For anyone involved in Facebook marketing, it is critical for you to understand what is a Facebook VPN and why it exists. Whether you’re trying to promote your brand to a country where a VPN is necessary or you happen to be on a business trip where you can’t access Facebook, VPNs are an essential tool for marketers to understand.
Especially when it comes to the biggest social network of them all, Facebook.
Facebook has been around for about 16 years now and has become such a central part of people’s lives. At over two and a half billion users, some people have a love-hate relationship with this often controversial social platform. But it’s hard to deny the importance of this mega-popular platform in society. That said, Facebook isn’t always accessible to everyone.
For one reason or another, Facebook could end up blocked when someone tries to access it. Here’s what to do about it when that happens.
Why is Facebook Blocked?
There are countries in the world where Facebook is not available. Residents who permanently or temporarily live in any of those countries would be aware that they can’t access Facebook. But anyone who’s traveling abroad might not know that once they enter their destination country, Facebook might no longer work.
Countries like Iran, Vietnam, and China have banned Facebook and Messenger (and some other social media platforms). So anyone who lives there or travels to these countries can’t access Facebook and a few other websites.
The other, and a more common reason for not being able to access Facebook, is the school or workplace restrictions. Many institutions block students from accessing social media on their networks and computers.
Likewise, some workplaces also tend to restrict the websites so people wouldn’t procrastinate at work. Usually, an IT person or team that manages network restrictions handles it.
Is There a Way to Unblock Facebook?
Anyone who finds themselves with no way to access Facebook isn’t completely out of luck. There are a few ways to get around school or workplace network restrictions, as well as country-wide bans.
If someone finds themselves locked out of Facebook at work or school, then they could switch to using their phone and access Facebook over their cellular network. Sure, it can be inconvenient and use up data, but remember that Facebook isn’t a necessity. Schools and places of business block Facebook because they don’t want people to get distracted and not do their work.
But mobile data won’t help if someone is visiting a country that bans the social network. For that, people can turn to a proxy website or a virtual private network (VPN).
Proxy websites circumvent school/workplace blocks and sometimes bypass country-wide bans as well. It works like this:
- Visit the proxy website
- Enter the Facebook URL
- Visit the site through a proxy server
VPNs work on the same principle as a proxy server. When someone has a VPN installed, they can access Facebook because the connection goes through a different server. It is a much better option than using a proxy website because it’s much more secure.
Why are VPNs the Perfect Solution?
These handy tools are useful for more than one reason, and people often use VPNs for many different purposes. But here are the two main reasons why this technology is the perfect option for people who want to take advantage of all of Facebook’s features:
Proxy website servers are not secure. And it’s crucial to use a reliable method to log into Facebook; otherwise, outsiders could hack the connection. If that happens, then they could steal login details, personal information and messages, and photos.
It won’t happen with a VPN. Encryption protocols they use make them the better option. Especially for travelers who want to connect to public WiFi spots, which are very unsafe.
Virtual Private Networks can get around network restrictions without most workplaces or governments realizing what’s happening. The technology can even hide what someone’s doing online from their ISP. It encrypts the connection with robust algorithms, making it incomprehensible to all third-parties.
On top of that, VPN services let their users choose the server or its location they want to connect to. That means a VPN user can not only access Facebook from wherever they are, but they can also access content from another country. For example, if a person travels to China for work, then they can still access their documents or watch streaming content available in their home country only.
Facebook isn’t exactly known for its stances on personal privacy. The company stores extensive records on what its users do while on the platform. It includes what they look at, which pages they visit, and what they click on.
But the social network is also tracking whatever they do elsewhere on the web. It includes the websites someone visits, what they do there, and which ads they click on.
Doesn’t sound creepy at all, huh?
Moreover, authorities have found the company sharing (selling) the data they gather on more than one occasion by now. Those third parties they share information with aren’t necessarily using it responsibly or safeguarding it as they should either.
A VPN cannot protect the data anyone shares on Facebook or the data that they opt to share through their privacy settings. VPNs also can’t prevent that data from being shared with third parties. What they can do, however, is give people more privacy by preventing third-parties from tracking their activities elsewhere on the web. Then, they won’t be able to share information about you with Facebook either.
Since VPN services mask a person’s IP address, the platforms can’t attach anything they do online to their IP address. An IP address also serves as someone’s online identity. All advertisers and websites link their online activity to that address. To make matters worse, it also reveals your approximate location. So when you visit any site without hiding your IP address, you leave a digital footprint.
Since a VPN hides all their IP addresses, the technology is useful for more than unblocking Facebook. It is also an excellent option for people who want more privacy.
Of course, online tracking is not limited to following one’s IP address. People should also disable third-party cookies and use privacy-focused browsers and search engines. But that’s a discussion for another time.
How Does a VPN Unblock Facebook?
VPN services work on the principle of network rerouting. They reroute a connection through their server first and then to the destination website. Because of this, the IP address of that server replaces the user’s IP address. It makes the site assume the request is coming from that server rather than the user’s computer or smartphone. Since people can choose which server they connect to, they can choose one located in a country that doesn’t ban Facebook.
If it’s a network that’s blocking the website, then a VPN still works as well. By installing the VPN on the computer, it circumvents the blocks placed by the network administrators. Whenever you turn the VPN on, you can access Facebook and other websites because IT can’t see what site you are connecting to. But keep in mind, some administrators may realize a person uses a VPN.
How to Install a VPN to Unblock Facebook?
The installation process for most VPN services is quite simple. Shop around a bit and find a VPN with excellent features and an acceptable price point.
Features to look out for when choosing a VPN:
- A no-logs policy (meaning the service won’t track and log any user data)
- Plenty of servers across the world
- Strong encryption protocols
- Good customer support
- Affordable pricing tiers
Then head over to their website and go to the downloads section. The VPN should list the devices and browsers they support. After signing up for a subscription package, download the corresponding app for the device you use.
Always make sure that the VPN is on before heading to Facebook or any other website. If Facebook is still not accessible, then make sure you connect to a VPN server in a country where Facebook isn’t banned.
Facebook is not only a way to keep in touch with family and friends anymore. It has also become a source of information, news, and shopping. And it’s a goldmine for digital and social media marketers. There’s no denying that this social network has become an essential fixture in everyday life.
So what happens when people find that they don’t have access to Facebook anymore? It could be that their school or workplace is blocking the website or that they’re in a country where the platform is banned. Luckily, there are a few ways around this. Most notably, use of a VPN. This method works well because it’s easy to implement, you can use it on any device, and it offers a secure way to log in to Facebook.
If anyone should find themselves without access to the social platform, then all they need to do is install a VPN and turn it on. Don’t opt for any free VPN services, as they are not reliable and can even be unsafe. Make sure what the local laws are regarding VPN use when visiting a country like Saudi Arabia. And if you plan to use it at work, keep in mind that IT might be able to see when someone on their network is using a VPN.
Do you have a VPN installed? Which service do you recommend? Please feel free to comment on your experiences below!
Hero photo by Petter Lagson on Unsplash
This is a post written on behalf of one of my marketing partners. All opinions are 100% mine.