TikTok is a social media network that took the world by storm, rapidly growing to over a billion users in 2023. In recent months, however, there has been talk of the U.S. banning the app. If you want to keep using it, you’ll need the best VPN for TikTok.
TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a social media company headquartered in China, which some believe poses a risk to U.S. national security. The U.S., and other countries, are trying to ban the app from private devices due to the potential of it gathering information on its users.
Key Takeaways: Best VPN for TikTok
- With more and more countries banning TikTok completely, using a reliable VPN may soon be the only way to enjoy these short videos.
- ExpressVPN is the best TikTok VPN, with plenty of server locations to choose from, strong security, and excellent speed and latency.
- NordVPN and Surfshark are solid alternatives that save you a bit of money, and Proton VPN offers a free version with servers in the Netherlands and Japan that you can use.
Using a VPN for TikTok will still allow you to watch videos, as long as you get an IP address outside your state or country. Several providers can unblock TikTok. Our top pick is ExpressVPN, a premium virtual private network that also tops our list of best VPNs. To find out more about it, and our other suggestions for accessing TikTok from anywhere, read on.
On Friday, April 14, 2023, Montana made history by becoming the first U.S. state to enact a TikTok ban with SB 419. The ban will go into effect in January 2024 if Governor Greg Gianforte signs the bill.
04/20/2023 Facts checked
Rewritten to include two more providers and more recent information on a potential ban of the TikTok platform in the U.S.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for TikTok, thanks to a large server network, excellent performance and a strong set of security features.
Proton VPN’s free version offers a server in the Netherlands, which hasn’t officially banned TikTok from private devices.
Yes, you can use a reliable VPN service to tunnel your connection through a VPN server in another country, virtually changing your location.
Yes, it is legal to use a VPN, such as ExpressVPN, NordVPN or Surfshark, for TikTok.
Top VPNs for TikTok
Average speedDownload Speed91 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency6 ms
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- : 5
Average speedDownload Speed94 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency6 ms
- : PayPal, Credit card, Google Pay, AmazonPay, ACH Transfer, Cash
- : 6
Average speedDownload Speed96 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency117 ms
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- : Unlimited
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- : 10
Average speedDownload Speed74 MbpsUpload Speed9 MbpsLatency46 ms
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- : 7
What Makes the Best VPN for TikTok?
For any TikTok VPN service to make the list, it needed to fulfill three conditions: it had to have servers in a location where you can access TikTok with no restrictions, apps for mobile devices and good overall performance. The following is an overview of the VPN services that made the list:
- ExpressVPN — Premium VPN provider with excellent performance
- NordVPN — Solid VPN with huge server network
- Surfshark — Affordable provider with unlimited simultaneous connections
- Proton VPN — Very secure VPN with a free plan
- CyberGhost — Easy-to-use VPN with affordable long term plans
Our key criterion was for the VPN services to have servers in a location where TikTok isn’t restricted. The VPN services mentioned above all have large server networks with plenty of servers in countries where TikTok isn’t blocked and can provide you with an IP address that lets you watch TikTok videos from your actual location.
Next, since TikTok is primarily a mobile app, we wanted the VPNs to have apps for mobile devices, both on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems. We also made sure that those apps are easy to use and navigate, so you can pick a server location and access TikTok with little effort.
Last but not least, since TikTok videos can be large in size, performance was our next priority. A slow VPN service may result in buffering, so we made sure to pick VPNs that scored well on our VPN speed test.
The 5 Best VPNs for TikTok
Now that you know the criteria we used to choose the best providers for accessing TikTok, here is our list of options, starting with ExpressVPN.
More details about ExpressVPN:
- Pricing: $6.66 per month (15-months plan)
- Free plan: None, 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Provider website: expressvpn.com
- Large server network
- Mobile & desktop apps
- Great performance & security
- Owned by Kape Technologies
ExpressVPN is a premium VPN in every sense of the word. It’s remarkably easy to use, which is why we crowned it the best VPN for beginners, and if you want to unblock TikTok, it’s the best way to do so. The VPN has servers in 94 countries around the world, including plenty of options where TikTok isn’t blocked in any way.
ExpressVPN has apps on both the Apple app store and the Google Play Store, as well as on popular desktop platforms. The apps are very easy to use regardless of which device you’re using them on. You can find out more about the VPN service in our ExpressVPN review.
Proprietary Lightway Protocol
Lightway is ExpressVPN’s proprietary protocol. It’s built from the ground up to offer the best possible combination of speed and security, with a lightweight database and minimal impact on app performance. It works with both AES and ChaCha20 encryption and is open source, which means it can be audited if you find anything suspicious.
ExpressVPN isn’t the most affordable, with a yearly plan that costs $6.66 per month, including three months free. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can make sure it really unblocks TikTok for you before you pay anything.
More details about NordVPN:
- Pricing: $3.59 per month (two-year plan)
- Free plan: None, 30-day money-back guarantee
- Provider website: nordvpn.com
- Huge server network
- Strong security & fast speeds
- Apps for almost any device
- Server breached in the past
- Poor mobile UI
NordVPN is a very strong contender on our list of the best VPNs for TikTok, which is no surprise if you’ve read our NordVPN vs ExpressVPN comparison. The VPN comes with over 5,000 servers spread across 60 countries, making it great for unblocking TikTok from anywhere in the world.
NordVPN has apps for almost any device you can think of, including Android and iOS devices and desktop platforms. Some of the more advanced features might be difficult to use, but you can find a comprehensive debriefing in our NordVPN review.
Top Notch Speeds with NordLynx
NordVPN uses NordLynx as its protocol of choice. NordLynx is a take on WireGuard, a protocol we’ve looked into, but with a few improvements to speed and privacy. It’s lightweight and fast, with no compromises from a security standpoint.
NordVPN offers several plans. The most affordable one comes in at $3.59 per month for a two-year subscription. It also has a 30-day money-back policy, so you can try it out risk free.
- Unlimited GB
- Unlimited GB
More details about Surfshark:
- Pricing: $2.49 per month (two-year plan)
- Free plan: None, 30-day money-back guarantee
- Provider website: surfshark.com
- Affordable pricing
- Easy-to-use apps
- Unlimited device connections
- Inconsistent latency
At first glance, Surfshark may not seem as impressive as some other VPNs. Take a closer look, though, and you’ll quickly realize that this is an incredibly well-rounded VPN with little to no compromise, making it one of the best VPNs for TikTok. It has more than 3,200 servers in 100 countries; you’ll find everything you need to know in our Surfshark review.
Surfshark has an app for most popular devices, including mobile and desktop devices, with fast VPN connection speeds. It includes strong security features like a strict no-logs policy and kill switch. The only downside is the sometimes inconsistent latency, which is why it’s third on our list.
Unlimited Simultaneous Connections
Surfshark’s ace in the hole is the unlimited simultaneous connections. Whether you’re watching TikTok content by yourself or you want to share your account, Surfshark lets you connect to as many devices as you want, at the same time.
Surfshark’s two-year plan will cost you $2.49 per month, which is as close to free as a premium VPN gets, and is one of the best VPN deals on our list. The 30-day money-back guarantee has you covered, too, in case the latency issues prove too severe to handle.
- Unlimited GB bandwidth, Unlimited devices, Secure VPN, Ad blocker, Cookie pop-up blocker.
- Unlimited GB
- Everything in Starter, plus Antivirus protection, Identity protection, Email Breach and Credit Card Alerts, Online Alias
- Unlimited GB
- Everything in One, plus Data removal
- Unlimited GB
4. Proton VPN
More details about Proton VPN:
- Pricing: $4.99 per month (two-year plan)
- Free plan: Yes, but limited to 3 server locations
- Provider website: protonvpn.com
- Free plan with no data limit
- Apps for almost any device
- Solid speeds & security
- Only 3 locations on free plan
- Free plan will throttle speeds
Proton VPN is arguably the best free VPN for TikTok, since it’s the only trustworthy one with no data limits. Add to this an excellent interface, rapid speeds, and great offline and online security, and you’re looking at a great VPN for TikTok, completely free. You can find out more about the VPN in our Proton VPN review.
The downside of the free plan is that you won’t be getting the full speeds Proton VPN has to offer, and you can only choose between three locations. One of them is the United States, which is on the verge of completely banning TikTok. This leaves the Netherlands and Japan, both of which are also considering a ban. If you want access to the full list of servers, you’ll need the paid plan.
Secure Core Servers
If you go for the paid plan, Proton VPN offers a relatively unique perk: servers with heightened offline security. For example, its Secure Core data center in Iceland is a full-fledged refurbished military base. Any connection through a Secure Core server is also routed through another VPN server before it gets to an exit node.
Proton VPN’s free plan comes with reduced connection speeds, since you’re restricted to limited server locations with other free users. You can pay $4.99 per month on a two-year plan for all features and servers. If you end up not liking it, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee.
More details about CyberGhost:
- Pricing: $2.37 per month (two-year plan)
- Free plan: None, 45-day money-back guarantee
- Provider website: cyberghostvpn.com
- Affordable long term pricing
- Apps for most devices
- Subpar downloads & latency
CyberGhost VPN has a few things going for it, but arguably the best is its affordability. The VPN is extremely cheap, while still offering solid security features comparable to other TikTok VPNs and a large server network with more than 9,000 servers in over 90 countries. We talk about it in more detail in our CyberGhost review.
CyberGhost offers VPN apps for almost any desktop and mobile operating system, as well as a kill switch, IP and DNS leak protection, and split tunneling. Unfortunately, it’s far from the fastest VPN — it has issues with both speed and latency, which is why it comes in last on our list.
Smart Rules for Automation
CyberGhost’s “smart rules” lets you set up automated rules on how the VPN behaves in different situations. You can set up all kinds of automations to keep your online safety under control while minimizing manual effort. As an example, you can set the VPN to connect to a server when you open an app, such as your web browser or TikTok.
CyberGhost VPN is incredibly affordable, priced at $2.37 per month if you subscribe for two years. It also offers a 45-day money back guarantee for the longer plans, longer than all the other TikTok VPNs on our list.
Why You Should Use a TikTok VPN: What Are the Risks of Using TikTok?
TikTok has been under scrutiny in the past couple of months due to its potential connections with the Chinese government. The Chinese government has the power to request access to TikTok servers, which would compromise the privacy and security of TikTok users and their data.
Even this aside, TikTok is far from the most secure app out there. In the past, there have been multiple reports of security vulnerabilities found that might allow unauthorized access of TikTok data to third parties, and consequently, to user information. That said, many — if not all — of these privacy problems are common among many popular social media platforms, so we recommend exercising the same caution with platforms like Facebook or Instagram.
Where Is TikTok Banned?
At the time of writing, TikTok is completely banned in Afghanistan, India and Pakistan, although Pakistan’s bans have proven to be only temporary in the past.
Many other countries, such as the United States, Canada, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Finland, Latvia, Norway, the United Kingdom and Taiwan, have banned the use of TikTok on all public sector and government-issued devices, citing security concerns. You can still download TikTok on a private device in said countries, though.
The U.S. RESTRICT Act & TikTok VPN Usage
While the U.S. RESTRICT Act has banned TikTok and other known Chinese apps from government devices, Montana was the first state to completely ban the social network across all devices on April 14, 2023. Stricter federal acts may follow, such as the ANTI-SOCIAL CCP Act, along with other bans from state governments.
At the moment, there is no mention of restrictions that would prevent you from using a VPN for TikTok, although that may change down the line. That being said, the bill has been drafted in very broad terms, leaving plenty of room for the use of a VPN to access TikTok (or any other website or service banned by the act) to be considered a criminal offense.
Can You Use a Free VPN for TikTok?
While you can technically use any free VPN for TikTok, the only one we would recommend that doesn’t impose a limitation on data is Proton VPN. A few other free VPNs are trustworthy, including Windscribe, TunnelBear and Hide.me, but each comes with a data limit that TikTok will chew through quickly.
With several countries around the world banning TikTok, and others looking to join that list, a VPN may soon be the only way users can safely access TikTok. Using a VPN also brings a few other benefits, such as a more secure internet connection thanks to strong encryption.
If you’re affected by a TikTok ban, ExpressVPN is the best way to unblock TikTok and enjoy videos on the daily. It will also keep your connection private from your internet service provider and keep your data private thanks to a strict no-logs policy.
Do you live in a country that has banned, or is about to ban, TikTok? Have you tried to unblock TikTok with a VPN? What’s your favorite VPN for that? Let us know in the comments, and as always, thank you for reading.