Despite its popularity, access to Reddit is often blocked. Especially in countries with heavy censorship. Luckily, there are ways to get around this ban. The key to unblocking it is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
We've reviewed over 150 VPN companies in the last 5 years, so we've looked at the best ones in terms of accessing Reddit, speed, and software quality. Here is the list:
Best VPNs for Reddit
The Best VPNs for Reddit: Considerations
How to Unblock Reddit
A handful of countries (China, North Korea, Indonesia and a few others) have blocked access to Reddit in the past. Political and cultural reasons aren't typically the leading causes of Reddit becoming unavailable. Instead, the leading reason that network adminstrators block Reddit is its ability to stymie productivity.
Many environments, such as school campuses and corporate networks, need their users to remain productive. By blocking Reddit, these network administrators can encourage their users to remain focused and industrious. In these types of environments, blocks on sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and other social media services are also common.
However, what if you're on a break at work and want to comb through Reddit for the latest news? Or what if you're a student and want to use Reddit outside of the classroom? In these instances, the ban on Reddit can seem unreasonable and irritating. Thankfully, you can easily unblock Reddit – as well as any other censored website or service – with a VPN tunnel.
Domestic Versus Foreign Servers and VPN Endpoints
The locations of Reddit's servers could influence your choice of which VPN server location to connect to. The choice of which geographic location and VPN server to connect to depends a great deal on whether or not Reddit is blocked by your local network, or by your entire country.
Since individual networks block Reddit more often than entire countries, you can usually terminate your VPN connection domestically and still successfully unblock it. However, doing so does have a few drawbacks. For instance, if I'm in the United States and connected to a university campus's network (one that blocks Reddit), connecting to a VPN server in the US will still unblock Reddit, because it tunnels through the local university network.
However, any other data I send through the VPN tunnel won't be encrypted for very long. As such, I wouldn't be able to securely access resources hosted across US borders. My data would first be decrypted by the US-based VPN server before being forwarded to the appropriate host. The general rule of thumb when securing data transmissions with encryption is that you want to terminate your VPN connection as close to the destination host as possible. That brings us to my next point.
Most users typically don't have a clue where the servers they are accessing are physically located. Fortunately, there are some easy tricks and techniques to discover this information. This can help you choose which server to connect to. First and foremost, note that Reddit uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its hosting provider. Amazon locates data centers in many geographically dispersed locations for redundancy purposes. However, if you want to get a general idea of where a server is, just take a look at its IP address.
IP addresses are based on geography. All you need to do is look up the IP address of Reddit, as it appears in your computer's DNS (Domain Name System) table. If you're on a computer, just open up the command prompt and enter: ping www.reddit.com
The command prompt will return a translation of the domain name into a numeric IP address. This consists of four numbers ranging from 0 to 255, separated by three periods. You can simply type that IP address into an IP lookup web application. You can easily find these with a quick Google search. I even found one that allows you to input the domain name, saving you the hassle of finding the IP address. These show that when I access Reddit, the server is physically hosted in San Francisco, California.
As such, it would be in my best interest to connect to a VPN server hosted in California. However, please note that physical hosting locations frequently change. Many services even host multiple live redundant servers. The one you are directed to may depend on where you're located. Therefore, I'd recommend checking every now and again to ensure that you're still connecting to the same Reddit servers before you select which VPN server to connect to.
With that out of the way, let's go ahead and take a closer look at the best VPNs for Reddit.
The Best VPNs for Reddit: Conclusion
You can find a thread on Reddit for just about anything imaginable. Unfortunately, it's easy to get sucked into Reddit. In what seems like only five minutes, you can accidentally burn several hours of time. That's why it's blocked by so many school campuses, offices and other networks where users need to remain productive. Reddit is even blocked internationally by some countries due to offensive threads.
Using a VPN tunnel will help you access Reddit, no matter where you are. As long as you can establish a VPN tunnel, you can access your favorite Reddit threads for research, entertainment, socializing or anything in between. Remember to try to connect to a VPN server that's as close to the destination as possible. Otherwise, your data may be unprotected for numerous router hops.