — The best choice for circumventing strict country blocks, fast, secure
- ProtonVPN — Free plan with unlimited bandwidth, slow speeds
We’ve chosen NordVPN as the best VPN for Snapchat. It’s not a free service, and there’s no limited free plan, but it is among the cheapest VPNs available while not compromising your security.
If you’re in a country that has strict levels of censorship, you’re going to need good security to keep you safe. However, if you’re just trying to bypass a school block to use social media, our second pick is good enough to unblock Snapchat.
NordVPN’s security is among the best on the market. It uses 256-bit AES encryption, and you also get the choice of using its double-hop servers, which add even more protection to your connection. It comes with a kill switch and a strict no-logs policy, too.
There are more than 5,000 servers to choose from that cover more than 60 countries, giving you plenty of options. Its speeds are good, but they can be slow over long distances. If you’re willing to try a few different servers, you should find one that’s good enough, though. You can read more about that in our NordVPN review.
It’s simple to use, and you get an interactive map so it’s easy to choose a server. There’s a quick connect button that’ll connect you to the nearest VPN server available. However, if you need to change servers, that’s simple to do as well.
There’s a VPN app for both Android and iOS, and you can have six devices connected at the same time, in case your family wants to get in on the action.
NordVPN offers good value for your money, but the monthly plan isn’t the best price. Opting for a lengthier subscription brings it down to a more wallet-friendly rate and will save you more than 70 percent, but you’ll need to cough up the whole amount straight away.
That’s the same as with any other paid service, though, so it can be a good idea if other users from your household pitch in. Plus, its 30-day refund window is there for peace of mind.
- Top-notch security
- Double-hop encryption
- Kill switch
- Inconsistent speeds
- No free plan
Hide.me is our second pick for a Snapchat VPN. We know many of you won’t be able to afford NordVPN or any other paid service, so we thought we should point you toward the best free VPN for Snapchat, too.
Hide.me is popular because of its generous free plan. It has good features and earned a spot on our best free VPN services list.
You get good security that has lots of settings and different protocols to choose from, and you also get a kill switch. You can rest assured that your data is safe with Hide.me, too, as it had its no-logs policy certified. Read more in our Hide.me review.
Hide.me has more than 1,500 servers to choose from in around 60 locations. However, the free plan can only access five of its locations. Its speeds are decent, and the free plan gets you 10GB of data per month, which is plenty for sending some photos and videos.
The interface is easy to use and has a lot of features crammed into it, in case you know what you’re doing. You can install Hide.me on both Android and iOS, though it can take a bit of time to set up. You can connect one device on the free plan, but if you upgrade to the paid plan, you can connect up to 10 devices.
Hide.me’s free plan is good and will unblock Snapchat, but remember, if you are in a strict country, make sure you opt for a service with the best security.
Hide.me’s paid plan is expensive, and so if you’re thinking of opting for it, we kindly point you back to our first choice, NordVPN. If you decide to go for it anyway, Hide.me has a 30-day money-back guarantee that you can fall back on.
- Generous free plan
- Good security
- Lots of security settings
- Expensive paid plan
Our next pick is Windscribe, which also has a generous free plan but you need to jump through a couple of hoops to up the free bandwidth allowance. The free plan gives you 2GB as standard, but you can enter a valid email address to increase that to 10GB.
Windscribe has servers in around 60 countries, giving you plenty of coverage. However, if you opt for the free plan, you’ll have access to only a handful of them. Its speeds are fine, and Windscribe sells itself more in the streaming area, with its paid Windflix servers that can access Netflix and other platforms with ease, just in case you want some popcorn time (read our best VPN for Netflix article).
The interface is a simple, no-frills design, which is great for beginners, but techies can tinker with it, too. It has VPN apps for Android and iOS, and you can connect an unlimited number of devices simultaneously, even on the free plan.
Windscribe’s free plan should be enough for you to unblock Snapchat from school or work, and its full paid plan can be expensive. That said, if you want a particular server — or a Windflix server for streaming — you can build your own package.
Adding a VPN server will cost you just $1 per month, and you’ll also get an extra 10GB of data per month for each server you add. If you’re planning on some bandwidth-hungry activities, though, you can add unlimited data for an extra $1 per month.
Windscribe doesn’t have an official refund policy, but it will issue a refund if you ask for one within three days of purchase.
- Free plan
- Cheap build-a-plan option
- Unlimited connections
- Full plan is expensive
ExpressVPN is the top all-round service, but it sits in fourth place as a VPN to unblock Snapchat because it’s expensive. Its security is excellent, and it includes a kill switch that’s enabled by default, meaning you don’t need to keep remembering to turn it on. ExpressVPN also has a strict no-logs policy.
It has more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries, so you’re sure to find a suitable VPN server. It’s also the fastest VPN we’ve tested, as you can read in our ExpressVPN review, which is one of the reasons why it’s our best VPN for streaming.
It’s one of the easiest-to-use VPNs available and has mobile apps for Android, iOS and even BlackBerry. You can connect up to five devices at the same time, too.
If it wasn’t so expensive, ExpressVPN would be at the top of our list due to its security and excellent service. There’s no free plan, either, but if you are able to afford the service, it’s well worth the money.
ExpressVPN will keep you protected, while also giving you a speedy and reliable service. Choosing a long plan will bring the cost down, and there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Excellent security
- Good server network
Our last pick is ProtonVPN, which is another service that has a free plan. It has good security, along with a kill switch. There’s also a solid no-logs policy.
It has fewer than 1,000 servers, and they cover more than 40 countries, but that should be enough for you to find one that can unblock Snapchat and other social media apps. The main reason ProtonVPN is at the bottom of our list, though, is because its speeds let it down. It’s not the slowest we’ve tested, but it is slow. Read our ProtonVPN review for more on that.
It’s easy to use and you can download it on both Android and iOS. All of its plans come with unlimited bandwidth — even the free plan — but the number of connections you can have will depend on the plan you choose.
The paid plan comes in three choices. The Basic plan gets you two connections and the use of all the servers. The Plus plan gives you the same as Basic, but you get three more connections and the use of some special servers, such as “secure core” and streaming servers.
The most expensive plan is Visionary, which gets you a total of 10 connections and the use of its encrypted email service, ProtonMail. If you’re going to opt for a paid plan, then Plus is your best option. There’s no free trial, but there is a 30-day refund window.
- Unlimited bandwidth on all packages (including free plan)
- Good security
- Options for extra security features
- Free servers are unreliable
- Slow speeds
How We Chose the Best VPN for Snapchat
Although the act of using a VPN to unblock Snapchat will be the same in any scenario, the features you’ll need in a VPN will be different depending on your circumstances. We’ll dig deeper into the various reasons for Snapchat being blocked later, but those reasons will have an impact on which VPN you should choose.
On the one hand, if you’re looking to bypass a block imposed on your school’s network, you’ll pretty much just need to connect to a server outside of the network. On the other hand, a block imposed by strict country rules brings a more risky venture, and you need to make sure you’re covered when doing so.
Whatever restrictions you face, using a VPN will help you access not only Snapchat, but other restricted social media services and content, too. With all that in mind, let’s get into the different features you should look for in a Snapchat VPN.
Security and Privacy
The most important factor to consider when choosing a Snapchat VPN is how secure it is. Although it won’t actually help you access Snapchat, it’s important to protect yourself while you do.
Nasty things can be lurking on public WiFi, so if you’re using a school or workplace’s internet connection, using a VPN with good security is crucial. It’ll hide your sensitive information from prying eyes and protect you from cybercrime (though a decent antivirus would be good at the latter, too).
On top of that, if you’re in a country that blocks Snapchat altogether, having good security will mean you don’t get caught accessing something that’s frowned upon. As an added bit of protection, we recommend you make sure the VPN includes a kill switch. That will sever your internet connection completely if the VPN fails, keeping you safe.
The VPN’s server network is important, too. The more servers a VPN has, the better your chances are of finding a suitable one for Snapchat. Having some servers close by can make loading times faster, but if you’re in a country that blocks Snapchat, you’ll need to connect to a server in a country that can access it.
Ease of Use and Device Compatibility
If you’re not familiar with using a VPN, you’ll appreciate a service that has an easy-to-use interface. That said, you’ll most likely want a good settings menu if you know your way around.
Aside from that, though, you need to make sure that the VPN is compatible with your device. Most VPNs cover the main operating systems, but the last thing you want to do is sign up and then realize you can’t use it. For Snapchat, you’ll be using a mobile device, unless you’re using some sort of emulator.
Although the VPN’s speed isn’t the most important factor when it comes to using Snapchat, it’s still something to consider. If you choose a slow VPN, you might end up waiting ages for Snapchat to send your message, and that can be frustrating. By choosing a fast VPN, your Snapchat experience will be smoother.
At Cloudwards.net, we look more at the value you get with a VPN package. However, prices vary across the market, and if you’re a student, you might not be able to afford it. There are many free plans available with reputable VPN services, though, and most VPNs apply a discount if you sign up for a long subscription.
Something we don’t recommend doing, though, is using one of the many free VPN services you can find by simply searching in your app store or online. We’ll talk more about why later, but you can also read our worst free VPNs guide.
Why Does Snapchat Get Blocked?
Snapchat has surged in popularity and is free to use, but there are some circumstances that make it impossible for you to use the app without the help of a virtual private network.
There are many reasons why Snapchat gets blocked. Schools, colleges and workplaces often block Snapchat in order to keep students and employees concentrated on their work.
Snapchat has also received criticism for being associated with sexting, bullying and other controversial content, so there’s the aspect of safeguarding young people, too (read our best VPN for school piece).
The blocks don’t end there, though. In some countries, such as those in the Middle East, Snapchat is blocked altogether. The blocks can be for political or religious reasons, limiting freedom of speech. Snapchat gives users a chance to speak their mind without the worry of being caught because of its auto-delete feature, so long as users can access it.
In some countries, strict censorship is rife to keep tabs on what citizens can or cannot see. Social media or messaging apps, in general — such as Instagram and Skype — are blocked along with a ton of other content and services, so Snapchat wouldn’t stand a chance.
Take China’s Great Firewall, for example. Most Western content is blocked, and social media platforms are replaced with a Chinese version, such as WeChat and Renren. If you’re looking for the best VPN for Snapchat in China, we can tell you that NordVPN works in China, but take a look at our roundup of the best VPN services for China, too.
How Can a VPN Help Me Unblock Snapchat?
A virtual private network can help you unblock Snapchat easily and safely. If you’re trying to get access from school or work, it’s a simple matter of installing the VPN and connecting to a server outside of the network. Once you’ve done that, you should be able to use Snapchat freely.
If you’re trying to get access from a restricted country, however, the process will be the same, but you’ll need to be a bit more careful. In some countries, the punishment for accessing such a service can be harsh (read our best VPN for Iran piece as an example).
By using a VPN, you’ll hide your IP address and encrypt your connection so that no one can see what you’re up to. That’s why it’s important to use a kill switch, too. If you don’t and the VPN fails, your door is left wide open for anyone to see what you’re doing and your IP address can be traced.
Keep in mind, though, that although using a VPN will keep you safe from prying eyes, it doesn’t stop someone taking a screenshot of your message before it disappears. Be mindful of what you post.
Can I Use a Free VPN for Snapchat?
We know the majority of students aren’t exactly rolling around in wads of cash, so it’s tempting to use a VPN that’s free. There are many decent free plans available, such as the ones we’ve already mentioned. That said, for each good free plan, there’s a bunch that you should avoid like the plague.
A quick search on your web browser or the app store will return a ton of free VPNs waiting to pounce. Although we can’t say for sure how many of them are bad, you should assume they are unless they have good, reputable reviews.
Many of those in the queue will be waiting to infect your device or sell your data. Plus, some of those claiming to have good security actually have little to none. Aside from the more alarming traits, you’ll also find that many either have bandwidth restrictions, slow speeds or both.
If you’re unable to use Snapchat because of restrictions on a school or workplace network, or you’re in a country that blocks it altogether, a virtual private network can help. It’ll not only let you access Snapchat easily so you can share photos and videos, but it will also keep you under the radar in case accessing such a service is dangerous.
With your safety in mind, security is the most important factor. After that, you need a good server network, decent speeds and a user-friendly interface.
We’ve chosen NordVPN as the best VPN for Snapchat. It comes with top-notch security and a large number of servers, and it’s simple to use. It’s also fairly priced and has a 30-day refund window in case you change your mind.
That said, if your pockets are empty and you’re not in a strict country, Hide.me has a decent free plan that’ll get you access to Snapchat.
Have you accessed Snapchat with a VPN? Tell us about your experience in the comment section. Take a look at our VPN archive while you’re here, too. As always, thank you for reading.