Several countries have recently either already banned the popular social media app TikTok, or are planning to do so - including the United States. Without any readily available alternatives that boast the same kind of audience, many users are searching for ways to still use the app.
We'll show you how you can use a VPN to access TikTok if it has been banned in your country.
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Why is TikTok Being Banned?
Used to share 15 second videos, TikTok took the post-Vine world by storm, and the Chinese app, which notably isn't backed by industry titans Alibaba or Tencent, achieved global success, unlike many other Chinese-developed apps whose popularity remains domestic.
A long string of economic and political issues (which we won't delve into) has resulted in a somewhat hostile relationship between many Western nations and China, the effects of which are keenly felt in the tech industry. Major mobile manufacturer Huawei has been subjected to major restrictions in the USA and various other nations, but now the eyes of legislators turn to applications.
TikTok is just one among many Chinese apps that are on the verge of being banned or restricted in the US, but it is definitely the most popular. Known in the local market as Douyin, the application has an estimated 800 million monthly active users, and was downloaded 738 million times in 2019 alone. At various times during this year, it was the second and fourth most downloaded app, surpassed only by various Facebook apps.
Considering its popularity, it's easy to see why many are upset at the prospect of losing access.
How to Access TikTok with a VPN
Step One: Get a VPN
VPNs, or Virtual Private Network applications, are used for secure and private access to the Internet. Your IP address will be masked with another, and you can route your data through a server located in a different country - usually location selection is available with premium VPN services - allowing you to circumvent local app and website bans.
While free VPN services do exist, they aren't reliable nor do they offer the kinds of features that truly make VPN worth using for secure internet access. We recommend NordVPN (iOS | Android) for all of your secure browsing needs. Create an account and purchase a subscription if you haven't already, and install the app on the device you wish to use.
Step Two: Select a country where TikTok isn't banned
NordVPN allows you to select what country to be routed through, and they operate servers in 59 countries, so finding one that doesn't impose any restrictions on TikTok should be easy. China is the logical choice, but there are other options available as well.
Step Three: Use TikTok
You are good to go, it's that easy! With the VPN routing you through another country, local application bans shouldn't be a problem anymore.