How to Unblock YouTube in Pakistan
Updated: February 25, 2016
- Start with getting a VPN account setup
- Next, install the VPN software onto your device
- Open the software then connect to a server location where YouTube in available, for example a US-based or UK-based server
- Once connected, go to YouTube and you will have full access to the site in Pakistan
How to unblock YouTube in Pakistan in more detail:
Back in September 2012 the PTA (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority) finally, after many years of lobbying to do so, banned access to YouTube nationally, across the entire country. This was due to some religious videos on YouTube causing offence and YouTube refusing to oblige requests by the PTA to remove these.
Finally in January 2016, after many years of YouTube being in-accessible to any internet users within Pakistan, this ban was lifted and YouTube access was once again granted to the nation of Pakistan.
However, sadly this was not as cut-and-dry an "access grant" as I'm sure the internet users of Pakistan were hoping it to be. Rather than to simply lift the ban and give full access to YouTube in Pakistan, the PTA chose to lift the ban yet heavily monitor and restrict many, many videos on YouTube -- essentially giving the Pakistan people a very watered-down YouTube. "YouTube Light" if you will...
So as it stands today, YouTube in Pakistan is no longer blocked (yey!) yet is hugely censored (boo!)
Thus, I wanted to take it upon myself to give you, the internet freedom-fighters of Pakistan, a 100% effective solution on how to unblock YouTube in Pakistan once and for all -- which is why I put together this super quick little guide. Enjoy!
Why YouTube Censored in Pakistan?
As explained in the intro to this guide, the reason that so much YouTube content is blocked to users in Pakistan is because an agreement was reached between the PTA and YouTube to allow access to the website from within Pakistan on the condition that the PTA would be allowed to "block specific offending material".
So with the PTA clearly having no problems with using its power to block any content they view as even remotely "offensive" -- which I'm sure the majority of Pakistan internet users would debate as being such every time -- the end result is a version of YouTube that is nowhere near as accessible and discoverable as the website is to practically every other country on earth.
Until the PTA are overthrown from being behind the controls of this blocking (because let's face it; there's no way they are ever going to 'relinquish' this power), the internet users of Pakistan are completely at the mercy of the PTA's prerogative.
Or are they? ... read on to find out!
How is YouTube being Blocked in Pakistan?
This is the all important part to understand. By understanding exactly, technically how YouTube is being censored in Pakistan, you will see exactly why my solution laid out below is so effective at bypassing this censorship.
So just like with many other websites and online services that restrict parts of their site based on geographic location, YouTube videos censored in Pakistan are done so through placing what are known as "geo-blocks" on videos.
This is a simple step that can be done in any YouTube video's settings area by the uploader, and essentially puts an IP address checker on the video.
Why an IP address checker? This is because it is through your IP address when you try to watch a video that YouTube can instantly determine where you are physically located at that moment. This is what the process of "geo-blocking" is, in essence. So any video that the PTA deems as too "offensive" and thus censors, the video is done so by manner of geo-blocking; resulting in the video being blocked to any user located in Pakistan at the moment of trying to watch said video.
So rather than getting access to the video, you are instead presented with the ever-frustrating message of:
This is not bad news though. Trust me! I have spent a lot of time researching and educating myself on the most effective ways to keep my internet access as free and unrestricted as possible; no matter where I may be located.
What this means is I know that by using a Virtual Private Network (or "VPN" for short) you will be able to get complete access to the FULL YouTube in Pakistan, unrestricted and securely. That's right -- a 100% effective solution on how to unblock YouTube in Pakistan. So let me take you through the steps needed to do this now.
How to Use a VPN to Watch YouTube in Pakistan
Step 1: Sign up for VPN
I will preface this walkthrough by saying that I personally reviewed a bunch of the most well-rated VPN providers available today (there are a lot) and decided to go with ExpressVPN purely because it best suit my (modest) budget without sacrificing top-level performance. So for this quick walkthrough I will use ExpressVPN as the example.
First thing's first -- head over to the ExpressVPN website and choose the plan that best fits your commitment and budget preferences.
Once you've selected the plan, go through the payment method you choose and then you'll receive a confirmation email to confirm your account details:
In your account confirmation email will be a link to the "Download Area" on the ExpressVPN website. Click on this and then move onto the next step...
Step 2: Download & Install VPN
Once in the download area, you will see that there are individual links to download the VPN software onto every device you would ever want to unblock YouTube in Pakistan on! This is a great benefit to using a VPN for this solution; the compatibility with almost every device used to watch YouTube videos:
So click on the download link for the device you are currently on. For me, this was my Macbook and Android smartphone. If you want to unblock YouTube in Pakistan on your smartphone, then using your smartphone, head to the app store and search for "ExpressVPN" -- you'll see the free app that you can simply download and install in seconds.
Installation on non-mobile devices is standard. Just open up the downloaded file and installation steps will be presented for you to click through accordingly. No technical expertise required at all.
Step 3: Connect to US-based Server on VPN
With the VPN software downloaded and installed onto your device(s), your next step is to connect to the VPN!
This is the all-important step in this process, since the "server location" you choose to connect to the VPN through is what will change your IP address accordingly. So for example, as you can see below I choose a US-based server in New York to connect to on my Macbook:
Once I connected, this changed my IP address to New York-based, so when I go to watch YouTube, YouTube sees my "physical location" as within New York, US. So for you, being based in Pakistan, you will want to connect to a western server location like the US or UK in order to get access to the completely unblocked YouTube.
Here's another example of me connecting to a UK-based server location on my Android device:
Step 4: Watch Unblocked YouTube in Pakistan
Once you have chosen a non-Pakistan based server location to connect to on your VPN software, you will have effectively changed your IP address. So go ahead and navigate back to YouTube and you will have complete access to the full, unblocked YouTube from your Pakistan location!
Should you want to change your IP address to "appear" from within another location, or simply resort back to your actual Pakistan IP address, then you simply just need to disconnect or reconnect to the VPN accordingly. Takes just seconds to do this.
In conclusion, as you will have seen in this very quick and simple guide, the solution for how to unblock YouTube in Pakistan is actually very straightforward and takes less than 5 minutes to setup fully.
The best advantage of using a VPN to do this is that when you are connected to a VPN, your online privacy is protected to an incredibly high level. This means that all your "online activity" is almost impossible to track back to you or your physical location. Both your online freedom and privacy are protected with this solution.
As mentioned, I reviewed many VPN providers before deciding to go with ExpressVPN for this guide. So to give you some more choice, here are the top five VPN providers I narrowed down my selection to:
Thanks for checking out my guide, and if you have any questions at all -- don't hesitate to let me know by commenting below.