- 1 Quick Guide to Choosing a VPN For School
- 2 The Best VPNs for School in 2023
- 3 1. ExpressVPN (Best Overall VPN for School)
- 4 2. Surfshark (Best Feature-Rich VPN for School)
- 5 3. NordVPN (Best Budget VPN for School)
- 6 4. ProtonVPN (Best Free School VPN for Streaming)
- 7 Why do you need a VPN for School?
- 8 How to Get Started Using a VPN for School
- 9 Methodology
- 10 Wrapping Up
- 11 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Quick Guide to Choosing a VPN For School
Schoolwork requires a lot of research and gathering of data and information. If you are concerned with online security and want to keep your personal information safe while using school WiFi, a VPN is a great way to go. A VPN can also help you bypass school firewalls and unblock social media sites, YouTube, and other potentially restricted content.
You will want to choose one with a no-logs policy to keep your data private, and make sure it is compatible with your device. Also, choose a VPN with fast speeds to ensure it doesn’t throttle your internet connection, and that it has a good bandwidth allowance to be sure you can use it for all your schoolwork.
A VPN can also increase or decrease your speed. If your school WiFi throttles your bandwidth, a VPN can help you bypass that and increase your speed. If your school’s network is congested, a VPN can also help you find a less crowded server and improve your speed.
However, a VPN is an extra step in the process of internet connection, and this could slow your connection speed if you are using a VPN with limited servers. Connecting to a server close to you can also reduce your lag time.
The Best VPNs for School in 2023
1. ExpressVPN (Best Overall VPN for School)
Rank: 1 | Servers: 3,000+ | Speed: Download: 87 Mbps | Countries: 90+ | Encryption Type: L2TP/IPsec, OpenVPN (TCP), OpenVPN (UDP), PPTP, IPsec, and IKEv2, Lightway | Max devices:5 simultaneous, but unlimited installations | 24/7 support: ✅| Free trial: ❌ | Money-back guarantee: ✅ | Apps & Devices: Win~Mac~Android~iOS~Router~LGTV~Samsung TV~Amazon Sticks~Xbox | Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands (BVI)|
Unblocks: Netflix US | BBC iPlayer | Amazon Prime Video | Hulu | FuboTV | Showtime | Disney+ | ESPN | HBO Max
Ease of Use: 1 (super easy)
Kill switch: ✅
No Logs: ✅
3rd-party audit: ✅
Best & Worst:
- Best feature for use at school: An extremely reliable VPN with best-in-class features.
- Worst feature for use at school: Fewer simultaneous connections allowed, when compared to other VPNs.
If you’re looking for an ideal VPN for school, then ExpressVPN is a good option to consider. It offers a great VPN service, provides excellent security, and is one of the fastest VPNs.
ExpressVPN is a VPN service that was launched in 2011. It’s run by ExpressVPN International Ltd, which was founded in 2007 as Golden Frog Innovation GmbH.
The company has its headquarters in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), which is a well-known location for foreign business registrations because of the country’s anti-trust legislation. The UK does not impose direct rule, so the BVI are not bound by UK laws.
The British Virgin Islands have no laws in place to restrict VPN use, and is not a member of any international data sharing alliances (5 Eyes, 9 Eyes or 14 Eyes associations). As ExpressVPN states on their Terms of Service page, the BVI has stringent information disclosure rules, so you won’t have to worry about prying legislation.
ExpressVPN has 3,000 servers in 90 countries, and lets you access geo-restricted websites and streaming services.
Features of ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN has obfuscated servers that use a technique to hide VPN traffic so that it looks like regular internet traffic. This feature is in-built in some of ExpressVPN servers, and it automatically connects you to these servers when it senses restrictions on a network. Obfuscation, in super simple terms, is a sneaky technique used to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN. It makes your VPN traffic look like regular internet traffic so that nobody can tell you’re using a VPN. This makes it really hard for special systems that inspect internet packets to detect and block your VPN. VPNs use clever tricks like using different ways to connect and pretending to be something else to keep their activities hidden. It’s like wearing a disguise for your VPN to keep it a secret from prying eyes.
The encryption software that is used is the foundation of any VPN service. ExpressVPN uses one of the most trusted encryption protocols. They use AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) with 256-bit keys — also known as AES-256.
There are different types of encryption a VPN can use. They are UDP, TCP, L2TP/IPsec, IPsec, IKEv2 and PPTP. Sometimes you can only use one type of encryption on your device. You need to check which country has which type of encryption by visiting the ExpressVPN server page.
When you sign up for ExpressVPN, it will decide the protocol for you. You can change this if you want to. If you don’t know what to do, just use the “automatic” (recommended) version of the protocol.
ExpressVPN also does not keep any information about what you do on the internet. They have a strict no-logs policy which means they will not log your browsing history or what you download from the internet.
They offer a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free.
Read our full ExpressVPN review.
2. Surfshark (Best Feature-Rich VPN for School)
Rank: 2 | Servers: 3,200 | Speed: 80.08 Mbps | Countries: 100 | Encryption Type: AES-256 GCM, OpenVPN, IKEv2 | Max devices: Unlimited | 24/7 support: ✅| Free trial: ❌| Money-back guarantee: ✅ | Apps & Devices: Win~Mac~Android~iOS~Router~LGTV~Samsung TV~Amazon Sticks~Xbox~ PlayStation | Jurisdiction: Netherlands |
Unblocks: Netflix US | BBC iPlayer | Amazon Prime Video | Hulu | Disney+ | Apple TV+ | HBO Max
Best and Worst
Best feature for use at school: Well-priced, good coverage, and a reliable VPN.
Worst feature for use at school:
SurfsharkVPN has a strict no-logging policy, and the only data that Surfshark collects is the frequency of use of the app, the aggregated performance data, and the unsuccessful connections attempts if any. All this data is strictly for analytical purposes. Thus, they don’t store any uniquely identifiable information about you. You will be able to access all the material you need for your schoolwork and entertainment without having to worry about a thing.
Surfshark uses several encryption protocols to secure its users’ internet traffic. The protocols used are OpenVPN, IKEv2, and L2TP/IPSec. OpenVPN is the most commonly used protocol and is considered the most secure. It uses 256-bit encryption as a default but also offers other ciphers such as AES and Blowfish.
IKEv2 is a fast protocol that is ideal for mobile users, as well as computer and tablet users.
The larger number of servers a VPN has, the more options you will have for spoofing, which is a technique used to hide your location by changing your IP address. The VPN’s network includes 3,200 servers in 100 different countries.
Surfshark ‘s torrenting and streaming speeds are high, and because they have DNS leak protection, you don’t risk leaking your personal data or anyone knowing your online whereabouts.
SurfsharkVPN is compatible with all major devices. It works with all major operating systems including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. You also have an unlimited number of simultaneous connections, meaning that all you have to do is pay for one account, and you will be able to use it on all the devices you want.
Value for Money
The monthly plan costs $12.95. You can opt for the yearly plan, which will cost $3.99 dollars a month, or their twenty-four month plan is only $2.49. All subscriptions come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. You have many options for how to pay, from credit card to Sofort, Google Pay, or Amazon Pay, and several cryptocurrencies including Etherium and Bitcoin.
No Free Version
Many VPNs have a free version; it limits the number of servers available, in addition to the amount of data you can use. All of this, though, is free. Surfshark doesn’t have a free version, so you have to pay to get what you want.
Read our full Surfshark review.
3. NordVPN (Best Budget VPN for School)
Rank: 3 | Servers: 5,000+ | Speed:1 Mbps | Countries: 50+ | Encryption Type: AES 256-bit, OpenVPN | Max devices: 6 | 24/7 Support: ✅| Free Trial: ❌| Money-Back Guarantee: ✅ | Apps & Devices: Win~MacOS~ Linux~Android~iOS~Router~LGTV~Samsung TV~Amazon Sticks~Xbox | Jurisdiction: Panama |
Unblocks: Netflix US | BBC iPlayer | Amazon Prime Video | Hulu | FuboTV | DAZN | Disney+ | Apple TV+ | HBO Max
Ease of Use: 2. (average)
Kill switch: ✅
No Logs: ✅
Third-party audit: ✅
Best & Worst:
Best Feature for School: A trusted VPN with customizable advanced features, and includes an ad blocker.
Worst Feature for School: Priced higher than its competitors.
NordVPN is based in Panama, a country whose laws assure your online safety. It is not part of the 14-Eyes Alliance nor any other signal-sharing treaties.
Located in a Privacy Haven
It is head and shoulders above the competition when it comes to safety and security. It has put in place all the necessary protocols to ensure that all your data and online activities are safe, and no one else apart from you can access it by using military-grade encryption protocols, such as Open VPN and Ikev2/IPsec.
HTTPS protection – Even though most people believe that sites with HTTPS encryption are safe, it is not necessarily the case. As innocent a site as it may seem, such as a research site, it may affect your device by introducing ransomware, malware, and other threats.
NordVPN comes with a feature known as CyberSec that protects you from unsafe connections and unwanted ads as well as a double VPN, which passes your connection through two servers to encrypt it.
DDoS Protection – Hackers use DDoS, distributed denial-of-service, to flood your device with so much traffic that it crushes. This is most often a decoy so that they can get your data, such as credit card details, or install malicious software into your device.
You are most prone to DDoS attacks if you use public Wi-Fi signals, which are more common in learning institutions. Therefore, you have to make sure that you are protected at all times.
NordVPN can help you with this. It comes with an Anti-DDoS Protection feature that will make sure you have all the protection you need.
NordVPN has fast servers, though it is not one of the fastest in the business. However, as stated earlier, you will get value for your money.
NordVPN also launched a new product called NordVPN Teams. This is similar to Microsoft Teams, which enables the communication between co-workers. However, as you can expect from a privacy company – NordVPN Teams can be a much safer choice.
One thing we don’t like is that the interface sites may seem a bit cramped and sometimes the app requires a hard reset. NordVPN comes with a myriad of features, and at times it may appear a bit cramped. You will have to be extra careful when you are moving about not to touch the wrong buttons.
No free trial
It does not have a free trial.
At least in the traditional sense, NordVPN does not have a free trial version. Thus, you will have to pay first to get to know what you are paying for. That being said, it has some of the most affordable prices in the market; For a monthly subscription, you will have to part with 11.95 dollars. A one-year plan will cost you 6.99 dollars per month, and a three-year plan will cost you 2.99 dollars per month.
4. ProtonVPN (Best Free School VPN for Streaming)
Rank: 4 | Servers: 1,900+ | Speed: 84.15 Mbps | Countries: 67+ | Encryption Type: AES-256-GCM, IKEv2/IPsec, OpenVPN, and WireGuard | Max devices: 10 | 24/7 support: ❌| Free trial: ✅| Money-back guarantee: ✅ | Apps & Devices: Win~Mac~Android~ Linux~iOS~Router~LGTV~Samsung TV~Amazon Sticks~Xbox | Jurisdiction: Switzerland|
Unblocks: Netflix US | BBC iPlayer | Amazon Prime Video | Hulu | Disney+ | Zattoo | HBO Max
Ease of Use: 2. (average)
Kill switch: ✅
No Logs: ✅
Third-party audit: ✅
Best & Worst:
Best Feature for School: A strong focus on privacy and security with a strict no-logs policy, strong encryption, and a kill switch.
Worst Feature for School: Streaming isn’t supported in the free version.
Popular streaming services like Netflix and HBO have geo-restrictions on their content. To get past said geo-restrictions, you will need a VPN, and ProtonVPN is excellent for streaming.
Great security features
ProtonVPN is equipped with the latest security technologies like most other best VPN services. After all, they are the creators of ProtonMail – a well-known encrypted email platform.
In addition to double-hop, ProtonVPN comes with a kill switch – ProtonVPN’s kill switch feature will automatically disconnect you from your internet after your connection with the VPN server drops. This ensures that at no time will you be liable to attacks or leaks.
ProtonVPN has over 1,900 servers in 67 different countries.
A Lot to Offer Students
It is always pleasing to use an app or platform that works to make it easy for you. ProtonVPN’s interface is not only aesthetically appealing but is also one that will make it a lot easier for you to use. It is uncluttered and extremely user-friendly.
The Always-on feature aims to re-establish the connection to the said server as fast as possible and automatically link you back to the server once the issue has been resolved. When these two work in tandem, you can be assured that you are safe at all times.
It allows Netflix, streaming, and torrenting. They have a free plan with unlimited bandwidth and data, however this plan is not optimized for streaming.
Netflix has put in place a policy to try and block all VPNs. However, ProtonVPN has several protocols that bypass this, allowing you to access all the content that Netflix offers. ProtonVPN servers also facilitate torrenting, meaning that now you can download all the files and media, and access all the torrenting sites without any fear of repercussions.
ProtonVPN allows for up to 10 simultaneous device connections, meaning that you can stream on whatever device you want to stream on.
No live chat
It has no live chat
Customer support is available through a support form, email, or social media channels.
The free version allows unlimited bandwidth and data, although it will likely slow your browsing speed, and the free version doesn’t support streaming while the paid versions do.
Read our full ProtonVPN review.
Why do you need a VPN for School?
Most of the Wi-Fi networks installed in schools are public. This exposes you to many risks, such as malware and viruses. Someone could tap into the school network and access some of your most private data.
You may also be blocked from accessing social media or other sites on school WiFi or have a throttled bandwidth connection. A VPN can help you with all of this.
A VPN, which stands for virtual private network, is a pathway between your device and a network. It makes your connection super safe by putting a lock on it. It also gives you a new pretend address so nobody can see where you’re really located. When you use a VPN provider, your internet traffic goes through a special server that keeps your information private and hidden from your internet company, your school ISP(Internet Service Provider), the government, hackers, and others who might try to snoop on you. It’s like having a secret tunnel that keeps you safe and anonymous while you’re online.
Things to Look for in a VPN for School:
- Security features such as a kill switch, threat protection, or other additional protection features.
- Speed and bandwidth allowance.
- Large server network.
- Compatibility with different operating systems.
- Customizable protocols.
- Student discounts.
Pitfalls to Setting up a VPN on a Computer that Accesses School WiFi:
- Don’t violate your school’s policies.
- Some schools may not allow the installation of VPNs on their computers.
How to Get Started Using a VPN for School
The easiest way is probably to create a hotspot with your phone, and download a VPN outside of the school WiFi. Follow the installation instructions below for installing ExpressVPN, or go to the website of the VPN you choose.
If you encounter connectivity issues, try clearing your cache and cookies and reload the page. If this doesn’t work, try a different server or get in touch with your VPN’s customer support team. It’s important to remember that you may not be allowed to install a VPN on a school computer, so it is best to use your own device.
Installing ExpressVPN for use at School
- Go to the ExpressVPN website and create an account.
- Choose your subscription plan and provide payment information.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to download and install the ExpressVPN app on your computer.
- Launch the app and log in with your account credentials.
- Select a server location where your favorite sites aren’t blocked by school Wi-Fi restrictions.
- Click the connect button to establish a secure VPN connection.
Note that you must be at least eighteen years old to create an ExpressVPN account.
When selecting VPNs, make sure that you pick one that has a strict no-logging policy. You should also consider the price of the said VPN versus the services it offers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What VPN works best at school?
ExpressVPN is a solid choice with excellent speeds, top quality encryption, lots of features, and it can also unblock popular streaming services.
While ExpressVPN may not offer a specific student discount, students can take advantage of ExpressVPN’s 30-day refund policy, allowing them to try out the service without commitment. After that, it is an affordable choice, especially when considering long-term usage. Users can also subscribe to ExpressVPN’s blog newsletter, to get notifications about seasonal promotions or contests where they have a chance to win a free ExpressVPN subscription.
What is the best free VPN for school?
ProtonVPN is a very functional free VPN with unlimited bandwidth and data, but doesn’t support streaming in the free version. It’s an excellent free choice, but if you need the added functionality, choose a paid plan.
Which VPN is unblocked for school?
There is no particular VPN that is universally unblocked at schools everywhere, but ExpressVPN has excellent functionality and a tutorial for how to set it up on your school WiFi.
Which VPN is the best for college?
It depends on your specific needs, but NordVPN unlocks a wide range of websites and streaming services. Plus, students can enjoy a special 15% discount.
Surfshark is another good option with its affordable pricing and the ability to connect an unlimited number of devices to a single account. It’s designed for seamless streaming and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
ExpressVPN has excellent speeds and extensive network coverage. It offers obfuscated servers and adheres to a strict no-logs policy, ensuring your privacy and security.
ProtonVPN is a great choice with its free option that imposes no data restrictions on its users. Aside from that, the free version has limited features but is a dependable choice if you need basic VPN coverage, and they do have a fully featured paid option.