A VPN can help you to access geo-restricted websites and applications that can open up a whole new world of content for your TV and other devices.

A VPN can also stop your internet service provider (ISP) from seeing what you are doing online.

It can also open up a lot of additional content to you by getting around geographical blocks and this can make extra entertainment packages that your ISP may have on offer less attractive for you to pay for.

Of course, then you have all the extra bandwidth you’ll be taking up (for free).

Needless to say, all of this can turn ISPs a little bitter towards VPN services but is it enough for ISPs to try and block VPNs.

Can My VPN Be Blocked By My ISP?

Yes, your ISP can block your VPN by either blocking the port number your VPN service uses or by blocking the IP addresses of your VPN’s servers.

Your ISP can see the port that your VPN is using and if they deem that to be a non-essential port, like port 1194 or port 500, for example, they may choose to block it and shut down access to your VPN service.

Likewise, your ISP can easily use a firewall to block known VPN server IP addresses, blocking access to your VPN by stopping you from connecting to that server.

However, most reputable ISPs will not block access to VPN services.

But some have been known to, especially when they are providing internet access to colleges and similar institutions.

Read on if you’d like to know how and why ISPs block VPNs, and what you can do to get around their tactics.

Does My ISP Know When I’m Using A VPN?

Yes, your ISP does know when you are using a VPN because much of what your ISP does is route all of your internet traffic. This means that they have to first connect you to the VPN server before your VPN service can encrypt and hide what you are doing.

Once connected to your VPN, your ISP only sees the IP address of the VPN server you accessed, the timestamp of when you connected, and the port number your VPN protocol uses.

They will also be able to see your encrypted data, which they will not be able to read or use, the amount of data being sent or received through your connection.

Apart from known VPN server IP addresses, the amount of data passing through your connection may also be a strong indication to your ISP that you are connecting to a VPN.

Related Article: Can Chromebooks Get Keyloggers? (Explained)

Why Do ISPs Block VPNs?

There may be a number of reasons why your ISP could decide to block access to your VPN, including:

  • Your ISP may offer additional entertainment packages with movies, sports, and TV channels, and if you are accessing all of the movies and TV shows you watch for free using a VPN, you’re going to be a lot less likely to sign up for their additional entertainment packages, making it beneficial for them to block your VPN access.
  • Your ISP is worried that you will use your VPN to stream or download illegal torrents or other things online.
  • Your VPN service may also be blocked because VPNs are often used for business or work purposes and most home internet services are for personal, non-business use only.
  • Your ISP doesn’t want you to use your VPN to bypass bandwidth throttling and use more data than they want you to.
  • Depending on where you live, your government may force your ISP to block VPN access to stop you from accessing websites that are outside of their control.
  • Your ISP may be using equipment that is disabling PPTP functionality and unintentionally blocking your VPN access. It may be worth giving them a call and seeing if there is anything they can do to unblock your VPN access.

How To Get Around Your ISP Blocking Your VPN

ISPs most commonly block access to VPNs by blocking standard port numbers and IP addresses used by VPN servers.

However, if your VPN was changed to run on a nonstandard port it would no longer be blocked by your ISP.

Try using port 443.

This is the port used for HTTPS and your ISP shouldn’t attempt to block it because it would cut off most of your access to the web.

However, not every VPN protocol can use port 443.

OpenVPN protocol can be changed to use port 443 and it is very secure so I would recommend using that one.

OpenVPN uses port 1994 as its default port.

To change it, head into your VPNs Settings and set VPN Protocol to OpenVPN, and then set the OpenVPN port to 443.

To get around VPN server IP addresses being blocked you just need to connect to another VPN server that is not blocked by your ISP’s firewall.

Keep trying to connect to new servers until you find one with an IP address that isn’t blocked.

You could also try switching to a lesser-known VPN service.

The less well-known the VPN service is, the less likely its IP addresses will be known by ISPs and blocked.

In general, you’ll mostly find that ISPs do not block VPNs.

But if you think your one is, try out some of the tactics from above, and if that doesn’t work, contact your ISP and ask them straight.

Maybe they are blocking your VPN without even realizing it.