School WiFi is great; it opens up a wealth of knowledge through Google, and you can do online work from your phone for free — you don’t even need to worry about data limits. However, most schools do block certain websites on their WiFi network. Naturally, you want to get around these blocks, so in this article, we’ll explain how you can unblock Instagram at school.
- The easiest way to access Instagram is to simply use your mobile data.
- You can also unblock Instagram by using a VPN, like CyberGhost or Windscribe.
- Proxies can also work to unblock Instagram at school but are less secure and unreliable.
- You should only use VPNs and proxies on your own devices, as school computers are often monitored.
Now, schools don’t block social media sites because they want you to suffer. Although there is a combination of security and legal reasons for blocks — which we’ll go into later — it’s ultimately there to help your learning. As long as you don’t let it be a distraction, you’ll probably get away with it, but you can get into trouble if it does become a problem.
If you decide to unblock Instagram, you should use a virtual private network (VPN) to stop anyone from finding out what you’re doing. However, you can also use a proxy server, which will let you access blocked sites within your browser. Just remember that Instagram will often block the specific IP address that a proxy uses, so try a different server or provider if it doesn’t work.
1. Unblock Instagram at School the Easy Way: Use Mobile Data
Although there are ways to access blocked content, the school can track your connection while you’re using their WiFi. A good VPN will stop them from reading your network traffic, but that won’t stop them from blocking your device or from punishing you. So if you want to keep using platforms like Instagram without the administration finding out, you should use mobile data.
Mobile data gives you a direct link between your device and your service provider so they won’t even be able to see what you’re doing. However, your mobile data is probably limited to a few gigabytes per month, and school WiFi is unlimited, so other options are often worth a shot.
2. Use a VPN to Unblock Instagram at School
Although a proxy can get around a weaker block, if you want to get around stronger protections, a VPN for Instagram is better than proxies. This is because a VPN actually encrypts your traffic before routing it through its servers. Read our VPN vs proxies guide to understand the differences.
However, this extra protection means these services are often harder to use. Your first step should be downloading a strong VPN for mobile — if you need some suggestions, click here to jump to our VPN suggestions for gaining access to Instagram.
- Get Windscribe From the App Store
Open up the app store on your mobile device and search for the VPN provider that you’ve chosen. Then tap the big “install” button and wait for it to download.
- Open the VPN
After you install it, click “open” to start the VPN. You can do this from inside the app store or from your app tray.
- Log in or Select “Get Started”
Depending on the VPN service you’re using, you may need to sign up and log in with your email address and password. However, VPN providers like Windscribe let you jump straight in with the “Get Started” button.
- Connect to a Server
Once you’ve signed in — or chosen to use it without signing in — you can now start the VPN. Simply click the power button at the top of the app to connect to the best VPN server, or choose a server from the VPN’s list or map.
- Accept the Connection Request
Both Android and iOS devices will require you to give the VPN permission to set up a connection. This is because a bad VPN can maliciously monitor your network traffic, putting your privacy and your phone at risk.
- Open Instagram
You’re now free to start using Instagram knowing that all of your data is encrypted and your real IP address is hidden. You can check that your VPN is connected by looking for its logo and a key symbol at the top of your screen.
3. Unblock Instagram at School Using a Proxy Server
Proxy servers are a great way to bypass some simple blocks, and they’re super easy to use. However, much like with the infamous Netflix m7111-5059 error, Instagram blocks the IP address of some proxy servers to prevent any access. Luckily, as most proxies work the same way, you can go through our list of the best free proxy services to see which ones work.
- Go to the Proxy Service’s Website
First, you’ll need to open your browser and search the internet for the proxy’s website. The school network may block access to some of these sites, so you may need to try a few to find one that works.
- Find the Proxy Page
Often a provider will put the free proxy on its own page, sometimes under a heading like “tools.”
- Enable Encryption Under “More Options”
If the provider has a tab that says “more options,” click it and enable any encryption options. This will help give you a little extra privacy.
- Enter the Page Address
- Agree to the Terms
You’ll need to agree to any terms and conditions to use the proxy server. There may be a separate check box for this or an “agree & connect” button.
- Wait for the Page to Load
It should now start loading the website. If it can’t access Instagram, the server’s IP address may have been blocked, so you should try a different proxy provider.
Best VPNs for Unblocking Instagram at School
Now that we’ve detailed the three easiest ways to unblock Instagram at school, we wanted to reiterate that VPNs are much more secure to use than proxy servers.
A good VPN is one of the best ways to bypass restrictions and access any blocked websites, but free VPN services are few and far between. It’s even harder to get one that can access sites like Instagram without sacrificing your privacy. That said, they do exist, and these are some of our favorites.
CyberGhost is one of the best VPNs for anyone that can’t afford to waste money. It doesn’t just have solid security features and excellent ease of use, but it’s also one of the cheapest VPN options available. It’s only $2.75 per month on the three-year plan, there’s a great 45-day money-back guarantee and a solid seven-day free trial on mobile devices.
As a relatively inexpensive service with some great features and security, it’s easily the best VPN for school. So if you want to access sites like Instagram at school, you should read our full CyberGhost review to see if this service is for you.
Even without the generous free plan, Windscribe is a solid VPN. The only major issues are the slightly slower speeds and the fact that split-tunneling is only available on Android devices. Other than that, it’s secure, has plenty of features, has servers in over 60 countries, and it can get past most VPN blockers.
However, Windscribe’s free plan is where the VPN really shines. You get access to servers in 10 countries and 10GB of data per month by simply creating an account. Other than that, there aren’t many limits, and you can find out more by reading our full Windscribe review.
TunnelBear is another VPN that offers a free option for users. It’s beaten by Windscribe in most categories, but it does do things well enough to earn our recommendation. As you can read in our full TunnelBear review, it has an array of features, it’s easy to use and the security is decent.
It does lose some points due to its incredibly small 500MB per month free plan and the limited access to streaming sites. However, if you’re only using it for social media and Google searches, you can always just use multiple email addresses to get around the limits.
As long as you aren’t looking to use any streaming services, Hide.me is a secure and feature-rich option, and you can find out more in our full Hide.me review. With its new lower pricing, it’s closer to most other services, but the real deal is the free plan.
Although you won’t get all the paid plans’ bells and whistles, free users will still get everything they need. You’ll also get 10GB of data — the same as Windscribe — but with the added bonus that even if you run out, you can still connect to a server; you just don’t get to choose which one.
With a free plan that comes with unlimited data, it’s no surprise that ProtonVPN is a solid option. As with any VPN we recommend, its security is top-notch and it doesn’t seem to be selling your data to third parties. However, it does come with two serious drawbacks: limited locations and mediocre speeds.
With only three countries available for free users and slower speeds on those free servers, it’s probably best reserved as a backup VPN in case you run out of data with another service. However, if the speed and server options aren’t a problem for you, read our full ProtonVPN review for more information.
Despite not being a free service, we have to recommend ExpressVPN here. It’s easily the best VPN on the market; it works on any device, it has the best security and it can unblock everything — including Instagram and other social media while you’re at school. You can read about all this and more in our full ExpressVPN review.
The only downside to ExpressVPN is its $12.95 per month cost, which can be intimidating if you haven’t paid for a VPN before. However, it does come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can see if it’s right for you without risking your money.
Why Schools Block Instagram
For your average student, it may seem weird that school networks are so restrictive. After all, it isn’t like looking at social media during lunch will stop you from learning. However, there are reasons why schools do this.
The main reason why most schools block sites on their network — and try to stop you when you bypass school filtering — is for your education. You can’t learn if the teacher has to constantly stop a few students from watching funny YouTube videos or focusing on Twitter instead of the lesson.
However, another reason that schools block websites is simply that it’s the law. The Children’s Internet Protections Act (CIPA) grants discounts for certain services to any American school or library that uses an internet filter and tracks usage. Schools usually want these discounts, so they have to comply with the regulations.
Finally, the school could be blocking certain sites to keep the internal network free of viruses and malware. They might block all websites and then put only specific sites they know are safe on an “allowlist.” As these schools don’t need you to access social media sites like Instagram, they don’t bother allowing it.
How Do Schools Block Instagram?
There are a few ways to stop someone from using a website, and the most basic is to create a “blocklist.” This will block a specific URL or IP, usually putting up a warning when you try to access it. However, as the internet is so large, institutions usually prefer an “allowlist.” This works the same way but blocks everything except for the listed URLs and IPs.
Another way that a school might block websites is with an automatic filter. The filter will search each page for certain banned words or tags and then block them. This is rough and can often block useful pages — or leave unwanted pages up — but is often paired with a blocklist or an allowlist to cover any holes.
Final Thoughts: Unblock Instagram at School
Getting access to Instagram — or other social media sites — is easy enough, even through a school’s WiFi connection. Simply install a VPN with a free plan or a free trial — like CyberGhost — to your Android or iOS device, and you’ll be able to surf the web without worrying about prying eyes.
However, whether you use a VPN or a proxy server, remember that they can monitor each school computer and potentially read unencrypted information. Because of this, you should make sure you use your own device and have an encrypted connection to protect your privacy and stay out of trouble.
If you’re looking into how to unblock websites, you should also read our articles on how to unblock Netflix and how to unblock YouTube. These will help you get access to your favorite streaming site through any network block. Plus, we have a guide on how to unblock someone on Instagram, in case you need it.
Have you tried to unblock Instagram at school? What proxy server or VPN service did you use? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. Thanks for reading.
The best way to unblock Instagram is with a VPN. Simply download and sign into the service of your choice — we prefer ExpressVPN, but Windscribe is a good free alternative — then connect to one of the servers. You should now be able to get around most restrictions; just make sure the service you choose has a good money-back guarantee in case it doesn’t work.
Although using a VPN is fine for playing video games, it will slow down your connection and introduce more latency. Because of this, you should make sure you’re using a fast VPN service. You should also avoid playing games on school computers, as even a good VPN can’t stop the administration from monitoring your activity there.