Want to Get Instagram Unblocked at School Quick and Easy?
Instagram is an awesome platform where you can meet new people, chat with friends, and show the world how much fun you had at your best friend’s house party over the weekend.
Unfortunately, all that stops if you’re one of the many unlucky students who need to get Instagram unblocked at school.
It’s like your lifeline to the web gets shut down for a few hours, and you stop existing for your online followers.
And all because schools feel like you don’t use their WiFi for “educational purposes.”
Why Do Schools Actually Block Instagram?
Really, the main reason schools do this is to make sure students pay attention during class.
Let’s face it – Instagram is full of distracting content. Sure, it can be very fun, and a great way to pass the time, but from the teacher’s perspective, you’re disrespecting their hard work.
And if you’re not paying enough attention, they’ll have no choice but to give you bad grades, which can result in a lot of annoying drama (both for you and the teacher) if your parents get angry about that.
So, it’s just easier on the school if it blocks access to platforms like Instagram.
Also, it’s not a big secret that Instagram has a lot of, let’s say, “adult content.” Teachers and school officials might worry they’d get in trouble or the school’s image would suffer if their students were caught viewing inappropriate content on Instagram during classes or recess.
What’s more, some students might bully others on Instagram. So blocking the platform is the school’s way of stopping cyberbullying.
Sometimes, even parents might pressure schools into blocking social media websites on school grounds as a way of making sure their kids study and don’t get distracted.
Of course, schools don’t always block social media platforms 24/7. Maybe your school blocked Instagram, unblocked Instagram, and then blocked it again.
To be honest, that’s even more infuriating than just blocking Instagram completely since intermittent access will ruin your posting schedule and how you interact with your followers.
How Do Schools Block Instagram?
It’s pretty simple – schools get their network admins to block access to Instagram on the school WiFi network with firewalls.
The admin will simply add Instagram to a list of blocked websites on the school’s router. And since the router’s firewall can see your traffic as it passes through the network, it can shut it down if it detects a blacklisted IP address, URL, or keyword – Instagram, in this case.
Besides that, the school’s firewall will also restrict your access because it knows what inbound and outbound traffic rules are active for your device’s IP address. The firewall can see your IP address because it’s the one you get when you connect to the school’s WiFi.
How to Get Instagram Unblocked at School With Little Effort
Okay, so clearly you need a way to stop the school’s firewall and network admin from seeing what you do on the web, and from getting a glimpse at your IP address.
That sounds hard, but don’t worry – it doesn’t have to be. Here are some simple ways you can unblock Instagram at school: use mobile data, use a proxy server or use a VPN service.
1. Use Mobile Data
By far the easiest method to get Instagram unblocked at school is to just use your mobile data instead of the school’s WiFi.
That way, there’s no network admin or firewall to stop you from using Instagram – or any other platform for that matter. You’ll be using your telecom provider’s network, after all.
Of course, if you have a limited data plan (Instagram is very data-hungry), or your parents are very strict about how much data you can use, this might not be the best option.
That, and if your ISP blocks Instagram for some reason – though that’s only likely to happen if you’re from Turkey or any other country with an oppressive regime that censors the web..
2. Use a Proxy Server
A proxy server acts as a middleman between you and the Internet. You send the server your connection requests, and it forwards them to the Internet on your behalf. In the process, the proxy also hides your IP address, and usually encrypts your requests.
Your school’s network will see you’re using a proxy, but they won’t be able to see what websites you access with it. So, they won’t know you’re looking up Instagram.
And get this – many proxy servers have a local cache where they save web pages. If you request connections to Instagram, the proxy won’t even have to forward your requests to the web since it can just retrieve the web page from its local cache.
You get faster load times.
This method isn’t fool-proof, though. If your school uses firewalls to block proxy websites, you won’t be able to use one at all.
Also, if your school’s network blocks the Instagram app too, a proxy can’t always help you unblock it since its main purpose is to unblock websites, not apps.
Oh, and while proxies might offer some level of encryption to hide your traffic, it’s not the most powerful security out there. So you shouldn’t expect to enjoy complete privacy when browsing Instagram.
3. Use a VPN Service
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is an online service that hides your IP address, and encrypts your online traffic.
From the get-go, the service helps you avoid firewall restrictions by hiding your IP address. You just need to use a VPN server since it replaces your IP address with its own address.
And since the service encrypts your traffic, no network admin or firewall will manage to monitor it anymore. It will just look like regular HTTPS traffic to them, so they’ll assume you’re using a website like google.com or so.
To get Instagram unblocked at school with a VPN, all you need to do is subscribe to a VPN provider, download and install their apps on your device, run them, and connect to a VPN server when you want to access Instagram.
And yes, a VPN can help you unblock the Instagram app too – not just the website.
Now, it’s true that a VPN can slow down your speeds sometimes – especially if it uses powerful encryption. But since you just need to bypass a firewall, it’s enough to connect to a VPN server in your country or the closest country to you.
That way, the distance between you and the server will be small, and slowdowns won’t be likely to occur.
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CactusVPN is just what you need. We offer high-speed servers with unlimited bandwidth, military-grade security, DNS leak protection that makes sure your IP address is never revealed, and easy-to-use apps that work on the most popular platforms.
Also, our VPN servers double as proxy servers, so feel free to use them that way too. It comes at no extra cost.
And don’t worry about anyone catching you in the act if your connection to the VPN server goes down. We offer a Kill Switch that will shut down your web traffic if that happens, so the network admin won’t have a clue you were having fun on Instagram.
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What If You Want to Unblock Instagram on School Computers?
Maybe for some reason you can’t bring your own device to school – you either don’t have a laptop or the school bans mobile devices and laptops (hey, it can happen and parents like the idea too).
Or, maybe your mobile phone doesn’t have a good data plan (or any data plan), and you have no choice but to use the school computers.
Well, in that situation, you can still try using a VPN, though you’re gonna have to install it on the computer. Copying the installation files on a USB stick, and bringing it to school is the best option.
Of course, if the school uses file transfer bans, you’re in trouble.
But don’t despair – there is one solution you can try: portable browsers.
Basically, they are browsers you download and copy to a USB stick, and run off of it. You just plug the stick into the school computer, and you’re good to go.
One of the best portable browsers to try out right now is Firefox Portable. It’s very simple to get the hang of.
However, the problem with portable browsers is that you can’t use VPNs with them – just proxies. You should still be able to unblock Instagram, so that’s a nice consolation.
Other Things You Can Try to Get Instagram Unblocked at School on Computers
If the portable browser solution doesn’t sound too appealing, there are other ways you can try to unblock Instagram at school.
In fact, we have a whole article on how you can unblock websites in general, and some of the tips might work for you. Here’s the link for the guide, and here’s a quick overview of what you can try doing:
- Connect to Instagram using “https” at the starts instead of “http” or just “instagram.com.”
- Use the Internet Archive – Wayback Machine.
- Convert HTML content to PDF.
- Tweak network proxies in the browser.
- Connect to Instagram with its IP address instead of its website name.
- Access Instagram content by email.
- Use online translation tools.
Can You Use Tor to Unblock Instagram at School?
You can do that. Tor is an anonymity network, after all, so it hides your IP address and online traffic, allowing you to bypass firewalls.
But there are some good reasons not to use Tor at school.
First of all, your school network might have already blocked Tor. It’s tough to do, but it is possible. All an admin has to do is compile a list with the IP addresses of Tor servers, and blacklist them on the firewall and router.
Even if you have access to Tor, there’s a good chance you’ll get slow speeds and annoying load times. There are currently only around 6,000 servers for the almost two million Tor users – yikes.
But here’s the biggest issue – network admins might actually be able to tell Tor traffic apart from normal HTTPS traffic. It’s not exactly clear how they do it, but there are services that can single out Tor traffic.
Why would that be a problem, though? The admin would just see you’re using Tor and nothing else.
Well, here’s the thing – Tor isn’t widely-known in the media as a way to protect your privacy, but as a way to do illegal stuff on the deep web, like sharing child pornography, selling drugs, hiring contract killers, and sending bomb threats to teachers.
Now, we’re obviously not saying you’re gonna do anything like that. But the teachers, school administration, and network admins might have a different opinion. They might actually panic, and call your parents and the police.
And the last thing you want is to be known as the “weird kid who does shady stuff on the deep web” for the rest of your high school years.
Instagram Unblocked at School – The Bottom Line
Your school might block Instagram because they think it’s a distraction, want to prevent cyberbullying, or just appease the students’ parents.
It’s understandable, but also very annoying for you. Having to stay away from your favorite social media platform for a couple of hours every day just feels like unwarranted punishment.
Luckily, there are ways you can get Instagram unblocked at school – using your mobile data, a proxy, or a VPN service, with the latter being the most efficient option.
And if you have no choice but to use the school computer, you should consider bringing a portable browser along just in case the school blocks file transfers.