WhatsApp is a cross-platform instant messaging app. Users can make voice and video calls, as well as send text messages, images, GIFs, videos, documents, their location, audio files, phone contacts and voice notes to other users.
WhatsApp offers end-to-end encryption of all user data, making it popular with users who are concerned about governments, hackers or their Internet Service Provider monitoring their communications. The app is blocked by many educational institutions, employers and totalitarian governments.
In the case of schools and employers, the reasoning behind such blockades is that it helps ensure that students and employees keep their minds on their tasks at hand instead of being diverted by any external activities.
Governments look to block the use of WhatsApp in their country due to the app’s end-to-end encryption, which prevents easy monitoring of a user’s conversations. Some governments (such as China) fear users of the app will use it to contact users located in the free world.
Free governments have also considered blocking the app due to fears that terrorists will use it to plot attacks. For example, in December 2015, it was reported that Islamic State terrorists had used WhatsApp to plot the November 2015 attacks in Paris, France.
Whatever the reason you may find the app blocked, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) offers a simple method of getting around any roadblocks thrown up by schools, companies or governments.
Here are the 5 best VPNs to unblock and protect your Whatsapp sessions.
Best VPNs for WhatsApp
After rounds of extensive testing, I’ve found the following VPNs to be the best available options for unblocking and protecting your WhatsApp messaging sessions:
- ExpressVPN: This is your best option for unblocking and keeping your WhatsApp conversations under the radar. The provider uses military-level encryption to protect your communications, and its connection speeds are more than up to handling your voice and video chats.
- NordVPN: This provider should prove to be an enticing VPN option for WhatsApp users looking for a reasonably-priced provider that offers a high level of protection.
- CyberGhost: A great option for less-than-experienced users in search of an easy-to-use VPN to protect their family’s WhatsApp conversations.
- IPVanish: This provider offers a bit more privacy than many other VPN providers, thanks to its self-owned and -operated global VPN server network. No third party contractors will have access to your data.
- PrivateVPN: This provider is one of the more recent VPN entries. However, it has already earned a reputation for providing reliable, speedy connections. Now, if they’d just improve their global server coverage…
All top 5 WhatsApp VPNs were ranked according to the following considerations:
- Connection speeds
- Online security
- No-logs privacy protection
- Global server coverage
- Multi-platform support
- Customer support
Here’s my list of the top 5 VPNs to unblock and protect your WhatsApp conversations.
ExpressVPN is your best bet for reliable all-around protection for any of your online activities thanks to its well-encrypted connections and top-notch privacy protections.
This provider’s connection speeds ranked in at the top spot during our most recent round of tests, its 106.78 Mbps speed coming in at nearly 22 Mbps faster than its nearest ranking competitor. Those speeds are easily up to handling all of your communications via WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook Messenger, Telegram or any other app.
ExpressVPN’s military-strength encryption keeps your communications protected in an impenetrable tunnel, while kill switch protection prevents your activities from being exposed if you lose connection to the provider’s VPN servers.
No worries of any outsiders being able to view records of your online activities, thanks to the provider’s no-logs policy. Also available is an anonymous Bitcoin payment option.
While just about any server in the ExpressVPN network of over 3,000 servers located in 94 countries will unblock WhatsApp, the rest of their extensive server network will unblock content around the globe.
The provider has a track record of reliably unblocking Netflix, Hulu and other streaming services. Gaming servers and other types of content and services around the globe are not immune to its unblocking prowess.
WhatsApp is available on the Windows, macOS, Android, iOS and Windows Phone device platforms. ExpressVPN offers native app support for every one of those platforms except Windows Phone, and also offers apps for the Linux and Amazon Fire platforms. Browser extensions are available for the Chrome and Firefox platforms.
Up to 5 devices can be signed in at once using your ExpressVPN login credentials. If that isn’t enough, you can use a compatible router to protect all of your connected devices via a single point of entry.
24/7 support chat is available, as is email support, a searchable support library and a trouble ticket system.
- Well-encrypted connections
- Fast download speeds
- Wide global server coverage
- App coverage for all major platforms
- No logs, no problem
- 24/7 customer support
- Pricier than many other VPN services
BEST VPN FOR WHATSAPP:ExpressVPN is the top choice to keep your WhatsApp messaging sessions, as well as all of your other online activities, incognito. The provider delivers swift connections, and its server network is talented when it comes to unblocking geo-controlled content. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of ExpressVPN.
NordVPN is arguably the most attractive VPN provider on this list for WhatsApp users looking for a reasonably-priced VPN provider to protect their online activities.
While NordVPN’s download speeds aren’t as fast as those of the other providers on this list, they still provide plenty of bandwidth for all of your online activities. Plus, the provider never restricts your activities with daily or monthly data caps.
Thanks to top-notch encryption and kill switch protection, you’ll have no worries about your WhatsApp discussions being monitored. There are no records of your online antics, thanks to the provider’s no-logs policy. Bitcoin helps keep your subscription info undercover.
The provider has a global server network of 5,700+ servers in 60 countries around the world. That means very little geo-blocked content will be inaccessible to you.
Native app support includes apps for macOS, iOS, Windows, Android, Android TV and Linux devices. Up to 6 devices can be connected at once via the same login. To connect more devices than that, or to protect devices not on the above list, use NordVPN’s excellent router compatibility. (Pre-configured routers are available.)
Around-the-clock help is available via 24/7 live support chat, email support and a searchable support library.
- Comprehensive security and privacy protections
- Around-the-clock support
- Apps for all major device platforms
- Apps that are more user-friendly would be welcome
BEST FOR BUDGET-MINDED USERS:NordVPN is a great choice for internet users who are watching their pennies. The provider offers excellent online protection, providing an excellent return on investment. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of NordVPN.
CyberGhost is the top choice on this list for WhatsApp users who have little to no experience in using a VPN.
This VPN service delivers some of the best connection speeds in this lineup, just missing being the 2nd-fastest provider. CyberGhost imposes no bandwidth limitations or data caps.
Online security is well-served by their military-grade encryption and kill switch protection. The provider’s no-logs policy and Bitcoin payment option keep your privacy well undercover.
At the time of this writing, the provider’s global server coverage measures in at over 4,200 servers, stationed in 60 countries. This provides access to WhatsApp all around the globe, while also unblocking geo-blocked services, such as Netflix, Hulu and others.
CyberGhost’s native apps are easy to use, making it an excellent option for users on the macOS, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux, Android TV and Amazon Fire TV platforms. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are available.
For devices not on the above list, or for users who need more than the provider’s allowed 7 simultaneous connections, you can use the provider’s wide-ranging router compatibility. (Pre-configured routers are available from FlashRouters.com.)
A support ticket tracking system, live support chat (not 24/7) and a searchable support knowledge base are all available if you have questions.
- Easy-to-use apps
- Blazing download speeds
- Excellent security and privacy protections
- Excellent global server network
- App lacks options that advanced users appreciate
BEST VPN FOR NEW USERS:CyberGhost’s VPN apps offer plenty of security and privacy power, while being easy to use. I strongly recommend that new VPN users give the provider a try. A 45-day, no-risk money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of CyberGhost.
If you’re using WhatsApp to communicate with friends and family, you obviously appreciate strong security. That means you’ll likely want to take a look at the extra layer of privacy protection available from IPVanish.
IPVanish download speeds are fast enough to ensure your WhatsApp video chats will never be marred by streaming issues or disconnects. In addition, the provider’s “no data caps” and “no bandwidth limitations” policies mean your conversations will never end in mid-discussion.
IPVanish handles online security well, as it offers military-level encryption and kill switch protection for your connections. A no-logs policy means there are no records of your online travels. Unfortunately, a Bitcoin payment option is not available.
A server count of 1,300 servers in 50+ countries around the globe means you’ll always have access to both WhatsApp and geo-blocked streaming and gaming content nearly anywhere in the world.
This is where IPVanish’s additional layer of privacy protection comes in. The provider is one of only a few VPNs that own and operate their server network. This removes third-party contractors from the privacy equation.
IPVanish has the major device platforms covered, with apps for the iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux and Amazon Fire TV device platforms.
You can connect up to 10 devices at once to IPVanish’s servers using the same login credentials. If you need more connections than that, or if you need to protect other devices, you can install IPVanish on a large number of routers. (Pre-configured routers are available.)
Customer support is available around the clock, with 24/7 live chat, email support and a searchable support library.
- Self-owned and -operated VPN server network
- First-class app support
- Exceptional security and privacy protection
- A mere 7 days to try the provider
- Lacks a cryptocurrency payment option
EXTRA LAYER OF SECURITY:IPVanish is an excellent choice for privacy-minded users, thanks to their owning and operating their server network, removing third-party operators from the data access equation. A rather brief 7-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of IPVanish.
PrivateVPN delivers fast download speeds via a somewhat-thinly-stretched global server network.
PrivateVPN’s download speeds are the 2nd-fastest in this roundup. That means you should have the horsepower for any of your favorite online activities. Plus, no data caps or bandwidth limitations to get in the way.
Connections are protected by bank-standard encryption, and the provider’s no-logs policy means there are no records available of your online antics.
Using a disposable email address along with the provider’s cryptocurrency payment option would ensure that no traceable connection exists between you and your VPN account.
Although the service’s server count is just above 150 servers, they do have those servers well placed in 60 countries around the globe. My only worry with such a limited number of servers is that users might experience traffic jams if the provider doesn’t continue to add servers.
Native app support covers only the big 4 platforms (macOS, iOS, Windows and Android), lacking only a Windows Phone app to cover all WhatsApp platforms. Users can also make use of the provider’s router abilities to protect other devices. (Up to 6 simultaneous connections are allowed per username.)
24/7 live support chat is available, as well as a “Contact Us” form and a non-searchable FAQ section.
- Second-speediest connections on this list
- 24/7 support is available
- Excellent privacy and security safeguards
- 150+ server count could use a boost
- No searchable knowledge base
LOW PRICE/HIGH SPEED:PrivateVPN is a good budget-priced option for WhatsApp users looking for high-speed VPN protection that won’t break the bank. Their server coverage might not be sufficient for everyone, so research that before making a decision. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read my full review of PrivateVPN.
Where Is WhatsApp Banned?
WhatsApp protects users’ conversations by using end-to-end encryption. That means all messages are encrypted on the sender’s device, then sent in an encrypted format to the recipient’s device, where the message is decrypted and displayed.
Anyone able to intercept a WhatsApp message cannot decrypt the contents of the messages. Even the developers of WhatsApp cannot decrypt the messages. This is similar to the encryption schemes that the Signal messaging app and Apple’s iMessages system use.
This level of privacy has made the app attractive to journalists, activists, dissidents, and yes, terrorists and criminals. As a result, many restrictive governments have banned and blocked the WhatsApp service, including:
- Saudi Arabia
- The Gambia
In other countries, the authorities haven’t completely blocked use of WhatsApp, but have blocked the app’s Voice over IP functionality (which works similar to Microsoft’s Skype and Apple’s FaceTime).
In many cases, this is due to pressure from telecom companies, as WhatsApp’s VoIP capabilities can serve as a replacement for their services, cutting into their profits.
WhatsApp calls are blocked in:
- United Arab Emirates
How to Protect Your WhatsApp Activities With a VPN
Enhancing and protecting your WhatsApp conversations with a VPN is easy:
- Subscribe to a VPN. (Makes sense, right?)
- Install your VPN of choice’s app(s) on your device(s).
- Select a VPN server. (Or the auto-connect feature will usually do that for you.)
- Connect to enable VPN protection.
- Chat it up to your heart’s content!
Is a Free VPN a Good Option for Protecting My WhatsApp Conversations?
While I’m sure you can probably find a free VPN that will work with WhatsApp, I am equally sure that you’ll be severely dissatisfied with the freebie provider’s performance and privacy protections.
First of all, sans-cost VPNs are known to throttle their users’ connection speeds. They also place daily or monthly data caps on VPN usage. That means you could be in the middle of a conversation, or any other online activity, and BAM! No protection.
As for privacy protections, this is another area where you’ll find that free VPNs will usually let you down. Many no-cost VPN providers keep their lights on and servers running by collecting logs of their users’ online travels. They then sell this information to the highest bidder.
Free VPNs have also been caught injecting unwanted ads and tracking cookies into their users’ browser sessions. Those tracking cookies stick around, even after you’ve disconnected from the VPN’s servers.
WhatsApp is all about privacy and security. Why put all that to risk by using a free VPN provider?
A Virtual Private Network busts through WhatsApp roadblocks, helping to ensure that reliable access to the messaging service will always be available, no matter where you are.
By using a VPN, your country, school, employer and other overly-restrictive folks will not be able to prevent you from staying in contact with friends and family.
ExpressVPN offers the best way to enhance and protect your WhatsApp conversations. The provider delivers video streaming-capable connection speeds, wide-ranging global server coverage and excellent encrypted connection protections. All of this opens access to a world of content and communications.
For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit the ExpressVPN website.